Kushiel's Scion Part I

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.
Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, I am your host. We’re covering the Prologue-Chapter 11, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) Through out this section, we relearn the events of the first trilogy through Imriel’s eyes. What do you think of his perceptions of those events?

I’m pleasantly surprised that he doesn’t have more ire towards certain folks, like his mother, Barquiel, the Queen. He has reasons to dislike (even hate Melisande or Barquiel), but he maintains a wariness instead of spite.

I also like that he admits to himself when he doesn’t understand something, like Phedre’s ‘protection’ of Melisande and her adherence to the promise she made so many years ago.

2) What do you think is in Melisande’s letters? How did she escape and who do you think assisted her this time?

Melisande’s letters…  yes. So, she wrote them to Imriel but she also must have known that others might potentially read them. Maybe she tries to explain why she did what she did. Maybe it’s poetry. I don’t really see her being the cuddly wuddly type.

Once again, she escapes. I don’t know how. I can’t recall if we ever learn how or who assisted her. She’s so far removed from the D’Angeline court, she simply could have charmed some of the staff of the temple. I think that would be the easiest thing for her. However, she would want a safe, secure place to head to. That makes me think of the Pharaoh. But I could be totally off on that.

3) What do think about how Imriel handled Maslin of Lombelon? Has he made an ally or a foe for the future?

Such a tough situation! I can totally see why Imri wants to do the right thing, but his version of the right thing and Maslin’s version of the right thing are probably a little different. Still, in the end, when Imri was candid with Maslin, I think they had an understanding, even if they never like each other. I don’t think  Maslin is a foe or ally at this point.

4) There’s a few moments of foreshadowing in this section: Elua’s priest’s words concerning finding and losing love over and over again; Alais’s dream concerning a man with two faces. Are you intrigued or just happy to zoom along at this point?

Honestly, I’ve never been much into foreshadowing and I tend to simply make note of it and keep zooming along. The author already knows where things are going, but I don’t. So I rather spend time reading the story than ruminating over the foreshadowy bits. Sometimes they add a nice touch here and there, where the character can look back and review the warnings.

5) Imriel’s Shahrizai cousins (Mavros, Roshana, Baptiste) have come to visit for a summer. What are your impressions so far?

They are being very, very polite. I am guessing they were hand picked for the visit to make as good an impression as possible. And there might be some politics behind that. I mean Imri is 3rd in line for the crown, he hangs out with a renowned courtesan (and Queen’s confidante) and the Queen’s champion. So, making sure the Shahrizai aren’t complete outcasts is probably important to the whole clan of them.

Baptiste still seems young and bit silly. It seems Roshana and Mavros are the planners and perhaps schemers. Still, so far they seem to want to help Imri understand this side of his family and aren’t up to anything evil.

Other Tidbts:

Pear brandy! That’s what I want!

That all night vigil left Imri with the worst cold ever, maybe pneumonia. That would have sucked for him to die from that. The political ramifications would have been interesting.

Alais’s sword play with Imri was quite cute. Too bad her sister didn’t see it that way.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
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 SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

8 thoughts on “Kushiel's Scion Part I”

  1. You make really good points about Imriel in Q1. I think if he was more volatile by nature he’d be harder to sympathise with as a protagonist, and certainly harder to read about as a narrator, despite all that we know he’s gone through. If he was still the same angry, feral boy Phedre met in Darsanga, I’d be growing frustrated with the book already. But knowing that he’ll try harder to assess his own feelings and his situation make things more intriguing…

    1. Definitely. If Imri was still an angry boy, then this would a frustrating read. I think Carey is a master at timing. I think she probably plotted out Imri’s years between Kushiel’s Avatar and Kushiel’s Scion, giving Imri the time he needed to unclench a bit.

  2. Yes, Imriel has definitely chilled out which is just as well. I like being inside his head – it’s interesting to get a different perspective and to truly see who he does and doesn’t seem to like. I don’t really trust his cousins, I think you’re probably right and they’re just ingratiating themselves for self serving purposes but I still don’t want to turn my back on them. I’m not altogether sure yet what to make of Maslin. Part of me thinks the two of them could be friends but part of me thinks that he harbours enough anger to be used in the right hands.
    I want pear brandy too!
    Lynn 😀

  3. I hadn’t considered the Pharoah, but that would make sense. I don’t think she can maneuver her way into the throne there, though.

    Good point about getting the Shahrizai back in good graces. I guess they have a significant self-interest in *not* being too schemy right now.

    That would have been awful if he’d died in the vigil. On the more personal side, I don’t think Joscelin would have ever been able to cope with letting Imriel die from cold right next to him.

      1. It’s coloring how I view them now in the next section. And also making me kind of sad. Like they’re not doing it to be kind but to make a match and put a Shahrizai (one with closer familiar ties) close to the throne. Or maybe it’s both. When they saw it wasn’t working (either with Roshana or Mavros), they were still kind. During this reread, I actually have a lot of love for them (not that I disliked them before).

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