17 August 2008

Phèdre could do pilates

I recently started taking yoga again with an instructor who I haven't worked with before. He's tough - "can make it burn faster than anyone" as said a fellow student - and the class is convenient, hosted on-site at my work. Hooray for employers who value work-life balance and wellness!

Incongruously, during a particularly grueling pose, I recalled vividly a scene from Jacqueline Carey's novel Kushiel's Avatar where Phèdre guides a boat while fleeing pursuing warriors; if she could hold a pose overnight, I supposed I could make it through a yoga class. And so I did.

That did remind me, however, that I recently finished Kushiel's Mercy and hadn't yet shared my thoughts on it. It is good; darned good, and a heroic parallel to the first trilogy's story arc. I admire Carey for being able to create a flowing narrative and then create a parallel story to it that was so readable. She does tip her hat to readers who notice the similarity with some dialog between Sidonie and Imriel

"It's so very peculiar the way the events in our lives cast reflections."
"...Phèdre and Josselin went on a quest to find the Name of God and bind an Angel. You and I seek to free a demon with a word."

It lacked the darkness and brightness of the earlier series, and there were parts of it that seemed to be just tidying up plot lines hanging from the prior series; but there were also delightful references back to scenes in the first trilogy as well. One of the problems with doing this sort of trilogy is that the reader knows already that the main characters are bound to succeed, and thus read to reveal the details of their story. The risk to the main characters is expected to be real and harrowing but survivable, and that proves to be the case here.

Carey has started on her next book, Naamah's Gift, as noted on her website updates. I'm happy to hear she will be continuing the narrative for Terre d'Ange, and will look forward to the next books in the series.