Friday, November 14, 2008

Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy: Phèdre Trilogy: Book 1)

Kushiel's Dart

A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Jacqueline Carey

Genre: Fantasy series, Alternate History, Erotic, Adult
ISBN: 0765342987
Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (March 15, 2002)
Mass Market Paperback: 816 pages
Publisher's Blurb:
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.
This book starts slow, typical for the first novel of a trilogy, then takes off and pages start to just fly past. Phèdre is not your typical heroine and Terre d'Ange, though loosely based in medieval France, is not your typical society. Phèdre's story begins with her mother selling her to the "Night Court" a section of the city where the thirteen houses of Naamah reside. Each house represents a different form of sexual pleasure and its indentured courtesans, both male and female, are trained to the arts of that house. Phèdre is considered flawed however and will never be granted a place as a full courtesan. This is where Anafiel Delaunay comes in. When it is realized that Phèdre enjoys pain, her indenture is sold to Delaunay and the real story begins.

Phèdre's life takes her from the Night Court to the bedrooms of royalty, from pampered courtesan to the slave of barbarians, from revered to reviled as a traitor. This story also shows what a thin line there is between love and hate, pain and pleasure and plums the depths of what a person will go through just to survive. You will find yourself turning pages far into the night.

Without a doubt, this is a story for adults and open-minded ones at that. Even though the material is handled in a mature and reverent manner, some may find it disturbing. Masochistic, sadistic and bisexual encounters do comprise a portion of this story, not a large portion but seeing as Phèdre is an anguissette a necessary one. By comparison, the battle scenes are not very detailed or gory. Phèdre is an endearing and complicated character who is surrounded by a host of equally complicated characters. Plots are nestled within plots, heartwarming romance, deadly intrigue, and high adventure abound, and demigods and angels play with lives. This story truly has a bit of something for most anyone who loves fantasy and I am looking forward to reading book two.

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 4+/5

Librarything Rating 4.29/5

Amazon Rating 4 out of 5 stars
(318 Customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: No

Ebook: No

Audio: Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy)(CD)

Buy Book: B&N - Powells

Amazon: US Canada UK

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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