Kushiel’s Avatar is the third book in the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. After reading the first one, Kushiel’s Dart, I became entranced and have now finished the series. Unfortunately, I think that this book is my least favorite in the series, though it had many things that I loved.
The cover is not one of the things that I loved. I mean, really?
Anyways, the reason that this is my least favorite is because it is the darkest. Sure, it ends full of goodness and light, but it is a dark road that Phedre and Joscelin walk to get there.
Spoilers: The story begins when Phedre is called by Melisande to La Serrinissima, where she is in exhile. Her long hidden son has gone missing. Her spies have turned nothing up and she asks Phedre to search for him. Though they are enemies, Phedre is the only one she trusts to find him.
Phedre is also still searching for a way to free Hyancinthe from his curse. Melisande will give her a key to that search if she will help find her son. The dark road that Phedre walks leads her to an evil kingdom and puts her at the whims of an evil and insane ruler. The motto of the dark religion practiced there is “Ill words. Ill thoughts. Ill deeds.” This section of the book was deeply disturbing. Reading what all the characters go through and the dark places Phedre finds in her soul was hard. It wasn’t the pleasure cruise, adventure read that the books had been to this point. I didn’t want to read any more. I thought about stopping a time or two, but I knew things had to get better. And they did.
The rest of the book is a much more fun and relaxing adventure, though all the characters are still in shock and need time to recover after their horrible ordeal. Of course, it turns out that they had to go through the darkness to enter the light. Everything works out just fine and it is a rewarding end. I wish that I could have just read the second half of the book. Old characters are reunited. Phedre and Joscelin find the family they never knew they wanted and all is well with the world.
And their story ends, just as another begins. I don’t know if I’ll read the next trilogy that is connected to the story or not. I suppose time will tell. For now I am going to let this story rest. The characters could use a good rest after this last book. It was a satisfying end to the series for the most part, but if you aren’t interested in going to some very dark places with these characters, call it quits after book two. You probably won’t mind that you did.