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, I’m your host. We’re covering Chapters 66-END, so be prepared for spoilers below!
1) In this section, Imriel had plenty of farewells and also reunions. Which ones did you find the most interesting or touching?
I loved seeing Alaise again. She’s always had a soft spot for Imriel and had hoped to call him ‘brother’ one day. Now that it looks like he and Sidonie will be together, she may very well get her wish.
Of course seeing Drustan was intense. He seems to be taking it well, though he’s in a tough spot with Ysandre. I think he did a decent job of explaining why Ysandre is dead set against Imriel and Sidonie being together, though I still don’t agree with her. Now that Imriel has that insight, he may stand a chance at winning her over.
Then seeing Eamonn again and having to say goodbye to him too. Sigh…. Eamonn is his best friend but can’t help him win over Ysandre.
2) Maslin decides to stay in Vralia as an ambassador. What do you think of his decision? When Imriel, Phedre, and Joscelin depart, Phedre says something privately to Maslin that causes him to collapse to his knees and weep. What do you think she said?
I think Maslin will do OK, provided he doesn’t besmirch the reputation of any prominent ladies. He doesn’t strike me as a braggart though, so I think he will be able to remain discreet in his beddings. Also, I think he has this prideful streak that will stand him good in negotiations with the Vralians.
I think Phedre may have told him how brave his father was at the end, how he allowed her to walk out of camp in order to get the message to the besieged fortress, how he fought bravely at the end, and how he faced death in peace. I think that is what would bring Maslin to his knees in tears.
3) Imriel & crew make it to Skaldia where they dine with Aldemar and meet some interesting merchants. Do you think the Unseen Guild had a hand in any of Imriel’s recent adventures?
This is a tricky one. The Unseen Guild has long arms, as we have seen before. But I think in Vralia they might only have a finger or two. Perhaps they eased the way for Maslin in his quest to find Imriel. Perhaps they eased Phedre & Joscelin’s paths as well. Looking back, I can’t see where they directly affected Imriel’s quest to find Berlik.
4) Finally, Imriel is reunited with Dorolei’s kin. There’s a solemn burial of Berlik’s skull which is followed by a boisterous party. If someone was burying a skull at your feet, which would you prefer – serious ceremony or rowdy affair?
I’m all for the rowdy affair. I figure if people need a moment or three for serious contemplation, then it can be a quiet affair at the time and place of the griever’s choosing. While I plan to go with cremation when my expiration date is here, if someone wishes to bury a skull in my honor, they are most welcome to.
I did really like the wild harp music at the solemn affair and how Imri made it clear that all of Alba grieves, including the Maghuin Donn.
5) Sidonie and Imriel are finally together openly. Some still do not approve. What challenges do you foresee for them?
I think some still don’t know that Imriel and Sidonie were in love before his wedding to Dorolei, so that may be a source of bad feelings. Also, I think some Albans may feel a bit miffed that Imriel is choosing a D’Angeline over another Alban lass. So, definitely some bridges to build there. Sidonie’s visit to Alba will hopefully assist in that.
Then there is Ysandre. Sigh. We all know she can hold fast to a decision once she has made it. I’m not confident that even Phedre will be able to soften her on this one.
I also fear that D’Angeline society will be divided on the matter. We know from past events that there are some that support Imriel because of his pure D’Angeline blood, but there are also those who oppose him because of his parentage.
Once again, we have just a touch of the divine or supernatural. When Imriel was witnessing the forced conversion ceremony, he briefly knelt, touched the floor, and imagined the soil beneath as he requested Elua’s blessing. Then he felt this mantle of assurance fall upon him. I thought that was a great scene.
Imriel makes comparisons between men and women, this time on how they handle war. He notices that the Skaldian women are a touch more friendly than the Skaldian men and he considers that it must be because the women are not fool enough to seek glory in battle. *snort* Ah, Imri…. we need to get you a week long trip with women from a warrior culture and then see what you think.
When Imriel lays eyes upon the Cruarch’s ship and he know he’s surrounded by those that care about him, and who he cares about in turn, and that the danger is finally over, that is when tears spring to his eyes. I liked his insight into how people can stand steadfast for quite some time in the face of adversity, but once in a safe place, they can devolve to tears.
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). We’re plotting on the schedule for Book 3 of Imriel’s trilogy, Kushiel’s Justice, and it looks like we will start early June. A final schedule will go up in a week or two.