“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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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?

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

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?

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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?

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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?

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“Kushiel’s Dart” by Jacqueline Carey

If not for Imyril Reads and her Wyrd & Wonder crew, this book would probably have continued to sit on my shelves unread.

The Wyrd & Wonder crew hosted a readalong for Kushiel’s Dart back in September. I decided to participate since I already owned the book and it was one I’d always been curious about. For the readalong, we posted our answers to discussion questions each week, which I liked because then participants were able to see how each person was getting on with the book and reacting to the situations and characters we read about. I loved that the group was a mixture of first-time readers and rereaders. I think that made my experience with the story much richer and helped to make me anticipate what would come next.

We completed the novel back in September, or early October, but I’m just now getting around to the review because I hardly posted anything in November. But this will be a short one since I posted weekly reactions to the book as I read.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Phèdre’s Trilogy, book 1

Pubbed

2001

Goodreads summary

In a kingdom born of angels, Phedre is an anguisette, cursed or blessed to find pleasure in pain. Sold to the Court of Night Blooming Flowers, her fate as a beautiful but anonymous courtesan was sealed. Her bond was purchased by the nobleman Anafiel Delauney, who recognized the scarlet mote in Phedre’s eye as the rare mark of one touched by a powerful deity. Under Delauney’s patronage she is trained in history, politics, language, and the use of body and mind as the ultimate weapon of subterfuge in a dangerous game of courtly intrigue.

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Weekend Reads #110: Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 80 to the end

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?

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Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 62-79

Gah!! I’m late again with my post for this readalong. But here, finally, are my thoughts on chapters 62-79 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 fifth week of the readalong), Peat Long is our host. Check out my thoughts on these chapters below!

(Oh, and SPOILERS!!)

What were your first impressions of the Tsingani? What did you make of Hyacinthe’s reaction to his reception, and Phèdre’s reaction to that reaction? How did you feel finding out about Anasztaizia’s past? Finally — Hyacinthe’s choice: Could you have done what he did there? Give up finding you family just after finding them for your friend?

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