Imriel de la Courcel’s birth parents are history’s most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d’Ange’s greatest champions.
Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies—and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his mother, Melisande, who nearly destroyed the entire realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother’s irresistible allure—and her dangerous gifts.
As he comes of age, plagued by unwanted desires, Imriel shares their fears. When a simple act of friendship traps Imriel in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess and where a dead man leads an army, the Prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.
“Love child!” What else? You will find it and lose it, again and again. And with each finding and each loss, you will become more than before. What you make of it is yours to choose.”
I had a really hard time getting into this book. Like, really, really hard. Which was sad for me, because I really came to love Imriel at the end of Phèdre’s trilogy. And to be fair, I cared for Imriel here, a ton. I shed quite a few tears for him this book. The story just was incredibly slow and not anything I really was interested in.
I think if you haven’t read Phèdre’s trilogy prior to this, you’d be okay picking up this book from nothing. It refers to the events of the first trilogy like you already know of them, though. However, it goes over all the important parts you need to know for this story if you need to know it. I just don’t really recommend skipping over Phèdre’s trilogy at all. You won’t get the same emotional impact that plagues Imriel without the prior emotional impact of having lived through Darsanga.
This book felt like it had two starts, totalling 70% of the book where I was waiting for something to happen. Anything to happen. Please god save me let something happen. The first start of this book is where Imriel is still at home. It is only a few short years after we leave them in Phèdre’s trilogy, about 3 years I believe. He is still healing. He still hates himself. Then the second start is 40% in, where he decides to leave home and try to find out who he is. The first part of this book was just so unbearably boring I had to set aside the book twice to take a break from it and ended up reading something else for the day.
I won’t say the first 70% of this book didn’t have any plot. It had plot, just nothing really interesting. There is angry and hurting Imriel for a few chapters. There is angry and horny and hurting Imriel for a few chapters. Then it is quite a few chapters of Imriel makes friends finally. Like a lot of chapters. Finally we get to Imriel decides to leave, where Imriel makes more friends and has weird studies and tries to find himself and who he is. This is the second start of the book, when Imriel actually starts doing something other than being boring.
I’m not really one for intrigue, unfortunately, so most of the plot of this book was lost on me. After the second start of the book, pretty much all the plot revolved around political intrigue and covetcy. There is very little action in this book, even the type of action I came to expect from the first trilogy. I fear like this world really just isn’t for me, even if I can see how well it is put together.
I still really love Imriel as a character, though. I have a thing for characters that have to heal. It makes them interesting. And boy, does Imriel have to heal. He spends a lot of time brooding this book. He is only drawn out of that funk by a few people. He only feels safe with a few more. Imriel is my dear one in this series. I just wish I cared about the plot as much as I care for Imriel.
However the love interests are fucked in this book, lol. Phèdre had her own thing, which is commendable but definitely isn’t for everyone. Imriel has an entirely different path, where he only wants the people that should be completely unavailable to him. It feels like he is punishing himself every step of the way. Also, the sex isn’t even interesting. Despite how much Carey crows that the D’Angeline are “weird” because they like boys and girls, Imriel doesn’t really stray far from what is the norm. And, he hates himself too much to try to expand from normal sex. Most of the sex in this book is the healing kind.
I’m not certain I care for the ending to this book. I know we have two more books to go in this trilogy, and thus the plans are probably going to get all blown to hell. I still don’t care for the decisions made. Frankly, they were completely random, I have absolutely no idea where they came from. They don’t make sense. I just don’t get it.
This was a good book. Just.. really wasn’t for me I feel. I fear this may be a difficult series for me to get through.