Here we are at the end of Naamah’s Kiss, Book 1 of Moirin’s trilogy!
This week, Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog is our host. We’re covering Chapters 75-END, so be prepared for spoilers below!
1. Moirin has come a long way since we first met her. How do you think her adventures have changed her if at all – does anything stand out in particular?
Moirin went from an untutored wilderness buff to this somewhat well-travelled (for the time) linguistic royal companion. One of the things I really like about her story arc is that she started off not even concerned with her fate, then met the great Maghuin Dhonn Bear, and started searching for her fate, believing it was tied to love (and most likely a man), only to eventually set that idea aside and go for the adventure, and then finally, at the very end,to have her fate literally tied to a man as she shared her bear-soul to save him. I like that she was independent of the notion that her fate was tied to another person for a while, and grew comfortable with that thought, even if in the end of this book, she is clearly tied to another.
2. I was hit by how far Moirin’s magical abilities have come along, I don’t think I particularly expected it to be honest – why do you think that might be?
From my previous reading, I did recall that this book had more magic in it than the previous D’Angeline novels. I like that Moirin’s gifts are few but she makes the most of them, and thereby, does some pretty big important things. She can quicken plants, talk to plants, even sing flower bulbs to sleep, call the twilight and disappear and in the twilight talk to spirits including demons and dragons. Yet she doesn’t rely solely on them – there’s her archery skills and her horsemanship keeps improving. She never stops learning and that includes learning what more she can do with her few gifts.
3. Looking back through the story it feels like most aspects had a bearing on the final outcome, do you think Moirin’s path is really set in stone or does she have the ability to change things?
No. She’s been given several choices throughout the tale. Yet her own personality kind of has her trapped on a certain path. She’s a people pleaser. She wants to help people but she also desires their approval and (from some) their attention. The Great Bear gave her choices, never forcing her, but Moirin couldn’t bear to have her bear-soul thingy (sorry, I know the spelling is tricky on diathanam – haha! and there’s my attempt) fade out. Throughout the book we’ve seen her own personality trap her into making the same decision over and over again most of the time – with Cillian, with Raphael, with Jehanne, with Master Lo, with Bao. She is becoming more discerning and picking better allies and friends along the way. Her personality is her hidden strength but it is also makes her choices predictable most of the time. Her little note to Jehanne abut Raphael for that last summoning is a good example of when she does something unexpected.
4. Do you feel that Moirin’s actions will have an impact on the Maghuin Dhonn in any way?
Well, more people are getting to know them through her and she’s definitely made a favorable impression with nearly everyone and so many of those people have been influential leaders in their own countries. If nothing else, her adventures will make it a little easier for the Maghuin Dhonn to travel in Terre D’Ange.
5. Were you surprised by the final chapters with Lo and Bao and the overall reaction of Bao?
I had totally forgotten about this ending, so it caught me off guard…. again! It’s tough on Moirin but I can also see Bao’s point. Choice is really important to him. He had no choice in his heritage (nor do any of us) but that violent, brief union between his parents has had a lot of negative consequences for him. As he points out to Moirin, even when he was a peach bottom boy, it was his choice. And yet it wasn’t like Master Lo or Moirin could ask Bao his thoughts on the matter.
Also, I think the event made some things crystal to Bao and that’s why he set off to try to find his Tartar father. He died once without having known much about have his heritage. I’m not sure what he expects to find, but he might not be sure either.
6. We know that Moirin is about to set off an another journey as this book ends. Any predictions, hopes or fears for what is to come next?
I do recall bits and pieces of the next book. I won’t spoil anything but I will leave you with this one image: warm mare’s milk. Yum! or not…
I really like how Moirin ended up using her gift to find a hidden thing.
The dragon is ever so magnificent!
I’m glad that Snow Tiger claimed her enjoyment of sex through Moirin’s patient tutoring.
Even if Ten Tigers Die (Dai?) never gets to show his love to Snow Tiger, I’m still very glad that he has found such a noble calling – royal body guard!