Imriel was an orphan, a slave and a goat herder until he learned he is a Prince of the Realm. He is engaged to Dorelei of Alba, the niece of Drustan the Cruarch of Alba, who is husband to Queen Ysandre of Terre d’Ange. It is a marriage of state though Imriel’s heart belongs to the Dauphine Sidonie, heir to the Terre d’Ange throne. Sidonie loves Imriel with the same passionate intensity that he feels for her.
They embark on an affair that only intensifies their feeling, but they are too afraid to admit their love to the queen and cause chaos in both realms. Imriel marries Dorelei and when he moves to Alba, he spills his seed on that soil and an Old One, who is a bear shape shifter, makes a manikin out of of it. She can use it to control him, but she takes a binding oath that she won’t. Imriel’s relationship with Dorelei is sweet, but not passionate. When she becomes pregnant with his child, he is elated until the Old Ones strike; Imriel begins a journey of vengeance that will take him too many lands, but hopes to reunite with Sidonie when is quest is finished.
[Kushiel’s Justice}(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446500038?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0446500038) is historical fantasy at its finest. Readers who like the works of Judith Tarr will thoroughly enjoy this romantic fantasy. The Old Ones act out of fear and that causes Imriel to learn how to cope with his feelings and change and grow to be a person worthy of being loved. He travels a hard road because his mother was a traitor to the realm and almost caused Terre d’ Ange to be conquered. Many people don’t trust him; although those who get to know him find him an honorable man. Readers will enjoy this long epic saga and will adore Sidonie a woman whose strength and intelligence makes Imre a better person.