This is the third and final book in the Naamah Trilogy. This setting is in the same historic world as the Kushiel Legacy which is comprised of the Phedre Trilogy and the Imriel Trilogy. It is the continued ongoing timeline, so a bit further on in time......
We begin with Moirin mac Fainche from the natural and Pagan lands of Alba. She carries her strength to travel long and a bit far winding up at first in the glory of Terre d’Ange, then the snowy mounts of Ch’in, the plains of the Tartars, the brutal lands of Vralia, and then off to the South Bhaktipur & Bhodistan. After defeating the Spider Queen & cohorts, Moirin and her husband Bao (lots of history here) are finally able to be together.... Or are they? No now they must return to Terre d’Ange when they learn that Moirin’s friend, companion, and beloved Queen Jehane has died in childbirth..... So even from the beginning the Foreshadowing from the Kushiel's and the previous Naamah's shows. The predetermined, unforeseen and at times unavoidable destiny becomes a continuous thread, sometimes only seen in the shadows at first. There are levels here that do not end with the protagonists; there are levels with other characters as well. And they develop in interesting twists. It makes the characters so real, involving, and long lasting, so the Shadows have Echos. You get outstanding depth through the entire series coming together here.
These levels extend through to the Lands, Nations and Societies as well. Although they have parallels with our own present and past worlds, they also have unique characteristics of their own. And with this concluding volume the World Building expands and is now on a planetary scale. It is also full of twists and surprises as we join the epic quest that Moirin and Bao are totally destined for.
Without giving away too much of the complex twists at the onset, basically the 3 year old Desiree is heir to the throne. As the child's charge Moirin's responsibility morphs into one which is fated rather than chosen. And as the King has become totally ineffective, time is of the essence. Coming from the growing glow of her "diadh-anam" and a vision from the late Queen Jehanne Moirin now must attempt the impossible. Together, she and Bao will leave Terre d’Ange and journey across leagues to the wilds of Terra Nova in a desperate gamble to find Prince Thierry and bring him home. But things in the new world are more dangerous than Moirin could have ever dreamed for another face from her past waits for her. Raphael de Mereliot’s madness and ambition has not been slaked, and Moirin must atone for her past folly, and finally complete her gods given destiny. A number of past characters come full circle as well in Moirin's 3 Volumes. We experience the characters grow and get to explore the new Lands right along with them and become part of the journey itself. And it’s an absolute adventure. As the Author states “The Gods use their Chosen hard". Like Phedre in the Kushiel Legacy, Moirin’s strength of character and her faith in her beliefs sets her apart as a truly admirable heroine and this all comes from her growth through the first 2 books.
"Naamah's Blessing" is the stirring conclusion to an adventurous Fantasy Trilogy, and like the double Kushiel Trilogy preceding it, is totally enthralling. The 5 Stars are well deserved, and one of the keys for me was actually being a bit sad that it was over when I finished it, in spite of how well the ending was handled. I will list the titles in reverse order for all.
Returning to Terre d'Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three year old Desirée is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely, and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances.
As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée's oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest.
Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.