Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.5

kushiels-mercyToday is week 5 of our readalong for Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey.  This week  I’m hosting.  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.

We had a number of dramatic chases and escapes this week – what really stood out most for you.

The scene on board the ship!  I was so confident that they’d made their escape. I know, on reflection, that I was being incredibly naive to think they’d made their escape but I really had relaxed into that frame of mind and then boom, they were being chased with a dramatic entrance into the port aboard a flaming ship.  I just didn’t see it coming even though, now I think about it, if they had gotten away it would have been all over and done with much quicker!

Imriel and Sidonie meet with Nicola L’Envers y Aragon who turns into an ally for the two of them arranging for them to gain audience and we once again see Sidonie’s diplomacy skills – how do you think she would compare to Ysandre as a ruler?

I loved that Imriel once again gets to meet Nicola and that he actually has the good grace to apologise to her.  It’s not a big issue in terms of the overall story but I liked it and felt it showed a certain maturity in Imriel that he recognised the way he had previously behaved towards her.  In terms of Sidonie, I’m always very impressed with her cool and calm demeanour.  I liked her reaction to Imriel when he spoke to her about what sort of a ruler she would make – she didn’t seem over anxious to take on the role and I can’t say I blame her.  In terms of how she would compare to Ysandre.  Well, I like to think that she would do things differently but deep down I’m not sure she would – being a ruler is much more than thinking about your own feelings and I think that Sidonie realises this herself.  I’ve not always enjoyed Ysandre’s reactions to things but I think she has a difficult role.

Imriel made a statement this week about once wanting to be a hero but now having changed his mind – and how heroism meant living in terror that you wouldn’t be able to protect those you loved – what do you make of his thinking?

I can’t really blame him for thinking this way given all that he’s gone through.   If I’d been through even a quarter of the adventures he’s already experienced I’d probably go into hiding.  As it is, well, I think he’s got things a little turned on their head.  I think that when you love someone you would always worry about being able to protect them – having children is a perfect example of that, but, the fact that you do love makes you act in unselfish ways – therefore being in love would be more likely to make you rush out and protect someone and therefore be heroic.  Being a hero doesn’t seem to me like something you can just set out to do or be.

Euskerri.  The plan is to sway the Euskerri (by offering them sovereignty) to side with Aragonia.   Do you think the Euskerri are wise to accept or not?

It’s an odd situation.  The Euskerri are sat in the middle of this dilemma and can chance the fate of both sides.  They could side with either party.  As it is they seem to be siding with the underdogs really but I can’t say I blame them.  There seems to be less treachery in that route and more likelihood that that will actually be treated honourably with in the end.

Finally, it seems like both Imriel and Sidonie will return to the battlefront – what do you think of the agreement reached? What do you predict going forward?

I can’t say that I liked the deal that was struck – in fact I found it incredibly aggravating.  But, in the cold light of day I really can’t say I blame the Euskerri for their decision.  After all, Imriel and Sidonie did lead an enemy right to their doorstep – and then what, oh, ‘we’ll just carry on going in that direction while you take all the heat’.  No.  When it all boils down I really don’t blame the Euskerri.  Apart from anything else they don’t really know that Sidonie and Imriel are telling the truth.  I admit that it’s annoying – to be so near, and yet so far, from their objectives – and I don’t agree with taking Sidonie back, the Euskerri wouldn’t endanger their own women so I think that’s just wrong.  I think that they should just have made Imriel part of the deal to show faith.

In terms of going forward , well there’s clearly going to be a horrible confrontation.  Sidonie is, after all, a married woman, perhaps the only way that’s going  to alter is if her husband dies??  I don’t know how else this can really end in a good way for Imriel and Sidonie.

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)
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6 Responses to “Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.5”

  1. tethyanbooks

    I think this may not be what you meant on the heroism question, but it just occurred to me it’s a little weird that Imriel wants Sidonie to have “hordes and hordes” of children, though he is very worried about protecting her. Childbirth is very dangerous!

    I agree with you completely on the Euskerri. It’s very frustrating but I can’t blame them for being mistrustful.

    Do you think Terre d’Ange accepts divorce? I know we talked about this in context of Alba before, but I can’t remember if we ever saw that happen in Terre d’Ange. In any case, I would hope she could at least get an annulment on the terms of “he ensorceled me into marriage”.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a really good point though – childbirth used to be a major risk for many women.
      I can’t help wondering if a certain someone might die at the end of this – which might make the whole question of divorce null and void! I guess we’ll see – then there is the ‘he ensorcelled’ me route – although whether that will be acceptable remains to be seen, particularly once all the spells are broken.
      Lynn 😀

  2. emmawolf

    ” As it is, well, I think he’s got things a little turned on their head. I think that when you love someone you would always worry about being able to protect them – having children is a perfect example of that, but, the fact that you do love makes you act in unselfish ways – therefore being in love would be more likely to make you rush out and protect someone and therefore be heroic.”

    Interesting perspective. I like your interpretation of heroics.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve probably got it all skewed but I just don’t think heroics is something you can plan for, so the way I see it you can’t just say I’m not being a hero any more because it’s too difficult and people I love get hurt. What if people you love are going to get hurt anyway – then you’d act to help them.
      Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    I liked that Sidonie was willing to see Nicola twice in a disheveled state, well thrice if you count directly after the flaming ship arrival. I can’t recall Ysandre ever meeting with anyone in a disheveled state.

    I like this statement of yours very much: Being a hero doesn’t seem to me like something you can just set out to do or be.

    Take that over used fantasy adventure tropes!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, Sidonie isn’t quite as, well, uptight (its probably too strong a word – but along those lines). Maybe it’s to do with her youth?
      Yeah – the hero trope – I quite like the Luke Scull books for that because he does make fun of that trope in The Grim Company.
      Lynn 😀

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