Crystal Carroll's Reviews > Kushiel's Avatar

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
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Aug 12, 2012

really liked it

Third in a trilogy. Phedre, a young gods touched courtesan, and her consort Joscelin, move beyond the realm of politics and into vaster riddles of the series.

This is an incredibly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. It amazes me that a series so incredibly, hmmm...painfully graphic about pain and pleasure, is ultimately so emotionally satisfying. The final two hundred pages are like the wind in the desert, a song, a contemplation of a single drop of rain.

Although, as per tradition in this series, everyone had to go through hell before they can go to paradise. Here, all of the experiences that the characters have endured thus far finally clicked together into this pattern.

This book, and the series really, are about love. Love as a yielding. Love as a fierce driving force. Love as the scouring of self. And by extension, what does it mean to have faith. To yield and by yielding, gain.

It was interesting to finally reach of sense of it is to be the avatar of a god of punishment and conversely, mercy. To be the pain bearer in a world where justice is so often rendered without compassion, here then is the balance. The sacrifice in a world that is always about sacrifice. Asherat of the Sea weeping for her lost son. Isis weeping a lake of tears for lost Osirus. The Magdalene weeping over the Masiach’s dead body, not yet risen from the tomb. Rahab mourning a love that never was. Hyacinth on his island, waiting. The Tsingani restless on their long road. The ultimate evil being the desecration/devouring of love.

Compassion. Love as thou wilt. Love. What can I say, the end made me think of Dante’s giddy paradise, which given the high level of sex and violence in these books, is saying something.

By all means, pick up the first in the series, the end is worthy of the journey.
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