I will admit, when this series was first recommended to me at amazon, I looked at the cover and thought "nah". Oh a whim, I picked up Kushiel's Dart through PBS.
Oh wow. The tale is riveting. The characters are well formed and multi-faceted. It's a story of loyalty, deceit, friendship and strength of character rolled into one. You will find your friends in the least likely of places.
I grew tired of twiddling my thumbs waiting for this book to come my way via PBS and bought it. I am glad I did. The only thing that kept me from reading the book straight through is losing consciousness from exhaustion (not boredom).
Do NOT judge these books by their cover.
[PS: I agree with the statement at the end of the book.]
I was surprised to see that the second book lived up to the promise of the first. It is true that the names and places are a bit difficult to follow but it is well worth it. The details are rich and vivid. The people seem like people not two dimensional cardboard cut outs. All in all a beautiful story with intrigue and passion written extremely well. I cannot wait for the third.
Book 2 of Kushiel's Legacy is as richly detailed and intricate as the first. It springs solidly from characters and plots introduced in the first book and provides another continent sweeping adventure.
Good but not great and a teeny bit boring and predictable. Phedre takes a lover to solve intrigue/get herself out of predicament. We read it 30 times in book 1, I thought book 2 could cover new territory. I grew tired of the political intrigue in the saga of Phedre.
As much as I enjoyed the story of their travels and travails in the first book, I felt frustrated with Phedre and her choices. I skimmed most of the middle of the book, leaving off after she hooks up with the pirate and not really reading again until she's back in La Serenissima. I skimmed enough to get the gist of the situation, but frankly I don't know that those chapters added much to the story (or at least any part that I cared about).
I'm glad a read it, I enjoyed the beautiful reunion with Joscelin and Phedre, the resolution with Ysandre, and a sense of HEA at the end.
It's been over a year since I finished Kushiel's Dart, toward which my feelings were generally positive. I have
a friend who loves these books very deeply, has read them many times and is able to recall the most minute trivia from them on command. Sadly I'm not nearly such an expert. But I can say that, so far, I've been impressed by the scale of the story, it's intricate detail, three dimensional characters, and overall satisfying delivery.
I did not find Kushiel's Chosen to be quite as complex or epically enormous as Kushiel's Dart, and I feel that this is a positive fact for the most part. The story follows Phedre in her quest to discover where the traitor Melisande has fled to. If you've read the first book you are aware of Phedre's conflicting feelings toward Melisande, as well as how potentially dangerous the woman is. Phedre is accompanied in her journey by several loyal companions, most notably Joscelin. With their relationship in turmoil and Joscelin following his own private missions, much is uncertain. I am simplifying for the sake of brevity, because of course there is much more to the story than can reasonably be summed up.
The good parts? As said, the scale is just a bit smaller and therefore easier to follow. I was already someone familiar with most of the relevant characters, and thankfully their are few to be concerned with. The characters that are mentioned are, for the most part, more distinct and three dimensional. Phedre goes through quite a bit and changes just a little as a result. There are a lot of adventure elements that I enjoyed--pirates, deadly spirits, gods, and magic.
Negatives? Now, I'm aware that this is not a romance series. However, one of the things that I loved about Kushiel's Dart was the development of the romance between Phedre and Joscelin. Joscelin is not in this book as much as I would have liked. Most of the time, their relationship is on the rocks. I won't give away the manner in which this is resolved, but I will say that I thought it was a bit hasty and unsatisfying. Also, at times Phedre frustrated me with some of her choices. She's a very intelligent and skilled character, but all to often her successes are dependent of luck or the ingenuity of others. That detracts from her likeability a bit.
These are the sort of books you read on cross country road trips or during extended layovers, because they are guaranteed to keep you occupied for a good long time. They are full of political intrigue, magic, and sex. I would recommend this book to fantasy fans. 4 stars.
Impressive! I love this world, and Phedre is a wonderful character. The intrigue is neverending, surprises are at every page-turn, action and suspense are non-stop. Can't wait to read the next chapter in the story...
Disclaimer: Since this is the second book of the series, please don't read this review if you haven't read the first book yet. Unless you really don't care about spoilers, then go right ahead.
Sorry, had to go back to the beginning to see where I can start without significant spoilers. Anyways, the majority of the book is about Phedre chasing after Melisande and trying to stop her devious plots. In addition to that, Phedre and Joscelin have problems that have Phedre mopey. If it sounds like I didn't like the book, that is far from my true feelings. The book may have been a tad slow in the beginning, but midway through the book, it picked right up until the very end.
It was interesting to read about how Phedre adapted to her various surroundings (different countries and such). She dealt with new trials and tribulations. Her growth as a character really shown through in this book, in my opinion.
One thing I do admire in this series is the weaving of religion into the plot. Even though the different countries follow different gods, they are all somehow intricately related, perhaps an allegory to our own world and its religions? It's a possibility, if only a suggestion. Anways, I digress.
If you liked the first book, you will probably like this book as well. I will now be off to twirl my thumbs, awaiting the arrival of the third book of the series.
Phedre is a lady who is quite singular. There are no other characters who come to mind when considering her. There is a language barrier re:names, but the impact of the story overcomes the difficulty of French and Spanish full bore names. I am looking forward to the third volume in the trilogy.
This is the second book in the series, and with regard to love and intrigue it far surpassed the first. The details within the plot are so finely traced that every piece of the story in relevant and interconnected. It is a fun novel in which you become desperately invested in your characters- unable to put the book down as you guess the next steps and the fate of those you love. Sex, intrigue, violence, unseen turns of events, betrayal and passionate love this book has everything a reader could ask for and more.
Very complex and interesting. A world based on Europe in alternative history, with quite a bit of sex (including S&M) as well as political intrigue, assassinations, royalty, betrayals. Try to read Kushiel's Dart first.
As good as the first one, Kushiel's Dart.
Tantalizing, in depth intrigue with great action, strong emotions and a great storyline. True characters that captured my interest and kept me turning the pages late into the night.
As a reader, whether avid or novice, what do these names make you think of?
Tolkein (Lord of the Rings)
Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time series)
L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)
Frank Herbert (Dune series)
Roger Zelazny (Amber series)
Gregory Maguire (Wicked series)
Terry Brooks (Shannara Chonicles)
Veronica Roth (Divergent series)
Suzanne Collins ( The Hunger Game series)
James Dashner ( The Maze Runner series)
Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)
Every single one of these books did NOT end after the first book. Aren't you glad? Could you imagine if every single series ended after the first book? I know I wouldn't be happy. When you become enraptured by a writer, I find that no matter how well the end is written, you truly never want it to end.
Now that that's out of the way, I have to be honest. I really was not looking forward to reading this book. I mean did you see how long the first one was (912 pages)?! Not only was the first one long, but since it is an introductory book, the reader is introduced to a myriad of characters and places, enough to make your head spin. All in all, it does become rather daunting, and I took a break (and will thus continue to do so) and read a different book in between Kushiel's Dart and Kushiel's Chosen. I really was unsure how much more my brain could take with all the names (that I'm STILL unable to pronounce) all the places, and generally all the drama. I was seriously contemplating calling it quits.
The beginning of Kushiel's Chosen promptly picks up right where it left off. Phedre has made the bold choice to re-enter into Namaah's service, which does not make Joscelin happy. (If you are already confused by this review, please feel free to read my review of Kushiel's Dart). Phedre is not entering the service on normal pretenses, she is seeking an outlaw who escaped in the first book. Using her wiles, Phedre deduces on a whim where she must go to find answers. However perilous the journey may be, there has, and always will be, more than meets the eye with Phedre.
Finding the renegade outlaw is the number one priority in this book. The underlying issue is finding a way to free Phedre's friend Hyacinth from his looming doom of becoming the new Master of the Straits. Phedre immerses herself into the Yeshuite culture to see if there is a fictional key to give any insight to her friend's situation. About halfway through the book is when Hyacinth is put on the back burner, and the story kicks it up a notch.
Phedre comes to the beautiful city of La Serenissima. A man made city built up on water. Trade is a plenty, as long as ancient lore. Their goddess, Asherat-of-the-sea, is vengeful. A tragedy had befallen Asherat, and it is rumored that her wailing surrounds La Dolorosa; a depressing prison that drives it's residents over the brink of insanity. Ever the spy, Phedre gathers too much information that leads to her arrest, and imprisonment in La Dolorosa. Sanity leaching from her daily, she is faced with a decision that could truly change the course of everything she holds dear. Releasing her of choice, the prison is promptly broken into and sent into disarray, allowing her to escape, just not as gracefully as she would have hoped. Falling over the cliffs of La Dolorosa in what should be a certain death, Phedre believes it is Asherat who saves her, and for that, Phedre swears to cleanse her temple.
As Phedre is adrift in the sea, a band of pirates picks her up, thinking she is a siren. As she explain her situation, the pirates think to use her as a bargaining chip for a boon. Slowly defenses are dropped, and Phedre befriends all on board, building lasting friendships with all the pirates.
Towards the end, the reader is literally on the edge of their seat. In this book, you have romance, travel, confrontation, deception, the Little Court, queens, princes, princesses, intrigue, imprisonment, rescue, kidnap, trials, oracles, pirates, death, life, and so much more. From an unlikely character, it's astonishing to see what she can truly accomplish once she puts her mind to it. Women can truly change the course of things. I'm so glad I did not put this book down.
Book 2 of Kushiel books
The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. THe inhabiting race rose form the seed of angels and men, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.
Pherdre no 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 Phedre 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 othyers 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 Phedre'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 shoule wear the crown...and those who escaped the wrath of the mighty are not yet done with thier schemes for power and revenge.