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

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  21,745 ratings  ·  573 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
Paperback, 702 pages
Published September 17th 2004 by Tor (first published January 1st 2003)
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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
Geoff Gerrietts
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
Nov 18, 2008 Bellish rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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
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
Jun 09, 2007 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
Mar 01, 2011 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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 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
♆ 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
Sep 17, 2007 Mara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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...
Lauren Doll
The promise of Kushiel's Dart (2001), the first volume of Carey's immense trilogy set in a skewed Renaissance world, is more than realized in this splendid conclusion. In the 10 years since the action of the second, relatively uneventful volume, Kushiel's Chosen (2002), the winsome and gritty anguisette Phedre, bidden to seek pain in love by her demi-gods, the cruel Kushiel and the loving Naamah, has matured gracefully. Now the Comtesse Phedre no Delaunay de Montreve, she enjoys maintaining an e ...more
Alyssa Archambo
I fell in love with this series years ago with the first book. Jacqueline Carey is incredibly clever and makes a complex, beautiful world loosely based on the cultures from this one. What I love about this series is that it's a mix of adventure, fantasy, philosophy, and romance. Really, you can't lose with this one.

I think this is the most gruesome out of the series so far. The previous two had some bad stuff, but nothing like what Phedre endures while enslaved to the sadistic warlord, the Mahrk
Phew, and I thought the first book was epic!

This was the most beautiful and fitting ending to one of the greatest trilogies I've ever read. These novels were pure, heart-felt magic.

I was apprehensive at first that this novel was set a whopping 10 years after the previous; but I should have know better. In the end it made no difference. Phedre and Joscelin are just ..kick-ass. Who was I to think that would change?! I'll admit, it had lots of up's and downs. I was convinced my heart was goi
This one is my favorite in a very well written series. Throughout the series, the characters became completely alive to me and I was sorry to see Phedre, Jocelyn, & Hyacyinth prepare to move into the background to allow the newer generation of characters to take center stage, but you can't fight evolution, I suppose. Still, I will miss these characters greatly, they became like old friends. I enjoyed watching them grow and mature into who they were meant to be.

Carey's world building is imagi
This is the last book in Phèdre’s Trilogy, since I had started to read the next book in the Kushiel’s Legacy Series I knew how this book would end, I was mainly interested in seeing how we got there.

After getting a little tired of Phèdre nó Delaunay talking of her beauty and how Terre d’Ange was a place of beauty and everyone there prized beauty above all other, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to read this book. While reading it I was surprised to discover that this book is better than book #2.
I adore Jacqueline Carey's writing. I personally think she is more suited for me than George R. Martin. She is definitely more personal while her world-building is still just as vast as Martin's.

Kushiel's Avatar starts 10 years after the end of Kushiel's Chosen. Melisande Shahrizai is vanquished and hiding away at Asherat's sanctuary while Phedre and Joscelin enjoy their quiet living in their country estate. But all good things come to an end when they receive a letter from Melisande asking for
...I guess I still feel Carey was trying to wrap up things a little too neatly, resulting in a book that delivers the real climax of the story too early and drags in later parts, despite rushing though some of the world building later on in the novel. Of the three books with Phèdre as the main character this one is definitely the darkest. Readers who have enjoyed the previous two books will most likely not be bothered by this but Carey pushes it further in Kushiel's Avatar than earlier in the tr ...more
Robin Wiley
Wow! I REALLY loved this one! This one is definately the best of the three! Most adventure, most interesting places, coolest cities, best fight scene, most religions, worst bad guys...

Speaking of bad guys, I like vengeance killing. You know, when the bad guy(s) have really pissed you off, and you will not be satisfied until they are very dead - and a Disney-style-fall-from-a-great-height-death simply will not do. Like in Open Range after the bad guys kill the kid and shoot Kevin Costner's dog. Y
The final book of the Phèdre trilogy is set 10 years after the previous book. Our super-courtesan has had a peaceful life with her consort, as one of the court favorites of the Queen. All would be well, if Phèdre didn't have nightmares about her childhood friend Hyacinthe who sacrificed himself to become Master of the Straits in the first book. Phèdre sets out to save him. At the same time, Melisande Shahrizai rears her head again, offering assistance in that search if Phèdre helps her locate he ...more
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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
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)
Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1) Kushiel's Chosen (Phèdre's Trilogy, #2) Kushiel's Scion (Imriel's Trilogy, #1) Kushiel's Justice (Imriel's Trilogy, #2) Kushiel's Mercy (Imriel's Trilogy, #3)

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“We speak of stories ending, when in truth it is we who end. The stories go on and on.” 75 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. ” 51 likes
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