Here’s another reading update on Kushiel’s Chosen. I’m reading it for a readalong hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew. Each week, someone new pops in to host a discussion on the chapters read. Last week’s discussion questions were by… ME! 😀
If you’d like to join in the readalong, you can check out the link above or visit the Goodreads group for the reading schedule or to share your thoughts on the book.
My plan was to post this last week Friday, but I didn’t because I was stuck on zombie movies and TV shows. Then I worked a lot this weekend and got stuck on romance movies because I couldn’t think of a zombie movie or TV show to watch. So here are my very late answers.
Phèdre, her boys, and Joscelin arrive safely in La Serenissima. What was your impression of the city, its culture, and its ruler, the Doge? What did you think of its goddess, Asherat? Do you agree with the Doge that Asherat-of-the-Sea reached out to Phèdre about the Oracle being tampered with?
I was impressed by the city and liked the descriptions of it. Actually, it made me want to visit there, probably because it strongly reminded me of descriptions of Venice, which I’d love to visit one day. However, I am not a fan of the culture, or, rather, the bits I’ve seen so far. I don’t like how women are treated and certainly don’t like how they treat the Yeshuites.
As for the current Doge, he was interesting. I like that he’s quick-witted and is aware of the plotting about him, and I like that he cuts right to point. I tend to like those crotchety old characters in stories.
I actually agree with the Doge that Asherat reached out to Phedre about blasphemous acts in her temple. I like such stuff happening in fantasy novels so that part — both when Phedre spoke to the Oracle and the Doge mentions Asherat reaching out to Phedre — appealed to me.
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?
The Immortali… ugh! I have zero patience for them and their antics. They immediately came across as a bunch of immature college-aged boys. However, I thought it funny early on when we just met them and they were poking fun at Joscelin for being so serious.
Umm, I think it was a coincidence that Phedre was able to meet Benedicte shortly after turning down Severio, but it happened so closely that I was suspicious of Severio for a bit, especially since he seemed so upset that Phedre turned down his marriage proposal. I suspect him of taking out petty revenge on her. I can’t help thinking of him as being as immature as his Immortali. That may not always be the case, but he seems to be sometimes.
Joscelin 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?
I think Josc may be a little god-touched too; so, yeah, I suspect him of being the prophesied Cassiline.
Oh man! There’s so much Josc is wrestling with. I am angry at him for abandoning his post because he could have probably helped to prevent Phedre’s capture, but it is his life and he has finally made a choice and it is to go off with the Yeshuites, so I can understand that. But I bet he’s going to beat up himself about it when he finds out. He is hard on himself… and Phedre.
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? We learn that in addition to Benedicte, Melisande has also roped Percy de Somerville (who already had plans for treason) into her plots, do you suspect anyone else of siding with Melisande?
Oh my gosh! I did wonder if Melisande was Benedicte’s mysterious wife when Phedre glimpsed the “wife” in the garden when she visited Ricciardo’s wife’s friend (I can’t remember names and the book is not close by and I’m lazy). It was a fleeting thought that I brushed away, so I was surprised when Melisande was unveiled and felt silly for not noticing the clues leading up to the moment. (Is the baby really Melisande and Benedicte’s child?? I keep thinking that it’s probably going to turn out to be a fake baby or Melisande’s kid but not Benedicte’s or neither of them being the parent — Melisande took the baby from someone. I don’t trust Meli at all.)
Okay, I am so disappointed in apple dude for allowing himself to be roped into Meli’s plot. I mean… he smells like apples. I like the scent of apples, so I expected him to be a good guy. *Sigh* …I’m still suspicious of Uncle Foxy.
Now that we see what happened to the missing guards from Troyes-le-Mont, do you still agree with Phèdre that the Cassiline Brotherhood, or one of their members, is guilty of being involved in sneaking Melisande out of Troyes-le-Mont?
Hmm… I think maybe a member of the Brotherhood was probably coerced into helping out Meli and Bene’s plotting, but I don’t suspect the entire Cassiline Brotherhood of going dark side. Well, I don’t want to believe that of the group. As Josc says, and proves, they are human so they can be bribed and tempted like any other person.
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?
Oh my gosh! I was on edge reading the parts where Fortun and Remy die. I actually told myself that maybe Phedre was imagining things and this didn’t happen. Gosh! I didn’t want Phedre’s Boys to end like that! The shock of that scene reminded me of the first book when Phedre returns home to find Delaunay and Alcuin murdered. Again, she experiences such a devastating event.
I suspected that something like this was coming since the tone of the narration became one of regret when Phedre spoke about asking her Boys to decide who would stay behind in case Josc came back home.
I really liked Fortun and was hoping he would stick around longer. He was a friend and someone reliable who Phedre could depend on and turn to when Josc was being weird. Remy didn’t stand out much to me, unfortunately, but I liked Ti-Philippe. I kept thinking of him as Phedre’s sweet little brother. I hope he is still alive and is able to meet up with Josc and work out a plan to save Phedre.
That’s all the questions I have. Please share any other thoughts you had regarding this week’s reading. It was a juicy bunch of chapters with much political intrigue.
Nothing else to add, unfortunately.