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Kushiel's Avatar (Phèdre's Trilogy #3)

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4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,852 Ratings  ·  678 Reviews
The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It's inhabited by the race that rose from the seed of angels, 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 who recognized that she was pricked by Kushiel's dart, chosen to forever experience pain
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Paperback, 702 pages
Published September 17th 2004 by Tor (first published 2003)
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Rob Kerr Actually, fewer than in previous instalments, as Joscelin takes a secondary role for much of the book, and is without said vambraces in some of his…moreActually, fewer than in previous instalments, as Joscelin takes a secondary role for much of the book, and is without said vambraces in some of his fight scenes. One of which is in a muddy field, so not so much light flashing there. But the same prose style is certainly evident, and given that Carey is consciously aiming for an epic tone, the repetition of some standard phrasing seems forgiveable. There are only so many ways to describe vambraces in a fight scene, where need to maintain the pace is necessarily athwart any possible desire for more creative verbiage ;-)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Allison (The Allure of Books)
I stayed up until 8 o'clock in the morning to finish this book. I literally could not put it down, it didn't even occur to me. This book was fan-freakin-tastic and I definitely consider it among my few favorites.

I already loved (and hated, in some cases) these characters. They already felt real to me. I know some people will read this series and say that some of the characters are without flaws, but I don't care.

I followed Phedre and Joscelin into the most realized interpretation of Hell I have
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Geoff Gerrietts
Jul 10, 2007 Geoff Gerrietts rated it really liked it
Carey writes very well. Her turns of phrase and choice of imagery are excellent. Her command of language is exquisite. She tells a deep and detailed story through well-imagined characters. I have found this true of all her books, and I can readily recommend them to anyone who can enjoy fantastical fiction.

I don't want to spend too long on the whole series, but I haven't written an in-depth review of these books yet, so I'll quickly cover the highlights. Carey's world is detailed and vibrant, wit
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Bellish
Nov 18, 2008 Bellish rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who read the first two, even if they weren't completed sold
Although I did enjoy the first two books in this series, it was with a bucket of reservations: repetition, overblown language, and inadequate characterization of the supporting characters, which made the impressively plotted political machinations so much less involving.

The third book, however, overturned most of these. There is still repetition (I will own, if I ever hear that phrase again I will go mad), but the high-flown language comes into its own describing the lengthy journey undertaken b
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Lightreads
Jul 06, 2011 Lightreads rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Further adventures of fantasy!France’s most beautiful traveling courtesan who is marked by the gods to have a lot of kinky sex.

I have a lot of thoughts about this series suddenly. Funny, since in the past it was my go to law school exams reading choice.

Thing 1: I really like how this series talks about women’s power – political, sexual, subversive. And how the thrust of the whole thing revolves around the love/hate of two extraordinary and powerful women. How often do you see that?

Thing 2: The s
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Christina
Feb 02, 2010 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I finish this trilogy for the second time, I am - no kidding - hugging the book to my chest and willing for Phèdre's story to continue. That is how much I love Kushiel's Legacy.

How do I describe my love for these books? Is it Phèdre's courage, to falter at no boundaries in order to achieve what she believes in? Or Joscelin's faith, to - putting it simply - protect and serve? Maybe it is that without a doubt, I would drop everything in a heartbeat to take up residence in Terre d'Ange and foll
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Leyoh
Feb 01, 2012 Leyoh rated it it was amazing
I never say much about 6 star books. Just know you'll be investing heavily with your emotion on this one. My heart broke so many times I felt it physically and I was up until the wee hours to get my answers but I was not disappointed. This was an experience I'll NEVER forget. thank you Jacqueline Carey. You have raised my standards.
Jamie Collins
Jul 21, 2015 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
How can a series with prose this purple and a premise this absurd be so gripping? All three of these books have kept me up reading late into the night. Purple or no, Carey’s writing is engaging; and somehow I completely buy into the idea that a prostitute with a heart of gold can use her astonishing beauty and hardcore masochism to save the world.

In this conclusion to the trilogy, Phèdre seeks nothing less than the Name of God, which she needs to free her friend who was trapped on an island by a
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Maria
Apr 29, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
Since I read the first two books from the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, I am a huge fan of hers. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for this book! “Kushiel’s Avatar” is by far the best book I have ever read! For the first time in my life, I thought I was living in a book. A couple of times, I found myself not to continue reading because I was afraid of what will happen to the characters! I fell in love with them, fought beside them, cried for them, I lost hope as they did and, fi ...more
Sath
May 10, 2011 Sath rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, bdsm, reviewed
Ten years have passed in Terre d'Ange, peace and prosperity for the country, and for Phedre and Joscelin. Phedre has never forgotten Hyacinche, still trapped by the curse of the angel Rahab, and has long searched for (and never found) the one thing which could free him - the name of god. Then comes a request for help from Melisand Sharizhai, her son Imriel, hidden away in secret these ten years is now missing, presumed abducted. And if Phedre will search for him, Melisande promises a lead on the ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 09, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all fantasy lovers
I felt spent after reading book 2 in this trilogy... but that was nothing compared to the terrible beauty of Kushiel's Avatar. Carey delves deep into the darkness of the human psyche, and deep into our hearts with the seemingly impossible task laid at Phèdre's feet. We might wish for gifts from the gods, here in our cubicles or sitting in rush-hour traffic, but this book outlines the price of being the Avatar of a god such as Kushiel, and the courage required to meet his demands.

Unlike the othe
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Darlene
Mar 01, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adventurers of love
Recommended to Darlene by: My husband
I wrote the following review for my Kindle copy of this book. This copy is the Audible.com audio narrated by Anne Flosnik. Her voice enhanced my experience in Jacqueline Carey's well built world. Here is my review of the book. But keep in mind how much I admire Anne Flosnik's incredible interpretation of the written words.

I finally understand why my husband was so in love in Jacqueline Carey. He was so much in awe that he went to a book signing and got his copy of this book signed by this great
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Meredith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Traci
Oct 14, 2011 Traci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This series took me by surprise and became a favorite. The last book is as constantly good as the other two and Carey's writing is, so far, at it's best. I recommend trying these books. Fans of fantasy along the lines of Guy Gavriel Kay, Robin Hobb, Jennifer Fallon, and N.K. Jemisin. And also romance fans of Diana Gabaldon and Beatrice Small.
Now for the reason this almost didn't get a five star rating. I liked Phedre throughout the series but I felt that here in the last instead of growing older
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Kelli
Apr 22, 2014 Kelli rated it it was ok
As much as I loved this series and as much as I loved the ending of this book I had to give it only 2 stars and prob only deserved 1. 2 reasons...

First, the middle part of this book was awful. It was horrid. It was so over the line I almost put it down several times but was too invested in the characters. I ended up briefly skimming the middle third and it still took me twice as long to read. Second, the whole weird hycinthe "love" was weird and pissed me off. Joscelin loved her and the fact tha
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Liliflaj
Apr 13, 2016 Liliflaj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prelepo! Zao mi je sto je ovo kraj trilogije i kraj ove price :/ , tj. prica, jer svaka nova avantura je nova prica, sa novim likovima, novim predelima i situacijama, osim sto su glavni likovi isti, Phedre i njen Joselin.
Obozavam citanje bas zbog ovakvih knjiga i pisaca poput Jacqueline Carey; ona je kroz ovu svoju trilogiju osmoslila citavo novo covecanstvo, nove kontinente, zemlje, gradove, nova bozanstva, a opet u osnovi svega toga je ono nepromenljivo, neizostavno i najvaznije - ljubav. 'Lju
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Alytha
Jun 02, 2014 Alytha rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this series, I could never have imagined how much I would end up loving it. I'm a bit sad it's over. I'm going to miss Phèdre and Joscelin. They are just such great characters. I guess having a psychology degree does pay when you're an author. Yes, Phèdre is of course extra super special, touched by gods, and beloved of the most perfect man ever, but her narration never makes her come across like a Mary Sue, because she is such a real, complex character. I would really hav ...more
NJ
Jan 02, 2016 NJ rated it really liked it
Kushiel's Avator is definitely darker, contains more gripping adventures, a deeper exploration of the world with all the characters being challenged and stretched to the limit; and as always, it is done through ingenious storytelling. When I thought Kushiel's Chosen took the series to a whole new level, this book broke all the rules by going way darker, more magical, closer focus on world building, history as well as many more achingly endearing moments between unforgettable characters. Phédre n ...more
Ellen Gail
May 02, 2015 Ellen Gail rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, crying-now
Five well earned stars. A beautiful end to a fantastic trilogy.

"I prayed it would end in love. I prayed we could come home, all of us."

I love Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève. Wholeheartedly, her story and her character have captivated me. She is loving, brave, and compassionate, devoted completely to the people she loves, with a deep code of honor. A vow from her is worth more than gold. Knowledge is precious to her, and she learns all she can. She is also vain, suspicious, and stubborn. Phèdre i
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Veronica
Dec 08, 2014 Veronica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Kushiel's Avatar picks up ten years after the events of the last book. It's been ten years of peace for Phedre and my favorite warrior priest, Joscelin Verreuil, but that respite comes to an end as the two heroes of the realm are called upon to help someone neither ever thought to willingly aid while simultaneously delivering on a long-held promise to an old friend. Their efforts will take them through what we would consider the Middle East and Africa and will keep them far from their home fires ...more
Susan
Jul 27, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This is and always will be my favourite out of the entire Kushiel's Legacy series - I haven't even read all of the books yet and I can already say without a doubt that this one is my favourite - that should tell you a lot about how much I love it, especially if you've heard me rave about previous books in the series.

Jacqueline Carey truly outdid herself here. The story of this particular novel is compelling beyond compelling, amazing almost to a fault, and frankly, addictive. Being in the proces
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♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
The conclusion to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel trilogy featuring Phedre no Delaunay leads us to Phedre’s darkest hour. Torn between two loyalties, Phedre starts a new journey to save the missing child, Imriel de la Courcel. Imriel is no ordinary child; born of Phedre’s betrayer, Melisandre Shahrizai, he is of two lines. From his father’s side, he is in the direct line to Terre d’Ange’s throne. From his mother’s blood, he is bequeathed the darker aspects of Kushiel’s legacy.

In Phedre’s quest to fin
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Lana
Apr 12, 2015 Lana rated it it was amazing
phedre's last book in this amazing trilogy!! what can one say? it was as thrilling as the other two books, full of exciting adventure, scary at times but exhilarating, phedre is such a great heroine, lovable and to be admired! also in this book we get to meet the very brave and lovable imriel who i must say i am looking forward to meeting in the next trilogy - Imriel! the ending of this amazing book kept me reading and on edge till the end and the ending made me cry, not out of sadness but so mu ...more
Darlene
Mar 01, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults that want to travel and let love rule.
Recommended to Darlene by: My husband
I finally understand why my husband was so in love in Jacqueline Carey. He was so much in awe that he went to a book signing and got his copy of this book signed by this great author. For me, there hasn't been a better diet that reading her books. I have gone full days not wanting to put the book down to go and get a meal or snack. I even go thirsty forgetting that I need to drink water. And getting to sleep while in the middle of one of her stories takes more discipline than I have. Even after ...more
Mara
Sep 17, 2007 Mara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans with a strong stomach
Shelves: fantasy, m_for_mature
See also my review for Kushiel's Dart, which covers this entire series.

This is the spiritually deepest and most terrifying of all three books. Phedre's pain-bearing gift takes her into a kind of hell-on-earth, something only she could psychologically and physically survive in order to overcome and ultimately destroy it. Her quest to save her good friend Hyacinthe from a lifetime of solitary confinement eventually unearths the lost Hebrew tribe of Dan in Africa and her meeting with the old priest
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Giedre
Apr 15, 2015 Giedre rated it really liked it
Confession time: the first time I read Kushiel's Avatar the book left me slightly disappointed. Truly, I don't even know why. I must have been in a reading slump. Anyway, I wanted to re-read this, because I'd like to start the Imriel trilogy sometime this year, and he, as a side character, plays a rather large role in Kushiel's Avatar. After finishing the book for the second time, I can say I am more than satisfied with the last installment of the epic journey Phedre's trilogy took us on. It is ...more
Lorrie
Nov 10, 2011 Lorrie rated it it was amazing
This is my second time reading through the Kushiel's Legacy series and I remember why I loved the books the first time I read them. Carey is a brilliant story teller and I came to love her characters but not just Phedre and Joscelin, but Hyacinthe, Queen Ysandre, and others as well. I would read and read and before I knew it, I'd read through half the book and it was the wee hours of the morning. I did this on the second read through also. The books for me, are timeless and the story is intricat ...more
Martina Nix Govoni
Terza parte, terzo viaggio di Phèdre e il mio cuore canta.
Ricordavo abbastanza bene questo romanzo, non tanto quanto il primo della trilogia, ma per lo meno non avevo un'amnesia come con il secondo, nonostante sia duro, difficile e crudo in certe parti, non mi aveva traumatizzato.
La terza parte delle avventure di Phèdre si ammanta di misticismo, vediamo realmente in azione il divino, Kushiel reclama la sua prescelta per affidarle una difficilissima prova. È un gioco fra dei a guidare la storia,
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Virginia
Jul 10, 2011 Virginia rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Carey just gets better and better. I could barely put the book down. Riveting!! SO GOOD!
Kitty (I solemnly swear that I am up to no good)
Dont know why, I just got bored. Liked the other two though...
Jo
May 25, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing
this was my favorite book of the trilogy.
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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
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More about Jacqueline Carey...

Other Books in the Series

Phèdre's Trilogy (3 books)
  • Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)
  • Kushiel's Chosen (Phèdre's Trilogy, #2)

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“We speak of stories ending, when in truth it is we who end. The stories go on and on.” 90 likes
“We are all these things [...]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty...and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights. ” 61 likes
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