Friday, July 10, 2009

REVIEW: Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey

Series: Kushiel series (Phedre trilogy)


This is book 2, comes after Kushiel's Dart.

When word came that reeked of Melisande, Phedre re-emerged from her one year reprieve at Montreve to seek her out in order to bring her to justice. In La Serrenissima, she uncovered a plot to assassinate Queen Ysandre.


I don't know how she did it, but Jacqueline Carey has me tied up in knots. Did I say I absolutely love Joscelin Verreuil? And I hurt when he's hurt. I had to remind myself a lot of times that this is just a story. These people don't exist. But it is a testament to Ms. Carey's talent that she could engage my emotions this way.

In this book, I initially disliked Phedre because she hurt Joscelin, (see Joscelin's hurt in above paragraph) so much that at times I wanted to throw the book across the room. If I could just leave her in whatever place and let her languish while I read on about Joscelin, I would. Unfortunately, it's her POV the author has taken and I have to go along for the ride if I want to know what happens to Joscelin.

Phedre is headstrong and stubborn, and I didn't like it when her anguissette yearnings rose up again or the way she used pillow talk to find leads on Melisande. Oh, I suppose I should be used to it, after all, that's the premise of the first book, that she was trained in the arts of a courtesan and covertcy mainly to uncover secrets in the bedroom. But whereas before she was free to do as she wished, now there's Joscelin! If she loved him, she shouldn't hurt him.
I guess the reason I was so affected is because at my core, I'm a romantic. And I'm reading about her story and her exploits with my own bias on the concept of faithfulness.

That aside, it was a spectacular adventure with even more fantastic swordplay. Phedre formed new allies and traveled to more exotic lands in her quest for justice. We also get to see Joscelin in action toward the end of the book, and we see Melisande's shocking revelation and all the things that she dared for her ambition. Circumstances in the story caused them to be apart for awhile amid their own misunderstandings, and when they finally came together...sigh. I reread that scene for what seemed like a million times.

Phedre grew up over the course of the book, and Joscelin as well. For all his "hotness", Joscelin has his faults, that of being narrow-minded, and here, he was broadened and his experiences enabled him to accept Phedre for what she was. Too often, we read about a couple's relationship from the courtship stage up to the time of their declaration of love. Here, Ms. Carey brought us beyond that, and we see how Phedre's and Joscelin's relationship grew and how they come to a compromise, and how they learned things about themselves and each other.

Book Rating: 4.0



The Raving Reader Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon