Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.6

Posted On 7 February 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 7 responses

559172Today is week six 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 Susan over at Dab of Darkness is our lovely host.  The schedule and other participants are listed below.  Go check them out.  To the Q&A:

1) Imriel spends a night on the island of Asclepius. Do you agree with Imriel that his nature is to be cruel? Do you think of Imriel as a stunted tree reaching for the light?

No, I don’t think he’s cruel at all.  He’s certainly moody and definitely inclined to brooding but I think that given his background he has good reason.  Look at the way he is with Alais – he’s so good with her and always has been.  I think he under estimates himself – or has a downer on himself sometimes. I like the stunted tree description – although it does actually sound a bit cruel I suppose.  It does feel that Imriel’s past has stopped his own emotional growth and happiness for a while – or at least had a large impact on it and so in that respect I suppose you could say he’s striving for the light.

2) Imriel makes a good go of breaking things off with Claudia. However, throughout this section we have seen how the spark between them is not yet doused. What do you think of Imriel’s lingering desires? Is Claudia telling the truth about her own desires? 

Well, I suppose that was never going to be quite as easy as Imriel would have liked!  Claudia isn’t exactly a shrinking violet and I didn’t think she’d just calmly accept Imriel’s attempt at spurning her!  At the end of the day, let’s just be honest, they both just fancy the pants off each other!  They’re not in love, as Imriel said – but those passionate feelings they both seem to have – well, I don’t suppose they’re quite as easily doused as Imriel thought.

3) Imriel reveals his full identity to Lucius and he learns of the legend of the Bella Donna, based on his own mother. Clever, intentional legend building by Melisande, or a fanciful story that built up over time or was borrowed from another legend? 

I’m not sure if that was all cleverness on Melisande’s part – it’s possible that rumours began and then developed (in fact we already knew that rumours were starting from previous chapters when Melisande was still under the protection of sanctuary) but I certainly don’t think Melisande would try to dissuade any of the rumours from gaining a hold.  I guess people would have sympathy for her with these rumours so it’s a good way of turning people’s opinion around.

4) All is not well at the city of Luca. Helena has been kidnapped. The ghosts of the dead walk among the living. Lucius is possessed by his warlord ancestor Gallus Thaddeus. What do you think of this harsh man/ghost? 

I was absolutely gob smacked by this element of the story.  I really didn’t see it coming at all and it felt, well, comparatively with the rest of the book, almost a little rushed – but that’s not to say I was disliking it at all.  It felt like Imriel was finally getting his wish for some adventure.  I felt so sorry for Helena – in fact I was really irritated by the way she was treated!  I’m fascinated by the whole possession element and reading about Lucius strutting around like a badass!  I’m not sure how this character is going to get on – in one respect Luca really needs his focus and control – in another, I wonder how they’re ever going to get rid of this character or see Lucius return!

5) When Imri and crew return to the Thaddeus Villa with the injured Gilot, Imriel ponders the wonder of women. ‘The courage of women is different than the courage of men.’ Do you agree? 

Well, speaking personally I’m a bit of a raging wimp – but, that being said I think women tend to take a very pragmatic and straightforward approach to things when they’re set on a certain course!  I don’t know whether I’d say the courage is different necessarily – after all, Brigita took part in the defence of the city and then we had Imriel rushing in to save Helena.  They all showed courage didn’t they – and poor Gilot.  I must say that I wondered if Gilot was going to meet a bad ending during it all – particularly once he’d been dispatched to the tower.  I can’t say I was surprised but even so it felt very sad.

6) With the city under siege, an older mystery pops up with the arrival of Canis. Why do you think Imriel held his tongue and only told Eamonn? 

Again, I wasn’t surprised by Canis turning up.  I don’t know whether he’s there to help or hinder Imriel but I suspect the former.  I didn’t really buy his beggar in a barrel routine in fact it feels a little like he’s there to protect Imriel somehow.  Who might have enlisted him to do so is a whole other question though!  At the end of the day Imriel certainly has enemies – but he also has a number of people who are very concerned to keep him alive – not least of all his own mother!  I thought that Canis was probably also the saviour on the evening of the riots but I guess time will tell in that respect.

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

7 Responses to “Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.6”

  1. emmawolf

    I agree with you about Melisande and the Bella Donna. I don’t think she made up the legend, but I think she knew she’d benefit from it’s spread.

  2. nrlymrtl

    I also think Imriel underestimates himself. He is excellent with Alais but he also has no inclination to bed her. I think he is afraid that he won’t be able to have a full sexual relationship without at least the occasional cruelty in the bedroom.

    I agree – Melisande wouldn’t have stopped any rumors that cast her in a good light. Emily on her blog brought up the good point about Melisande avoiding blasphemy. So is this legend of the Bella Donna blasphemy (if Melisande had an active hand in shaping it) because people pray to her?

    When I first read this book, I too was so surprised with the city under siege and Gallus Thaddeus and Helena being kidnapped and then stolen back. Imriel’s life has changed in such a short amount of time.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I kind of see Imriel and Alais almost as brother and sister and I love the way he is so kind to her.
      Melisande – that’s a really good point. I’m sure she’s thought of it though and has found a loophole – I guess she can just deny all knowledge of the rumour – she can’t help people praying to her – and it does do her some good doesn’t it – people feel sympathetic towards her after all.
      Gallus Thaddeus – so unusual. I thought i’d missed something almost!
      Lynn 😀

  3. tethyanbooks

    Sorry for the late commenting! I was really surprised by the kidnapping as well, that’s not the direction I thought things would go. Your comments on Canis have me thinking, it does seem like he keeps an eye on Imriel’s safety. I wonder if he’s affiliated with Melisande in some way?

    • tethyanbooks

      I meant, the whole kidnapping/possession storyline, not just the kidnapping.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Never thought of that – Canis could be linked to Melisande – what a great idea! I was kind of thinking that he was there keeping an eye on Imriel – he certainly had opportunity to harm him but didn’t. I don’t suppose hiring somebody to protect Imriel is Phedre or Joscelin’s way? Or maybe it is – but, definitely, I could see Melisande doing so.
      Lynn 😀

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