Anybody read Kushiel's Dart?

Ivylad got me this book for Christmas, and I must admit, I find it hard going. I was about a third of the way through it, and I’ve put it aside for now.

Somehow, a book about a sexual masochist as a heroine, with palace intrique and political machinations is not hooking my interest. The back of the book compares it to Dune, but it’s been awhile since I read Dune, so I don’t know how true that is.

I’m having a hard time keeping track of the names and who’s doing what to whom and why. And this from a gal that’s rereading Colleen McCullough’s Master of Rome series for the squintillionth time!

Anybody read this? Do you recommend it? Does it get better as it goes? Shall I give it another shot after I finish Wolves of the Calla?

I’ve read all three and I did enjoy them. However, if you’ve read a big chunk and you don’t like it yet, I’m not sure that you will (has Phaedre earned her marque yet?). It’s pretty much more of the same: lots of diplomatic intrigue and Phaedre’s internal conflicts about her sexuality, plus big adventures.

Why I enjoy it: I read LOTR in the 5th grade and ever since then, I loathe any fantasy that obviously rips off the ideas of Tolkien, which is 90% of the fantasy genre. Since my job is connected to the SF/F genre, I really can’t avoid reading and writing about that tripe. So when a fantasy author tries to go in a new direction – for example China Mieville or Jacqueline Carey, I tend to appreciate it, perhaps more than the average reader. ::Shrug::

In barely-related news, the second book has a gorgeous cover, I don’t know what Tor was thinking going back to the artist that did Kushiel’s Dart.

Sorry, the post above is mine. I didn’t realize my pal Phatlewt was logged in on this machine. He hasn’t read Kushiel’s Dart. :slight_smile:

I’m going to second Hello Again. If you don’t like it, yet, chances are you won’t really get into it. Plus, it seems I’ll have to agree with Hello Again once more to state that a primary reason for finding it so intriguing was the twist on the heroine. It’s not every day that you come across a heroine who is descended from angels, beautiful, shrewd, and a total masochist.

In fact, I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed it was the BDSM aspect. I’m no stranger to erotic fiction, and I dearly love the fantasy genre. This was a nice blending of both worlds!
Other points of the series I enjoyed:

  • Her best friend Hyacinthe and the complicated relationship they share
  • The fact that she and her arch nemesis are so evenly matched

All in all, I think it was an excellent breakout series for Carey, but if you are squeemish about flaying, sodomy with pointy objects, and don’t feel that blood + torture + sex = WooooHoooo!, then the series may not be for you.


I concur with the others in this thread (though I haven’t read the third book yet). I would just like to add that I simply love the alternate history setting, rather than the usual trite invented fantasy world. I particularly adore the religious twists.

I really loved the trilogy. I hope there’s more, though I odn’t think there will be. I liked the political intrigue, the “love” story between Phaedre and Jocelyn, and the fact that a masochist can BE a masochist and still be respected and important and do things.

But yeah, if you’re most of the way through thte first one and you don 't like it, it’s probably not your cup of tea.

Jacqueline Carey has signed with Warner Aspect to write at least one more novel. I believe it is set in Terre D’Ange but is not about Phedre.

are books in hardback? id like to read the whole series at once…

Ihate the fact i have several old titles that had sequels that i doubt id find

Hey, ivylass, I too found the first half of the book a little sluggish (maybe not a whole half, but a good chunk!). For me, it was mostly learning the names, figuring out people’s importance, keeping track of the intrigue…however, the really strong main character and interesting setting kept me going. As others have said, if you’re not even slightly interested in things BDSM, it may not be worth continuing the book.

I’ve read the first two in the series and didn’t have any similar problems with the second book.

nightshadea, I just checked, and the offer all three books in hardcover.

Finally, Hello Again, thanks for sharing that bit of good news about hearing about further adventures in Terre d’Ange. :smiley:

All three are available in hard cover, and the first two are available in paperback. The third is due for paperback release in March of this year.

According to her website, Jacqueline Carey has several projects in the works, including a trilogy centered on Imriel, the son of Phedre’s enemy/lover.

Sorry for the back-to-back posts, but the information about additional Terre D’Ange books got me to peeking around the Internet, and I quickly found the author’s web site at Carey has posted the following about the upcoming book:

So, there ya go. :slight_smile: Anyone interested in the books might want to bookmark either Carey’s site or any of the fan sites she recommends to stay up to date.

There’s more? Looking forward to it, though there goes another $100 or so, since I doubt I’ll be patient enough to wait for them to come out in paperback.

This is an excellent series. I agree, the first part of the first book is pretty slow, and the real intrigue starts after she finishes her marque. The trilogy as a whole is wonderful, and these are three of the best-written books I’ve ever read.

I reached the part where Phedre’ got her marque about a third to two thirds done. (Whatshisname gave her a whole bunch of money after he burned her with a poker.)

S&M don’t really do much for me, but I think I might take another crack at it after I read Wolves. I kept coming across Ancient Rome references…the game, Kottabus, is very similiar to cottabus, a game in Rome that they played by throwing wine dregs and trying to interpret the patterns they made.

I should hope I’ve read them! laughs Didn’t think a topic like this would come up here.

Late this year, the first of a duology is coming out - Banewreaker, and later on Godslayer, which were the books supposed to encompass the one volume Elegy for Darkness (standalone from any of her other work). She’s also got another trilogy coming, about Imriel, but that’s already been mentioned.