Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 4

Today is the fourth 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 Alli at Tethyan Books) – be warned that spoilers may be lurking.

1) Moirin makes some new friends on the way to Rasa. What do you think will come of her decision to entrust them with the jade medallion? Do you see this as a betrayal of trust or do you think the Emperor would understand?

I don’t see it as a betrayal of trust, Moirin has to use the medallion in the way that it can best help her and I think she made a good choice.  Of course it could come back to harm her in some way but I think personally that she chose well.  Plus, the medallion was intended to help her and being a lone woman on the road it was likely that somebody could have taken it from her using force long before.  I think she made a good decision and I would like to think the Emperor would understand, after all, he was trying to help her by giving her the medallion.  The only issue I have with it is that it would be very easy for somebody else to misuse the medallion but, hopefully it will now be in good hands.

2) On her way to the Lady of Rats, Moirin ends up in a dangerous caravan. What are your thoughts on what happened, both with the assault and the illness? 

I wasn’t surprised about the assault, it felt like it was going to happen and in fact Moirin had a bad feeling about it herself.  I thought Moirin handled herself well although she did seem to have let her guard down.  As it was though, I thought things went a lot better than they could have, she had to manage things almost by herself but I had a horrible feeling that much worse was going to happen and I was a bit scared for her.  The illness came as a surprise, altitude sickness hadn’t really occurred to me.

3) It seems that caste/class is going to be a major point in this story. Even if Amrita agrees that the caste system may not be just, do you think there’s anything that she and Moirin can do about it? Do you see any path to happiness for Jagrati and/or do you think she deserves to be defeated?

I think to change the caste system will be a lot harder than it sounds and will probably take years and years to achieve – deep rooted beliefs and years and years of custom would have to change and it certainly would not be easily brought about.  I’m not really sure what to make of Jagrati yet although I don’t like her at this point I don’t feel like I know enough of what is really going on.

4) There is a lot of passion in Kushiel’s Legacy, but the sex scene in this section doesn’t involve much. Given all of the focus on “love as thou wilt”, what do you think about Amrita’s gift and it’s acceptance by Naamah? What do you think about the idea of sex without desire, but for compassionate purposes?

I think that scene felt a little flat to be honest.  Amrita seemed almost amused by the idea and it was a nice gesture from her to help Moirin but I didn’t really feel like it was necessary as part of the story.  It felt a little bit forced and lacked passion.

5) Bao returns! I think we were all a little irritated with him for his Tatar adventures. Do his actions here change your opinion of him? Do you think he has escaped Jagrati’s diamond for good?

I don’t think he’s out of the trees just yet – he’s got his opium addiction to deal with and he will be weakened, Jagrati was obviously exercising a lot of control over him and I don’t think that’s quite dealt with just yet – look how easily she controlled Moirin and Amrita’s guard after all.  Not to mention Carey has already lulled us once into thinking Moirin and Bao had an easy escape in front of them and look what happened.  No, I think there must be something more yet.

Alli at Tethyan Books
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Susan at Dab of Darkness

One Response to “Naamah’s Curse (Naamah Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week 4”

  1. Mc Carn Allison

    I hope we learn more about what’s going on with Jagrati. The more I think about it, I wonder if Bao wasn’t even mind-controlled. It seems like a logical conclusion to think the Khan had killed Moirin, and then Bao just kind of collapsed in grief. That addiction is going to be pretty bad to deal with. I agree there’s likely to be more trouble in front of them before they get free.

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