Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.7

Today is the seventh week in our readalong of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart.  Week seven is being hosted by Susan at Dab of Darkness.  The questions and answers for week No.7 are below.  If you haven’t read this book already be aware of spoilers in the following text.  If you have read and want to jump in with your own answers then please do so.  If you want to join in with the readalong then leave a comment – the details are here.

Chapters 55-63 are covered below:

1) What do you think of the over all connection between the Casseline Brotherhood and the Yeshuites? Are you happy with where the shaggy pony ended up?

Mmm, I must admit that I hadn’t really picked up on this when I read – other than the family were great for helping Phedre and Joscelin.  I liked the family, the way they interacted and the way they wanted to do even more than they already had.  Clearly the connection is strong and respectful and, yes, I loved that the pony found a good home.  It made me smile.

2) Phedre & Hyacinthe have a happy reunion. What do you make of Joscelin’s reaction? Do you miss Hyacinthe’s mother?

Well, I think Joscelin still doesn’t know what to think about everything if I’m being honest.  He clearly wants to be with Phedre and I suppose as a reader it looks obvious the way they feel but you can’t blame them both for feeling conflicted.  There is bound to be a bit of jealousy don’t you think?  I do miss Hyacinthe’s mum – she only had a small role but she always made an impact.

3) Yet another happy reunion occurs with Thelesis de Mornay, the King’s Poet, who gets them in to see the Dauphine, Ysandre.  Do you think there was another way to seek her audience? Such an intense meeting! What stood out the most for you?

No, I think that the way they sought the audience was effective to be honest.  They were in a very precarious position and getting about, and, more to the point given what they’ve been through, trusting people, wasn’t easy. The thing that struck me the most with the meeting was that Ysandre really didn’t want to believe them – not because she ‘didn’t want to believe them’ but because she really didn’t want it to be true.  I think that really brought home the full impact of what is really going to happen – and it also underlined how young she is to have such a weight placed on her shoulders and yet she’s stepping up to it admirably.

4) Phedre makes a trip to the temple of Kushiel to make atonement. Do you agree that she had things to atone for?

To be honest – no, I don’t think she had anything to atone for.  I can understand that she almost feels guilt in a sense – but she is what she is.  Maybe she still hasn’t completely come to terms with her true self yet?  I think that the way she behaved in captivity helped to save both her and Joscelin.  she never posed a threat.  She appeared meek and subservient and in that way she was allowed much more freedom.

5) After King Ganelon’s death, at the hunting lodge we learn some more politics. What stood out for you? We learned more about the Picti and the prophesy. Should the fate of Terre D’Ange be resting, even partially, on the validity of a prophesy of love and union?

Maybe I’m a bit soft but i actually liked this aspect of the story a lot. it has a feeling of hope somehow.  Whether it will pan out remains to be seen, and, yes, it feels a little like skating on thin ice, but it’s one of those feel good elements to a story.

6) The Casseline Prefect forbids Joscelin from serving Phedre as protector as she travels to the Pictish lands. Joscelin had to make a hard choice: did he make the right one?

Yes, he made the right choice.  He undertook to protect Phedre and they’ve been through so much together that I just can’t see him giving her up to somebody else’s protection now.  The only thing that did occur to me reading that scene was that to an extent I wished that Phedre had spoken up for Joscelin – by which I mean I wish that she had said he was important to her, or, if she was going to take the mission she would want him to accompany her.

7) Hyacinthe comes up with the plan to get them to the coast and meet with Royal Admiral Quintilius Rousse. Do you like the fake IDs? Do you think they will make it unscathed?

I love this part of the story with Hyacinthe becoming more involved.  I think he’s come up with a great idea, it’s something I absolutely didn’t see coming at all and so hopefully nobody else will!  I think they will encounter trouble along the way but that’s to be expected in a way.

8) Hyacinthe meets his grandfather, Manoj, for the first time. Happy? Sad? How do you feel about how his mother was cast out?

I felt so sorry for Hyacinthe’s mum for what happened – and also for Hyacinthe because let’s not forget that he was also affected and separated from his own people.  I really enjoyed seeing Hyacinthe being accepted during these scenes, but at the end of the day even though these are his people he’s never been a part of their lives and he has other loyalties now.  It did make me feel sad for her and had a bitter sweet feeling.

That’s it for me this week – looking forward to picking it back up tbh.  Sorry for the lateness and if this is a bit brief – I’ve been away all weekend but wanted to get this up.

Other participants:

Allie at Tethyan Books
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures (our host this week_
Lauren at Violin in a Void
Celine at Nyx Book Reviews
Jenn at Morrison Girl
Igret at Igret’s Corner
Michael at Nashville Book Worm
Kheya at Not Food Porn
Emma at EmmaMaree.com
Nancy at FaeStruck’s Reviews & More
Kelly at Orange Pekoe Reviews
James at James T. Witherspoon
Susan at Dab of Darkness
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6 Responses to “Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.7”

  1. nrlymrtl

    Phedre’s inner monologue goes over the Casseline-Yeshuite connection pretty quickly. It explains why Joscelin knows a bit of the Yeshuite language.

    I really felt for Ysandre in that moment when she admits out loud, to both Phedre and herself, that this is really going down. Yet more treason and an imminent invasion. Sucks.

    I agree with you about Phedre’s actions being useful instead of shameful during their captivity. I know Gunter got an ego boost from her pleasure. I assume Selig did as well. And what man won’t let his guard down around those who give him an ego boost? It’s human nature.

    Part of me wanted Phedre to speak up too and let Joscelin know he was wanted on her new quest. But I think she held back because she wanted him to be free to make that choice without her pushing him.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – you have to have a bit of sympathy for Ysandre – she’s going to have a LOT to put up with.
      I can absolutely understand why Phedre didn’t speak up, I really can, but I still just so wanted her to do so – or say something.
      Lynn 😀

  2. James T. Witherspoon

    I completely agree about Ysandre not wanting to believe Phedre because she was afraid of the truth. It’s such a power scene in what could have been very cliche.

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought Phedre DID say that if she was going to to the mission that she wanted Joscelin to accompany her?

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh, did she – I must have missed that – what a maniac I am! But, if she did say something then I’m glad.
      The scene with Ysandre was a great piece of reading – it really brought things home in a very simple way – the terrors of war!
      Lynn 😀

  3. tethyanbooks

    I hadn’t really picked up on the Casseline-Yeshuite link either (Susan pointed it out to me, too).

    I also kind of think that Phèdre maybe didn’t speak up because she wanted to make sure she didn’t influence Joscelin’s decision. I would have liked to see her defend him a bit, though, and say that she needed him.

    On Ysandre’s Alban prince, I guess I am not expecting hopes to pan out in this book anymore :). It would be a surprisingly happy conclusion if all of that worked out well in the end. Maybe it will!

    • lynnsbooks

      Haha – I think we’ve all come to realise that Ms Carey can also be ruthless with her characters – it’s a good ploy though, it means you don’t relax into complacency.
      I know why Phedre didn’t say anything (although James thinks she may have?) – I thought that she thought that Joscelin would be her only choice of protectors. It would have been nice if she had said something although that being said it would have been taken amiss by the Prefect!
      Lynn 😀

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