Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 3

Today is the third week of our 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.

Jacqueline 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 Susan at Dab of Darkness) – be warned that spoilers may be lurking.

1) What stood out to you for Moirin’s baptising ceremony? Have you ever been through such a religious ceremony and did it go as you expected? 
I was a little bit surprised at how quickly the ceremony seemed to go after all the build up to it – but, in fairness, I never expected it to go well, I thought that Rostov would have some cunning plan up his sleeve that wasn’t part of the ceremony and indeed he did.  What really surprises me is the speed at which he turned and condemned Moirin to death.
2) Now Moirin and Alexsie (spelling?) are free. Alexsie has much to learn not just about Moirin but also about the larger world. What moment do you think challenged his ingrained beliefs the most? What do you think he will do ultimately with his life? 
Well, Alexsie was very naive about so many things wasn’t he.  I think there were plenty of moments that challenged his beliefs but partly I think that’s because his religion has been twisted by Rostov into something that it shouldn’t have been where the most natural feelings have been turned into something vile and sinful.  I would like to think that without such a repellant influence in his life he would go on to teach his religious beliefs in a way that is much more accepting of others way of life.  I also think he will find another love – Moirin and Alexsie just weren’t right – they had a brief and lovely interlude but it was never going to be anything more – I think Moirin had probably one too many strange ways that he couldn’t get his head around but I liked that he said sorry to her for the abduction and his part in it.
3) There comes a moment when Moirin realizes that she did come to love Alexsie, in a way, and that’s the same moment she knows she will not see him again. Naamah’s curse indeed! Have you had such a moment yourself? Do you think this curse also applies now to Moirin’s love of the departed Jehane? 
Fortunately I haven’t experienced such a moment to be honest.  It was a sad moment for both of them but like I said above I don’t think their relationship was ever going to amount to anything more – Moirin knew that herself.  Deep down they never would have been truly happy together –  I suppose Alexsie found himself first love and Moirin got to have some fun after a long period of abstinence.  I feel that the loss of Jehane has affected Moirin much more than Alexsie parting ways, but that’s not really a surprise as she will never get to see Jehane again after all – this Curse really is a bit nasty isn’t it!
4) Falcons and spiders and rats, oh my! What stood out the most for you in Moirin meeting up again with Erdina, Bao’s wife? And what do you expect Moirin will find as she heads towards the Falconer with his Spider Queen? 
I was surprised by how much trust Moirin put in Erdina – it could have been a trick after all – but at the same time I was pleased that she did decide to trust her.  I was also a bit surprised at Erdina – she’s certainly changed in terms of accepting that Bao loves Moirin – to be honest that whole chapter of their meeting and the way Erdina and Moirin behaved just served to shine Bao in a really bad light all over again for me.  Even Moirin trying to justify to herself his actions – she admitted herself that she couldn’t understand what he’d done and really he behaved very badly to both of them – it makes you wonder why they’re both so keen to help him now!  Well, I understand why Moirin has to help him but I’m surprised that Erdina doesn’t feel more anger.
This next step of the story – it all sounds very dark and foreboding doesn’t it with spider queen’s and Falcon kings.  I actually really don’t know what to expect but I’m thinking it will be a bit sinister.
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 at Dab of Darkness

5 Responses to “Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 3”

  1. tethyanbooks

    It makes me wonder if Bao might have really been a sweet husband, up until the moment he very publicly took another woman to bed. I was surprised she wasn’t more angry with him, too.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah – in some respects I can see how it might have been very difficult to refuse to marry the daughter of the Khan and I then feel maybe I’m being too harsh but then I remember the way he behaved when Moirin found him and it makes me all grumpy again.
      Lynn 😀

  2. nrlymrtl

    It does seem like Rostov was planning to condemn Moirin well before the ceremony fell apart, doesn’t it?

    That was great that Alexsie did apologize for his part in Moirin’s abduction and imprisonment, even if it wasn’t his idea.

    I think Erdina has a little love for Bao despite his recent behavior. And that makes it easier for her to set her anger aside and help Moirin to help Bao.

  3. Grace

    I really like Erdina and feel bad for her. I’m glad she was able to help Moirin despite her anger at her.

    Rostov feels so much like someone you’d find in the Phedre trilogy, which is part of what makes it interesting, because Phedre and Moirin are so very different and handle things in different ways. I wasn’t shocked at all that he jumped from baptism to painful death–it seems like what he’d rather have done in the first place, that he avoided only because of his dreams of power.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Rostov certainly is a nasty character – I was glad his plans didn’t came crashing down – and that Alexsie walking away from him too. A poisonous character and definitely like something from the Phedre trilogy.
      I also feel bad for Erdina and she’s certainly taking it all better than I would but I’m glad she’s helping Moirin.
      Lynn 😀

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