Title: Kushiel’s Chosen
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Series: Phèdre’s Trilogy #2
Blurb: The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. The inhabiting race rose from the seed of angels and men, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.
Phèdre nó Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman, the first to recognize that she is one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. He trained Phèdre in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber—and, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze.
When she stumbled upon a plot that threatened the very foundations of her homeland, she gave up almost everything she held dear to save it. She survived, and lived to have others tell her story, and if they embellished the tale with fabric of mythical splendor, they weren’t far off the mark.
The hands of the gods weigh heavily upon Phèdre’s brow, and they are not finished with her. While the young queen who sits upon the throne is well loved by the people, there are those who believe another should wear the crown… and those who escaped the wrath of the mighty are not yet done with their schemes for power and revenge.
Review: First, I just want to say that it is so nice to get to do a regular review! I finished this one back in March, but with all the other NetGalley and blog tour stuff, I haven’t had a chance to put my thoughts down about this one yet. I think I overextended myself on some other commitments for a bit. Whoops.
Anyway, back to this book. This entire series has been sitting on my “Complete the Series” list for several years now, mostly because they are such a time commitment. These books are long! This second book in the trilogy was the shortest, and its still a behemoth! I absolutely adore Jacqueline Carey’s writing. It is beautiful and poetic, but I do think that there are bits that could be cut down just slightly. It rambles from time to time and, while they are beautiful rambles, it does sometimes drag on for a bit too long.
Phèdre is an interesting character who has to make a lot of tough decisions. She was a lot more independent in this book, which was nice to see, but she also does suffer a bit from everyone thinking that she is just amazing/captivating/intriguing/fascinating/etc. I think that part of that might just be the culture of Terre D’Ange and the fact that they are descended from the angels themselves. If you had angelic lineage, people would probably think you were pretty awesome too. Phèdre just takes it for granted at times, which would be odd to me, but makes sense for her.
Speaking of this world, we get to travel it a lot more, and Carey’s world building remains absolutely superb. It is loosely based on Europe, but she adds so much to it. I want to visit all of these places. It’s definitely one of the fictional worlds I wouldn’t mind living in. The political intrigue is also still top notch. Melisande Shahrizai remains a complicated and compelling adversary and, I can tell, will continue to be in the next book as well.
I gave this a 3 star rating on GoodReads, but that was only because of the dragging parts I mentioned earlier. I still highly recommend this book and this series. It is a good series to completely immerse yourself into, but ONLY if you are in for the long haul. Because it is long. And a haul.