Tuesday, 19 January 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Naamah's Kiss - Jacqueline Carey


Once there were great magicians born to the Maghuin Dhonn, the folk of the Brown Bear, the oldest tribe in Alba. But generations ago the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath and now only small gifts remain to them. Moirin possesses such gifts - she has the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to quicken. She has a secret, too. From childhood onwards, she has been able to sense the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life: the bright lady, the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Moirin is raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, Fainche, and it isn't until she is befriended by Cillian, son of the Lord of the Dalriada, that she learns her father was a D'Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire. After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance . . . on the condition that she fulfils an unknown destiny, one that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. And that destiny promises both pleasure and pain, as she finds herself facing an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father's throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.


Whenever an author has had great success with previous novels in a series its always going to be difficult to start a new character as well as sequence of events off as the people who’ve bought the novels previously generally demand more of what turned them onto the authors work in the first place.

Part of the problem with this is that the reader generally wants to get to the meat of the tale without having to get to know the character along with their traits both for good and ill. As a result, here in Jacqueline’s new offering we have a tale that feels a tad rushed to give what she thinks that the reader wanted rather than taking the time to build the principle protagonist which can quickly turn the reader off as without emotional context the viewer really won’t sympathise with that person. Add to that a fast paced sequence of events that could not only confuse but really did feel like the novel was set more for action packed sequences without the lulls, yet without the emotional context I really didn’t care which is a great shame. I am surprised that Jacqueline made what I consider to be a rookie mistake but hope that she’ll fix it in the next instalment.

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