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Date Posted: 17:29:58 06/04/04 Fri
Author: Syl
Subject: Kushiel's Trilogy

This excellent review was sent in by Susan W. Thanks, Susan!

TITLE: Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, Kushiel’s Avatar

AUTHOR: Jacqueline Carey

GENRE: Fiction


Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phèdre nó Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she's trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure and above all, the ability to observe, remember and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy .... and unlikely heroine. But when Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very existence of Terre d'Ange, she has no choice.

Betrayed into captivity in barbarous Skaldia with only a disdainful young warrior-priest to accompany her, it will take a harrowing escape and an even more harrowing journey for Phèdre to return to her homeland to deliver a warning of the impending invasion. And it proves only the first step in a quest that will take her to the edge of despair and beyond.

Kushiel's Dart is a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new; set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, the Prince of Travellers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess... all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine.

A sangoire cloak issues the challenge.

Risen from indentured servitude to become a peer of the realm, Phèdre nó Delaunay, now Comtesse de Montrève, accepts the challenge of her greatest enemy. Somewhere, close to the D’Angeline throne, there is a traitor. Who freed Melisande Shahrizai? It will take the wiles of a courtesan with the wits of a spy to find the answer-and in the end, the price may prove higher than Phèdre is willing to pay.

Once, she had the Perfect Companion at her side; but her choice exacts a toll.
Struggling to prevent her relationship with Joscelin from unraveling, bereft of her mentor, torn by her desire to seek the key to Hyacinthe’s freedom, Phèdre treads her way through a maze of intrigue and deceit. Ancient quarrels and new lies complicate her path, and no one can be trusted. Her quest will take her farther afield than she knew.

And answering Melisande’s riddle is only the beginning.

This time, the threat to Terre d’Ange lies within it. In a world filled with dubious allies, cunning villains and blood-cursed pirates, Phèdre will reckon the true cost of what it means to be Kushiel’s Chosen


The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It’s inhabited by the race that rose from the seed of angels, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman who recognized that she was pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. Phèdre’s path has been strange and dangerous. She has lain with princes and pirate kings, battled a wicked temptress, and saved two nations. Through it all, the devoted swordsman Joscelin has been at her side, following the central precept of the angel Cassiel: Protect and serve.

But Phèdre’s plans will put his pledge to the test, for she has never forgotten her childhood friend Hyacinthe. She has spent ten long years searching for the key to free him from his eternal indenture to the Master of Straights, a bargain with the gods to save Phèdre and a nation. The search will take Phèdre and Joscelin across the world and down a fabled river to a forgotten land . . . and to a power so intense and mysterious, none dare speak its name.

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[> I'm not sure which one of these posts to reply to (LOL!). Kushiel's Dart was a very well drawn world that sucked me in. Ms. Carey's writing is sensual and beautiful and makes Phadre and Co. come to life. The S/M aspect was a little much for me, however, I've never thought of myself as a prude, but there were scenes in this book that really made me squirm. So much so that I haven't read either of the sequels, not sure if I will. -- Brookita, 20:41:48 06/04/04 Fri

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[> [> BTW, Susan, wonderfully written reviews!! -- Brookita, 20:43:09 06/04/04 Fri

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[> Thanks for the review! I've got the first book here, even tried to read it last year, but it didn't grab me so I've put it away again to pick it up later again. I guess I wasn't in the right mood for it. After reading your review I'll certainly put it higher on my TBR again :-) -- Antje, 10:46:31 06/06/04 Sun

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[> Thanks for the review, Susan! :D -- Judie, 12:59:56 06/07/04 Mon

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[> Kushiel -- Susan W, 13:36:41 06/07/04 Mon

Thanks all. But you know what I could write for ages on this series. If you have picked it up and put it down. Like I did the first few times I tried to read it. Pick it up again it is a slow starter but it is amazing once you get a bit into it. I haven't been this caught up in a series since I read Outlander, and am sad that I am only 200 pages from being done the Fiery Cross. The Kushiel trilogy has amazing plot lines and a spiderweb of betrayals and politics. Phedre and Joceslin are *sigh* incredible together as they try to make there lives work together.

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[> Thanks for the great review! I've been intrigued by this series for a while and have Kushiel's Dart sitting in my tbr pile. Once I get through the massive Robin Hobb series I'm in the middle of (and take a breather) I plan on giving it a go. -- Shana, 18:57:33 06/07/04 Mon

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[> OOOH, this sounds intriguing. My to be read list is getting rea-lly long. Thanks Susan W -- Margy, 14:00:41 06/15/04 Tue

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[> I'm just finishing KD, which I got from the library after reading about it on the LOL boards. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who had a bit of difficulty with Phedre's "specialty." I did find myself drawn into the plot and characters and plan to read the rest of the trilogy. Excellently written review!!! -- LadyPeggyB, 22:32:19 08/25/04 Wed

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[> My sister gave me these books this summer, and I loved them! Carey's prose is beautiful, and the characters are wonderful. Phedre and company are not the most likely of heroes, but their story is very engaging. I also love that the books take place in a world loosely based on Renaissance Europe and world history - very interesting for history/Renaissance buffs. -- Rai, 13:08:21 09/14/04 Tue

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