Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.5

559172Today is week five of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.

If you’re interested in joining the readalong the details and other participants are below.  Feel free to join in with the comments and obviously, if you haven’t read this series but are intending to do so please be aware of spoilers – because they’re running amok below

This week I’m hosting.  Now, to the Q&A:


1. Firstly, what do you make of The Guild and why do you think Anafiel declined to join them.  Do you think Imriel should join them?

Well, I liked Anafiel and the fact that he declined to join the Guild makes me wonder whether Imriel’s getting involved in something that he shouldn’t.  The jury’s out for me with the Guild so far – I can’t see anything to be gained by Imriel for example.  And the whole thing with the student riots was a bit of an eye opener with Claudia telling Imriel to take care before she thought to tell her own brother.  I don’t know, I think Imriel wants to be part of something so badly that he maybe isn’t thinking about what’s actually the best thing.  The Guild, well, they obviously want to recruit people who are in a position to help them and certainly Imriel could do that.  And, they’re literally trying to seduce him into their fold.  So far, I can’t say I have an overwhelmingly good impression of them.

2. We have the philosophical debates – how do you think these are going to play a part in the story overall, if at all?

I like this aspect of the story.  It’s interesting to see the students, who all come from such different backgrounds, discussing things together.  I thought the discussion about war and the impacts that the Skaldi war had on them all was really interesting to read about.  Brigitta made an interesting point about the Skaldi just wanting to improve themselves, but it made me think of all our discussions during the Skaldi war – if you want to improve then you have to do it yourself, not just take what somebody else has achieved.  It was interesting to see Brigitta try to defend that stance.  I thought Eamonn was great during that discussion – in fact he’s really growing on me! I feel a book boyfriend in the making…

3. Claudia – what do you make of her.  Do you trust her?

I don’t really trust Claudi to be honest.  At the moment it feels like Imriel is very much in lust with her, and I admit I quite like this side of him, he feels like he’s developing, letting out some of his frustration, anger and becoming more comfortable.  Things are certainly changing very quickly for him at the moment.  I don’t know – this whole Guild is very dodgy and Claudia feels just like the tip of the iceberg.  I certainly wouldn’t turn my back on her – I don’t think any of her feelings for others run very deep.  She comes across as fickle tbh.

4. We have lots of possible attempts on Imri’s life, even going so far as to start a student riot – and his own attempts to bring these to a stop.  What do you make to all of it?

It’s very puzzling for me to be honest and I’m hoping that somebody else can shed some light on it all as the drama and attempts have certainly been stepped up!  It feels a little bit as though things are escalating quite quickly now, almost as though whoever is behind the attempts is becoming desperate – I’m not sure what’s behind that desperation, is it because Melisande is out and about?  It feels like things are reaching going to reach a head.

5. Two particular characters that I find intriguing are Canis and Piero.  What were your first impressions and how do they differ now?

Canis is very intriguing.  There feels like there’s a lot more to him than is currently being shared with us.  It seems a strange coincidence that his barrel found it’s way to being positioned directly outside their residence.  I can’t help wondering whether he’s keeping an eye on Imriel.  He’s either protecting him – and certainly somebody seems to be doing so, dispatching bodies with efficiency – or he’s spying on him.  I quite like him as a character so I’m hoping that he’s there to help Imri.  Piero – I don’t feel like we’re finding out as much about him as I would like to at the moment.  I enjoy his time with the students but Imri seems to skip a lot of class doesn’t he!  He took a chance on Imri and at the moment I don’t think Imri is quite repaying that.

That’s it for me this week.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Prologue-chpt. 11, post on Sunday Jan 3rd, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 12-19, Jan 10th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 3: Chpts. 20-27, Jan 17th, hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 4: Chpts. 28-36, Jan  24th, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 5: Chpts. 37-44, Jan 31st, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 6: Chpts. 45-52, Feb 7th, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 7: Chpts. 53-60,  Feb 14th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 8: Chpt. 61-End, Feb 21st, hosted by Emma Wolf

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan at Dab of Darkness


12 Responses to “Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.5”

  1. emmawolf

    “And the whole thing with the student riots was a bit of an eye opener with Claudia telling Imriel to take care before she thought to tell her own brother.”

    I can’t remember exactly how this all unfolded. I never do these posts with the book in front of me! Is it possible that she couldn’t find Lucius? Or that she trusted Imriel to warn Lucius? Or that she didn’t want Lucius to ask her too many questions?

    “Brigitta made an interesting point about the Skaldi just wanting to improve themselves, but it made me think of all our discussions during the Skaldi war – if you want to improve then you have to do it yourself, not just take what somebody else has achieved. It was interesting to see Brigitta try to defend that stance.”

    I joined the readalong late, so I missed all this. Thanks for the recap.

    I do wonder more about the Skaldi point of view. Someone said, either Imriel or Eamonn, that Selig was mislead by the greed of a D’Angeline. I wonder, were they told that D’Angelines had been raiding their borders and that they had to invade to show the D’Angleines they mean business? (I should reread Dart….)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I like your idea that maybe Claudia wouldn’t want Lucius to ask questions – I hadn’t considered that. I think she sent somebody else to find him but she didn’t seem overly concerned about whether they’d found him or not. I don’t think Claudia seems to form really strong attachments – she seems more all about the ‘Claudia’ show. Time will tell though.
      You’re right of course – Selig was misled by you know who, but I think he was already set on his course, there was a big hullabaloo about him being the first Skaldi to unite them all and he definitely hankered after the sort of civilised world that the D’Angelines enjoyed, but, even if the Skaldi invasion had been a success they wouldn’t have been able to maintain that civilisation in it’s current form because it’s not part of who they were. It feels like Selig just thought he could go to war and make the Skaldi’s become this super civilised society overnight (which is a contradiction in terms anyway) and a society doesn’t really become civilised by conquering another society – it’s a very long and drawn out process of adaptation – which is why I love this sort of discussion!
      Lynn 😀

      • emmawolf

        I really need to reread Dart to remember what it was about Skaldia that was so uncivilized. Here, they say that women in Skaldia had more freedoms or better standing than they did in Caerdicca Unitas. I think it might be organization?

      • @lynnsbooks

        I think it comes down to an opinion on what matters in life to different people. The Skaldi didn’t seem unhappy with their lives – except I think Selig wanted more and perhaps that was because he was more widely travelled. The Skaldi kind of put me in mind of early vikings. They had a very forthright way of dealing with their issues – such as hand to hand combat for disagreements. They ate simple, lived simple, their homes were fairly basic, probably not lovers of art or literature for example – in fact (but I’m probably wrong) I don’t think most of them could read – doesn’t really make a difference to them either way and they didn’t seem to feel the loss of it – but Selig wanted more. I actually think they thought the D’Angeline’s were uncivilised in some respects – I’d love to be able to remember but I’m sure there was a part after Phedre was first captive with the Skaldi that the Skaldi thought the D’Angeline’s were pretty uncivilised! In fact they thought the war would be easy and the D’Angelines would become their slaves at the conclusion.

      • emmawolf

        There’s a lot I don’t know about the Vikings. I know that there appear to be a lot of stereotypes about them. I’m thinking about the How to Train Your Dragon books, which I’m reading to my kid and I kind of hate, and that sort of thing They show Vikings as being these big, stupid, fighting all the time, don’t love their kids people. And I just can’t. These were the first Europeans in the Americas. I don’t really think they are as simple or barbaric as, well, at least the HTTYD series would have us believe. (And I know they never wore the horned helmets!)

        I think maybe Brigitta speaks to this. There’s nothing about her that strikes me as being uncivilized or barbaric (or at least, no more so than the cultures of Alba or Eire). But since the Skaldi haven’t built great universities and failed in their attempts to conquer their neighbors, to the victor belong the spoils. They don’t call Tiberium barbarians for their attempts at conquering.

      • @lynnsbooks

        You’re quite right. I’m absolutely not judging the Skaldi at all. They live their lives in the way they desire and they seemed very happy with their lives, and in terms of the way they treated their women, quite forward thinking. In terms of the Vikings I probably am stereotyping them (although not intentionally) I can’t pretend I know much of their history to be honest just what you pick up from books and tv! Although I really did enjoy the recent series – did you watch that??

      • emmawolf

        Which series do you mean? Are we still talking about How to Train Your Dragon? (Something tells me you moved on to more sophisticated media.) My kid watched Race to the Edge on Netflix and really liked it. I watched a few episodes with him.

      • @lynnsbooks

        No. There was a Series, very creatively called Vikings. It’s about to start season 4. I’m trying to remember who produced it but can’t. You’d find it on IMDb. I loved it although I tailed off towards the end of Season 3. It mainly follows Ragnor Lothbruk and his wife Lagertha. Lagertha is a great character. Not only is she a shield maiden who can totally kick ass but she leaves Ragnor when he takes another wife and eventually becomes Jarl herself in a different village. I have no idea how historically accurate it is but it was good to watch. And there were no horned helmets that I can recall.

      • emmawolf

        I will look for it! Thanks!

  2. tethyanbooks

    I think Claudia did tell him to get his friends off the streets, so maybe she assumed she had sent the message to her brother through Imriel? I am wondering what will happen to that friendship if/when he finds out Imriel is sleeping with his sister…

    The students’ interactions are my favorite part about the class sessions. I was thinking there for a minute that Imriel’s identity was going to be revealed when they were talking about the Skaldi invasion, but I really liked Eamonn’s explanation of how being a victor did not mean that one was not harmed by the war.

    About the attempts on Imriel’s life, I don’t know. I guess there have been enough assassination attempts and attempts to discredit him that I just assumed the current tries were just due to the opportunity (Imriel living insecurely in Tiberium with only one guard). Maybe something’s about to happen with Melisande, though?

  3. nrlymrtl

    Imriel definitely wants to be part of something greater and I’m hoping he doesn’t choose the Guild. He’s in a great position to pick what he wants to take up, whether marrying into Alban royalty or learning to raise Eire hedgehogs as pets exclusive to Terre D’Ange nobility.

    Yes! The philosophical debates have been very interesting. I can see how Brigitta wants to defend her culture and country, even defending somewhat the Skaldi invasion of Terre D’Ange. But there is a cost for everyone, not just the losers, not just the instigators.

    • @lynnsbooks

      This whole debate about invasion – there’s so much to it. It’s really interesting to hear the views of Imriel, Brigita and Eamonn on the subject.
      I think the Eire hedgehog idea is an absolute winner and relatively safe – other than a few prickly scars. 😀
      Lynn 😀

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