The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Chosen is Book 2) is one of my all time favorite series. The red along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.
This week, Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is our host. We’re covering Chapters 37-49, so be prepared for spoilers below!
1. Last week we talked a bit about who might succeed Cesare Stregazza as Doge. This week we learn that he might not be out of the game just yet, after all. What are your thoughts on his discussion and agreement with Phédre?
Well, first it struck me that Phedre is once again being told she is a weapon by an old man in a foreign country (the first time was with the Skaldi in Book 1). So I thought that was pretty cool, that old men seem to see right to the heart of things.
I think Cesare is wise to bide his time and let folks think he may be bowing out and that he is a bit doddering. They are more likely to giveaway their intentions in front of him. But he walks that thin line too. If folks no longer have confidence in him, because of this act, then the people in general may no longer want him in power.
2. Melisande resurfaces – and right where I did NOT expect to find her! What about you? And what do you think of her latest ambitious designs? When she and Phédre speak again after her capture, Phédre calls her mad; Melisande hints at “playing a god’s game”. Is this ambition or is it in fact madness?
The first time I read this book, I had that jaw-dropping moment when it was revealed where Melisande had been ‘hiding’. Her disguise is perfect though, plus she has a powerful protector.
As always, Melisande is playing the long game. Sure, they plan to kill Ysandre within weeks or months and take the Terre D’Ange throne shortly thereafter, but it is Melisande’s son that she plans to have rule for decades. right now, he is like…. 6 months? 3 months? old. So a lot could go wrong between now and when he is 20. Perhaps she just views Imriel as another game piece on the board.
Melisande is having delusions of grandeur. She’s got a lot going for her – wit, intelligence, charm, beauty, the espionage training, the education in politics & history. But she lacks one thing – she is not god touched.
3. Things fall apart for Phédre and Joscelin after so much pent-up angst – but our Cassiline isn’t done with her yet, thank goodness! Phédre’s escape from La Dolorosa, and Joscelin’s attempted rescue, is some of the most nail-biting drama we’ve seen yet in this story. Do you think Joscelin will manage to find her, or will he play it smarter and go to Ysandre instead?
When I first read this book, I couldn’t fathom what Joscelin would do. He’s not very good on open water – being all seasick and such. So he would have to put his trust in someone with a boat and the know how… and then where would he begin looking?
And Ysandre is coming to La Serenissima soon, probably all ready on her way. So he could wait for her to get there and then try to seek an audience. But Melisande is definitely looking for him and they might have it out with the city watch that he is wanted man. Not to many choices for our hero, huh?
4. New character alert! What are your initial impressions of Kazan and Glaukos? How much trouble is Phédre in this time?
Phedre’s in for some high seas adventure! Glaukos seems like a kindly uncle from the beginning. I think Phedre has some sort of magic charm over older men. Kazan definitely has a chip or two on his shoulders, but Phedre also has a unique way of dealing with men with pent up anger. 😉
That final tumble between Phedre and Joscelin was a little heartbreaking. Lots of feelings floating around this section. Joscelin specifically says that Phedre doesn’t need him. How wrong he was.
Ah, Fortun & Remy! Jacqueline Carey sure does know how to yank on my heart strings.
I’m very glad that Phedre released all the prisoners even if some or most of them died that night. I think her comment about the prison being a mockery (or some such) of the goddess’s grief was spot on.
And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Nancy at FaeStruck’s Reviews & More
James at James T. Witherspoon
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness
We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN in the subject (firstname.lastname@example.org).