Once there were great magicians born to the Maghuin Dhonn, the folk of the Brown Bear, the oldest tribe in Alba. But generations ago the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath and now only small gifts remain to them. Moirin possesses such gifts - she has the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to quicken. She has a secret, too. From childhood onwards, she has been able to sense the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life: the bright lady, the man with a seedling cupped in his palm.
Moirin is raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, Fainche, and it isn't until she is befriended by Cillian, son of the Lord of the Dalriada, that she learns her father was a D'Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire.
After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance ... on the condition that she fulfils an unknown destiny, one that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. And that destiny promises both pleasure and pain, as she finds herself facing an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father's throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.
The seventh installment in Carey's bestselling Kushiel series (after 2008's Kushiel's Mercy) follows its youthful protagonist, Moirim, from bed to bed as she worships sexuality goddess Naamah. Following a tragic affair, Moirim travels to Terre d'Ange, this world's France. There she takes a variety of lovers, from the aristocratic occultist Raphael de Mereliot to Queen Jehanne herself. The elderly but wise Lo Feng befriends Moirim and leads her to the distant land of Ch'in and the true love of her life, the gruff but affectionate ex-bandit Bao. Moirim and her friends endeavor to save the Ch'in emperor's daughter Snow Tiger from a curse, but their efforts come at terrible costs, not least of which is the certainty of multiple sequels. Carey's triumph as a writer lies in her ability to turn these stock nearly stereotyped components into an engaging, fascinating novel.