Title: Kushiel’s Dart
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Published: September 5th 2003 by Tor Fantasy
Genre:Fantasy/ Young Adult / High Fantasy/ Adult/ Fiction/ Romance
Series: Kushiel’s Universe #1
Kid Friendly Rating: 18+ Not for children
Synopsis: The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good… and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.
Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission… and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.
Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair… and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.
Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.
Final Thoughts: First thing that drew me into this book was the “Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart”. I have not read Dune yet, but I am a huge fan of the series (not the version with Sting). That description grabbed my attention. Spy, heck yes. I figured Phedre would be a new badass woman to fall in love with on her adventures. It took me a while to get through this book, it’s a decent size and in some parts I found it dragged quite a bit. Specifically the last 400 pages or so. I enjoyed the descriptions throughout the book, and the little adventures Phedre takes us on. At some points throughout the book I found Phedre rather annoying, and sometimes felt like Joscelin should have been given the reins and stepped into the limelight more often. Together though they create a great relationship, and work well together on their ventures throughout their world. There are a lot of sex scenes, and they aren’t really my cup of tea, but I powered through them. The different houses and their trades are really interesting, and for that reason I will continue with the series. I believe there are 9 books total (could be more). Carey does a great job at being descriptive, definitely has an imagination for passionate scenes between characters. I’m hoping that Phedre gets stronger as a character in the next books and takes us on more adventures without giving into her desires as much.
Have you read this book? Give us your thoughts!