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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey

This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time, but I’ve had a hard time getting my hands on the first book of the series. In the meantime, I read the author’s The Sundering series, which was a Lord of the Rings rip off with a completely irritating ending. So I was a little leery about this book, but heard enough good things from people that had read it to give it a try.

I definitely enjoyed this series more than the two Sundering books. The story, set in an alternate Medievalish Europe, is definitely original. Phedre, born of the Night Court, cannot follow the normal path of her heritage because she has been marked as a chosen of Kushiel, the angel of, well, pain, and other things that make a heck of a lot more sense if you read the book. She’s brought into the household of Anafiel Delaunay, who teaches her to watch and learn, and combining that skill with her other, um, skills, gets her into some very interesting places and situations.

I’d heard two things about the story – that there was a lot of sex, and a lot of politics. I’ll agree to that. Both had actually started to get on my nerves a bit, but then the proverbial shit hit the fan, the story got going, and my irritations were gone. The second half of the book, while certainly less comfortable for the characters, made for great reading. I’m definitely interested to continue reading Phedre’s story.

One extra minor quibble with the book, which is written in first person narrative, from Phedre’s point of view, is the author’s overuse of the whole if I’d only known then what I know now devise. It’s a story. I don’t really need a warning that things are going to go downhill. If they don’t go downhill, it’s not very much of a story, is it?


Nymeth said...

I've heard so much about this series over the years. I'll get to it, but who knows when. It's good to hear you enjoyed it despite some quibbles!

Megan said...

If you get a chance to read her other series first, don't. I wish I'd been able to read this one first.