Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.2


Today is week 2 of our readalong for Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey – what an emotional few chapters the last ones were – so much so that I may have read ahead a little.  This week, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host.  Anyway, here’s the Goodreads link and also the schedule is below in case you want to join in.  Beware of spoilers because they’ll be lurking.  Now, over to the Q&A.

1) Imriel visits a few of the Houses with Astegal. If you were to visit Carey’s Terre d’Ange, would there be a particular house you’d be interested to see?

I still really don’t know if I have an answer to this one – perhaps I could visit all of them and then choose!  To give an actual answer though probably Orchis – how could I not go to a house where the motto is ‘Joy in Laughter’ – it’s just so right!

2) The Carthaginians’ scheme was some of the most blatant magic that I think we’ve seen in the series. Given that there is a whole country of people who are not fooled, do you think they really expected to get away with it cleanly in the long-term? Do you think they have an alternative plan?

It’s the strangest scheme ever!  As to whether the Carthaginians will get away with it.  Well, they seem unbothered by the fact that there is a whole country of people who are not fooled in the least.  They’ve, effectively, abducted Sidonie – but Sidonie, her mother and her court and most of Terra D’Ange are not aware that it’s abduction.  She’s already married and could be with heir.  Meanwhile everywhere else is thrown into a state of turmoil and confusion with political conspiracies running amok – it’s been very effective in that respect and meanwhile the Carthaginians can coolly set out for war whilst everyone else is in a state of puzzlement.  At first I wondered why they just simply didn’t abduct Sidonie – but this is so much more clever because everybody back home thinks nothing is amiss.  I must confess that I have to question the strength of the magic though in that it can cause such a massive loss of memory to everyone – that’s some powerful magic isn’t it?


3) Barquiel l’Envers goes from a petty antagonist to one of Imriel’s only allies. Does this change your opinion of him? Do you think this adventure will alter his perception of Imriel?

Actually it does make me see him in a different light.  To explain myself.  I think previously I’ve just thought of him as ambitious, in fact similarly as ambitious as Melisande almost, and a person with very much his own agenda at heart (although that being said I’ve never thought of him as the sort who would commit treason).  This has made me look at him differently.  Yes, he doesn’t like Imriel – he sees him first and foremost as Melisande’s offspring and that doesn’t sit well with him.  These chapters make me think that whilst I might not always agree with his actions I think that he believes that he’s acting rightly and with honour.  I’m not really explaining this very well but I see his willingness to help by allying himself with Imriel as quite revealing.  He knows this is wrong and has to be put right.  Yeah, not doing very well here so I’m just going to stop – I know what I mean but I can’t put it into words (brain mash).

4) We finally see Melisande again! What do you think of what she has become? Do you think she still deserves execution for her crimes?

Wow – that meeting.  I had to go and sit in a quiet place when I went to read about it so that I could give it my full attention!  Carey out did herself I think.  It actually made me emotional reading it – so well written and what a final insight into Melisande.  In fairness I think Melisande is one of the best characters I’ve read in the world of fantasy and even in spite of knowing all the harm she’s caused I still found myself feeling sorry for her!  I’m sure she would sooner have me tortured than feel sorry for her but to finally witness the love that she has for Imriel and the sorrow she has felt at the lack of his presence – it was just brilliantly done.  Reading the chapters prior I was totally skeptical of her and thinking that I wouldn’t put it past her to have engineered the whole thing – just so that she could then help rescue the situation – and part of me even still wonders about that, but, even so she had such an impact on me – and the beauty of that for me is that it felt like Carey was showing me, as a reader, why Melisande is so effective and how easily she entrances people.  I’m totally in awe of Carey at this point!  And, as to whether she deserves executive.  Yes, she probably does deserve it.  Would I want that as an outcome.  No I wouldn’t.


5) What do you think will be Imriel’s key to change out of the form and mind of Leander? Do you think you would be willing to undergo such a transformation?


I actually read an extra chapter by mistake – oops!  So I won’t answer the first part of the question.  Would I be willing.  Yes.  Simply.  I would be scared of losing myself but I would also feel similarly to Imriel that I should be doing something.

The Schedule:
Oct.  9th Week 1: Chpts. 1-10 (Hosted by Dab of Darkness)
Oct. 16th Week 2: Chpts. 11-22 (Hosted by Tethyan Books)
Oct. 23rd Week 3: Chpts. 23-35 (Hosted by Emma Wolf)
Oct. 30th Week 4: Chpts. 36-49 (Hosted by Emma Wolf)
Nov. 6th Week 5: Chpts. 50-62 (Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog)
Nov. 13th Week 6: Chpts. 63-75 (Hosted by Tethyan Books)
Nov. 20th Week 7: Chpts. 76-END (Hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow)

8 Responses to “Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.2”

  1. tethyanbooks

    Orchis is one I’d like to visit, too! It sounds like a fun place to hang out. I don’t think we’ve seen much of that house in the series, though.

    On Sidonie getting an heir, it has occurred to me that she would have to ask Eisheth to open her womb first. It makes sense that she would do this willingly if she believed she was happily married and ready for kids, but I wonder if Eisheth would know better and choose not to comply.

    I think I get what you mean about Barquiel. His actions were still dickish, but I don’t think I had really understood the motivation behind those actions before.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I so hope that Sidonie isn’t with heir so I’m going with her not having opened her womb yet! Good thinking.
      It’s going to be interesting to watch Barquiel fro now onwards – I’ll be giving him some close scrutiny.
      Lynn 😀

  2. emmawolf

    I’d be interested in reading more of your rambles on Bariquel. I was thinking too how he is, in some ways, similar to Melisande. You said you don’t think he would commit treason, but what about his attempts on Imriel’s life in book 3? Were they ever proven to be from him? Does that rise to the level of treason? But that being said, I love how in this portion he realized that Imriel really did love Sidonie.

    • @lynnsbooks

      ah yes, I’d forgotten his attempt on Imriel – perhaps he doesn’t think of that as treason because of the way he feels about Imriel – son of a traitor? Maybe he doesn’t think he should have any entitlements? I like that he’s come around a little bit – I hope he starts to see Imriel in a different light.
      Lynn 😀

      • emmawolf

        “perhaps he doesn’t think of that as treason because of the way he feels about Imriel”

        Probably. And that he knows better than Ysandre and screw her directive to bring Imriel home safely.

      • @lynnsbooks


  3. nrlymrtl

    I also picked the house of laughter as one I would want to visit. I think good humor is key to great sex.

    I think I see what you mean with Barquiel. He’s always had the monarchy and the country at heart, even if some of his actions are underhanded and even demeaning.

    You speak so eloquently about Melisande. Indeed, she is one of the best characters in the fantasy genre.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks, I think this particular book has made me realise just how good a character Melisande really is – no cardboard cutout baddies for Ms Carey.
      Lynn 😀

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