The following are my thoughts on chapters 48-61 of Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.
Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew is hosting a month-long readalong for this fantasy novel. Each week, a different blogger posts discussion questions for participants to answer. For this week (the fourth week of the readalong), Mayri at BookForager is our host. Check out my thoughts on these chapters below!
Btw, if you’d like to join in the readalong, you can check out the links above or visit the Goodreads group for the reading schedule or to share your thoughts on the book.
(Oh, and SPOILERS!! I keep forgetting this.)
Waldemar’s old teacher Lodur calls Phédre “a weapon thrown by a D’Angeline god” and this changes how Phédre sees herself to some extent. How does this change the way you’ve thought about Phédre so far?
It def changed how I thought of Phédre because I didn’t consider that she could be a weapon. Once I read Lodur’s comment, I began to rethink everything and could see how that could be true, especially when Phédre and Joscelin manage to escape and bring word of the Skaldi invasion to Ysandre.
Now I wonder who will wield “Phédre the weapon.” I guess Ysandre is doing that by sending Phédre to get Drustan and all.
Joscelin has broken all but one of his vows during the time he and Phédre have been in Skaldia. How do you feel about everything he has gone through? Everything Phédre has gone through? And the Prefect of the Cassiline Brotherhood’s opinion on these matters?
OMG! This is what I was so worried about regarding Josce. His vows are a major part of him and I knew he would need to break more of them to escape the Skaldi. I kept wondering how doing so would change him; what kind of man will he become. I feel so sorry for Josce. He wanted to be the Perfect Cassiline, but it seems that’s not to be.
However, part of me thinks that him breaking his vows to protect Phédre (the person he vowed to protect) and making it back to warn the throne shows that he is the Perfect Cassiline. He is the perfect companion, like Cassiel. I also think all the characters have the Cassiel story kind of wrong. I don’t think Cassiel was perfect in the way that the Brotherhood thinks of him. But although I’d like to say that the Prefect overreacted, I think his judgement of Josce was in line with his Prefect duties and what’s expected of him. Josce went through things that most Brotherhood members will not endure, so in that way I think the Prefect’s judgement was unfair. But I think the Brotherhood hold to an ideal (especially of Cassiel) that’s unrealistic.
I was also sorry for Phédre because of all she endured to make it back to warn the throne. She goes hard! She’s quite the hero, but man… I was not expecting the hot water waiting for her back home. Actually, I wasn’t expecting them to escape the Skaldi much less Selig! Now I really think their gods are helping out.
A whimsical question: Phédre doesn’t seem to be able to lose or give away Melisande’s diamond. What do you think this stone’s eventual fate might be?
Hmm… I think it’s an omen that she’ll meet Melisande again… and there will be some sort of show down between Kushiel’s Dart and Kushiel’s Line to see which one throws true and Phédre defeat Melisande.
Or maybe Phédre will see Melisande from afar and throw it at her, bonking her in the head, and defeating her… which would also prove that Kushiel’s Dart throws true. 🤣🤣
What do you make of Ysandre de la Courcel now that we’ve finally met her? And what of her intention to honour her betrothal to Drustan mab Necthana?
I was impressed by her from the first time we glimpsed her at the court hearing for the Lioness… (blanking on names because I don’t have the book on hand, but you know what court hearings I’m talking about). I think she’s a smart, strong young woman who will be a great ruler if she makes it past the major obstacles coming her way.
I like the reason why she wants to honor her betrothal to Drustan. I don’t think it’s only for love but also for respect and to be with someone who will not try to wrest power/rulership from her. Anyone else she marries will try to do that, especially d’Aielmort. I hope this Drustan dude is a good one and not an ass.
Now that we know the whole of Delaunay’s story, has your opinion of him changed at all?
Nope. But now I know I didn’t have to be so suspicious of him. I also agree with Phédre that he should have told her more of him plans and plottings. I think doing so would have helped more than hurt his plans.
Finally, Phedre’s marque is finally complete. Do you think she is free?
IKR!! 😄 I was so happy about that because I was worried it would not be complete and she would not be free from Naamah’s service. Being god-touched and all, I don’t think she is total free (from the gods), but she is her own woman now. No one can say that she did not earn her marque.
(Busy week so this is late and my additional thoughts will be few, but there are a few things I want to squeal about.)
Hyacinthe is back!! 😀 I missed the dude and am glad he will accompany Phédre and Josce on the new adventure. Until these chapters, I didn’t believe he could actually call on the dromone (hope I spelled that right).
OMG! That moment between Phédre and Josce in the cave!!! It was the first time Phédre chose for herself. And Josce broke one of his vows there. This just reinforced my belief that these two are probably the incarnation of their gods or something. I really think Cassiel also broke all the vows that Josce broke. I don’t think he was perfect in the way the Brotherhood thinks of it. Also, this cave bit proved to me that the gods are working in their lives, since they found the angel’s mark on its wall. Until then, I kept questioning it.
I liked Lodur. I think he was Odin in the flesh… or his incarnation. I really like the image of him when we/Phédre first see him: old dude chilling in the cold and snow just rocking a fur vest and speaking to bird.