“Kushiel’s Chosen” by Jacqueline Carey

I finished Kushiel’s Chosen quite a while ago but, as usually happens when I love a book too much, I procrastinated on the review because I don’t know what to say or where to begin. So, as is also usual, I’ve decided to just start typing and hope it all makes sense by the end. 🙃

Kushiel’s Chosen is the second novel in a trilogy that I was introduced to by the Wyrd & Wonder crew, who have hosted readalongs for the first book and this one. It’s a high fantasy story set in a world that is heavily influenced by European culture, history, and mythologies. The story is mostly set in Terre D’Ange, a country peopled by descendants of angels, and focuses on a young woman named Phèdre, who spent most of her childhood growing up in the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers, a.k.a. the Night Court, which is dedicated to the service of the angel Naamah. Members of the Night Court are molded into courtesans. They see copulation in service to Naamah as sacred, which Phèdre wholeheartedly believes.

The angels are, of course, regarded as gods. Because Phèdre has a red mote in her eye, she is considered marked by Kushiel, who is considered the punisher among the angels, and god-touched. Kushiel’s chosens are called anguissettes and, due to being chosen by such a god, tend to derive pleasure from pain. Thus, as a servant of Naamah and marked by Kushiel, the services Phèdre partake in are often masochistic.

In addition to all that, Phèdre was also trained as a spy and is often wrapped up in whatever major political machination is in play or is trying to find out about it. So, much of the plot’s drive comes from political intrigue. It all makes for a very compelling read!

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“The Colour of Magic” by Terry Pratchett

Surprisingly, I struggled to read this one. I picked it up in February to read for a Turtle Recall readalong, but it took me the entire month of February to complete it. I didn’t expect to struggle so much with a Discworld book.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Discworld, book 1
Rincewind, book 1

Pubbed

1983

Quick Summary

The Colour of Magic is the first novel in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, a satirical fantasy series set in a flat world that lies on the backs of four large elephants — Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Phon, and Jerakeen — that stand on the pockmarked shell of a giant turtle, the Great A’Tuin, who’s flying through space. It contains four short stories centered on the adventures of Rincewind, a failed wizard who dropped out of Unseen University after learning just one spell, as he tries to protect Twoflower, a tourist visiting Discworld from the Counterweight Continent with his Luggage made of sapient pearwood in tow. The Luggage follows Twoflower wherever he goes.

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Weekend Reads #118: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 71 – the end

Here we are at the end of the Kushiel’s Chosen readalong hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew who blogs over at There’s Always Room for One More. This one was another good read, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve placed it on my favorites book list. I really enjoyed it.

Each week, a different member participating in the readalong posts questions for the week’s discussion. For this past week, the sixth and final one, Lisa at Dear Geek Place shared the questions for the last chapters.

SPOILERS BELOW!

What did you make of Phèdre’s plan for stopping Melisande’s plot against the Crown, and Marco Stregazza’s power grab? And what did you think of how smoothly (or not) it went?

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Weekend Reads #117: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 56-70

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.

SPOILERS BELOW!

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?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #117: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 56-70”

Weekend Reads #116: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 45-55

I’m late with it, but here’s my response to week 4’s discussion of Kushiel’s Chosen readalong. The world expands even more in this week’s chapters. We visit a new land and encounter new gods.

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 come from the Mayri, the Bookforager.

Btw, 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.

SPOILERS BELOW!

What are your thoughts/feelings on Phèdre’s escape from La Dolorosa? Specifically, how do you feel about her rejection of Melisande’s offer, Tito and Joscelin’s roles in her escape, and the vow she made to Asherat? (Along with anything else you want to add.)

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Weekend Reads #115: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 31-44

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.

SPOILERS BELOW!

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?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #115: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 31-44”

“Raybearer” by Jordan Ifueko

I read Raybearer in January for a book club and had a great time with it. The story was easy to fall into, and I loved the worldbuilding. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it.

Well… that’s a lie. It’s YA fantasy and these days I keep assuming that YA fantasy means “YA romance with some fantasy” that I often avoid such books. But stories like Raybearer are getting me interested in YA fantasy again.

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

Raybearer, book 1

Pubbed

2020

Goodreads summary

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

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Weekend Reads #114: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 18 – 30

Second week of reading Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey and things are getting more and more interesting… of course!

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.

Btw, 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.

SPOILERS BELOW!

Marmion Shahrizai has a sudden fall from grace this week. What’s your take on how he handled Persia’s treason — and on how Ysandre handles him? Do you feel sorry for him? Do you think we’ll see him again?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #114: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 18 – 30”

Weekend Reads #113: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 1 – 17

I’m very excited to be doing this readalong AND to be reading more of Jacqueline Carey’s books. I didn’t realize how much I missed Phèdre’s voice until I got started on Kushiel’s Chosen, the second novel in the trilogy.

As I did with the first book, Kushiel’s Dart, 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.

Btw, 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.

Spoilers below!

What is your position on Phèdre’s decision to return to Court as a Servant of Naamah – and Joscelin’s reaction to it? Do you have more sympathy with one or the other?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #113: Kushiel’s Chosen Readalong, Ch. 1 – 17”

“Witches Abroad” by Terry Pratchett

I picked this up to continue my journey through the Discworld series via the Witches subseries. I read this at a time when I felt a reading slump coming on and, luckily, this helped to offset that feeling.

I was immediately hooked on the story and had such a great time reading it. It was delightful and thought-provoking and placed many a twist on fairytales and stories that have been around for ages: vampires, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, etc.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Discworld, book 12
Witches, book 3

Pubbed

1991

Goodreads summary

Be careful what you wish for…

Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unfortunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it’s up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn’t marry the Prince.

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