The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Avatar 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 74-82, so be prepared for spoilers below!
1. Yevuneh and the other women agree to help Phedre continue on her quest, and though it doesn’t go smoothly, she succeeds in finding the Broken Tablets and the Name of God! What did you think of how this part of the story played out?
First, I really liked that the women of Saba decided to assist Phedre & crew despite their fears. They were assisting Phedre to find the island and petition the priests there for the privilege of looking upon the Broken Tablets. It’s not any one person handing the Name of God over to Phedre and I think the men missed this important distinction.
Second, I really like how Phedre gave Imriel the true choice of whether or not to join them on this part of the quest. Then I really liked how they allowed him to take a turn at rowing. They give him responsibilities and treat him as an equal in many regards – and he responds by showing his maturity.
Lastly, the scene where Phedre offers her life in exchange for Imri’s and then the priest’s appearance and then the whole gazing upon the Broken Tablets part – it was amazing. When I first read this book, I wondered how much of this secret wonder Carey would include in the story because in the past she has sometimes given us only so much and then demurred with a ‘the rest I can’t tell you because I swore an oath to keep the secret’ type thing. I was very glad that she gave us every crumb.
2. When the dust settles, Imriel’s position on where he feels he belongs is all the more firm – he wants to be with Phedre and Joscelin, and not with House Courcel. Do you have any thoughts on how things will go for them when they return home?
Well, no matter who he lives with, he will always be a Courcel. Phedre is right in that he will have to make peace with that sooner or later. But I think it is fine that he has figured out where his heart (and true home) lie – with Phedre and Joscelin. And he will always be a Shahrizai too. That heritage can’t be wiped away either and he will have to learn to make peace with that as well.
3. Among other important changes to their way of life, the possibility of trade between Saba and other nations has opened up in the aftermath of what Phedre has done. This leads her to speculate that the intentions of the gods go far beyond what she was aware. What do you think of that bigger-picture theory? What might it mean for the world in general?
For this story, I love all the connectedness. Phedre’s actions are influenced by 1001 things, some she knows about and many she does not. And it is the same for all the characters. If Phedre had not rescued Imriel, she might not ever have known what it is to love a child in a motherly way, and in turn Imriel would not have been on the Broken Tablet island to scream so loud a priest would come check on the matter. The people of Saba are in for the benefits of this as well with the opening of trade.
In real life though, I’m a believer in coincidence. Yes, things influence us, but no matter what we do there will be affects on others. Not everything, and perhaps nothing, is directed by some higher being. Just my personal belief there.
4. We’re heading toward the finale, and hopefully to a resolution regarding Hyacinthe’s fate… Do you have any thoughts about what might happen when Phedre gets back to him?
Well, when I first read this tale, I had no doubt that Phedre would rescue Hyacinthe. But I had no idea how momentous it would be.
Also, Phedre must sooner or later present Imriel to Queen Ysandre.
Once all that settles out, Phedre will have 101 friends and acquaintances that want the inside scoop. Favrielle will want to know how folks dress in Jebe Barkal. Thelesis will want to hear all of Shoanete’s stories. Nicola will want to let Phedre cry on her shoulder over Darsanga. So, yeah, even after we all leave the story, Phedre and Joscelin and Imriel will still have stuff to do.
Joscelin makes damaged ear men look good! In a lion’s mane!
I think Phedre was very gentle with Hanach after they had all returned from the island. Hanach was feeling a confusion of emotions, I am sure.
I love that Phedre is now so in love with the world, literally.
I am glad that Imriel finally unburdened some of his Darsanga memories to Phedre.
How many of you are interested in doing a read along of the second trilogy? It has Imriel as the main character.
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 AVATAR in the subject (firstname.lastname@example.org).