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, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 12-19, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry for getting this up late – was in hospital for pneumonia for nearly a week.
1) In this chapter, Katherine and Roshana introduce Imriel to some innocent regional courtship games. What do you think of the differences between the two games? Do you remember anything similar from when you were a teen?
I think both were pretty innocent, yet I can see why one scares Imri more than the other. he’s dealing with his triggers and figuring out what he can and can’t deal with right now. I do wish they had started with Katherine’s version and once Imri got a few kisses in, moved on to Roshana’s version. Perhaps that would have made it less scary for Imri.
The closest thing I had as a teen was spin the bottle. Yep. Pretty tame and boring. But at the time, it was bold and awesome.
2) How do you think Imriel’s ideas of love and sex are affected by the model set by Joscelin and Phedre? Do you think they’re doing a good job getting him through these awkward years?
I think it’s both good and confusing for him. On one hand, he saw what Phedre was like in Darsanga and how her body responded, willing or no, acting or no, to the Marhkagir. So, he’s seen this darker side to her passions. But then he has had 3-4 years of living with them and seeing their loving, monogamous relationship. I’m sure he hasn’t heard or seen any violent lovemaking between the two. Now that he’s coming into his own, I am sure he feels conflicted – be like the tame, deeply loving Joscelin, or like the loving on the edge Phedre?
And yes, I think Phedre and Joscelin are doing a great job of raising Imri. It’s a total balancing act, giving him enough space to figure out these personal likes/dislikes and also keeping him safe, and providing honest answers, and guidance.
3) Imriel is getting a lot happier and easier at court these days. Is there anything that was particularly notable for you in this period, during the apple-picking party or on the Longest Night?
I really like that Imri takes a big brother’s interest in Alise, trying to include her in activities like the apple-picking contest. Then there is Mavros having his back at court in the Hall of Games; that was unexpected and cool of him. Imri is still learning what to do with his anger (that I think nearly all of us experience in our teen years) and it’s great that Joscelin lets him get that anger out during sword practice.
4) Imriel comes of age in this section, and spends his first night in the Night Court, at Balm House. What do you think about his experience with Emmeline?
Sacred. Loving. Healing.
This night with Emmeline did a world of good for Imri. It showed him that he can participate in sex in a loving way and that his fears of a darker, more violent sexual side is either not there or can easily be held in check.
5) Imriel has also made a new close friend, Eamonn mac Grainne! What did you think of their fight? How do you think their closeness will affect his image at court?
This is a great friendship because the two are so far removed from each other’s worlds that they can confide in each other without the preconceived notions. Imri’s heard some stories about Eamonn’s family and Eamonn has heard some stories about Imri’s family, but they don’t know the characters by sight and the folks around them don’t have these stagnant opinions of their forebears.
I think Imri has realized that some at court believe they are lovers and he’s taken a healthy attitude of ‘So what!’. His friendship with Eamonn means more to him than what others think of it.
When Imri confided in Eamonn concerning the Marhkagir, I wanted to applaud his bravery. After hearing the story, I wanted to kill the Marhkagir all over again.
I think it’s great that Phedre and Imri can, on occasion, joke a little about their first few meetings in Darsanga.
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 (email@example.com).