Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.3

Today is week No.3 of our readalong for Kushiel’s Chosen.  This week our host is Allie at Tethyan Books.  As you would expect – spoilers lurk below – so beware.  All welcome, if you want to join the readalong or jump in with comments then please do so (here is the SCHEDULE).  Questions and answers below.

1. Do you think Joscelin might have really considered using the “terminus” in the fight between the Unforgiven and the Yeshuites? How deep do you think his loyalty to the Yeshuite people goes, and why do you think he feels so driven to arm, train and protect them?

I don’t think he was considering the terminus to be honest.  I thought his explanation to Phedre sounded reasonable.

I admit this whole issue with the Yeshuites puzzles me very much – other than that he seems to have found a new cause which also seems to be something that he needs himself – I’m not sure where it all came from but clearly it’s something he’s totally thrown himself into.

2. What do think of the differences between the culture of La Serenissima and the City of Elua, and the differences in how they conduct their political intrigue?  Who would you favor for the next Doge?

I suppose La Serenissima is based on Venice so the differences don’t surprise me really.  The fighting for example put me in mind of performances of Romeo and Juliet where the Montagus and Capulets fight in the street – did anybody else have that imagery running through their heads.  In that respect I’m therefore guessing that the people of Serenissima are very passionate, they probably talk and argue quite loudly, they like to parade of an evening, they’re probably very ostentatious in their enjoyment – be so whatever that may be, they’re basically passionate about everything.  I love it.  They’re very different from the people of Elua who to a certain extent in this world seem very relaxed by comparison. I literally don’t have the first notion who would be the next Doge.

3. What do you think of Phedre’s plan to play along with Severio’s romancing?  Do you think he is approaching the matter with more sincerity than his parents?

I find it really quite sweet to be honest – he seems to be totally sincere and it’s very touching.  It’s also interesting to see how Phedre responds – thinking about it, she’s never been courted before so it’s really something of a novelty for her.  I bet she’s never even considered being courted by a potential suitor.  It’s quite a fascinating aspect of the story and makes you stop in your tracks and realise just how very different Phedre’s life has been so far.

4. There is a lot of fortune-telling in this section, from the Oracle in the temple to the astrologer.  What do you make of the Oracle’s answer to Phedre?  Why do you think the astrologer killed himself, and do you think he would he have been able to lead them to Melisande?

The Oracle’s answer was one of those answers that I kind of expected.  In other words I have no idea what it means and it’s vague enough to make it appear to be real when anything happens in the future.  I loved the observation that of course you find something in the last place you look!  It made me have a proper giggle (also because I was reading it in a different way – I was taking it more that Phedre will not think of the place to look until a last resort – even so, it’s still true, once you find something you do stop looking!  Still funny even now.  I can’t believe that the astrologer killed himself – it’s like a self fulfilling prophecy – he predicted his own death if he crossed Melisande and so decided to kill himself so that couldn’t happen.  Quite bizarre really.

5. Joscelin and Phedre meet a couple who have made compromises in order to build a happy life together.  What do you think of their family, and does their example give any hope for Phedre and Joscelin’s future?

There’s is a puzzling relationship and it will be interesting to see how it moves forward.  I admit that I really like the character Joscelin and I would be very sad to see him leave these stories so I seriously hope that they can find a way.  But, all that being said, could I be any more chilled out about what he’s going through – probably not.  It’s a big ask really to love somebody but to watch them go and have these assignations with others.  I guess it boils down to the difference between making love and having sex and whether Joscelin can see it in that way.

The other participants are below – check out their answers too:

Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Nancy at FaeStruck’s Reviews & More
James at James T. Witherspoon
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan at Dab of Darkness

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6 Responses to “Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.3”

  1. nrlymrtl

    Those street fights, and even just the exchange of insults, made me think of Romeo and Juliet too.

    I too commented on how Phedre has never been courted so far. To this point, she hasn’t seriously considered Severio as a suitor, but now that she is experiencing all these little niceties, and being wanted not just for an assignation or long term plaything but for a marriage, seems to be setting her heart pitter-pattering.

    It’s not just Phedre going off on assignations. It’s also that Joscelin refuses to satisfy certain cravings she has. He’s a decent lover and all, maybe spectacular for certain acts. But he refuses to take flog or pincers or flechettes to Phedre. So that craving can only be satisfied through her assignations.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think it’s quite touching that Phedre is being courted – I hope it doesn’t all go really badly. I wonder how much patience Severio actually has.
      Lynn 😀

  2. tethyanbooks

    I’m glad I’m not the only one a bit puzzled by his dedication to the Yeshuites. I think I agree with what some of the participants have been saying, that he needs to feel needed. I’m not sure I understand why he chose this particular cause, though. I’m hoping he talks about it in the future.

    I don’t think I could handle being with someone who goes on sexual assignations with lots of other people, either. Even if Joscelin agreed to do BDSM, though, I don’t think it would be super great for Phedre. Part of sex is both people enjoying it, and I don’t think he would.

    • lynnsbooks

      Exactly – Joscelin, I think, would be mortified if he had to go down the BDSM route! It just doesn’t feel like it’s him at all and at the end of the day both of them need to be enjoying themselves.

  3. emmawolf

    I just thought of this while reading your post, I almost think Joscelin *needs* Severio to court Phedre, in a way. Like maybe his jealousy will help him realize that he loves her and needs her.

    • lynnsbooks

      What a most excellent point! I never thought of that.
      Lynn 😀

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