Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.5

Kushiel's justiceToday is week 5 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 30-37 and our host is Dab of Darkness.  Without further ado, to the questions with the customary warning of spoilers!

1) What did you think about Imriel’s men leaving him behind on the cattle raid? 

I had mixed feelings – part of me thought it was a bit fickle and naughty of them and part of me thinks it was some sort of silly game to prove Imriel’s ability so at the end of the day they left him to it.  It also didn’t really feel as though he was in any ‘real’ danger (in fact it had a ‘staged’ feel to it) – he just got naffed off and spurred into action when his horse was under threat!  I was pleased that he didn’t sulk about it though – I would have!  But, it shows something in Imriel that he was able to take it in good spirit.  Like I said last week, the whole thing did have a very silly feel to it.

2) Alais has done some harmless flirting in this section. What do you make of her request to postpone the wedding to Talorcan a year? Do you think one year will make a difference to either one of them? 

I was quite pleased for Alais in these chapters.  I thought her flirting was really harmless and it was nice to see.  She’s always seemed to be in Sidonie’s shadow but in Alba it’s as though she’s finally having the opportunity to shine.  I’m glad that she wants to take a year and that it was agreed upon.  I actually prefer the option of taking a year to consider getting married rather than getting married and taking a year to see how you like it.  One feels like really considering your options before you make a commitment whilst the other feels like making a commitment without having to give it any thought at all and regardless of the outcome.  Alais is so good – I love her!

3) In this section, we experienced two Alban holidays – the Day of the Dead and the Day of Misrule. What stood out to you the most? If you could only celebrate one, which would you pick? 

I loved both of these and I’m totally with Alais – I would want to live in Alba too!  The day of Misrule was brilliant wasn’t it and really quite good fun – although I suppose there would be the real possibility of it going wrong.  I preferred The Day of the Dead which I’m assuming is similar to our All Hallow’s Day??  It’s so creepy to think of removing the veil between the living and the dead and I was taking it all quite casually until Imriel spotted his father!

4) Throughout this section, there is plenty of talk about denying one’s own nature – Imriel’s talks with Morwen, the chat with the priestess, and even Dorolei and Alais noticing changes in Imriel when his bindings are redone. Getting philosophical, is denying part of your nature good or is it nearly always a bad idea? 

There’s a saying isn’t there about ‘truth will out’ and I suppose to deny your own nature is also to deny your own true self.  Basically it’s like living a lie isn’t it.  Without doubt this gave Imriel a chance to love Dorelei and to give Alba a chance but as soon as his restrictions were removed his true feelings flooded back in and it was this that the Maghuin Donn used against him.  It’s like Carey is giving a message here about being yourself?

5) Could Imriel have done anything differently to prevent the tragedy of losing his wife and unborn child? If you were in his shoes, would you have asked for mercy for the Maghuin Donn? 

I don’t know if Imriel could have done anything different.  This felt like a genuine offer and a chance to be rid of the curse.  As it is, it brings me back to my thinking that the Maghuin Donn are like the fae and very tricksy in their oaths.  I really don’t know the answer about the whole ‘mercy’ thing, truthfully I don’t.  On one hand I’d like to think I would be forgiving and not want to harm innocent people but on the other I would be so angry that I’m not sure I could be that measured.  Part of me wonders if Imriel would have reacted differently if it had been Sidonie and their unborn child – but then it makes me feel bad for thinking that!  I certainly don’t blame Imriel for what has happened and in fact I think he really did try to make things work.  In fact at the moment I’m almost feeling equal parts sad and annoyed with what happened.

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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8 Responses to “Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.5”

  1. tethyanbooks

    The whole cattle raid did seem a bit silly. I’m glad no one seemed to get hurt from it, though!

    “I actually prefer the option of taking a year to consider getting married rather than getting married and taking a year to see how you like it.”

    That is a good point. At least for Imriel and Dorelei, there was some rush involved, but there’s no immediate reason for Alais and Talorcan to rush things.

    The fae might be tricksy in their oaths, but I think the Maghuin Dhonn were just willing to break their oaths. I think the entire people is now forsworn and cursed, aren’t they? Even though Imriel is choosing mercy, the oath about not harming Imriel has condemned them all, if I’m understanding correctly.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I never thought of that – they really were prepared to break their oaths. It’s odd because they are now forsworn – they did all of that to prevent change and yet surely their own visions showed that they were powerless to stop it! Very sad really.
      Lynn 😀

  2. emmawolf

    ” I actually prefer the option of taking a year to consider getting married rather than getting married and taking a year to see how you like it. One feels like really considering your options before you make a commitment whilst the other feels like making a commitment without having to give it any thought at all and regardless of the outcome.”

    That’s interesting. I hadn’t even thought of the similarities there. I agree with you, I think. Maybe like it’s better to exercise care and consideration before making a decision than halfassing something until you can get out of your regretted hasty decision. It’s funny–I agree with you in theory, but I am very bad at considering my options and being careful with decisions.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – yes, it’s easy to say things that sound reasonable but not always as easy to follow them. For example – I won’t buy any more books until I tackle my stacks *snorts*
      Lynn 😀

      • emmawolf

        Yeah….I stopped even pretending I would do that with books…..

      • @lynnsbooks

        Hah! Yeah, it’s only really kidding yourself after all 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    I also had mixed feelings about Imri’s men leaving him. On one hand, I want loyalty from my folks… on the other hand, I know I have to earn it. So glad the Bastard stuck it out and got Imri out of there!

    Yes, I think the Day of the Dead could be quite creepy, especially if you see and recognize a ghost. We have a Day of the Dead here since New Mexico is so close to Mexico. It’s full of skulls (edible and otherwise), candles, face paint, garish colors, and music. It’s a little much for me but I enjoy it for a little bit and then back to my books.

    I use to think of the Maghuin Dhonn as the Druids of old but through this read along I wonder if their are meant to be more like the Fae. Perhaps they are some blend.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think they might be a strange blend – partly the Maghuin Dhonn remind me of Merlin and the like from the tales of Arthur and part of them puts me in mind of the dark fae from the Norrell and Strange books that hark back to the lost fairy routes and old magic.
      Lynn 😀

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