Imriel is still a little too broody for my tastes, but I love
his relationship with Sidonie. Hell, I adore Sidonie, maybe even more than Imriel.
Major points to this book for putting Our Hero and Heroine in an untenable situation, both politically and romantically, presenting them with The Right Thing To Do (i.e. ending their relationship), and, in having them Do The Right Thing, have them do so wholeheartedly. Yes, Imriel is helped along by magic (which was good, because otherwise I think his pining would have made me want to punch him in the face
), but when he commits, he commits wholeheartedly. He gets married to Other Lady, and he learns to legitimately build a life with Other Lady.
Basically, I love a narrative in which a person is capable of loving more than one person (and does!) and is capable of building a life with more than one person; I love a romance that is not just based on You Are My Only Option And Possibility For Romance Ever And Ever In The History Of Ever. Love by choice, rather than default, which I think Carey does even better with Imriel and Sidonie than Phedre and Joscelin.
is the growing up story I wanted from Kushiel's Scion but didn't get.
(This is also, I think, Carey's, "oh, crap! I forgot about the Netherlands and Belgium!" book. One of my favorite bits of this series is matching up the Eluan names of countries with their real-world counterparts.)