Grand Central, Jun 24 2009, $26.99
From the time she was a young girl in Alba, Moirin of the Maghuin Dhonn, an isolated clan of the Brown Bear worshippers, Moirin heard the voices and saw the faces of other deities. Although she did not know it, other Gods were worshipped in Terre d'Ange. She conducts a quiet inquiry and learns her unknown father was a D'Angeline priest serving Naamah, the goddess of desire. As a mage with power, Moirin also begins to explore and upon maturity travels into the spirit world where she will either be fully accepted or totally rejected by the Maghuin Dhonn
She accepts her and the divine spark, the diadh-anam stays in her essence. Moirin learns she has a destiny to fulfill. She goes to Terre d'Ange to meet her father, but is run over by Raphael de Mereliot whose lover is Jerhanne, the queen of the city of Eula. Moirin learns she has the power to heal people even from death though that drains her. Jehanne and Morin become lovers as the newcomer is the first person the queen has trusted in years; she would like to stay with her lover, but Moirin is asked by her mentor Lord Bo to return home with him to Ch’in because the emperor’s daughter and heir is demon possessed. In Ch’in, Moirin realizes what the problem is and asks Snow Tiger, the emperor’s heir to trust her. Neither was prepared for a coup d’etat by an evil sorcerere.
NAAMAH’S KISS takes place in the same world as the Kushiel saga only decades later. Once again Jacqueline Cary shows her skill at world-building in this super cerebral yet action-packed fantasy. The cast is solid especially the mages and the characters with supernatural powersl, but anchored in time and place by everyday people and political leaders. In many ways a coming of age thriller as the heroine learns of her illustrious roots (not just dad), the story line belongs to the vivid descriptions especially of the dark sides of Ch’in and Terre d’Ange as Morin explores both with energy and love.