CBR II, Book 3: Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey


I ended up skipping the second book in this trilogy. I am not sure why. So I just read the last couple of chapters so I could remind myself of what happened and then moved on to this book.

Kushiel’s Mercy starts out with the country of Terre D’Ange in turmoil—Imri and the princess whose name I am completely blanking on right now have come out as being all in love and shit, and nobody likes that because she’s the heir and he’s the son of the country’s biggest traitor ever.

So, yanno, they have problems.

Of course, this being a Jacqueline Carey book, those problems soon are compounded about threefold. Shit gets really crazy in this book. And I’m not being lazy in not telling you precisely what happens, because I really think you should be reading this, and I don’t want to spoilerify it too much. I realize I probably sound like a broken record at this point regarding any and all of Jacqueline Carey’s books, but I really do feel this strongly about them.

The basics are thus: there’s a prince from Carthage, a whole helluva lot of black magic happens, Imri goes temporarily entirely insane, and then things really get interesting. This is the novel in which he gets to know his mother, and figures out that though she’s a traitor, she’s not the terrible monster he grew up thinking she was. Finally, Melisande is painted in something more than a traitor’s light, although I don’t think it was ever implied that she didn’t have her reasons for what she did, nor that she wasn’t a wholly compelling woman. Actually, I would love to read a book detailing her youth and how she came to be as conniving and charming as she ended up. That would be badass. I always sort of liked Melisande.

But I digress. I also really enjoyed how Carey ends the book without quite ending the story. Yes, things are wrapped up and tied in a lovely velvet bow, but she manages to leave just enough to the imagination to be both intriguing and satisfying, if that makes any sense whatsoever.


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