The final book of the Phèdre trilogy is set 10 years after the previous book. Our super-courtesan has had a peaceful life with her consort, as one of the court favorites of the Queen. All would be well, if Phèdre didn’t have nightmares about her childhood friend Hyacinthe who sacrificed himself to become Master of the Straits in the first book. Phèdre sets out to save him. At the same time, Melisande Shahrizai rears her head again, offering assistance in that search if Phèdre helps her locate her son Imriel who appears to have been abducted.
The search for Imriel and the cure for Hyacinthe take Phèdre and Joscelin to the pseudo-versions of Persia, Egypt, and the dark heart of Africa. Especially the later parts where they travel along the Nahar, erm, Nile, to find the Kingdom of Saba, is quite lovely. Beautifully written, exotic, really enjoyable.
But before you get to that part of the book, you have to read about Darsanga. A dark and evil kingdom. Some of the descriptions about what Phèdre has to do there really turned my stomach. There’s some seriously dark shit going on.
This book was definitely my favorite in the series. It’s a fairly epic continuation of the series, and pretty much neatly ties off most of the loose ends the story has. The only thing I was left wondering is what exactly Melisande will be up to next.