Readalong: Kushiel’s Chosen: Week 05/06

I am on the island of Kriti in the place called Temenos, and I have profaned their mystery.

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 did you make of Phèdre’s interventions to save Kazan – first from the kríavbhog and then from the thetalos? Do you think he deserved it?

I like Kazan (as a character, if not always a person). So, of course I’m glad Phèdre saved him and he’s sticking with us. I said in Week 4 that I thought the Illyria plot felt familiar. I thought of him as a bit of a rehash of Waldemar Selig at first, but he grew nicely — not too much! But enough. I found the kríavbhog and his blood curse to be really interesting and a great addition to the world.

And of course Phèdre No matter how politically savvy she is, and how she makes her ‘big’ choices and sacrifices, she falls into the ‘hero’ camp more often than not on a personal level.

It is a dangerous thing, to admire one’s enemy

The shadow of the supernatural lies heavy across the narrative. How / does this affect your understanding of Melisande, Marco Stregazza and their ambitions?

I find it interesting that the characters, in some ways, are as in the dark as to these creatures and gods as the readers. I’m still not clear on whether ALL the gods/supernatural ideas are real and, if I lived in the world, I think I’d try to err on not pissing any of them off.

Although Melisande says she’s keeping Phèdre alive so as not to anger Kushiel (I think?), I think she’s more political when it comes right down to it. Religious when it suits, or at least doesn’t change things hugely, but she wouldn’t sacrifice her ambitions to appease anyone, let alone supernatural elements she’s no concrete reason to.

Mayhap ’twas not such an ill thing, to carry the living memory of that pain.

Reunited! Do you think this separation will be enough to bind Joscelin and Phèdre together in future – if they survive?

… … I hope so. I really, really do. I LOVE THESE TWO LITTLE ADORABLE FUCK-UPS! And all his declarations at the reunion were lovely, but I sort of think they need to really address the problems between them at the root of their disagreements. Big declarations are easy, it’s the day-to-day, ‘you need to talk to each other’ these two seem to fuck up.

I do think ultimately they’ll get it together, but they’re always going to butt heads.

Any predictions for the finale? Care to guess who will live, who will die and who will flee to fight another day?

Joscelin and Phèdre alive.

Melisande alive but ousted, blasting off again a la Team Rocket, to cause trouble again in the next book. I think Benedicte probably won’t make it, possibly due to some move of Melisande’s?

I’ve got my fingers-crossed for Ysandre, I think she adds something I’d miss to the world/story if she was gone.

Let the warriors clamor after gods of blood and thunder; love is hard, harder than steel and thrice as cruel.

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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