I was so eager to see what happens next that I couldn’t help myself — I finished the book this weekend. But I’ll keep this spoiler-free for the upcoming chapters. SO much happens!
I’m reading Kushiel’s Chosen as part of a readalong hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew. Each week, someone new pops in to host a discussion on the chapters read. This week’s discussion questions comes from the host, Imyril, who blogs over at There’s Always Room for One More.
Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining future readalongs.
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?
Before those moments arrived, I didn’t expect her to intervene. But I guess I should have expected it because Phedre is very compassionate and caring and doesn’t like to see others suffer. However, leading up to those moments, it was easy to tell that she might jump in and save him.
I think Kazan deserves the second chance. Regarding the kríavbhog, that blood-curse was largely undeserved because he killed his brother in ignorance and was devastated by it. And I was glad that he received the opportunity to have the curse removed. I think the thetalos was especially hard on him because of how guilty he felt about his brother’s death. Yea, his mum cursed him, but I think his guilt made him think he deserved to be cursed thus doubly cursing himself.
Kazan really grew on me. I like the dude and prefer him post-curse often grinning.
The shadow of the supernatural lies heavy across the narrative. How / does this affect your understanding of Melisande, Marco Stregazza and their ambitions?
The supernatural stuff in the first book was so subtle that I was surprised to see it occur so prominently and so often in this one. However, it made me like the story even more because I love this sort of stuff in my fantasy stories — where it turns out that the gods are real.
Regarding the ambitions of those power grabbers, the presence of the supernatural didn’t much affect my understanding of their ambitions/intentions except that it’s obvious that the gods do not agree with them or their method of attaining power. It does make me wonder if the rulers are god-chosen, though.
Phèdre describes La Serenissima and Kriti as ‘civilised’; she does not grant it to Illyria. Any thoughts on d’Angeline perceptions/expectations of ‘civilisation’?
I think, like MANY folks in the real world, Phedre regards people or governments or cultures as civilized if they resemble her country’s people, government, or culture in some way. Or if they impress her with either their structure or wealth.
The D’Angelines think of themselves as the epitome of all things. They believe all people aspire to be like them, which is probably why Phedre respects La Serenissima enough to consider it civilized. I believe she was impressed by its city and realizes that the people covet the D’Angeline way in certain things. I believe Phedre considers Kriti as civilized because they are an older culture than the D’Angelines, one that the D’Angelines admire (unlike the Picts, who are also an older culture but I think are sometimes considered barbarians by the D’Angelines).
Reunited! Do you think this separation will be enough to bind Joscelin and Phèdre together in future — if they survive?
Yes, I believe so. I think it will make their relationship stronger by making them realize how much they value and love each other AND how much they need each other.
I liked how the reunion played out too. I was starting to think that Phedre wouldn’t see Jos again in this book. And, aww, I was so happy to see Ti-Phillipe again! 😊
Any predictions for the finale? Care to guess who will live, who will die and who will flee to fight another day?
Well… I already know what goes down since I’ve completed the book, but at this stage (when I was reading) I couldn’t figure out how Phedre would manage to save Ysandre AND clean Asherat’s temple. I was expecting the worse.