Imriel strongly favors his mother, and is very beautiful. He has the typical Shahrizai looks- sapphire blue eyes, black hair with an almost blue sheen and ivory skin. The only Courcel traits he exhibits are his straight brows and his firm jawline.
Imriel appears in every book except Kushiel's Dart.
Imriel was born in La Serenissima to Benedicte de la Courcel and Melisande Shahrizai as part of one of Melisande's attempts 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 spent 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.
When Imriel was 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 took and 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.
Kushiel's Avatar Edit
Three months after Imriel's disappearance, Melisande enlists Phèdre's help in finding him.
Melisande tells Phèdre that Imriel has gone missing. She had sent him to a Temple of Elua in Siovale but disappeared from there. With the help of Tsingano travelers, Phèdre follows Imriel's trail to Aragonia, where she learns that he was abducted and sold by Carthaginian slavers.
- 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.