Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.6

kushiels-mercyToday is week 6 of our readalong for Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey.  This week  Tethyan Books is 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.

1.  The Euskerri paid a brutal price for their sovereignty.  What do you think about how this played out?  Did anything stick out in your mind?
It was a horrible battle wasn’t it and the Euskerri paid such a high price.  I think the thing that stuck out most for me was that Sidonie has such a head for strategy – good on you Sidonie!
2. How do you feel about the way things ended for Astegal?  Was it just?  If not, what would you have preferred to see happen?
Well, to be honest I sort of expected that ending for him.  Well, not exactly, I didn’t see him having a fight with Imriel but I did think he would lose the battle and either die during the battle or be captured and executed.  I can’t say I felt any sorrow for him at all, sorry if that seems a bit harsh but I just can’t find it in myself to feel any pity on this occasion.
3. Do you have any theories on why Imriel’s charm is able to protect Sidonie?
Well, at first I was thinking it was maybe just down to the fact that it’s a talisman that protects against magic?  I suppose there’s also the fact that both Sidonie and Imriel believe in it and I wonder if that gives it some power, plus calling on their own Gods?.  And then there’s Sidonie’s heritage and the fact that she maybe has a trace of magic in her blood.  At the end of the day I’m not really sure – I am glad it worked though (at least so far!)
4. What do you think about Alais’s change of heart regarding political power and her new plans for her future?
Well, I don’t entirely know what Alais’s new plans entail for her or what it would mean for her going forward but I think it’s good that she has reached some decisions about her own future – I kind of hope that they’re not the sort of decisions that she can never walk away from or change though because she is only young – and I’m not patronising her, just thinking that you change your mind a lot over the course of your young years (and I’m speaking from experience in that respect).  I guess if you look at her past there has been quite a lot of violence involved in one way and another and so perhaps she’s tired of the depths that people will sink to in order to acquire power.
5.  The spell twists the personalities of people we knew, sometimes in disturbing ways.  Do you see the seeds of who they are now in their true selves?  Given their currently twisted view of reality, do you think anyone is acting against their own principles?
It’s like something out of Stepford isn’t it! It’s so weird – even the way Phedre and Joscelin are behaving – they’re like automatons with no real soul left  – or maybe it’s that the soul has been trapped.  I don’t know but it is spooky as anything.  As to whether they’re acting against their own principles – I’m not sure if they are or not, it’s a tricky question.  For example, Phedre and Joscelin seem to think they’re protecting the City and defending what they’s fought for in the past – but, I think rather than say they’re acting against their own principles I’d probably rather say they’re acting against their own principles so much as acting out of character.  The way that they’re all behaving with their own children for example, really cold and indifferent.  That is what really strikes me.  Plus, it strikes me if so many people were telling them a different story they would take steps to try and either prove or disprove it once and for all – rather than sitting behind walls threatening battles.  I guess, to me, they’re acting on their principles, but they’re delusional and irrational.
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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4 Responses to “Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.6”

  1. nrlymrtl

    I like your idea of Sidonie and Imriel believing in the talisman and that lends it some strength.

    I agree with you about Alais. She’s still young and those are the years where a person (me included) can change their minds often. And yes Alais has seen/experienced quite a bit of violence for power in her life.

    Yeah, I think their principles are still there as well, but now it’s how they go about acting on those principles. Those actions are filled with suspicion and fear.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, – I’ve changed my mind on a number of occasions – not least getting divorced!!! (Got married far too early!)
      ‘Those actions are filled with suspicion and fear’ – exactly, and a good does of oddity too! I think Phedre’s change in character was the biggest surprise.
      Lynn 😀

  2. tethyanbooks

    I also like the idea of their faith giving the charm power.

    This discussion about Alais reminds me of back when we first started this read-along project, when we talked about Phedre swearing her life to Naamah’s service at such a young age. Things can change a lot over time!

    I think I might have been happier if Astegal had died on the battlefield, one soldier among many.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah – Phedre – things certainly did change in very unexpected ways for her and her expectations! Imagine the difference if she hadn’t been sent down that route (thanks to the mote in her eye) Terre D’Ange would have been a much altered place, or at least it could have been.
      I hope Alais doesn’t make any decisions that can’t be altered more than anything but I’m glad that she’s making decisions about her future.
      Yeah, I know what you mean about Astegal. I think an anonymous ending might have been preferable but maybe Carey was trying to give Sidonie some sort of closure. The thing is of course it could come back to bite them. They’re in a precarious position at the moment and if news travels fast Ysandre could find out the truth of Astegal’s death – which would certainly let the cat out of the bag for Sidonie and Imriel.
      Lynn 😀

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