Kushiel's Justice Part IV

Chupacabra has spotted something!
Chupacabra has spotted something!

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Justice is Book 2 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, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host. We’re covering Chapters 23-29, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) Given the developments since last time, what do you think the Maghuin Donn are after with Imriel?  Could it be related to Dorelei’s and Alais’s dream? Were Imriel and Dorelei right to refuse their blessing?

When I first read this book, I really wasn’t sure. Morwen states plainly that she wants to birth Imriel’s child, but we don’t know why. It could be a play for political recognition and just an all around improvement for the Maghuin Dhon. However, there’s this element of magic and threatening magic at that.

Knowing what I know now, I often wonder how things would have turned out had Imriel and Dorolei accepted the Maghuin Dhon blessing on their wedding day. I honestly don’t know if it would have changed things in the long run.

2) Imriel and Dorelei’s relationship is very honest now.  Do you think their plan is a wise one or not?  What do you think of the Alban custom of limited-term marriage?

I think it is a good, honest go of it. I think that if either had insisted on a life-long promise, it could sour their relationship.

I love the Alban custom of a limited-term marriage. Really, I wish such a thing was widely recognized now in a formal manner. Folks should give it a solid go before making a longer committment, hashing out who washes the dishes and who takes care of the pets and who is willing to deal with car maintenance and grocery shopping.

3) What did you think of the Alban nuptials, with respect to the ones in Terre d’Ange?  Did anything in particular stick out as memorable?

I loved all the toasting to the ladies the night before and how some were a bit ribald and some were poetic and others were just plain awkward. I bet the ladies were having more fun, talking about the naughty things that Phedre knows and what the other ladies have learned over the years through trial and error.

I also liked the more relaxed atmosphere. Some of that was Imriel himself being more relaxed and of course Dorolei is having more fun, being surrounded by her kinsfolk. But I also feel that some it was the lack of pomp and ceremony required by the D’Angeline court.

4) We get to see Hyacinthe again!  What are your thoughts on his plan to not pass on his knowledge?  Do you think Phedre and Joscelin are completely on board with it, and do you think this ‘secret task’ will affect Imriel’s story?

I think it’s a good idea, for now at least. After all, they are hiding the Book of Raziel instead of destroying it. Much damage was done because one entity was bitter and angry.  While Hyacinthe would do a good job picking a successor, shit happens. That person could die or survive horrible events that turn them bitter. Just all sorts of things can happen to a single person. Perhaps there should be a committee? Ha! That would scare the nearby governments.

This is Imriel’s tale. As in Book 1 where Imriel often thought of Phedre and Joscelin while he was in Caerdicca Unitas, he was still without their aid. So they will be off doing their secret task while Imri continues his adventures on Alba and his new marriage.

5) Imriel’s going to start off as a Prince of Alba with a neighborly cattle raid.  What do you think about this tradition?  Is the violence and risk worth the respect and goodwill Imriel will likely get for it?

I’m not into cattle raiding myself, but I see how it proves a certain skill level and gumption factor. There’s the skill of sneaking up on the cattle and whoever guard them, if anyone. The skill of whisking the cattle off (and free ranging cattle are not near as docile as feed lot cattle, so believe me this is tougher than it looks.). My husband and I once went to a nearby area for a hike and this brindle bull was quite keen on protecting his herd. We were not welcome. We had to put tree after tree after tree between him and us so that we could safely reach our truck.

Then there is the fact that speaking to a person in the language they understand makes sense. Imri has learned the local tongue, now he must learn the local customs and employ them with skill.

Other Tidbts:

In the previous book, Imri’s inner monologue made the comment that the courage of women is different than the courage of men. We chatted about that. Well, in this book, Imri makes a similar observation – the strength of women is different from the strength of men. What do you think? Once again, I feel that Imri hasn’t known enough women from warrior cultures to have a very complex view on this matter.

It was great to see Alais having so much fun. She seems to have really come alive in Alba.

Ooo! What do you all think of Berlik and his bit of magic when Imri threatens him to a duel? Do you think those bear paws were real or a glamour?

Imri took his sweet time getting to Mavros’s letter and hence Sidonie’s letter. I think those bindings are really starting to mess with him, and they mess with those closest to him (the ladies and their true dreaming). Elua frowns upon this.

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).

4 thoughts on “Kushiel's Justice Part IV”

  1. About #1, Morwen’s statement about bearing Imriel’s child really threw me off. I don’t think I could blame them refusing the blessing after that. I’m very curious to see the fallout of that decision, though.

    I also really liked the poetry boasting competition! Imriel’s was really sweet, despite the situation. And now we know Brigitta has a nice arse :D.

    The only cows I’ve encountered have been fairly mellow, but one bull did scare my brother into climbing a tree and using it to leap (to partial success) across a creek to safety (he was fine in the end, if a bit wet). I mean, the bull wasn’t wild like you see in rodeos or anything, but they are very large animals. I believe you that it wouldn’t be an easy task.

    On the strength thing, I’m with you. I think he just hasn’t known a large enough variety of women yet. Maybe he should chat more with Brigitta? Also, I believe right now that Berlik’s paws were a real transformation.

    1. Indeed. We always suspected that Brigitta had a toned backside, but now we know it. 🙂

      It’s interesting to see Imri still making these observations about the differences between men and women, even if he is being complimenting when he does it. Or is he? Is it mildly condescending? Whenever I read observations like this, I often wonder how much of it is the character and how much is the author.

  2. “I love the Alban custom of a limited-term marriage. Really, I wish such a thing was widely recognized now in a formal manner. Folks should give it a solid go before making a longer committment, hashing out who washes the dishes and who takes care of the pets and who is willing to deal with car maintenance and grocery shopping.”

    It’s like a marriage lite. Great taste, less filling. Do you think that with a temporary marriage, there would be less divorce? (In my response, I wrote about how with divorce, I don’t totally see the point. But maybe Albans view divorce differently… (I’m getting a flashback to the movie Ever After and the queen saying angry “Divorce is something they only do in England.”))

    “My husband and I once went to a nearby area for a hike and this brindle bull was quite keen on protecting his herd. We were not welcome. We had to put tree after tree after tree between him and us so that we could safely reach our truck.”

    Sounds frightening!!

    1. I think so. I look at couples I know today and which ones are best suited for each other and it’s the ones that lived together for a period of time before getting married.

      I have more cattle stories. We live in a free range area and sometimes they wander on to the property. Definitely don’t need to be stupid with them because they are a little wild and simply big. Horns hurt!

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