Sandi's Reviews > Naamah's Kiss

Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
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Jul 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, fantasy, 2009
Read in July, 2009

I don't usually like books that I'd rate NC-17 if they were movies, but this one was an exception. I thought it was wonderful. I haven't read anything by Jacqueline Carey before, and I may never read anything by her again. GoodReads shows this as being #7 of the Kushiel's Legacy series, but there is nothing on the book itself that indicates that. I honestly think it's the beginning of a new series that takes place on the same world as Kushiel's Legacy several generations later. While the story line in Naamah's Kiss is completed in this volume, it does set up the next volume quite well. That's why I think it's a new series.

What I learned from this book: Sex keeps you from doing the important things that forward a plot.

Seriously, our protagonist, Moirin, starts having sex on page fifty and has sex with men and women for the first 500 or so pages. It isn't until she stops having sex that the actual story really gets going. Of course, the book is saved from being simple porn by Carey's excellent narrative style and a lead character who is very likable. In general, I don't like graphic sex in books, but Carey is very comfortable writing about it and it seems natural, not awkward.

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Reading Progress

06/20/2009 page 1
0.16%
07/01/2009 page 532
82.48% "I fell asleep early."
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Chris I'm really interested in what you think of this one. I have a copy on order.


Sandi I've read the first chapter. It's amazing. I haven't read anything by Jacqueline Carey before, but my daughter tells me her books are her favorite literary crack. She has everything and is willing to lend them to me whenever I want.


Chris Your daughter's right. What I really like about Carey is that she takes just criticism and applies to her novels.


message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon I tried Kushiel's Dart when it first came out but it just wasn't for me. Sounds like more of the same for this one.


Terence Sandi, if the NC-17-ness of Carey puts you off then you're probably right in avoiding the previous six. The heroine of the first three, Phaedre, is a sexual masochist, and the hero of the middle three, Imre, has more than his share of sexual (albeit more conventional) adventures.

On the other hand, I think there's more to Terre D'Ange than just an excuse fill up space between the next bedding. Carey's trying to articulate a way of looking at life ("love as thou wilt") that's a departure from traditional fantasy tropes and modern sensibilities. Despite the graphic sex and violence, you might ("might," I say) consider trying the first book, Kushiel's Dart.

And one final point, Carey's passion and love for Terre D'Ange is most evident when you compare it to her other series, Banewreaker, which is competently written but lacks the passion and fire of the Terre D'Ange books.

This is one of the books I'm really looking forward to reading soon.


Shellie (Layers of Thought) Jon wrote: "I tried Kushiel's Dart when it first came out but it just wasn't for me. Sounds like more of the same for this one. "
I felt the same way... not sure what it was...



Chris It took my two tries to get though Dart. It was the S&M. Once I got past it, I liked the political story.

Sandi, I agree with Terence.


Sandi No S&M in this one.


Shellie (Layers of Thought) Wow - that's surprising. I thought that would have been its main draw.


Sandi Back to Terence's comment. I do agree that there is much more to this world than sex. I also think that the sex in the story was fitting with the story. Did I mention in my review that Carey writes sex scenes very well? I've read way too many books that have sex scenes in them that seem to be there just because that's what is expected these days. Most of the time, the sex scenes don't fit with the plot and are awkwardly written. Naamah's Kiss avoids these pitfalls. Moirin loves sex because that's part of her inherited gifts. Her father is a priest of the temple of Naamah, the goddess of desire. The temple of Naamah ministers to lovers in a society that doesn't have sexual taboos. Unlike other authors, Carey handles this in a way that is believable and not gratuitous.


Shellie (Layers of Thought) Okay - I'm in It gets another try.


Chris Back to Sandi's last comment. I do love how Carey writes her scenes. With Carey, unlike say Laurell K. Hamilton, you know when a character is having sex for money, having sex out of lust, being raped, and when a character is making love. When Carey's first book came out, I was a member of a reading group. One woman who read the book said she didn't like it because the S&M wasn't to her taste; however, she loved the fact that Carey showed a woman having an orgasm during rape. The woman, who was a rape counselor, said no author she had read before had done this, and she liked it because Carey shows the reader that it is still rape despite how the body reacts.


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