Grand Central, Jun 2008, $26.99
Prince Imriel de la Courcel struggles with the deaths of his wife and their unborn son although he loves Princess Sidonie, heir to the Terre D’Ange throne. Still with her help he begins to move on and hopes to marry his beloved soon. However, Sidonie’s mother Queen Ysandre places a stipulation on their marrying; she orders Imriel to bring his evil seditious mother Melisande Shahrizai to justice or he will never obtain permission to marry her daughter.
As the royal prepares for his quest, a spell is cast that convinces everyone in the capital including Imriel that his beloved Sidonie loves the visiting prince of Carthage; she obviously believes it too as she sails to Carthage to wed him. Imriel seems to be the only one to recall that he and Sidonie have been in love, but when no one believes him he realizes great magic is afoot. As he prepares to rescue his beloved, he also struggles to prevent a crippling war from occurring.
The finish to the second trilogy (see KUSHIEL’S SCION and KUSHIEL’S JUSTICE) is a superb entry due to the excellent characterizations even with sexual themes less active than in previous books. Imriel and Sidonie are a wonderful pairing trying to overcome her mom’s opposition and a devious enchantment that challenges the power of love. Fans will appreciate KUSHIEL’S MERCY as Imriel is trapped between his deep loyalty to his people on the brink of a deadly war and his ensorcelled beloved on the brink of a deadly marriage.