Kushiel's Mercy Part I

Streak being calm & snuggly.
Streak being calm & snuggly.

Ah! It’s definitely good to be back in the land of Terre D’Ange! The read along continues with Kushiel’s Mercy, Book 3 of Imriel’s trilogy! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, I am your host. We’re covering Chapters 1-10, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) So far, what do you think of the variety of responses people have to Imriel’s and Sidonie’s relationship?

I’m always a bit surprised at how many folks disapprove of their  relationship. At one point, someone tells Imriel they have a right to their anger and I think I would have to take it on a case by case basis. I’m don’t think they all have a right to their anger.

Then there are those that just love the naughty  feel to it all, the defiance and that’s OK but perhaps not sincere. I’m very glad there are some who are truly happy for Imri and Sidonie. I’m glad that Sidonie and Imri are careful as to what parties they choose to  attend and don’t overly flaunt their relationship, adding salt to some people’s wounds.

2) Imriel starts the hunt for Melisande. What do you think of his efforts so far? Could you hand over a wayward relative to the authorities?

I’m always of two  minds about this part. Basically, others are doing most of the searching and asking for him. Hyacinthe is searching in his sea mirror. Phedre is sending off queries.  I’m sure  the queen has her little spy network working on it too. As things go on, he does get more involved, and I can understand his hesitancy – going off  after his mother, once she’s located, would mean an end of his daily bed tumbling, at least until he returns. Also, and I believe he’s aware of this at this point as well, she is his biological mother and did adore him as a babe. There will be some sorrow in seeing her finally facing justice and being put to death.

As to the second question, it probably depends on what my wayward relative had done and if they had or were trying to make amends. Stealing  from someone but then showing remorse – perhaps not. Depends on what was stolen. Even murder, I would have to consider the reason why they did it. Treason to the country and nearly bringing about a successful invasion and fall of the existing functional & fairly fair government – uh, yeah, I think I would have to hand them over.

3) Sidonie makes her first ventures into the spicier side of the love arts. Comment away!

I’m so glad they did a viewing –  and not just because it was fun to read! I really loved that Imri wanted to see her reactions to the various activities available to those who like a bit more  spice in their bed play. And I love that Imri lost his fear of himself, finding his own abilities and responses were in keeping with Elua’s teachings. Tho he did mess up once, I think Sidonie’s response was perfect! Imri did atone for that, and did it  well.

4) The priesthood weighs in on Sidonie’s and Imriel’s relationship. Do you think Imriel’s words were the clincher, or do you think the priests had mostly made up their minds before the meeting?

I think it was a mix. Some of the priests had already made up their minds before they met Imriel. Yet he spoke quite well, his honesty coming through clearly. I love that he cites Joscelin’s words about his attempt to live without Phedre. Imri has tried to live without Sidonie and that hasn’t gone well for many people – not just Sidonie and Imriel.

When I first read this book years ago, I recall being quite put out that the priesthood should have any say on such a personal matter. But, as Jacqueline Carey is always doing, she shows me through this book how their union is bigger than just the two of them. Also, I have read several historical fiction and non-fiction histories since then and getting the church’s blessing for royal unions is not really that uncommon. So, I was a silly thing then, but am less silly and ignorant now.

5) It’s been two years since Imriel last celebrated the Longest Night in the D’Angeline fashion. What was the most interesting part of this night for you?

Favrielle out did herself this time! She’s always setting the bar for eloquence when it comes to ball attire. I don’t think I have ever  held onto something that long in hopes of using it for something  incredible, but I’m glad she did.

Barquiel! What an ass! I bet he’s the one that got that wine baron sloshed and then riled up  enough to make a scene. In the end, I did feel sad for the wine baron, and I wanted to punch Barquiel in the teeth – tho that would probably not work out so well for me.

6) We catch our first glimpse of the Carthaginians and the general Astegal. What do you think of their tribute?

Wow! He really goes for the glitz! And there is so much of it! While apologies are made for Imriel’s experience with the Carthaginian slavers so many years ago, I  had to wonder how much of that tribute was ‘earned’ through slavery. Still, it’s a new culture for us to explore with these beloved characters and I look forward to it.

Other Tidbts:

Mavros is such a stalwart friend! I’m glad he keeps popping up in these books even tho he has a minor role so far.

The Captain of the Queen’s Guard, Claud du Montluc, seems like a good chap. I’m glad he took Imri’s advice in getting his men trained to fight on horseback.

Ah! Amarante! She’s such an understanding and gracious person. I’m glad that Imri no longer has any jealousy over her when it comes to Sidonie.

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 MERCY in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

5 thoughts on “Kushiel's Mercy Part I”

  1. Yeah, even though he’s not a very big character in the series, I really like Claude. Or I like what Imriel told us about him and his back story. I like how he was bold enough to confront Imriel and just his concerns seemed so simple compared to the drama of the book.

  2. I really like Mavros more and more as the story goes on. He’s such a good friend to Imriel. On the other hand, it’s a little weird that he sought out Amarante as soon as she was in her period of not rejecting anybody, but it sounded like she expected that in advance and was ok with it.

    I had not really thought about the emotional implications of the tribute being at least partially paid for by slavery profits. I wish Terre d’Ange could practice some influence with other nations toward abolition.

    1. Mavros has had a crush on Amarante for three books now, so I think it was sweet that he finally got some personal time with her, and that it stayed personal between them – no braggin by either one about what went down between them.

      I think the Carthaginian practice of slavery makes most, perhaps all, of the D’Angelines a little wary. After all, if they were ever to unite their kingdoms in marriage, wouldn’t the abolition of slavery have to be part of the deal?

  3. I’m loving it so far – it feels like returning home almost!
    It’s a shame for Imriel and Sidonie. If they didn’t hold such important positions there love would be so much easier! I hope that Imriel eventually holds on to some happiness.
    The Carthaginians – i got a bad feeling about them!
    Lynn 😀

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