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Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey



So, I finished Naamah's Curse last night.

I can't come out and either say that I loved it or I hated it. I definitely enjoyed it more than the previous book, Naamah's Kiss. There were a lot of very likable minor characters, unlike in Kiss where there were characters I was supposed to like and... didn't. There was also a better rationale for the ubiquitous traveling component of the book, and a little more romance.

Some of the problems?

Moirin, the heroine of the current trilogy, suffers from some of the same problems that Phedre did: when a new character shows up, you find yourself gaging how long until, and under what circumstances, she'll sleep with them. With Phedre there was a darker tinge, because of her proclivities, but that also added to the drama and the angst. Moirin's 'gift' is much more gentle, so there's less of an impact. (I'm leaving Imriel's books out of this, because he didn't go around sleeping with anything that moved ;))

There's also the issue of why Moirin does what she does. During most of the book, she is looking for her "peasant-boy" Bao, a Ch'in (Chinese) stick-fighter who carries half of her "soul-spark" due to events in Kiss. The soul-spark acts as a handy tracking device, but Moirin also consults it (and through it, her patron goddess... it's not as complicated as it sounds) when she's trying to decide what to do. Now, Phedre often asked the gods for guidance, and in at least one instance was bullied by one into doing what he wanted. But Moirin... it sometimes seemed that she didn't do a whole lot out of her own initiative, and that was annoying.

Imriel escaped most comparisons between himself and Phedre because (1) she was still in the series, as a minor character, and (2) he was a guy. With Moirin, it's very hard not to compare her, and really, there's no comparison. Phedre is simply one of my favorite book characters of all time, and her relationship with Joscelin was just... wow. Moirin and Bao are cute, but they don't have that transcendent awesomeness.
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