Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey Review

Naamah's Kiss (Kushiel Legacy)
This is an adult novel.

Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey is the first book in her new trilogy.  Although it’s considered #7 in the Kushiel’s Legacy series, it is easily a trilogy that can stand alone.  The first two trilogies are a couple hundred years in the past to this one.  Since I’ve read the first trilogies I can’t tell you if the world building is less as I have a firm visual on the world from the first 6 books.  I think that without back tracking or repeating herself for those who have read the others she still does a great job of describing the world.  I think this is done so smoothly because the main character, Moirin, is discovering it as well.  We are seeing it all through her eyes.  And I can tell you that Jacqueline Carey has a knack for world building as well as some serious descriptive talents.  I guess she is a writer, so that’s to be expected!


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 sworn in the name of all his people. Now, only small gifts remain to them. Through her lineage, Moirin possesses such gifts – the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to grow. Moirin has a secret, too. From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life; the bright lady, and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, it isn’t until she comes of age that Moirin learns how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is. The great granddaughter of Alais the Wise, child of the Maghuin Donn, and a cousin of the Cruarch of Alba, Moirin 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 fulfill an unknown destiny that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. Or perhaps oceans. Beyond Terre d’Ange where she finds her father, in the far reaches of distant Ch’in, Moirin’s skills are a true gift when facing the vengeful plans of an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father’s throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.

My Thoughts:
Things that may catch your attention in that description are that Moirin has some magic.  She can go invisible,  she can coax plants to grow, and I can tell you that later some other gifts come to fruition as well.  She also has an amazing ability to just feel and know the world around her.  Great senses, I guess you could say.  She’s blessed with gods smiling down on her and gifts from each one of them have been bestowed upon her. Which happens to be unusual anymore in this world, so many see her as a witch (or call her thusly) though once they get to know her they always love her.
Moirin shows how human she is by being saddened by leaving those she loves behind, but she is very brave in accepting her destiny and following it where it takes her.  She accepts her lot, although makes a few mistakes, which once again, shows only how human she really is.
Moirin finds herself through her gods smiling upon her.  And she follows her destiny where it takes her whether she really wants to or not.   Moirin finds love, or what she thinks is love, a few times but it’s not until later that you really feel she has found her Joscelin (you’ll only understand that if you’ve read the first Kushiel’s Trilogy), her man who is there to stand by her no matter what and is her ‘soulmate’ so to speak, even while she follows the path of Naamah.  Although not a courtesan, she learns the skills of the bedchamber by the Queen of Terre D’ Ange herself and it comes in handy in her travels (as I’m sure it will in the future also).  
Moirin’s destiny takes her into some ‘strange’ circumstances as she is the first to say.  A lover to a dragon, trapped in a Ch’in princess.  Can you say strange?  Yes, very.  She finds herself the necessary companion to the Ch’in princess as they go on a journey to expel the dragon.  This travel takes us through some beautiful lands in Ch’in (China) and the descriptions were beautifully done.  Anyone who’s seen China on TV, or even better, in real life, will be able to picture it all very well.  And likely even if you haven’t (but who hasn’t?).  The story in this final quarter of the book is so unique and so beautiful as they see horror wrought by the Divine Thunder (cannons), but beauty restored as many sacrifice themselves to the princess, Moirin and the Ch’in Empire.  The final conflict is is wonderfully done but the book is left wide open as Moirin sets off to find her destiny once again.
Naamah’s Kiss is filled with beauty, adventure, and love.  And balanced with cruelty and trials, the world, the characters, the entire story is completely and utterly amazing.  Jacqueline Carey did not, for one minute, lack a single thing in this book.
She brought the adventure I loved from the first trilogy, as well as the love(s) and the world, of course.  But it is unique in that it’s all new characters, some new countries,  and a dragon.  Okay come on, a dragon.  Now that is a very cool place to take the story, if you ask me.
I place this book above most of my 5 star books.  These books are just so amazing, nothing can quite live up to them.  But I only do up to 5 stars, so I give it the best rating possible, 5/5 moons!

This book was provided to me by the author for review (and giveaway!).  I was not paid for this post.  The opinions expressed are my own.
Now I’ve done some posts about Jacqueline Carey and her books already.
You can find my post on the signing and pictures here.
You can find my overview of the first trilogy (Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen and Kushiel’s Avatar )Here.  
And my overview of the second trilogy (Kushiel’s Scion, Kushiel’s Justice and Kushiel’s Mercy) Here.
I’ll have my interview with Jacqueline Carey posted soon as well as a giveaway of Naamah’s Kiss.
You can find Jacqueline Carey on her website | facebook
You can purchase at your favorite bookstore, or at amazon.

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