Readalong: Kushiel’s Chosen: Week 03/06

If I gambled and lost, I betrayed a great deal more.

This week Phèdre makes herself at home in La Serenissima and we get the biggest surprise in the story so far.

Follow along the discussions at the Goodreads group.


Week One | Beginning through end Chapter Seventeen

Week Two | Chapter Eighteen – Thirty

Week Three| Chapter Thirty-one – Forty-four

Week Four | Chapter Forty-five – Fifty-five

Week Five | Chapter Fifty-six – Seventy

Week Six | Chapter Seventy-one through the end

What you seek you will find in the last place you look . . 

Phèdre, her boys, and Joscelin arrive safely in La Serenissima. What was your impression of the city, its culture, and its ruler, the Doge?

I liked the scenery of La Serenissima, somewhat less so the culture, but it makes for a brilliant contrast to Phèdre’s sort of everyday life. It’s a little bit like taking us on vacation. It’s particularly interesting to see the attitudes to sex workers and how, as always, Phèdre is somewhat an exception.

What do you think of Severio’s Immortali when you first met them? Do you think it a coincidence that Phèdre is finally invited to meet with Benedicte de la Courcel after turning down Severio’s proposal? Do you think Severio will make problems for Phèdre or will he get over Phèdre turning down his marriage proposal?

They remind me a bit of frat boys to be honest! It’s interesting that, away from home and in a culture much more accepting of ‘vice’, Severio actually came off as far more mature than he does at home. Great example of young idiots pushing each other to do dumb shit.

I hadn’t actually considered a connection between turning down Severio’s proposal and getting her audience, but I’m going to be very disappointed in him if he’s betrayed Phèdre out of spite. He’s been going on me after a shaky start.

Josceline is teaching the Yeshuites to fight like a Cassiline. Do you think he is the Cassiline leader prophesied to help the Yeshuites? What do you think about him abandoning his post, especially considering what happens to Phèdre and her boys by the end of this week’s chapters?

Oh Josceline. Josceline, Josceline, Josceline…

He’s definitely going to beat himself up over everything that’s happened (although probably more so over Phèdre’s imprisonment that the boys’ deaths, not to be harsh…). And, to be fair, I sort of blame him too. He’d have made such a difference if he’d been there. It feels a little like Phèdre and Josceline dance the same miscommunication/ personality’s at odds dance again and again. And yet, I want them to work things out. Somehow.

I imagine he’s going to turn up like the Terminator at some point, scowling and bursting through a wall to annihilate an entire household.

Melisande is unveiled! Were you expecting her to pop up as we received more hints about Benedicte’s mysterious wife and new-born D’Angeline son?

I feel so stupid for not seeing the signs! I had absolutely no suspicions about Benedicte’s wife right up until the reveal, but once it happened, it made a lot of sense. Which I suppose is the sign of a well-pulled bait-and-switch. The relationship between the to must be fascinating behind closed doors, and I hope we might get to see some of that through Phèdre’s eyes.

Phèdre is imprisoned and two-thirds of her boys are confirmed dead, what did you think of this sequence as events. Did you see it coming or were you shocked?

I was shocked how quickly things went so badly wrong. I wish I’d been surprised by the death toll — and I sort of am — but, after the first book, I absolutely did not trust Carey not to destroy everyone I love so I was sort of one the lookout and ready for the worst to happen to anyone.

Now I knew the emptiness of perfect and utter despair.

Kushiel’s Chosen (Phèdre’s Trilogy #2) by Jacqueline Carey

The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. The inhabiting race rose from the seed of angels and men, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman, the first to recognize that she is one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. He trained Phèdre in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber—and, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze.

When she stumbled upon a plot that threatened the very foundations of her homeland, she gave up almost everything she held dear to save it. She survived, and lived to have others tell her story, and if they embellished the tale with fabric of mythical splendor, they weren’t far off the mark.

The hands of the gods weigh heavily upon Phèdre’s brow, and they are not finished with her. While the young queen who sits upon the throne is well loved by the people, there are those who believe another should wear the crown… and those who escaped the wrath of the mighty are not yet done with their schemes for power and revenge.

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