Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey

Published: 2003

Genre: epic fantasy

Length: 702 pages

Setting: from the world’s equivalent of Europe to the Middle East to Africa, 10 years after Kushiel’s Chosen

Interest: It’s the third Terra D’Ange book

Summary: Phedre is off on a new quest – to find the name of God in order to free Hyacinth from the Three Sisters islands. She is sidetracked when Melisandre’s son, Imriel, is kidnapped from his hidden location in the Sanctuary of Elua. Phedre is able to track Imriel to Aragonia, where he was bought by Carthagian slavers. Phedre and Joscelin follow his trail to Menekhet, Khebbel-im-Akkad, and Drujan. In Drujan, a death sect has gained power and holds Imriel. Phedre gets herself into the Makrkagir’s harem in order to get Imriel out. Since she’s been touched by Kushiel, she is able to survive the Mahrkagir’s violent attentions. With the help of the women and some guards of the harem, she is able to kill the Mahrkagir and free the harem. After returning to Menekhet, she then heads south into Jebe-Barkal chasing a lost tribe of Yisra-el and the name of God. Imriel sneaks into their caravan (which causes problems later with Ysandre). Phedre is successful in her quest and manages to free Hyacinthe from his curse.

Final thoughts: A satisfying conclusion to a grand and sweeping series. Phedre gets to visit many different countries and cultures. She often makes a place for herself in these countries, but still longs for home. We have less palace intrigue and sexual liaisons in this book, although there’s still sex with Joscelyn and sexual pain with the Mahrkagir, so it’s still full of adult situations.

Joscelyn is an interesting character in the book. His role is mainly to follow Phedre around and keep her safe. He rarely initiates any of the action. His role is more typically filled by a woman in these types of stories, so it’s interesting to see the role reversed. He does feel a bit flat in this book, though, since he’s just following Phedre on all her journeys. I didn’t notice it as much in the previous books, but here he felt kind of lame.

Title comes from: Several of the actions Phedre took were on the behest of the gods (both Kushiel and Elua asked her to make sacrifices) so she was acting as their avatars.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #61 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge, and a K in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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