Kushiel's Chosen Part VI

Tofu kitty with a very good book.
Tofu kitty with a very good book.

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, Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog is your host. We’re covering Chapters 62-72, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1. We had a bit of a discussion about Kazan in the previous week’s questions, about his nature, double crossing, etc, and whether Phedre was right to save him.  What are your thoughts on Kazan now given these most recent additions?  Also, I think we should include his mother in that discussion – it was interesting to finally see her I thoughts. And, in fact his whole homecoming.

I’ve definitely warmed to Kazan in these chapters. Having that weight, the kriavbhog, lifted from his shoulders has done him some good. Also, knowing his mother missed him fiercely and truly regretted putting a curse on him seemed to ease his heart as well. And with those inner changes, he is able to treat those around him with a bit more respect. I especially liked that he had a frank discussion with Phedre about the deal he forced her into and how that didn’t sit right with him now and he planned to make amends for it.

While we only got a little of Kazan’s mother, she did seem to truly regret cursing her eldest son, even though it was done in the madness of grief. Still, the cynic in me wonders what actions she took all these long years to either remove the curse or atone for it. Did she try to find Kazan? Did she try to send him messages letting him know his regret? It is one thing to truly be sorry about something; it is something else to take action to make it right.

2. What did you think of the whole ‘tribute’ ship idea – is that your idea of a good plan or your worst nightmare??

I don’t have any particular fear of small, enclosed spaces. However, I don’t think I would ever look forward to traveling in the false bottom of a tribute chest, knowing  full well the ship would be searched thoroughly. I do think it was clever for Kazan’s men to have planted something for the port authorities to find so they wouldn’t look too closely at the rest. Just like clever modern-day drug smugglers.

3. Let’s just talk about the reunion with Joscelin and Phedre.  Oh my word!  More to the point, the changes in both of them and how you think their relationship will now move forward.

Very, very sweet. I especially liked how Joscelin had finally made up his mind about what he wanted. For a while now, he has been a little bit of a lost puppy, not really knowing what he wanted and bollocksing it all up.

Still, I  have to say that while Joscelin says that Phedre could take 1000 patrons or even marry a Stregazza and he would stand by her side, she doesn’t reciprocate by saying she will give all those things up….. so, after all our discussions about how Phedre can be a bit conceited or even selfish, I am not sure how I feel about that.

I really, really liked the little winter roses strewn inside their tent and how the small thorns pricked at her flesh as they made love – AND how Joscelin was not disgusted by her enjoyment of that.

4. Lastly, what do you think Phedre’s plan is? It’s in a temple, she spoke about making retribution in earlier chapters and yet her latest plan seems to have caused gasps of surprise.  What do you think we have in store?

When I first read this all those years ago, I really wasn’t sure. I mean, it’s a sacred temple, and we know Phedre always does her best to respect the customs surrounding deities no matter where she is. But how can her eclectic crew infiltrate the temple, while being respectful, and somehow warn and/or save the queen while upholding Phedre’s vow to cleanse the temple of false servants? Plus, Phedre and crew have already killed at least 1 temple guard and 3 acolytes. So, that isn’t off to a good start and I am not sure how Asherat will view that.

Having read this book several times, I will say that we are in for some breathtaking scenes!

Other Tidbts:

I liked Phedre’s discussions, although brief, with the leaders of Minos concerning slavery. I hope that plants the seeds for future change.

Hooray! It looks like La Dolorosa is no longer used as a prison. It seemed to be a bit of an insult to Asherat in the first place, and just a terrible nightmare of a jail in the second.

It’s quite the eclectic crew Phedre has surrounded herself with – ex-Casseline servant, Illyrian pirates, militant Yeshuites.

I was very glad to see Ti-Philip after all this time.

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 (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

7 thoughts on “Kushiel's Chosen Part VI”

  1. We’re definitely thinking on the same lines this week. I thought Kazan really had a change around and I felt that I liked his character much more as a result. I also liked that his mother was so pleased to see him. You make a good point about her trying to contact him – I wonder if she did or not. Interesting.
    I don’t particularly have a fear of small places but I couldn’t help not liking the idea of being in the bottom of that chest – apart from having to be a bit of a contortionist (which I’m not) just the notion of the ship sinking whilst you’re trapped underneath all that treasure – eugh!
    The scenes with Joscelin and Phedre were so touching. I was quite literally grinning like an idiot when they finally got back together – and then blushing like a teenager when everyone arranged their romantic interlude in the tent!
    I’m so excited for the final chapters !!
    Lynn 😀

  2. I wondered about Kazan’s mom too. Maybe she felt too guilty.

    I love Phedre’s eclectic crew!

    You know, I hadn’t thought of Phedre’s conceit when Joscelin made his “offer.” In her defense, Joscelin knew who Phedre was when they fell in love. Phedre knew who Joscelin was too, but being Cassiel’s servant…does that have a strong relationship to his jealousy? Though yes, Phedre perhaps should have been more feeling and considerate. Maybe he would have been happier if she had agreed not to pursue some of her desires or go back to Naamah’s service, but I feel like that would go against who she is much more than Joscelin’s understanding would go against his nature as being sworn to Cassiel. Does that make any sense? I guess I don’t think an exactly fair agreement can be reached between them? But it would have been really easy for Phedre to say “marry who?” or something just to throw the poor guy a bone.

    1. I feel the same way though I haven’t quite worked out why. I feel that Joscelin had further to come in meeting Phedre half way. Perhaps, in part, it is because Phedre’s Service to Naamah pays the bills? Also, Cassiel’s main precepts are about guarding, protecting, serving. I feel that it is the Casseline Order that added on such BS as celibacy. Where as service to Naamah obviously involves sex.

  3. I hadn’t really thought of his mother trying to contact him. I guess it comes down to how a blood curse works. I was assuming it was no-take-backs, so she couldn’t actually call off the curse herself. Also, it kills him if he comes home. Would it have killed him if she contacted him, since she was the curse-giver?

    On Phedre/Joscelin, I don’t think she would give up serving Naamah, so it would have been a false promise. She could have said something about not marrying anybody else, though, or brought up (like she did in Kriti) that she had many patrons but no lover other than him.

    Also, hooray, Ti-Philippe survived!!

    1. Oooo! Excellent point about the blood curse! If she had gone to Dobrek, would it have killed him? Maybe. If she had sent him a little letter, maybe not. But now I am unsure.

      Yes, she could have offered to take him as a Consort once again. But maybe she didn’t want to spoil the mood by asking for something he refused in the past.

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