Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.8 (conclusion)

559172Today is the final chapter of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.

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 Emily at Emma Wolf is our lovely host.  The  participants are listed below.  Go check them out.  Now, to the Q&A:

1. Canis—did anyone come close to guessing his true identity or allegiance (to the extent to which we know of it)?

Well, I figured that Canis was keeping an eye out for Imriel, there were just too many coincidences and the only people who have a real interest in protecting him are either Phedre and Joscelin or Melisande.  I figured it was more Melisande’s style and also have the reasoning that she may still be thinking of using Imriel in her future plans somehow so if anything happens to him that would scupper her machinations!  Plus, I just don’t think it’s Phedre and Joscelin’s style.  They agreed to let him go and do his thing and I can’t imagine them seeking somebody to spy on him – even if it is to look out for his safety – I think they would respect his decision more than that.

2. There are lots of returns and leave takings in this portion. What do you think? Does anything stand out or strike you?

There is a lot going on in these chapters in that respect.  I suppose the first one was Lucius returning to his self.  It was interesting to hear his thoughts on what took place.  I was curious if all along he had any cognizance of what was going on and it was interesting that not only was he aware but he knew what Gallus was planning.  Gallus might not have been the nicest of characters but he certainly pulled out all the stops to protect the City.

Eamonn and Imriel leaving Lucca felt almost like an overwhelming relief.  Imriel keen to go home, Eamonn keen to reunite with his wife.  What it really brought home to me was the fact that this wasn’t their fight and yet they’d been entangled in it.

I really enjoyed Imriel’s homecoming – I almost felt as giddy as he must have been feeling to reunite with Phedre and Joscelin.  I guess I haven’t quite let go in that respect yet or maybe just not fully moved on.  It’s an odd feeling – I keep expecting the two of them to take over or make a dashing rescue.  I think the end of the story finally brought it home to me that these are truly going to be Imriel’s stories – which sounds kind of silly because of course I’m aware of that, it just hadn’t really struck home I guess.  I was thinking as we were reading that this book hasn’t been my favourite of the four we’ve read so far but then I realised that not only has Carey had to gently ease Imriel into the story, given his previous experiences, but she’s also had to gently move us, the readers, on as well so in that respect I think she’s done a great job. I think this was very cleverly achieved to be honest.  I feel like by the end of the story I’ve finally come to terms with moving on and accepting that Imriel is now taking the story forward but always with the awareness that Phedre and Joscelin will be there in the background – it’s a bit like moving out of your parents home isn’t it!

 3. Lots of upcoming weddings (Lucius and Helena, Imriel and Dorelei, Alais and Talorcan) and the (potential) reunion of Brigitta and Eamonn. Any thoughts on these?

I’m interested to meet Dorelei and Talorcan – I’m hoping that we’ll be returning to Alba for that and maybe as a separate storyline perhaps we’ll follow a little in Eamonn’s footsteps and have a return to Skaldia.  Those are my hopes.  Not really got any more thoughts on that at the moment though. It will be interesting to see how Melisande reacts – she might not want Imriel to marry Dorelei, she could have other plans completely after all!

4. How has Imriel changed and grown through the book?

On reflection this really did have a ‘coming of age’ type of feel to it.  We’ve seen Imriel go through so much and it does feel like he’s matured such a lot during this story.  He seems to finally be able to laugh a little at his own broodiness which is good I feel because it means he also recognises that he does brood!  I thought his homecoming was quite revealing, not only that he stood up for himself in the face of Ysandre and politely declined to rush to her door but also that he recognises that not all of the people he has come to know are necessarily friends – or at least they’re fair weather friends.  He seemed less sulky or stubborn somehow.  I think he also realises how lucky he is to have Phedre and Joscelin to fall back on and seek advice from.

As I said above, I wouldn’t say that this was my favourite book in some respects.  It felt a little slow to me at the start and I guess the action didn’t seem to have the same impact as the first series – let’s face it Joscelin always made a great impression with his fearsome fighting style not to mention Phedre and her clever way of manipulating a situation – the two of them together were/are a force to be reckoned with.  It’s a heavy mantle to take over and at first I wasn’t sure that Imriel was going to be able to do it but then I kind of stepped back a little and realised that I wasn’t, in fact, really giving him a chance.  I think I wasn’t giving him time to grow into their shoes – in fact at first I was kind of hankering to have them back in the story!   I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the beginning of the story I wasn’t really ready to move on myself and so perhaps I wasn’t really giving Imriel a proper chance.  I think that’s now changed though and I’m really looking forward to reading the next chapter in his story.

And, in that respect we’re planning a readalong of the next book (to start mid March(ish)).   So, if you’re interested in jumping in at this point in the series then keep your eye out for the notification and let me know in the comments so we can add you to the list.

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

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7 Responses to “Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.8 (conclusion)”

  1. tethyanbooks

    If Melisande is really just protecting Imriel so she can use him later, I think that will kill any desire Imriel has discovered to learn more about her. But yeah, I don’t think hiring someone to secretly watch out for Imriel is Phedre & Joscelin’s style. They sent Gilot with him for protection, openly. Poor Gilot :(.

    I am curious to see if Imriel is really going to marry Dorelei. Maybe Melisande will do something about it? Maybe it’s because we don’t really know Dorelei at all, but it still feels like something is going to cancel that.

    This wasn’t really my favorite of the series, either, but I’m still on board for the rest of Imriel’s story. I think my favorite is still Kushiel’s Dart, actually. I think part of the issue with the action lacking impact might be because Imriel was kind of incidental to it? He was a bystander in the riots, and the situation at Lucca initially had nothing to do with him. If he hadn’t cut off the Duke’s hand, he could have just walked out of the siege.

    • @lynnsbooks

      At the back of my mind I just can’t see Melisande giving up and going to live a quiet life in a cottage in the hills so at the back of my mind I think she will be plotting and I think that will involve Imriel somehow. I can’t really imagine her being happy with the proposed marriage so it will be interesting to see what happens in that respect.
      Yeah, this wasn’t my favourite but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I think it just took me a little longer to get on board and I think some of that is because I was still hanging on to Phedre and Joscelin. Yeah, interesting about the ‘cut off hand’ – it was a bit of a plot device wasn’t it!
      Lynn 😀

  2. emmawolf

    ” I think the end of the story finally brought it home to me that these are truly going to be Imriel’s stories – which sounds kind of silly because of course I’m aware of that, it just hadn’t really struck home I guess. I was thinking as we were reading that this book hasn’t been my favourite of the four we’ve read so far but then I realised that not only has Carey had to gently ease Imriel into the story, given his previous experiences, but she’s also had to gently move us, the readers, on as well so in that respect I think she’s done a great job.”

    I think I get what you’re saying here, and it makes a lot of sense. I remember when I first read it, I didn’t like it as much as I had liked the others. I wasn’t ready for a new narrator and thought Imriel was a bit whiny. But I liked how he grew and how the book set us up for his story.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s taken me a little while because I hadn’t really got used to the idea of leaving Phedre and Joscelin behind but I think I’ve finally moved on and the question about saying goodbye really brought that home to me. Good question!
      This particular novel felt like a coming of age for Imriel. I’m not saying that he’s fully mature now but I feel like he’s definitely moved forward and he seems more comfortable now in his own skin. It’s interesting. On reflection I like that Carey has taken her time with Imriel coming to terms with things from his past – it’s more realistic and, yeah, it did slow the story down slightly, but now I look back I think I would have been more irked if Imriel had just been quickly over it all.
      Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    Yep. This was not their fight and yet Imri and Eamonn gave it all they had. Another reason to love these two!

    I think you will be pleased with the plotline of Book 2.

    This trilogy is really different from Phedre & Joscelin’s story. That said, Phedre and Joscelin will always be my favorite in this series.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m looking forward to picking it up. I think probably Phedre and Joscelin will definitely be difficult to top!
      Lynn 😀

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