Imriel strongly favors his mother, and is frequently remarked upon as being very beautiful. He has the typical Shahrizai looks- sapphire blue eyes, black hair with an almost blue sheen and ivory skin. The only Courcel physical traits he exhibits are his straight brows and his firm jawline. By the end of the series, he has accumulated numerous scars from his travails including the brand of a Tartar war lord on his buttock and bear claw marks across his chest and abdomen.
Imriel is initially described as a lively lad within the Temple of Elua, the perfectly romantic goatheard prince from storybooks his mother wanted him to grow up as. After his experience as a slave and a victim to the Mahrkagir, he becomes very angry and fearful. Time and patience mend those wounds to a point that the tender hearted, and courageous man he always was is able to act to protect those he loves. He has the stubborn streak of Courcel nobility along with the Sharizai mind for intreague and puzzels.
Imriel was born in La Serenissima to Benedicte de la Courcel and Melisande Shahrizai as part of Melisande's second attempt to gain the crown of Terre d'Ange. Benedict, among others in the nation, did not want to see the royal bloodlines diluted with Alban blood. Melisande knew this and using this knowledge manipulated Benedicte into committing treason against his own niece. Benedicte and Melisande wed and had a child together with the intent that their child would take the throne once they assassinated Ysandre. Phèdre foiled their plot, but Melisande was able to secretly smuggle the young Imriel to safety in Terre D'Ange, helped by a Priest of Elua, Brother Selbert.
Imriel would spend the next ten years of his childhood ensconced within a Sanctuary of Elua located in Landras in the province of Siovale, with no knowledge that he was actually a Prince of the Blood and child of two of Terre d'Ange's most notorious traitors. When Imriel was eight years old, Brother Selbert took him to La Serenissima to visit who he claimed was a mysterious benefactor. Imriel, not realizing that the woman was the most famous traitoress in the history of Terre D'Ange, adored her. He solemnly swore not to mention their visit to anyone after Selbert stated that the lady would be in grave danger if he did so.
At ten years old, he was abducted by Carthaginian slavers while herding goats in the mountains of Siovale. He was taken to the city of Amílcar in Aragonia along with two other children, one of them being Agnette Ecot, and sold to Fadil Chouma of Menekhet. Chouma hid Imriel in his home in Iskandria, where he arranged to have Imriel sold to a skotophagotis. At some point, Imriel stabbed Chouma in the leg, inadvertently causing Chouma's death, and was sold and taken to Drujan soon after. In Drujan, Imriel was a slave to the Mahrkagir, the sadistic ruler of Daršanga and chosen of Angra Mainyu. There, he lived among the women of the Marhkagir's zenana and was subjected to the Mahrkagir's abuses.
Three months after Imriel's disappearance, Melisande enlisted Phèdre's help in finding him. With the aid of Tsingano travelers, Phèdre and Joscelin followed Imriel's trail to Aragonia, where they learned that he was abducted and sold by Carthaginian slavers. After learning that he had been sold to Drujan, they travelled to Nineveh to rescue him and subsequently infiltrated the Markagir's stronghold disguised as a sex slave and a corrupt D'Angeline nobleman.
Imriel was in solitary confinement when Phedre arrived in the zenana. When he finally met her after his release, he did not trust her and hated her at first. It took many attempts on Phedre's part until Imriel was willing to listen to her.
In the spring, Imriel was sent to the Markaghir's hall to be the plaything of the tatar Jagun. Jagun raped Imriel and branded him on his buttock. Afterward, Imriel had lost his innocence and had brutal nightmares. Phedre comforted him, and in the process finally gained Imriel's full trust. When Imriel awoke she told him her true purpose in the zenana and that she had a plan to take down the Markaghir.
After escaping Drujan, Imriel travelled with Phedre, Joscelin and the caravan of freed slaves to Nineveh. During the journey, he discovered that his mother was Melisande Shahrizai, Terre D'Ange's greatest traitoress, something which deeply upset him. In Nineveh, he found out that he was also a Prince of the Blood, which was another unwelcome shock, as he'd believed that he was an common-born orphan. While he was in bed one night, an assassin attempted to kill him, and failed due to Imriel attacking him back and screaming for help, and Joscelin chasing him out of the room. Phedre suspected that Valere L'Envers sent the assassin, but was not able to confirm her suspicions. Later, during their departure from Nineveh, another assassin attempted to kill Imriel by pushing him overboard into the raging river. Imriel was saved by Kaneka.
Imriel was supposed to return to Terre D'Ange with Lord Amaury Trent; however, Imriel objected to the idea, having bonded with Phedre and Joscelin and wanted to continue with them to seek the Name of God. To this end, he convinced a common-born boy to take his place on the ship while he himself snuck away and stowed away on the ship Phedre and Joscelin boarded. Although Phedre and Joscelin were furious when they discovered what he had done, they let him stay with them as they couldn't turn the ship around and Joscelin pointed out that Imriel should have a right to choose.
Thus, Imriel travelled with Phedre and Joscelin to Meroe, where Ras Lijasu was kind to him and gifted him with a knife belt, and later Debeho, where for the first time in months Imriel was happy and played with boys his own age.
When they reached Saba, the women there were captivated by Imriel's polite manners and beautiful looks. Some of them tended to touch him, which made him uncomfortable, but he endured it as it would help gain the women's trust and thus help Phedre's quest to obtain the Name of God. The women believed that he was Phedre and Joscelin's son, something which Imriel was pleased about.
After Phedre and Joscelin failed to convince the Sabaean men to let them go to Kapporeth, Phedre, Joscelin and Imriel snuck there themselves, with help from the Sabaean women. On the Isle of Kapporeth, the Sabaean men caught them; seeing one of the men threaten Phedre, Imriel attacked one of the men and drew blood. Because of this, the Sabaean men wanted to kill Imriel. However, Phedre intervened and offered them her life in his place. This selfless act opened the door to the temple and allowed Phedre to hear the Name of God.
On the way back to Terre D'Ange, Phedre told Imriel that she intended on adopting him into her household if he wished it, which Imriel joyfully accepted. However, she warned him that because he was a scion of Kushiel and she Kushiel's Chosen, their relationship may change one day. Phedre also had to gain permission from Ysandre to raise Imriel, something which would be hard to obtain as Ysandre would be wroth with Phedre for endangering her kinsman by taking him to Saba with her and Joscelin.
In the City of Elua, Phedre managed to force Ysandre to let her and Joscelin raise Imriel, by using the Companion's Star that Ysandre had given her over ten years earlier, something that Ysandre wouldn't be able to refuse. To Imriel's delight, Ysandre agreed to let Phedre and Joscelin foster Imriel.
Months later, Imriel went with Phedre, Joscelin and a group of other people to the Sisters to free Hyacinthe from his geis. Imriel was never afraid and always had faith that Phedre would return to him and Joscelin, even when Joscelin believed she had doomed herself by going onto the Third Sister. Imriel was present when Phedre spoke the Name of God and freed Hyacinthe from his curse. Afterward, Phedre, Imriel and Joscelin returned to Montreve to live.
Melisande escapes the Temple of Asherat.
Meeting Maslin, another bastard son of a traitor and deeding him the estate of Lombelon as reparation.
Imriel and Joscelin hold Elua's Vigil, resulting in Imriel's near death due to hypothermia.
Montreve hosts Mavros, Roshanna, and Baptiste Sharizai in order to foster relations between Imriel and his mother's kin.
Imriel's 16th Birthday and First Visit to the Night Court
Meeting Eamonn mac Grainne
The Queen's Longest Night Fete, wherein Phedre's household are costumed as Skaldic dieties.
Imriel's first venture to Valryian House with his Sharizai kin.
Departure for Tiberium.
Meeting Lucias Tadeus da Luca and Canis.
Studying at the University of Tiberium under Master Pierro.
Affair with Claudia Fulvia, and tutelage in covertcy.
The Riot and the Night in the Temple of Esclepius
The Siege of Luca, Rise of the Red Scourge, and Death of Gilo.
Return to Terre D'Ange
Betrothal to Dorelei
Affair with Sidonie
Leaving for Alba
Encounters with the Maguinn Dhonn
Imriel of Clunderry
Attack on Clunderry and Death of Dorelei
Recovery and return to the City of Elua
Reunion with Sidonie
The Hunt for Berlik
Dorelei's funeral in Alba
Return to Terre D'Ange
Gaining Ysandre's approval
Ysandre's ultimatum and quest to find Melisande
Carthage's visit and the spell
Month of madness
Journey to Cythera and gaining the aid of Ptolemy Solon
Time as Leander Maignard
Imriel's awakening and rescuing Sidonie
Escape to Amilcar
Journey to Euskerria
Battle for Amilcar
Astegal's execution and return to Terre D'Ange
Reunion with Alais and L'Envers in Turnone
Return to the City of Elua
Hunt for the ghafrid-gebla
Breaking the spell
Aftermath and Imriel and Sidonie's wedding
- His name, according to his mother, means "eloquence of God." Melisande says she named him this because when he was born, she felt she finally understood Elua's precept to "love as thou wilt." The Hebrew name "Imri" means "my words spoken" or "speaking." The suffix "el" denoted the word as being a possession of God.