Title: Naamah's Curse
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Series: Naamah Trilogy, book 2
Recommendation: Not as good as Naamah's Kiss, but don't let that stop you.
Summary: Moirin leaves Ch'in in search of Bao, who went to find his biological father among the Tatar. However a cold winter is coming to the steppes and Moirin will need to survive it before figuring out her relationship with Bao.
Reactions: Naamah's Kiss was one of my favourite books last year, therefore Naamah's Curse was on my to-read list without any doubts. I did see a somewhat negative review of the book on Amazon prior to buying it that left me worried, but I tried to put it out of my mind and enjoy my reading. The review turned out to be wrong (in my humble opinion), but I do have some comments of my own.
As everything else I've ready by Jacqueline Carey, this book is easily readable and plainly enjoyable. I read through it in a day's time (nice to have time off for the Independence Day), but despite the attraction of the book, I didn't like it as much as the first book in the series.
The weakness of Naamah's Curse is definitely its plot. There isn't a full arch to the story in the book, but rather several separate plot arches connected by "and then Moirin did this..." type of narration. I also don't feel there was a whole lot of character development or overall plot development in this book. Other than re-uniting Morin and Bao, the rest of the plot could probably be skipped. And while there are lots of emotional moments in between, none of them seem to be tied together. Why does Moirin's destiny want her to be in some particular place at a particular time and then leave it behind with nothing more than a few new scars? The progress and the motivation behind the story leave some to be desired.
However, the story is made more interesting by description of different cultures and religions that Moirin encounters on her journey. I particularly enjoyed the character of Rani, who is almost as a compelling a heroine as Moirin herself.
I will without doubt pick up the next book in the series to find out the conclusion of Moirin's story. But I do hope that Carey will pull her plotting together to write a satisfying ending to this epic.