Naamah's Kiss Part I

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Clementine being cute.
Clementine being cute.

The read along continues with Naamah’s Kiss, Book 1 of Moirin’s trilogy! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog is your host. We’re covering Chapters 1-12, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) Firstly, Carey has picked up the story a few generations down the line. How do you think this will affect the story, if at all?

This is a great question. The short answer is: I don’t know. Perhaps not. While this is a reread for me, it was years ago and I only have vague memories of this book. I will point out that Carey did a great job keeping the focus of her second trilogy on Imriel and not falling back on Phedre and Joscelin, which probably would have been easy to do. So I expect Moirin will remain front and center.

So far, it has been interesting to hear of Alais the Wise and of the horrible memory magic played on the City of Elua from Moirin and her generation.

2) We have a new female lead.  What are your first impressions of Moirin?

Moirin is something unexpected. That’s my impression. She has Naamah’s whisper in her dreams and Anael’s gift of making flowers bloom or ripen to seeds. Yet she can also make herself invisible and the great Mother Bear has recognized her as her own. So, there’s great potential in Moirin even if it’s not the potential her people expected.

Plus, I like that she is excited to learn, even if that is how to read or to wear proper clothing or ride a horse.

3) I enjoyed the return to Alba, and once again meeting the Maghuin Dhonn – what did you make of the coming of age ritual?

Magic mushrooms can alter your perception of reality and give you what you need.

But for the sake of this story, I am very glad that Moirin was so very stubborn and that the Great Bear eventually came and claimed Moirin as her own. I think that fierce look of belonging and pride will sustain her through some hard times.

Also, I like that she got to meet some other teens of the Maghuin Dhonn.

4) The story already has the inclusion of magic and also visions of Gods – any predictions on what these visions and magic might bring to the story?

Yeah… Let’s chat about this. In the first series, there’s perhaps what one might call magical realism – the sexual magic of the Night Court and Phedre’s red dot in her iris. Later in that series, we get some definite glimpses of deities and magic, but it’s light. In the second series, we see more magic, though often Imriel is on the receiving end of it and not the person casting the magic (tho there was that tiny bit where he put charms on Sidonie). Now we have Moirin who is raised with magic. To her, it is a natural part of being and I don’t think she could imagine her life with her little magics or not knowing there are true deities out there that interact with folk of this world. It’s a beautiful progression of the Terre D’Ange Cycle, don’t you think?

As far as predictions, well this trilogy has Naamah’s name in each book title, so I am guessing we will have plenty of sexy times in this trilogy.

Other Tidbts:

Moirin’s first experience with a book was precious! I think I would have been the same if I hadn’t experienced a book until I was 9 or 10.

The memory erase magic is a powerful and dire magic indeed!

Moirin is sort of named for the Morwen of old, the one who tricked Imriel time and again in a vain and desperate attempt to save her people. That is a dire portent for the beginning of the story!

Oh, Killian! Let’s all raise a beer, perhaps a Killian Red, to the youth! Mostly, I feel for Moirin because she was basically kicked out of Alban society with his death.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with NAAMAH’S KISS in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

9 thoughts on “Naamah's Kiss Part I”

  1. This is a reread for me as well, but like you, I only have vague memories of it. It was also the last book that I read in the series, and I remember being underwhelmed by it at the time. Looking back on it though and rereading these first few chapters, I think my younger self didn’t give Moirin enough credit.

    1. I made it to Book 2 in this trilogy, but still just vague memories. I think at the time I was so enamored by Phedre and Joscelin, that I really wanted to read more about them and Moirin’s story isn’t that story. This time, I’m giving Moirin a fair shake.

  2. It’s interesting to see your perspective on the switching of characters and the foregrounding of the magic. I really loved the magical realism and Phedre/Joscelin, so my reactions to the first part may come off as a little grumpy. I’m hoping I’ll get past that and really appreciate Moirin soon :).

    That was a really rough ending to her first relationship. It’s also really brutal that they blamed her for what happened, even though his death wasn’t remotely her fault. I’ll raise a glass to poor Killian!

    1. So far, the story has been very Moirin centric since she has very few people in her life. I think that as the story moves forward, and we have more and more characters, than much more than the Maghuin Dhonn magic will be going on. I hope you’ll find plenty to like in this story.

      To Killian! (and I think I misspelled his name here – poor dude).

  3. I love your answer to the magical elements of the story and how Carey has adapted these for each new series and completely agree. In a way it’s a surprise because I remember reading the first three and thinking that, in a way, they were very light on fantasy – and in fact I quite liked that about them as the plot wasn’t too reliant on pulling a rabbit out of a hat. That being said I’m loving that Moirin can wrap herself up in shadows and disappear – it’s a pretty neat trick (and definitely one that Imriel could have used).
    Morwen – Moirin. Now you say it of course it makes perfect sense! Thanks for sharing that.
    And, yes, such a sad little romance. I felt really sorry for Moirin!
    Lynn 😀

    1. So far, Moirin’s magic seems to follow certain rules and that something I always appreciate in the Fantasy genre – the magic has to have rules. I also dislike it when a lazy author creates a ‘pull a rabbit out the hat’ situation.

  4. ” She has Naamah’s whisper in her dreams and Anael’s gift of making flowers bloom or ripen to seeds.”

    I did like seeing more about the different companions and their gifts. We knew so little about the scions of Anael (other than that they smelled like apples). They were like the Hufflepuffs of Terre d’Ange.

    “Moirin is sort of named for the Morwen of old, the one who tricked Imriel time and again in a vain and desperate attempt to save her people. That is a dire portent for the beginning of the story!”

    There’s a duality to it. Is Morwen a good guy or a bad guy? I guess it depends on your perspective. She sacrificed herself to save her people, like Berlik. But it also brings me back to Phedre, who said she had an ill-luck name. And I guess to Kazan too, who had bad luck.

    Ugh, I feel like I should read if I’m going to comment because I’m just going from memory from years ago so I could be misremembering things or just talking out of my butt.

    1. I wouldn’t mind smelling like apples all the time. And great comparison with the Hufflepuffs.
      Yes, Morwen was a tragic hero or a tragic villain, depending on your point of view. Now Moirin has a bit of an ill-luck name, as you say.
      I think your comments add value to this discussion and I fully encourage you to keep popping in and giving us your thoughts.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!

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