Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. However, for this post I’ll instead discuss the final chapters of Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. SPOILERS below.
Here we are at the end of this group read for Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It was hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew. However, each week, a different blogger would post discussion questions for participants to answer. For this week (the final week of the readalong), Lisa at Dear Geek Place is our host. Check out my thoughts on chapters 80 to the end below!
Phèdre risks everything yet again on a chance to finish what she started, and keep her word to Ysandre. Joscelin does the same trying to thwart Selig, if not stop him. What were your thoughts about their last confrontation with the Skaldi warlord, and what it means for their relationship?
I was looking forward to this and didn’t expect what happened. I was a little let down at this last confrontation with Selig. I expected more action, meaning more of Joscelin fighting Selig than Phèdre being tortured by him. And although I’m not fond of Selig, I didn’t like that Phèdre and Josce managed to escape him again. I mean, he’s built up as this great and clever dude so them managing to outsmart and escape him a second time made him seem a little less impressive.
I think this encounter further strengthened Phèdre and Josce’s relationship. They almost died together here (and for a minute I thought they would). I think it shows how much they are willing to sacrifice for each other — how far they are willing to go for each other.
Isidore d’Aiglemort turns out to be the hero that Terre D’Ange needs, if not the one they want. Do you think Phèdre made the right call, making him that offer? What do you think of his final act, and the reasons that drive him to it? Is he a hero, or was he ultimately still only a tool in the hands of others?
Well, having made it to the end, I can say that Phèdre made the right call regarding d’Aiglemort. Now, instead of going down in history as a betrayer to the crown and his nation, he will be remembered as the dude who took out the impressive Skaldi warrior, who’s impervious to all weapons. That gives him a heroic death.
But yes, I think he was a tool until the end. He was Melisande and Selig’s tool and then he was Phèdre and probably Kushiel’s.
Melisande faces the consequences of her actions, though it seems her ‘deep game’ is not over. Do you think she was prepared for her plan to fail, or was she seizing any opportunity to save herself with that escape? What are your thoughts on her after her last conversation with Phèdre?
I don’t think she was prepared for her plan to fail, but I think she’s great at thinking quickly on her feet and improvising. I think her last conversation with Phèdre shows that she’s considering ways to get her plan back on track. She hasn’t given up on owning a country, and I think she also wanted to prove to Phèdre (and herself) that she still has some influence over Phèdre. I think Phèdre should of heeded Hyacinthe’s warning. I think Melisande escaped both to save herself and continue with her plan to seize a throne.
Finally, everyone gets a chance to rest and recover, and Phèdre is richly rewarded for her deeds — in a few senses. How do you feel about her (double-edged) Happily Ever After with Joscelin? And do you think she’s doing the right thing, choosing to find the traitor who freed Melisande in her own way?
I wasn’t expecting this happy ending, but I liked it. I think Phèdre and Josce needed this after all they’ve been through. But I think Phèdre is a city girl who would have gotten bored with the country life even if Melisande hadn’t sent her the cloak to taunt and lure her back into the game.
Someone needs to hunt down and catch Melisande to ensure Ysandre reign will be secure. Phèdre is the best person to do so, but I think Melisande reached out to her so that she will have a worthy opponent.
My thoughts are all over the place on these last chapters but to me, the major thing is that Melisande loves messing with Phèdre simply because she can. And since Delaunay is dead, I guess Phèdre is the next best person for her to play against in this game of thrones.
It really seems that the gods had more presence in the story in these last chapters, which I appreciated. These chapters also made me realize how devout Phèdre is. I should have picked up on this earlier, but I think her devoutness increases throughout the story.
I’d really like to know who helped Melisande to escape and why. Part of me wondered if Phèdre had suddenly become an unreliable narrator and it was she who helped Melisande… or Josce. I started suspecting everybody.