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Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy) (edition 2007)

by Jacqueline Carey

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2,175412,985 (4.09)46
Member:sidhevicious
Title:Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy)
Authors:Jacqueline Carey
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 976 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:TBR, Fantasy

Work details

Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey

  1. 20
    Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Series begins here.
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the world the author created and I was thrilled to find that she's continued to write about it. As some of the other reviewers commented, I also ended up caring about Imriel as much as I did about Phèdre in the first trilogy. ( )
  Susanna.Dilliott | Apr 23, 2014 |
Summary: Imriel de la Courcel has been through much darkness in his young life. Born the son of Melisande Shahrizai, Terre d'Ange's most hated traitor; raised as a temple orphan; kidnapped and sold into the darkest and most degrading slavery imaginable; then finally rescued by Phèdre and Joscelin, two of Terre D'Ange's fiercest and most-loved champions. Imriel has been formally recognized as a Prince of the Blood by Queen Ysandre, third in line for the throne after her own daughters. But he is not trusted, and except for Phèdre and her household, he is surrounded both by people who would prefer to see him dead because of his mother's tainted bloodline, and by those who would use him as the center of their plots to restore the throne to one of pure D'Angeline blood. But apart from these external machinations, Imriel must struggle with his own internal conflicts. Torn by dark desires and haunted by the horrible events of his past, he must find out for himself who he is, and how he can accomplish his greatest aim: to overcome the darkness within himself, and to be good.

Review: I have been struggling to write this review, rather than just pouring out a page's worth of "Aaaaaaaah ohmygods you guys this book is so good and Carey is amazing and aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh SO GOOD!" So I will try to quiet down the squeeing fangirl in my head long enough to get my thoughts about this book into coherent order, but rest assured, she's definitely still in there.

The three things I love most about Carey's books, and the Kushiel series in particular, are her characters, her writing, and her world. So I'm going to start with that last one, even though it's less important than the other two in terms of my overall enjoyment, because it's what drew me back into this series. I read the first three Kushiel books at about this time last year, but I'd left Kushiel's Scion sitting on the TBR shelf, mostly because my time available for reading has dropped dramatically in 2013, and I was leery of starting another trilogy of chunksters, even though I knew I'd love them. But then August rolled around, and maybe it was the time of year, I don't know, but I found myself craving Terre d'Ange. And so despite my limited reading time, despite the imminent start of a new semester, I dove in, and oh my goodness, it felt like coming home. I love Terre d'Ange, love its love of beauty, and of desire, and of love itself, and I was able to slip back into Carey's world as if I'd never been away. The first half of the book is not particularly action-packed - it's much more of Imriel growing up, and coming to terms with himself and his place in D'Angeline society - but I did not care in the slightest, I was so happy just to be immersed in Carey's world again. In the second half of the book, Imriel goes to Tiberium, and the pace of the plot picks up a bit, and while I certainly enjoyed that part of the story as well, there's just something special about Terre d'Ange.

Imriel going to Tiberium also meant an influx of new characters, as well as the absence of many familiar ones - most particularly, Phèdre and Joscelin. I love Imriel as a narrator - he's fascinated me and broken my heart ever since he first showed up in Kushiel's Avatar - and he's as exquisitely drawn as I've come to expect from Carey's characters. But at the same time, Phèdre and Joscelin will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will admit that the parts of this book that made me the most teary-eyed always involved them, and their love for each other, and for Imriel.

(That said, as much as I love Phèdre, I don't understand why she's on the cover of what is clearly Imriel's book. Were they worried that fans of the first trilogy wouldn't buy a book without her on the cover?)

All of this, of course, my love for the characters and the place and the story and the book as a whole, flows primarily from Carey's gorgeous writing. Her prose is lush and lovely and descriptive and evocative and resonant. It reminds me quite a bit of Guy Gavriel Kay's writing, actually; not that their stylings are necessarily similar (although in some ways they are), but they both have a way of crafting scenes and characters so that something that should be minor becomes rich and emotionally powerful and resonant to where it just catches you right in the gut and takes your breath away.

So, in short: Aaaaaaaaaaaah SO GOOD! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Imriel does a good job of summarizing the pertinent events of his past, so I don't think readers that started with this book would be totally lost, per se... but this book is infinitely richer for having read about those events first hand, plus the Phèdre trilogy is so amazing that I can't recommend anyone start anywhere but at the beginning. The series as a whole, though, gets my highest recommendation for anyone who likes complex and mature epic fantasy. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Sep 8, 2013 |
Kushiel's Scion didn't blow me away as much as the first trilogy did. That partly has to do with the fact that it's a sequel -- it takes place in a pre-created world that takes more and more from the real world. Tiberium is so obviously Rome, and Rome is so well known an era and place, that it loses a lot of the creative magic that came with, say, Terre D'Ange or Skaldia. A lot of the creativity that blew me away has been done, and also the characters that I fell so much in love with in the first trilogy are not so much in evidence, giving way to a new generation.

Having said that, Kushiel's Scion seems more accessible than the first trilogy, really. Imriel is less of a "Mary Sue" than Phèdre in some ways, since he isn't as perfect at anything and he isn't chosen by a god, and nor is he a Joscelin. In some ways, for both the reader and the world he's written in, Imriel himself is eclipsed by the shadows of his real and his foster parents, and must prove himself. That's a pretty familiar story, even with the addition of his childhood traumas that must be overcome.

It's also more accessible because there is much less BDSM sex. In this first book at least, there is only one scene I can recall, although Imriel does have desires in that direction. There is sex, but thus far it's been more or less tame and mostly to do with healing.

The storylines in this book are interesting. Imriel's growth is an obvious one, and his attempts to heal from what happened to him when he was younger. I also found Eamonn's little character arc interesting, and I like him a lot as a character, although I can't imagine he's going to find his Skaldic bride again quite so easily. Lucius' subplot, with the possession by his ancestor, is another interesting one, and it's fun to see the different kinds of magic woven into this world. His relationship with Imriel is also sweet and a little hurty, and I wish there was more of it. The plot with Claudia is fun because of what you learn about Delaunay and his past, and about the Unseen Guild, but I didn't like her as a character.

Canis is an intriguing character and perhaps I wasn't quite on my toes, but I didn't see the connection to Melisande until I was very late on. There are only the most tantalising hints at what Melisande might be doing, but I'm sure more on that will come later.

Thus far, then, I'm enjoying the second trilogy. It could always do with more Phèdre, Joscelin and Hyacinthe, but everything could do with more characters like them. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Re-read.

Number 4 in the Kushieline saga. I'm hooked, completely. Carey's a good writer, I buy the premise, and I care about the people and their Byzantine intrigues. Hell, after 4 books this size, I know these folks as well as I know some of my own family members. In this book, Carey changes viewpoints from Phedre to Imriel, and I found the switch to be done well. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Imriel is a much less entertaining narrator than Phedre, but the plot is as exciting as always. ( )
  oldflame | Apr 6, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jacqueline Careyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044661002X, Mass Market Paperback)

Imriel de la Courcel's birth parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies...and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his mother, Melisande, who nearly destroyed the entire realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother's irresistible allure...and her dangerous gifts. As he comes of age, plagued by unwanted desires, Imriel shares their fears. When a simple act of friendship traps Imriel in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess and where a dead man leads an army, the Prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:46 -0400)

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"The saga of Imriel de al Courcel, born third in line for the throne of Terre d'Ange, and gifted with the ability to deliver pain and to exploit others' faults"--Provided by the publisher.

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