Khanh the Killjoy

Naamah's Kiss

Naamah's Kiss - Jacqueline Carey What I love about this book, after having read so many romance novels with a chaste/virginal heroine, is the complete and utter abandon of any type of sexual shame. Love is love, sexual in manner or not, with men or women, it's just so freeing to read about the act of love being portrayed in such a (dare I say) innocent and guileless manner.The storyline is not my favorite, and the plot was wonderful up until Moirin's journey to Ch'in. After that, the storyline of the dragon and the pearl just muddles up in my mind, and I didn't find it as enjoyable as the arc in Terre D'ange. Still, it is a remarkable book, and I look forward to reading the sequel.I loved the character of Moirin, I love her weakness, her vulnerability, and how she grows more sure of herself. Her experiments with Raphael's group and her growing unease and outright refusal of him was a progression I enjoyed. The love-square between the king, queen Jehanne, Raphael, and Moirin was deeply complex. The relationship between the king and Jehanne was by far my favorite, there's so much confusion and hurt and tiptoeing, it was more realistic than any of the other relationships in the book, most of which started with a romp in the bedroom. Every portrayal of relationships in this book was well-written and believable. The progression between hate to love between Bao and Moirin was authentic and felt true; they weren't my favorite pairing in the book, but I can understand how their feelings towards each other developed.This is book 7 in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Universe. I did not read any of the previous books, but I found this one a standalone. The mythology was easy to follow, the storyline made sense, and I was never confused despite being plunged into an alternate high fantasy universe of which I've never experience. It helps that the names and nations made sense, and much of the made-up religion is based on actual recognizable myth.Even if I didn't enjoy the latter half of the book, the writing more than made up for any sort of dislike I had for the plot. There are certain authors whose writing is easy to read, Jacqueline Carey is one of them.