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

Kushiel's justiceToday is week 3 of our readalong of Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey.  The schedule and participants are below.  All welcome to join in or to simply jump in with the comments.  This week we cover chapters 8-14, and this week I am the host.  Without further ado, to the questions with the customary warning of spoilers!

I thought it was curious that Phedre and Joscelin joined the party to Alba – any theories.  Are they about to become involved in something do you think?

It felt a little in the previous book that Phedre and Joscelin had been left behind and Imriel was finally going to take centre stage.  It feels a little bit odd having them both back along – not in a bad way because I love these two characters – but almost like Carey wanted to continue to include them.  I can appreciate that.  At the same time I can’t help wondering if there is a hidden meaning as to why they’re being included – maybe Phedre’s relationship either to Melisande or Hyacinthe is going to be pivotal – or maybe I’m just reading into things too much which is quite possible!

I’m pleased and also curious about the mention of Hyacinthe in these chapters. What sort of role do you see him playing in the rest of this story, if any??

It seems to me that Hyacinthe may play a pivotal role here but almost like he’s reluctant to do so?  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps he doesn’t feel like he should play a central role.  There’s definitely something going on with this aspect of the story but I’m not sure what at the moment.

I’m puzzled with Phedre in these chapters and her sort of inner calm?  She seems to take everything in her stride.  Any thoughts on this?

This question simply came about when the party had made camp and were alerted to strangers riding in.  Everybody jumped to arms and drew swords and Phedre just sat calmly by the fire.  Does she have an inner sense of things now that she knows the name of God?  I am curious if that’s what everyone else was thinking or whether I’m over reading the situation.

And we have a name ‘Morwen’ what does this bring to mind if anything?  Any more thoughts on the stories around the ‘Old Ones’ and the new characters that we have met?

The name Morwen feels familiar but I really don’t know why.  Perhaps it’s just very similar sounding to another name from a story from the past but it somehow feels familiar.  The ‘Old Ones’ sort of remind me of the fae. The way they used to be mentioned in stories, the fact that they disappeared, their shape shifting and other abilities.  Probably a foolish notion but I can’t help it popping into my head.  The other thing that springs to mind of course is Merlin and that whole mythology.

What do you make of Imriel and Dorelei’s relationship and how it’s developing.  Do you see a future for them – one with perhaps a child in it?  And if so, would this change Imriels plans about only spending a year in Alba and then returning to Sidonie?

Well, I don’t think Imriel dislikes Dorelei – at the same time I don’t think he maybe appreciates that the birth control methods of women in Alba may not be quite as stringent as those in his homeland where ‘love as thou wilt’ is the common motto.  I think it’s highly likely that Dorelei will become pregnant and at this moment I have no idea just how that will muddy the waters. I still think Imriel will want to return to Sidonie.

This curse – what do you make of it.  The protections that are now placed on Imriel – how do you see this affecting his relationship with Dorelei?

I think for the moment it will make him feel gloriously free of his previous attractions.  yes, he will be at ease to fall for Dorelei but I wonder how true those feelings will be once the protections are removed.  It feels like the protection will almost be not much better than the curse – which feels a little like voodoo.  It makes me a bit sad for Dorelei really because Imriel may develop feelings for her whilst these protections are in place but I’m not sure how real that feeling will be when they are removed.

The Tiberians  and the Maghuin Dhon – we learn a little more about them and their history.  What did you make of it and the Tiberians?

I think we saw a different side to the Maghuin Dhon and their troubles with the Tiberians.  I’m assuming the Tiberians are the Romans?  They come and conquer but then they also leave if things are proving not as easy as they expected.

Finally, the Lady Grainne has given her terms to Lord Ferghus – what do you predict the outcome to be?

This felt a little bit sad to be honest, like something that Grainne was saying in order to conform to rules about guests in her home. I can see why she felt the need to say these things but it felt a little like trying to swat a brick with a feather somehow.  Almost like there was a balance -but it was only a semblance of a balance?  I doubt that her terms will have much effect but I hope I’m wrong.

Here is the schedule:

Week 1: Chpts. 1-7, Mar 20 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 8-14, Mar 27 – Hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 3: Chpts. 15-22, Apr 3 – Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Chpts. 23-29, Apr 10 – Hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 5: Chpts. 30-37, Apr 17 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 6: Chpts. 38-46, Apr 24 – Hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 7: Chpts. 47-56, May 1 – Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 8: Chpts. 57-65, May 8 – Hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 9: Chpts. 66-END, May 15 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness

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


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

  1. emmawolf

    “This question simply came about when the party had made camp and were alerted to strangers riding in. Everybody jumped to arms and drew swords and Phedre just sat calmly by the fire. Does she have an inner sense of things now that she knows the name of God? I am curious if that’s what everyone else was thinking or whether I’m over reading the situation.”

    Hmmm…I don’t know. I think I read it as, since she’s not a fighter, she couldn’t really prepare to fight. The only think she could do (which is totally useful!) would be to try to negotiate with the newcomer or try to keep the peace.

    Grainne’s terms made me feel sad too.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I never even considered that – but now I think about it I think Phedre has more often than not been fairly calm in the midst of whatever story was around her! Seriously I don’t think I’d picked that up until this book!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Allie

    I was kind of thinking it may be a Name of God related thing, too.

    Morwen is also a character in Tolkien’s Silmarillion, maybe that’s what you’re remembering?

    I’m also a little worried about what’s going to happen when the charm is off. Even if he loves Dorelei by then, his suppressed feelings for Sidonie are probably going to be intense.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I had forgotten about Silmarillion – mind you it was years ago that I read it.
      I feel a little bit worried for Dorelei as well tbh because whilst Imriel is under this charm she could fall really hard for him but then his feelings for Sidonie could come racing to the surface again.
      Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    You have good instincts considering the Maghuin Dhon and the fae and possibly Merlin. Many cultures have mythical wizards or sorceresses of one sort or another. Here, we have Bear Witches.

    It is sad that Grainne has to risk damaging a working relationship with the Maghuin Dhon and yet she has to make sure they (and all others) understand that she takes guest rights (and protections) seriously. Also, once Imri and crew move on, this will probably be a mute point for Grainne.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, Perhaps she shouldn’t go too far and risk these relationships – although maybe she feels she has to make a show of it somehow, make a stand or something.
      Lynn 😀

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