Kushiel's Mercy Part II

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

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, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host. We’re covering Chapters 11-22, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) Imriel visits a few of the Houses with Astegal. If you were to visit Carey’s Terre d’Ange, would there be a particular house you’d be interested to see?

Such a hard choice! I think we had a question similar to this one way back at the beginning of the series and now that we’ve come so far, experienced so much with these characters and the discussions, I bet my answer has changed. I’m waffling between Jasmine (for pleasure’s sake), Eglantine (to create is to live), and Balm (rest and be soothed). You know, I think I will make the rounds to all three like a good D’Angeline would.

2) The Carthaginians’ scheme was some of the most blatant magic that I think we’ve seen in the series. Given that there is a whole country of people who are not fooled, do you think they really expected to get away with it cleanly in the long-term? Do you think they have an alternative plan?

You’re right about the magic being upfront and in our faces with this story. After the more subtle, perhaps even bordering on magical realism, in past books, it’s a bit of a change, isn’t it?

It’s been some years since I last read this book, so I’ve forgotten the details. But based on Carey’s intricate plots, I would say that there is more to this plot that what we’ve seen so far, and what we’ve seen so far has the D’Angeline monarchy, a chunk of its priesthood, and its army enslaved. So, yeah, I bet there’s more coming.

3) Barquiel l’Envers goes from a petty antagonist to one of Imriel’s only allies. Does this change your opinion of him? Do you think this adventure will alter his perception of Imriel?

Quite frankly, I love this part. It’s very much like how Barquiel gave Phedre such the stink eye yet still rode out to save her from a skinning. I can say from experience that Barquiel’s role in this book made me look more kindly upon him during rereads later on.

4) We finally see Melisande again! What do you think of what she has become? Do you think she still deserves execution for her crimes?

It was good to see her interacting with someone she wouldn’t consider seducing (probably, hopefully!). It was a different side of her and also I think she has gained some wisdom over the years. It was both fascinating and chilling to see how honest she was about her amorality.

Yes, she does deserve to be punished for her crimes. Those people who died during the Skaldi invasion are still dead. There are still plenty of repercussions from that act of treason. However, this is not always a just world and I think Imriel’s compromise (banned from D’Angeline soil for life) is the best he could get. Sometimes making a final ruling, as such, lets people move on, whether they think it is fair or not.

5) What do you think will be Imriel’s key to change out of the form and mind of Leander? Do you think you would be willing to undergo such a transformation?

So I do recall the answers to the first question. And I recall how each happens –  and I think you will all enjoy those scenes as I did.

Would I be willing to undergo such a transformation? Well, for the love of my life, sure. No problem. Heck, even just for Halloween I might do it. It might be interesting to be a fairly attractive young man with a randy attitude for a day or week or so.

Other Tidbts:

Imriel’s little trick with the pillow was simple and perfect for getting info. Our young man has come pretty far since he was a kid. I don’t think he would have done that even at the beginning of this trilogy.

Madness for a whole month! And then when you get your wits back, you have perfect recollection of all the hurtful, crazy shit you said and did. That is one nasty piece of magic.

It was silly for Imri to bring the Bastard but I think he really needed a D’Angeline friend at the time.

The Wise Ape! Fascinating man. I would love to see some fanfic about his life.

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).

8 thoughts on “Kushiel's Mercy Part II”

  1. These past few chapters were just brilliant! So revealing.
    Yet again, Imriel will face alone a massive challenge! When will Carey give this poor guy a break. That whole ‘madness’ episode was crazy wasn’t it.
    This definitely made me see L’Envers in a different light. I guess he could just be hoping that Imriel will die on route – but I genuinely don’t think so. He knows that Imriel has to succeed and it’s quite telling that he sent him off on this mission alone – he clearly has some confidence in Imriel’s abilities.
    Lynn 😀

  2. I wish something like the Night Court existed! All three of those would be interesting to visit.

    That madness was really awful. He is so lucky that Phedre and Joscelin are as understanding as they are, and hopefully that will help him to forgive himself and accept it wasn’t his fault.

    I’m actually really glad Imriel addressed that bringing the Bastard was a bad idea, and why he had done it anyway. I was kind of side-eyeing him about his decision to take that poor horse on a long boat journey.

    1. I agree about the horse on a long boat voyage – so rough and boring on the beast. But I also get that Imriel needed the companion, even if it was just his horse.

  3. “I can say from experience that Barquiel’s role in this book made me look more kindly upon him during rereads later on.”

    Same. And for some reason, while I was reading your post, I saw similarities between Melisande and Bariquel. I don’t know. Maybe I’m full of crap. They both are cunning and had their plots for power of Terre d’Ange (Bariquel through marriage and forming alliances with foreign powers and Melisande through forming alliances with foreign powers, plotting invasion, and strategic marriage). They both seem to have their own strange principles while being ruthless.

    “Sometimes making a final ruling, as such, lets people move on, whether they think it is fair or not.”

    I agree.

    1. Someone else commented this week about how Barquiel and Melisande are similiar. Carey does a great job in showing how power-driven people can address their needs differently.

      1. I wonder how much Bariquel was involved in the murder of Edmee. It seems to me that the only difference between the two of them is that Bariquel was successful. If he hadn’t been (or if Isabel hadn’t killed Edmee), would he be plotting an invasion with someone he could control? I see a coup as being more in his style.

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