Today is week 8 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 57-65 hosted by Allie at Tethyan Books. Without further ado, to the questions with the customary warning of spoilers and the invitation to join in with the comments.
1. Imriel actually gave up the quest for justice before he found Berlik, and would have left empty-handed if the man had not come to him. Does knowing that their eventual encounter was of Berlik’s choosing change the way you think about how it finally ended? How do you think this will affect Imriel, moving forward?
I think that the way things worked out will probably make it easier for Imriel to deal with. He’d already made a decision to drop his quest after all. At the end of the day it felt more like something that Berlik wanted more than anything – he couldn’t live with himself and wanted justice – and he thought it was better for his people so even in his last act he believed himself to be helping them. Under the circumstances I think Imriel will feel that he served justice. I think he will struggle more with the two soldiers who he killed in self defence.
2. I was definitely not expecting to see Maslin in the Vralian wilderness! What do you think of his motivations? Do you think it’s still possible for them to build the friendship Imriel wanted so dearly many years ago?
I’m not entirely sure what to make of his motivations for ever setting off to find Imriel. After all he must have thought it was rather telling that Sidonie wanted him to go and find Imriel. Perhaps he really would prove himself to Sidonie by bringing back his rival. As it happened I think Maslin had a lot of time to think during his search and managed to reach his own conclusions about his relationship with Sidonie and even though it wasn’t a happy realisation for him I think he’s had enough time to realise the truth of the situation. I think it is possible for Maslin and Imriel to be friends, particularly now they’ve been quite open with each other – although, it won’t be easy for Maslin to see Imriel and Sidonie together which will definitely be something of a cool note on just how friendly they become.
3. Imriel feels very strongly about going back through the places where he was dishonest or where he caused pain (Miroslas, Tarkov, the Vralian capital). Do you think these stops were necessary? Do you think he was right to not go to the pilgrim family that took Berlik in?
I think it speaks well of Imriel’s character that he wanted to go back through those places. Almost like now his quest is out of the way he wants to confess and throw himself on other peoples’ mercy. I’m not sure how I feel about him not revisiting the pilgrim family – it feels almost like a kindness not to go back and tell them the outcome..
4. We have another myth in the making: the dark angel and the light angel, battling for Berlik’s soul. Clearly this isn’t literally true, since Maslin knew nothing about Berlik. Do you think it carries any metaphorical truth with respect to Berlik’s struggle with his guilt?
I think Berlik had gone past the point of anyone battling for his soul. I think a couple of things – he sought justice for the things he had done – moreso than Imriel or anyone else, he wanted to be found and he certainly didn’t put up a fight when he was found and, on top of that he believed that by atoning he was saving his people.
5. It looks like Tadeuz Vral will have another Yeshuite advisor now, in the Rebbe from Miroslas. Do you think this will impact the path of Vralia in the future? Do you think Imriel’s deceit will affect Vralia’s relationships with Alba and Terre d’Ange?
I suppose it could be something that comes back to haunt Imriel in the future. Time will tell I suppose but I feel like he did what he had to do and he has at least been back to confess his deceit. I’m not saying that in confessing it makes everything okay but it feels like a step in the right direction.
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