I loved the original three Kushiel books. I found the narrative voice magical, loved Phedre, the world painted, and even at times was moved to tears. I was less taken with the immediate sequel involving Imriel. And then came this one--and back when it came out I didn't get far. I was put out that the familiar characters I'd love were gone. This time around with time having passed I could enjoy this book on it's merits--and I did greatly enjoy it. It doesn't get the five stars of those first three books. I'm at the beginning of the third book and I have yet to be moved to tears, to feel as deeply about these characters as I did the originals. But I'm enjoying the tour through this alternate world--this one featuring it's version of China. And I like Moirin--not the way I loved Phedre--but there you are.