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Kushiel's Scion (Imriel's Trilogy #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  16,512 Ratings  ·  505 Reviews
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phèdre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions.

Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty, and desire. It is a court steeped
Paperback, 944 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 12th 2006)
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Tara Newman No, not exactly. However, you will be spoiled for it and probably have a harder time with names and events. Though all of it is explained through…moreNo, not exactly. However, you will be spoiled for it and probably have a harder time with names and events. Though all of it is explained through Imri's POV of major places, events and people - this series references even minor events from the previous books and will feel history laden to those who haven't read the original trilogy. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Babcock
Oct 01, 2010 Ben Babcock rated it liked it
So you wrote a highly-successful trilogy. Congratulations! What now? Well, you could write a sequel trilogy: new narrator, same old world and intrigue. Some writers want to milk the cash cow for all it's worth. Other writers, like Jacqueline Carey, create worlds compelling enough to justify returning to them time and again. Sinking into Kushiel's Scion is like having an old friend come to visit: all the things that you remember are there, but time has passed, and with it has come change. So you ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Leyoh rated it it was amazing
I've seen a fair amount of moaning about this 1/3 of an overall 2/3 not stacking up to the first trilogy and I have to disagree with it all. There are not many times I wish to be a man (bar waiting for the toilets at a concert) but reading this made me pine for a codpiece and facial hair. Imriel is a bad egg, readers of this series will know why but he's cut from very prestigious cloth and his fine breeding makes for a spectacular young man.

The pace is steadier, we've not got so much intrigue o
Jun 01, 2011 Sath rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
This begins the second trilogy, in the Kushiel's Legacy series. This trilogy follows Imriel de la Courcel no Montreve, the adopted son of Phedre and Joscelin, and the biological son of Melisande Sharizai.

Imriel is now a teenager, coming into his majority at the royal court of Terre D'Ange. He's third in line to the throne, and as such has his allies, and his enemies at court, mostly just because he his mother's son. His mother was a traitor, but he has never known her, and shys away from his her
Jul 19, 2015 Melliane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mon avis en Français

My English review

J’étais vraiment tombée sous le charme de la première trilogie de Jacqueline Carey mettant en scène les aventures de Phèdre et de Joscelin. Même si j’étais impatiente de me lancer dans l’histoire d’Imriel, j’ai attendu plusieurs années pour vraiment le faire et c’était donc avec plaisir que j’ai retrouvé les personnages que j’avais pris le temps d’apprécier.

J’ai été assez surprise en commençant le roman en retrouvant Imriel encore assez jeune. On peut ainsi l
Oct 20, 2015 Leseparatist rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Spoilers for the previous trilogy.

I keep being surprised by these novels, thinking about the fact that they were published almost a decade ago. They still seem pretty unique in how far they are willing to go, and with such grace.

Kushiel's Scion is superbly fun for its relationship with the preceding trilogy. For me, much of the joy of cycles comes from checking in with the characters that already have their Happily-Ever-After. And the HEA of Phedre's trilogy is superb. Phedre and Joscelin are in
This book caught me in a complicated time of my life, so my opinion might be a little biased. Still, it was a valuable companion and it helped me, so I will try to write something coherent.

I loved the previous books in Kushiel's series. Three years have passed since I read the last one, but it was not hard to remember the characters, the places and the story as I was beggining this one. Some years have passed since "Kushiel's Avatar" and here we have a new narrator, Imriel, son of Phèdre's and T
Feb 19, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it
I surprisingly enjoyed this much more than I thought I would.

Although not as wonderful as I remember the Phedre trilogy being, this story - in its own right - is just as intriguing. I know many people have complained that it's not what they were expecting, that Imriel isn't as great a narrator as Phedre. Perhaps they are right. I know after I finished Kushiel's Avatar, the thought of reading Scion felt like a betrayal. I bought the book, but I couldn't bring myself to actually read it. It took
Jun 09, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all fantasy lovers
I'd wondered if Jacqueline Carey would be writing any more in her Kushiel universe, and was thrilled to find that she's continued in a new trilogy centering on Imriel de la Courcel.

I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. This book begins a new trilogy, one that blends with the previous storyline while forging ahead and making the reader love Imriel just as we've loved Phèdre. It's a treat to see this new perspective on life, and I found myself just as engaged with Imriel's story and character despite our diff
Jamie Collins
May 14, 2016 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kindle
I really love Carey’s prose - it should be ridiculous, with all the mayhaps and betimes and anons, but it works for me. I also love her slow pacing; this book practically has live-action sleeping, but again, it seems to work. My favorite part was actually first third or so, where nothing happens except Imriel simply growing up, from about age 14-18.

It gets a little creepy when he turns 16 and people are encouraging him to have violent sex, because such desires are inevitable in someone with his
Jul 27, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Lord, this is hard.

If you're not familiar with Jacqueline Carey and her Kushiel's Legacy series, which is steadily approaching epic proportions.... well, let it suffice to say that if you're not familiar with it, you should be. The series is filled with everything that makes fantasy so great; an sub-alternate world that parallels our own wonderfully, a great historical feel, well-rounded characters, political intrigue, great scenery, epic travels, wonderful costumes, deep emotions, quests o whic
Jul 01, 2013 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book of the second Kushiel trilogy. We bid goodbye to Phedre as our protagonist and narrator, and switch to angsty Imriel, Phedre's adopted son, third in line to the throne of Terre D'Ange. The book starts when he is 14, but the majority of the action finds him at 18. I am not kidding when I say he's angsty, because he is a boy with emotional trauma from his childhood abduction, but also the baggage of being the natural son of the country's greatest ever traitor, Melisande.

Under the Covers Book Blog
Sep 23, 2016 Under the Covers Book Blog rated it really liked it

As you may already be aware, this series has captured my heart and not let go for the past few years. I am making SLOW progress because, quite frankly, these books are big and they pack so much in them that it's usually a heartbreaking read and I need to take breaks in between. KUSHIEL'S SCION marks the beginning of a new trilogy in this universe and I didn't pay much attention to blurbs and things like that. What I had originally looked at was the appropriate order in which to read all these b

Sep 01, 2011 Virginia rated it liked it
Once again, Carey made me forget that I have a toddler at home who doesn't care if I didn't go to sleep until 4:30am reading this book. I am an idiot - but I had a great time reading this continuation of the Kushiel series. Instead of Phaedre, the series focuses on Imriel. He's a bit annoying at times, but who isn't when they're young? I am always amazed at how much stuff Carey crams into her books and I look forward to reading the rest.
Sep 17, 2015 Giedre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I told myself I'd try not to compare Imriel's trilogy to Phedre's. I failed. It's kind of impossible not to when they share the same world and Kushiel's Scion takes place not long after the ending of Kushiel's Avatar. Kushiel's Scion is a coming-of-age novel in the same way that Kushiel's Dart was. The world and the writing remain lush and interesting. I especially loved seeing Phedre and Joscelin through Imri's eyes. And the book itself is a compelling read... BUT. While Kushiel's Scion is
Dichotomy Girl
3rd Read: 8/27/2015
Second Read 8/11/13
First Read 4/24/10
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

As you may already be aware, this series has captured my heart and not let go for the past few years. I am making SLOW progress because, quite frankly, these books are big and they pack so much in them that it’s usually a heartbreaking read and I need to take breaks in between. KUSHIEL’S SCION marks the beginning of a new trilogy in this universe and I didn’t pay much attention to blurbs and things like that. What I had originally looked at was the appropriate order in which to read all these b
Note: While this is Book 4 in Kushiel’s Legacy (also referred to as the Terre D’Ange Cycle) it is Book 1 in the second trilogy and focuses on Imriel de la Courcel, who we met in Book 3, Kushiel’s Avatar. Kushiel’s Scion can be read on it’s own.

Set in an alternate history mixed with a bit of fantasy, Imriel de la Courcel, who we met in the first trilogy, is growing up and he’s muddling his way through it. Certain things that come easy to his friends (like flirting) are difficult for him. It’s a l
Duffy Pratt
Sep 01, 2010 Duffy Pratt rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Phedre narrated the first three Kushiel books. She is a strong, ruthless masochist. In this book, Carey switched her narrator to Phedre's adopted nephew, Imriel. And he is a somewhat weak, tortured sadist. Or at least, there are hints in that direction. But, whereas Phedre's basic nature shines throughout the first series, Carey seems a bit more reluctant to show the truly dark aspects of Imriels nature. Maybe that's because Imriel himself is trying to hide it, or maybe its just that Carey is no ...more
Mar 07, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with a curiosity of how far LOVE can take you.
Recommended to Darlene by: Chris
The version nearly threw me for a loop! It was Simon Vance who was narrating. Anyone who has read my other reviews for Jacqueline Carey's books knows how much I loved Anne Flosnik's voice and story telling abilities. When Simon began to speak, I turned off the audio. I couldn't get used to him. I understood why, but the way he read, the way he pronounced names and places, weren't like Anne's. I started reading on my own. My eyes get tired and soon I was ready to let someone else do t ...more
Robin Wiley
Nov 30, 2009 Robin Wiley rated it really liked it
I wasn't going to read this one. If it's not about Phedre, one of my all-time-favorite heroines, what's the point, Right?


I put a few weeks distance between me and the last book, Kushiel's Avatar (which I recommend doing). Then picked it up and started to read Imriel's story. The story picks up 5-6 years after the last book ends. And, bless you, Jacqueline Carey, there is just enough Phedre in it to help with the transition, but not enough to distract from our new hero.

Like the other trilog
Sep 16, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A big, sprawling, sexy romantic, heroic fantasy set in a truly inventive alternate reality--a pseudo-Renaissance version of Europe and countries beyond. This book is the middle installment of a trilogy that also includes Kushiel's Scion and Kushiel's Mercy.

The entire trilogy is a sequel to a previous one: Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Avatar, and Kushiel's Chosen. I read those three books long ago (pre-2004). Their strengths are the strong, multifaceted female heroine; the rich, fully developed alt
Jul 16, 2016 Bellish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Thoroughly enjoyed sinking back into the world of Terre d'Ange, nearly 8 years after I finished the last trilogy. Nothing happens for about the first 350 pages, which was bliss given the insanity going on in the real world as I was reading. Imriel gets ill, someone gives him a horse, and he spends a lot of time conveniently thinking about his and Phedre's previous adventures, for those who have forgotten what happened in the earlier books. Once the plot kicks in it is great fun, and Imriel's roa ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
I don't have any idea how I put this book down after I started reading it some time in 2006. I devoured it this time around. Everything I love about Jacqueline Carey's world is refreshed in this book after it had grown a little stale in the 3rd. A fresh set of eyes, a slightly new cast of characters, and a whole new set of problems allow this book to stand alone from the first 3, but leave you wanting to know what happened before. It left me wanting to re-read the first two.

I would have liked a
Jul 18, 2014 Alytha rated it really liked it
I really liked this, but I'll miss Phèdre so much ;)

Interestingly enough, we get more into Joscelin's head in this one than ever before, which I've always wanted to do. He's just a great character.

Imriel as a protagonist is doing a decent job. However, I keep wanting to call him "Tavi", after the protagonist of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series. Must be the difficult childhood and pseudo-Roman setting.

Going to get the next one soon, I guess :)
Oct 03, 2013 Derick rated it it was ok
It took me almost a year to finish this book, and it wasn't until the end that I realised why.

I really enjoyed the first Kushiel series, and there wasn't anything that I could put my finger on until I got to the last quarter of the book, which suddenly seemed more enjoyable. And then it hit me - Imriel grew up. The first 75% was a slow torturous tale filled dripping with teen angst and associated faux drama; and it bored me to tears.

I'm happy I didn't give up and made it to the end with a more p
Mar 19, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. This is the first in a trilogy about Imriel de la Courcel, Phedre's adopted son, Melisande's actual son. It basically covers his coming of age and visiting Tiberium (Rome, ofc) to attend a university there. It sounds so boring when written out like that, but there is so much interesting character development, intrigue between Terre d'Ange and Alba, revisiting old friends from Phedre's trilogy, philosophy teachers who chase pigeons... This author just has such an en ...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-bought
I was skeptical about the spin-off Imriel Trilogy after the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy was so good. But what I like about hearing Imriel’s story is that it’s a coming-of-age story in which the protagonist truly struggles with a terrible past in order to find out who he is. He has very real trust issues, he’s scared of his mother’s reputation following him everywhere and most of all, he still has the emotional scars he gained in Darsanga.

You can’t help but cheer for Imriel the whole way as he tries
Jul 03, 2012 Nazarea rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, rereads
I grew up on the first Kushiel trilogy. When I found Imriel's in my early twenties, I was thrilled and nervous. Then and now, I am happy to find Imri's story is just as beautifully and flawlessly told as Phedre. And while I will always have a soft spot for Phedre and Joscelin--they were figures I loved as a young teen and still do--Imri is something very sweet and sad and broken and still trying to be the best that he can be. And I can't help but adore that in him.
Apr 19, 2015 Lana rated it really liked it
the trilogy i am currently reading is called imriel and is recited by him! imriel is very likeable but his tale is much milder than phedre's were, not half as exciting and there was a concentration of war and fighting!! melisande is still present even though she is now in the background but one can feel her web and intrigues around imriel anyway!! hope he does not really marry a bride he does not love cause he is so elua's child and should follow his heart!
Sep 12, 2007 Jenny rated it really liked it
High fantasy at its very best. The intrigue! The deceit! The chivalry! The smoldering sensuality! Man, I love Jacqueline Carey. This is the fourth novel in the Kushiel's Legacy series, and already I cannot wait for the fifth (fingers crossed; I wasn't expecting this fourth book so a fifth would be an absolute gift). Carey pulls you into her world with a sense of urgency, and the tales she weaves are rich and satisfying, and incredibly well written.
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Around the Year i...: Kushiel's Scion, by Jacqueline Carey 2 14 Aug 31, 2016 06:31PM  
Should I read Kushiel's Dart before this one? 1 2 Jul 14, 2016 04:47AM  
SF/F Read Alongs: Kushiel's Scion 16 21 Feb 21, 2016 08:24AM  
  • Dreams Made Flesh (The Black Jewels, #5)
  • The Well of Shades (The Bridei Chronicles, #3)
  • The Mirador (Doctrine of Labyrinths, #3)
  • The Oracle's Queen (The Tamír Triad, #3)
  • Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love (Kushiel's Legacy #1.5; Phèdre's Trilogy, #1.5; The Dresden Files, #11.5; Outlander, #8.5)
  • Restoration (Rai-Kirah, #3)
  • Darkwitch Rising (The Troy Game, #3)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction.

She attended Lake Forest College, receiving B.A.'s in psychology and English literature. During college, she spent 6 months working in a bookstore as part of a wo
More about Jacqueline Carey...

Other Books in the Series

Imriel's Trilogy (3 books)
  • Kushiel's Justice (Imriel's Trilogy, #2)
  • Kushiel's Mercy (Imriel's Trilogy, #3)

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“Even a stunted tree reaches for sunlight.” 77 likes
“Love child!" What else? You will find it and lose it, again and again. And with each finding and each loss, you will become more than before. What you make of it is yours to choose.” 28 likes
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