Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.4

Posted On 10 April 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

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Kushiel's justiceToday is week 4 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 23-29, and our host is Tethyan Books.  Without further ado, to the questions with the customary warning of spoilers!

1) Given the developments since last time, what do you think the Maghuin Donn are after with Imriel?  Could it be related to Dorelei’s and Alais’s dream? Were Imriel and Dorelei right to refuse their blessing?

As to what the Maghuin Donn are after I’m not really sure.  Other than they see Imriel perhaps upsetting the balance somehow, in fact there is already a changing of tack isn’t there now Dorelei is pregnant?  As to refusing their blessing.  It’s difficult to say without knowing really what the implications of that blessing would mean.  Does it have any negative connotations.  If not then it perhaps seems a bit extreme to refuse it, but, it could be that the blessing means something more?  Or maybe it’s a trick of some sort?

2) Imriel and Dorelei’s relationship is very honest now.  Do you think their plan is a wise one or not?  What do you think of the Alban custom of limited-term marriage?

I like that Imriel and Dorelei are being so honest.  I do feel sorry for Dorelei and the fact that she loves Imriel.  And, yes, I think it’s good that they have a plan – whether they stick to it remains to be seen because as we all know ‘the best laid plans, etc, etc’  This idea of a limited term marriage – I suppose it’s a case of swings and roundabouts isn’t it? I have mixed feelings about it.  In one respect I think it’s a good idea because you wouldn’t feel trapped, etc.  In another way it feels like an easy get out clause doesn’t it and I wonder whether people will really give their whole to a relationship where they know they have a limited time to give it a shot?  The other thing about this arrangement, and as Dorelei has already demonstrated, a twelve month period is more than enough time for the young woman to become pregnant and have a child.  So, who gets left holding the baby??  This isn’t a small thing.  Will Imriel take the baby with him when he returns home – I can’t say for sure but it seems highly unlikely doesn’t it.  I could be wrong though, maybe the baby will accompany him – and even if it does, for royalty it wouldn’t really have a major impact but for other young women who are not quite as privileged it seems that taking a year out to have a trial marriage could lead them with a lot more responsibility at the end of that twelve month period.  That being said I don’t know enough of what sort of provision is made for such occurrences so it could be the responsibility is divided.

3) What did you think of the Alban nuptials, with respect to the ones in Terre d’Ange?  Did anything in particular stick out as memorable?

It was a lot more wild and carefree wasn’t it not to mention quite long with the three day business – uninhibited is the word I’m going for.  I think I would prefer the Alban nuptials.  I enjoyed reading about that aspect and thought their ceremony came across as clean and simple.  Although – at least the nuptial at the other end didn’t have the Maghuin Donn showing up – that certainly put a bit of a dampener on things didn’t it?

4) We get to see Hyacinthe again!  What are your thoughts on his plan to not pass on his knowledge?  Do you think Phedre and Joscelin are completely on board with it, and do you think this ‘secret task’ will affect Imriel’s story?

I don’t know.  I suppose Hyacinthe is in a perfect position to see how badly this has all affected him and it would be tough to put somebody else in the same position wouldn’t it?  Then again, to lose all that knowledge seems quite dire.  I think between the three of them maybe they’ve conjured up something different than we suspect and yes, I do think this will affect Imriel’s story somehow.  I have no idea how though but I’m sure Carey had something in mind when she roped Phedre and Joscelin into this!

5) Imriel’s going to start off as a Prince of Alba with a neighborly cattle raid.  What do you think about this tradition?  Is the violence and risk worth the respect and goodwill Imriel will likely get for it?

No.  I agree with the females.  It just feels silly.  I prefer the Skaldi way of settling things with the holmgang.  This just feels like inviting trouble where there doesn’t need to be any.  Even Imriel remarked that it feels like sport – and if it’s sport that they all want then that’s what they should do – compete in some sort of games or have a competition.  Not go and raid a load of cattle and potentially involve themselves in injury or death.

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

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6 Responses to “Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.4”

  1. nrlymrtl

    I could see why Imri and Dorolei would be worried about a possible trick from the Maghuin Donn wrapped up with their blessing. Still, it’s hard to say – accept it at face value, and hold them to it, or reject it and garner further ill will?

    I think you are right about how the limited term marriage is not such a burden for the privileged as they have money, servants, relatives, etc. to help raise a child, if one is conceived in that time. For those who aren’t privileged, I can see how it could be a real bone of contention. Ah, if only the Albans had the D’Angeline birth control…. tho there are other methods they could employ for the year.

    If Hyacinthe were to take on a trainee, he wouldn’t trick them into it and force them to live 10 years of solitude. Sure, much of it would have to be done at Hyacinthe’s isolated manor, but surely the chosen one could have visitors or leave for holiday breaks? I’m not saying that carrying the power in and of itself wouldn’t be a burden – I’m just saying that Hyacinthe wouldn’t be an ass about training some one up.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Perhaps that’s one of the changes that Imriel will bring to the Albans – birth control!
      Totally with you re Hyachinthe. I can understand his reasons and you’re right – he wouldn’t have to be a horse’s ass about it – shame to lose all that knowledge really!
      Lynn 😀

  2. tethyanbooks

    I’m with you on the limited term marriages. It seems like people might not take it as seriously, and if there’s a child the woman might come out of the year with much more responsibility. I’d say it also seems a reasonable provision for nobles, though, in the case of a loveless political marriage.

    I don’t think I could handle Alban nuptials. Italian weddings knock me right out and they only last a day! The ceremony was lovely though.

    I’m with you on the cattle raiding too– maybe they should just start a nice sport to play, rather than attacking one another.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think I would enjoy that Alban shindig – although it does sound a little exhausting! Perhaps I would only enjoy it so long as I’m a guest and can come and go as I like!
      This cattle raiding – well, we’ll see as we read on – hope there aren’t any serious repercussions!
      Lynn 😀

  3. emmawolf

    “So, who gets left holding the baby?? This isn’t a small thing. Will Imriel take the baby with him when he returns home – I can’t say for sure but it seems highly unlikely doesn’t it. I could be wrong though, maybe the baby will accompany him – and even if it does, for royalty it wouldn’t really have a major impact but for other young women who are not quite as privileged it seems that taking a year out to have a trial marriage could lead them with a lot more responsibility at the end of that twelve month period. That being said I don’t know enough of what sort of provision is made for such occurrences so it could be the responsibility is divided.”

    You raise some good points.

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