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Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Chosen

by Jacqueline Carey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Phèdre Trilogy (2), Kushiel's Legacy (2)

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3,461631,547 (4.25)75



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Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
According to Tor, Carey's first book Kushiel's Dart is one of the best fantasy novels of the last decade.

Frankly speaking, I agree. I've never read anything quite like that before. Kushiel's Dart blew me away, and Kushiel's Chosen with its 700 pages was not far behind. It's extremely intricate, intense, darkly erotic and has layers upon layers of meaning. It celebrates feminine strength, because most of the main players in this series be that villains or heroes are women.

Book #2 starts a year and a half after the end of book #1 (if I'm not mistaken). Phedre had time to recuperate from her ordeal, and she receives a disturbing gift from her archenemy, Melisande, which makes her decide to leave her country estate and test the dangerous waters of capital of Terre D'Ange again as a courtesan and a spy.

While she uncovers more and more evidence that Melisande is still alive and extremely dangerous and while her beloved Josselin becomes more and more unhappy with her service as Kushiel's Chosen, the trail leads her to La Serenissima (an equivalent of Renaissance Venice) where she promptly gets trapped in such a dangerous and grandiose plot, that she would need to travel through half of the world, if she has any chance to thwart her enemy and save her queen again.

The adventures she is going through are incredible, the tension and the feeling of time running out is palpable. This was such a wild ride I again stayed awake until the early hours of the morning (which happened to book #1 too) to finish Kushiel's Chosen.

I have only one word for this series, and it's EPIC. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
This is my least favorite book in Phedre's trilogy. I mean, I know Phedre is all about the pain but the way she treats Jocelyn and how she keeps running back to Melisande for more punishment. I want to tell to have some pride and smack her on the end.

Obviously, it all works out but there are moments when I really worried about these characters and the boys! Oh the boys -- well, I won't spoil it but it hurt my heart.

I love this series and will read it over and over for the rest of my life. This is the third re-read btw. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 12, 2015 |
Note: It is possible to read this book as a stand alone as relevant events from Book 1 are reflected upon in enough detail for a reader of Book 2 to grasp the point. However, I highly recommend reading Book 1 as it is just so damn good!

We return once again to the alternate history of Terre D’Ange (France) and the surrounding lands. Book 2 picks up several months after Book 1 ended. Melisande Sharhizai is still at large. However, very early in Book 2 our heroine Phedre receives a challenge of sorts from Melisande – her sangoire cloak is returned to her via a carrier from Caerdicca Unitas (Italy) and more specifically La Serenissima (Venice). Phedre truly believes that Terre D’Ange and the queen (Ysandre) are in danger so long as Melisande is free. The challenge sets in motion events that will change Phedre’s life forever.

Here we have another masterfully crafted book from Jacqueline Carey. Sometimes sequels aren’t near as good as the first in the series but this series holds it’s own weight as it progresses. I have read this book several times now and this is my second time listening to it. First, I love how the characters continue to grow and how the world continues to expand as Phedre’s travels take her further afield. Second, Melisande continues to make a most worthy opponent. Phedre definitely has her work cut out for her in this book!

Once again, we are told the story through Phedre’s eyes. She was raised in the Court of the Night Blooming flowers and being subservient and unseen (expect maybe as a pretty plaything) comes easily to her. She polished off her training in Anafiel Delaunay’s house where she learned history, politics, languages, and how to think in a rational manner. Both served her well in Book 1 and they do so again in Book 2. Yet this journey she comes to understand her powers a bit more – her will power to live, her ability to forgive, her strength to deny Melisande. That which yields, is not always weak (a quote from Kushiel’s Dart).

There were two interesting themes that twined throughout the novel: loyalty and grief. Again and again, we see Phedre and other characters having to figure out where their loyalties really lie – with queen and country? To the deities they serve? To family? I think Joscelin struggled the most with this one. Grief made an interesting thread throughout the book. What is a mortal’s grief compared to the grief of a goddess? How do you mourn the passing of something not of a physical nature, such as friendship or love? These were some big ideas to contemplate even as my mind was fully engaged in the day to day decisions of the characters.

This time through, I listened to the book as part of a read along. It was a great experience and let me see things about the book I had not seen before. For instance, I had not really noticed before that Phedre is, on occasion, a little bit of a snob. Now I see it in small things and I see how it ties to her upbringing and culture. This in turn let’s me see it in other Terre D’Ange characters. And this leads to a nuanced part of the plot of this book – how Terre D’Ange has been a bit xenophobic towards other cultures for too long and it has cost them in the larger arena of politics. This book (and the entire series) is awesome because you can reread it and take something new away each time.

As with Kushiel’s Dart, there is also plenty of sex and it is told in just as much detail as the rest of the story. You may blush a bit. The sex scenes serve to show certain aspects of the characters involved or to move the plot forward. I never feel that space is wasted on these scenes. Plus, some of them are rather educational in and of themselves. ;)

As with Book 1, I was completely swept up into Phedre’s world once again. Jacqueline Carey makes great use of languages to round out a culture. If you’re a bit of a linguistics geek, you will love this aspect of the series. It’s a rich world, a devilishly intriguing plot, and characters you will never forget. Reading it the 7th time was just as good as reading it the first time.

The Narration: Anne Flosnik is once again the voice of Phedre, and a great fit she is too! Phedre’s voice is how we experience the story and, hence, Phedre’s emotions come through the loudest. Flosnik did a great job imbuing the characters with emotions, but especially, Phedre. My heart broke and soared for her multiple times throughout the tale! The linguistics keep piling up in this series and Flosnik met the challenge magnificnetly. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Oct 11, 2015 |
In the second book of this Trilogy we continue with the political intrigue following the young queen of Terre d’Ange. The people love her but there are some who feel another should wear the crown.

Phèdre has once again stumbled onto a plot that threatens her homeland from an old enemy and she goes in search of her. There is treachery and Phèdre is betrayed and has to survive and thwart an assassination threat by her wits. This includes figuring out how the assassination is going to take place.

We are again reminded of Phèdre’s beauty, resourcefulness and how she is born to experience pain as pleasure by every time she melts when a certain person gets near. We also get an overwhelming dose of Phèdre’s self pity, all the people who have died because of her and how guilty she feels. She also treats Jocelyn horribly and feels guilty about it, but doesn’t change her behavior.

Something else that bothers me is the way Phèdre just shrugs off being raped as the inevitable consequence of being a courtesan. If you can ignore all this and concentrate on the plot line you would probably feel this is well written, however it could have been a much shorter book without all the guilt trips, and constant repetitions. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I enjoyed this trilogy, although I waited too long before reviewing it, and they have all flowed together in my brain ( )
  atreic | Jul 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jacqueline Careyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Aan al mijn vrienden, familie of niet, ver weg en nabij, om hun begrip voor mijn worsteling, hun vergeving van mijn gebrek aan tijd, de ruimte en vrijheid die ze me gaven, de vreugde (en joie) die ze met me deelden, het vragen, het luisteren, de geschreven en toegestuurde notities, de avonden op de veranda, de gedronken champagne en uitgesproken heilwensen, voor het lezen, voor het laten uitwieken van de vleugels van het verhaal, voor het doorvertellen: bedankt. Duizendmaal bedankt!
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No one would deny that I have known hardship in my time, brief though it has been for all that I have done in it.
A steady breeze blew at our backs, and the ships leapt forward like winged creatures, plunging buoyantly over the deep-blue waves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
ollowing hard on the heels of Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey's spectacular debut novel, comes Kushiel's Chosen, a glittering and riveting historical fantasy.

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It is said that the angels found the land and saw it was good, and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye and sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with a very special mission--and the first to recognize her for who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.
Phèdre has trained in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Having stumbled upon a plot that threatened the very foundations of her homeland, she gave up almost everything she held dear to save it. She survived, and lived to have others tell her story, and if they embellished the tale with fabric of mythical splendor, they weren't far off the mark.

The hands of the gods weigh heavily upon Phèdre's brow, and they are not yet done with their charge--for while the young queen who sits upon the throne is well loved by the people, there are those who believe that other heads should wear the crown. And those who escaped the wrath of the mighty are not yet done with their schemes for power and revenge. To protect and serve, Phèdre will once again leave her beloved homeland.

From the sun-drenched villas of La Serenissima to the wilds of old Hellas, from a prison designed to drive the very gods mad to an island of immutable joy. Phèdre will meet old friends and new enemies and discover a plot so dreadful as to make the earth tremble, masterminded by the one person she cannot turn away from.
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When she stumbles on a plot that threatens the very foundation of her homeland, Phdre must once again leave her beloved homeland and give up almost everything she holds dear to save it.

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