Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 1

Today is the start of a readalong for Naamah’s Curse, No.2 in Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah Trilogy.  The details and schedule are here and below is a little about the book.

Naam2Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series, delivers book two in her new lushly imagined trilogy featuring daughter of Alba, Moirin.

Far from the land of her birth, Moirin sets out across Tatar territory to find Bao, the proud and virile Ch’in fighter who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother’s people. After a long ordeal, she not only succeeds, but surrenders to a passion the likes of which she’s never known. But the lovers’ happiness is short lived, for Bao is entangled in a complication that soon leads to their betrayal.

The questions and answers are below (hosted this week by Alli at Tethyan Books) – be warned that spoilers may be lurking.

1) A lot of this section involves recapping the adventures of Naamah’s Kiss. What do you think about the way this was incorporated into the story?
I love the way Carey incorporates the previous story into the start of this tale.  She doesn’t info dump but finds different ways to bring you a recap and this is great for more reason than one – firstly, it’s a great refresher (which quite often I do welcome), secondly, new readers can read this easily and get on with the story immediately (although I would always recommend reading the first) and thirdly Carey has such a great story telling voice that I can’t help but be hypnotised..
2) Moirin heads off alone toward the Tatar steppe in winter.  Do you think this was the best course of action, or should she have traveled with some sort of escort or guide?
I think she made the right choice – perhaps it wouldn’t be for everyone and certainly Moirin got lonely every now and again along the way, but she’s a very capable character, she can hunt a little, she can hide using her twilight cloaking abilities, she’s a quick thinker.  I like that Moirin can stand on her own two feet but aside from that I think it would have made the situation a lot worse if she turned up on Bao’s doorstep with an escort.  It could have been mistaken for an act of aggression or just arrogance but more than that I like that Moirin didn’t take the safest or easiest route.  She made her decision and stood by it.
3) What stuck out to you the most about the Tatar tribe Moirin stays with and their way of life?
I really enjoyed this part of the story and could have spent more time there.  In fact it really did put me in mind a little of Phedre and Joscelin’s experiences in Kushiel’s Dart.  I just liked that here we have a family who defied what Moirin herself was expecting of the Tatar’s – although there is the grandmother’s backstory that we need to find out more of – and also this family are so loving and caring, they have few possessions, live a simple life, and spend many months in hardship but for me they’re a poster for ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ – they haven’t got any wealth to speak of but they’re the furthest thing from unhappy.
4) Bao & Moirin reunite in kind of a difficult situation–he’s been married.  Do you think they’re searching for a solution in the right way?  What do you think of how Bao has handled things so far?
Not gonna lie – I don’t think Bao has acted very well so far.  He got married – why?  I’m really puzzled with him and his motives at this point.  Part of him is saying he doesn’t know how to handle the bond and yet that doesn’t seem to be the main reason for his running away to find his father.  I literally don’t understand at this point in the book what’s going on so I’m keen to read more.  I wonder if he might have told Moirin he was married before he swept her off her feet to make love in somebody else’s home!  I guess that would have taken away from the drama of the situation though – or who knows maybe added some more.  I read on with interest.
5) Bao & Moirin might have been in love before, but now they’re forced together by divine magic.  How do you think you would react to finding yourself trapped as they are? Would you initially react more like Moirin or Bao?  
I don’t suppose I would be happy, much like Bao, he didn’t ask for help, he didn’t have any choice in receiving help, but, in fairness to Moirin she didn’t plan it either – would she have given her help if she’d really understood the implications.  But, as it is – no I wouldn’t have ran as far away as possible and got hooked up immediately.  Even now – Bao – just why!  Plus, he knew that Moirin was looking for him, he even admitted his annoyance at the fact – so did none of it give him pause for thought.  No, I would not have responded like Bao, even if I did want a little alone time.
That’s it for this week – feel free to join with the readalong, all welcome, or please add your comments.
Alli at Tethyan Books
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

8 Responses to “Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 1”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Oh! It’s been a while since the last readalong, almost forgot about these!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – you and me both then – I had to read these chapters quick sharp in a hurry!
      Lynn 😀

  2. tethyanbooks

    It sounds like none of us are very pleased with Bao right now! I hope there is a bit more to his explanation of how he got into this situation.

    I agree with you on the last as well; I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I don’t think I would run away.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah – I’m hoping there’s more to all of this than meets the eye – otherwise I’m going to be a bit grumpy with Bao.
      Lynn 😀

      • Grace

        I’m so mad at him. He’s self-centered and doesn’t give a whit about anyone else’s feelings.

      • @lynnsbooks

        And, after I started thinking about it, he got on my nerves the way he was much happier when he discovered Moirin had put herself at risk by travelling alone to find him – which obviously proved to him that she cared – I suppose if she’d died in a storm then it would have really proved the point.
        Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    Yes, I agree that an Imperial escort for Moirin would have gone badly with Bao, and perhaps his father/father in law as well. Bao is technically married to his half-sister, right? Hmmm…..

    Yes! Bao wanting some time alone to sort through his feelings is one thing. Running off and getting married is another.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I”m abit puzzled by his action so far – he knew that Moira was coming to find him after all?
      Lynn 😀

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