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, Emily at Emma Wolf is our host. We’re covering Chapters 38-46, so be prepared for spoilers below!
1. At some point before she died, Dorelei made Urist promise to bring Imriel back to the City of Elua and Sidonie for fear that, if he didn’t go, he would be driven to bitterness. What do you think of this promise? Do you agree with Dorelei that Imriel would turn bitter?
I agree with Dorolei. She was very kind and wise to extract such a promise from Urist. Imriel had come to love Dorolei and, Dorolei knowing that a fair percentage of women die in childbirth, probably spent some time thinking about what her death would do to Imriel. And, yes, without a child to dote upon, without a lover pulling him out of his self-absorption, then I think he could become quite bitter. Hence, the need to send him back to his love in Terre D’Ange.
2. Imriel questions whether there was no way to escape the fate of his son foreseen by the Maghuin Dhonn. What do you think?
I think Imriel would have tried had the Maghuin Dhonn been honest about their visions. He’s listened to other people who had visions and heeded their warnings when he could make heads or tails out of them. So even though Dorolei’s people fear them, I think Imriel would have risen above that and given full weight to their warnings.
Of course, at this point that’s rather moot, sad to say. I am sure the ‘what ifs’ will torment Imriel from time to time for the rest of his life.
3. Urist explains the politics underlying the matter to the other Cruithne by noting that Imriel was good enough for Dorelei and Alba, good enough to father Alban heirs, but not good enough for Terre d’Ange. What do you think of his observation?
I think his words ring true. While Sidonie didn’t feel that way, she was in no position a year ago to formally say otherwise. I have to wonder what Drustan will think about this as he, while aware of Terre D’Ange history, has gotten to see Imriel away from the D’Angeline court.
Depending on how things fall out, this could rub rather raw with the Alban court – feeling like they received casts off or nobility leavings from the D’Angelines. I expect that Imriel will try to soften that as much as possible, but the underlying truth and past actions of the D’Angeline court will still be there.
4. We see new places and new peoples. Imriel wonders about the tanner and his wife and their story and how he will never know it. Of all the minor characters we’ve met so far, are there any you wish you knew more about?
I don’t know if we can call him a minor character, but I’m always fascinated by Barquiel L’Envers. He’s so very intense and he’s been in 5 books so far, even if it’s just as a thorn in someone’s side. He was ready to spill blood, I think, this time around, if Sidonie had shown the slightest distress towards Imriel. It’s a good thing she stood her ground or our story might have been much shorter.
I wonder what makes him tick and what makes his few friends and followers so loyal (besides his excellent horsemanship).
5. What do you think of what’s become of the Yeshuites? Of Micah ben Ximon? Do you think the written word is more open to multiple interpretation than the spoken one, as Urist hints?
So it looks like we have a warrior class of Yeshuites which we haven’t really seen before. And it looks like they are/have carved out a homeland in some far northern area. I wonder what that cost – is it just a hardship to claim the land and work it? Or did they have to displace other people and take the land by force?
No matter how things are recorded, there will always be interpretations. Still, with the written word I can make some assumption even if it is tiny, that the words were recorded with care. Think about the resources that go into writing down something – parchment or vellum? ink? a quill? And then if a book is published in some form, that is more expensive and time consuming so I want to assume that even more care is taken in weeding out typos and such. I still trust the written word more than the spoken word.
I think Sidonie really shines in this section. First, she kisses Imriel in front of the D’Angeline court. Then she joins him at the Sharhizai hunting lodge where she faces down first Amaury Trent and then Barquiel. These are not things Imriel could do for Sidonie.
Mavros is really a jewel of a friend, isn’t he? And to think I once held him under such suspicion!
Dorolei and the babe are dead, but I feel like it’s not over for Imriel. He thinks of her often and still mourns her. I’m glad the author doesn’t simply ‘lay the character to rest’ sortaspeak because Dorolei had a large influence over Imri and I think he’s a better man for it.
That was an interesting side note about Maslin of Lombelon – How he was also facing down Barquiel and Sidonie’s comments later about his sense of honor.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).