Kushiel's Dart – Part III

Heldig and a very good book
Heldig and a very good book

Hello everyone! Welcome to the read along of Jacqueline Carey‘s Kushiel’s Dart. You can find the schedule HERE. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join in. We also have a Goodreads group for SF/F read alongs. Folks are always welcome to join us.

This week, Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is your host. Pop over there and leave a link to your post in the comments so we can all visit you. Folks are also most welcome to answer any and all questions in the comments and join in the conversation.

Sorry I am a little late posting today. I had commitments yesterday all day and was dead tired when I got home.

Chapters 19-26 are covered below. If you haven’t read the book, there will be spoilers for these chapters.

1)  We get a lot of political intrigue to wade through this week, plus a couple of pretty big dramatic revelations, not least of which was the twist of fate for Prince Baudoin and his mother. What did you make of the trial, and what became of these two?

Yep, plenty of intrigue! Honestly, it wasn’t until my 3rd or 4th read that I understood most of the politics. Still, there are some big things I recall from my first read – like Melisande borrowing Phedre for a night as a goodbye present to Baudoin. Obviously, there is something going on behind the scenes there.

So at the end of the trial, Baudoin and his mother, the Lioness of Azalle, have been sentenced to death. Meanwhile the husband and daughter have been exiled. This really made me think of that poem that has been referenced several times – the Exile’s Lament? First, I grew up moving around the country and when I first read this the longest I have ever stayed in one place was 6 years. So I didn’t really get it. Now that I have been in one place, a most beloved place, for over a decade, I have an idea of what it would be like to exiled from a home that has seeped into your bones and blood.

2)  On a rather different, much more personal note for the House of Delaunay was the drama that unfolded surrounding Alcuin (poor Guy!). What do you think might become of Alcuin now that he appears to be out of the game?

Ah! He risked so much for just a piece of the puzzle. Since I have read this many times, I know where this goes. However this book left such an impression with me the first time I read it. I remember thinking that he would probably sit through a long tattooing session and have his marque completed. Since he is so scholarly and has a knack for genealogy and languages, he could go one to be be a scholar in Delaunay’s household. Perhaps he could strike out on his own in the future serving as a translator at the palace.

3)  As we’d suspected last week, Phedre’s refusal to use her signale gets her into some trouble with d’Essoms – but it also gets her the result that Anafiel had hoped for… Do you think she’ll be more careful from here or will this only make that addictive slope more slippery for her?

A bit of both. She has learned not to underestimate how far a patron will go. But she has also learned that she can and will heal from such a thing. Right now Phedre is young and a little cocky. She can read people well, but not totally. I think that is one of the most important things she learned here – not to be cocky.

4)  Speaking of Phedre and trouble, what do you make of the ‘relationship’ building between her and Melisande?


OK, it will be more than that but I love the mix of brains and sex appeal and political intrigue surrounding Melisande. Even Delaunay doesn’t know what her game is. Phedre doesn’t seem particularly interested in Melisande’s politics though. 😉

Other Tidbits

3 whole days to choose your method of execution! Ugh! I think I would pick something and then want it done and to not have to wait 3 days.

While the Lioness and Baudoin Trevalion were traitors to the crown, I liked how the country was allowed to quietly mourn the fall of House Trevalion.

So glad Phedre and Alcuin got horse riding lessons, and not just because it was practical. Horses are fun in and of themselves.

I like how Phedre reflects back about how young she was then and how some of her actions were petty, like her treatment towards Guy. Sigh…. I really liked Guy.

Participating Bloggers:

Celine at Nyx Book Reviews
Jenn at Morrison Girl
Kheya at Not Food Porn
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

12 thoughts on “Kushiel's Dart – Part III”

  1. Yeah, lots to think about this week – some of it a bit sad. I also liked Guy.
    I accidentally read a couple of extra chapters – the good thing about that of course is I’ve now been reintroduced to a certain someone!
    Lynn 😀

    1. I felt sad about Guy as well, and the reflections that Phedre had about her childishness made it all the more poignant. This is the part of the story where things finally start getting real.

    2. Yes indeed. We have a bit of sadness and then the next section introduces one of my favorite characters. Still, Phedre is in for more intrigue and more hardship.

  2. The idea of picking how you’d be executed is an intriguing one.

    Part of my mind went to the part on Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life where the guy chooses to die by being chased down by topless women.

    1. Haha! Not such a bad way to die.

      Which now makes me think of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake series. I think it is the third book where some of the ladies have to deal with the bioengineered peoples and their big blue dongs.

  3. On #1, I can understand the homesickness. It’s even worse for them, because they know they can never go home for the rest of their lives :(.

    #3, I’m still afraid that the main lesson she’s taking away from it is that she’ll be able to heal anything.

    Also, it was neat that they got to learn horseback riding! I don’t know how much of an expert you can become in that short of a time, but I agree that horses are fun :).

    1. We have donkeys, so I know equines in general can be good for the soul. I have been on horseback perhaps 5 times in my life, with no real instruction. I have even been thrown from a horse with only a bruise on my ass to show for it. I did get back in the saddle that day. the horse looked deeply embarrassed for having tossed me.

      1. I’ve been riding for about a year now, taking weekly lessons. I know it’s a dangerous sport, but it’s one that I enjoy a lot. I love my little group of ‘club horses’ (Or, well, most of them. One or two of them are total jerks.), and I think the lessons have been really good for my state of mind (re: homesickness!). I’ve never ridden a donkey before, though.

        1. We have 2 mammoth donkeys and 2 standards. One of the mammoths will let you ride around the paddock. He’s such a good donkey, he’s even let folks ride him bareback and without a halter.

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