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Kushiel's Chosen (Phèdre's Trilogy #2)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  29,087 Ratings  ·  770 Reviews

Following hard on the heels of Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey's spectacular debut novel, comes Kushiel's Chosen, a glittering and riveting historical fantasy.

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It is said
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 700 pages
Published April 6th 2002 by Tor Books
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John Mendez I just finished listening to this audiobook yesterday. First of all Joscelin is in it plenty, it's Hyacynth who's missing.

I thought the first book…more
I just finished listening to this audiobook yesterday. First of all Joscelin is in it plenty, it's Hyacynth who's missing.

I thought the first book was quite a bit more charming, the characters forgot their lessons from the first book. The prose was just as good as book one, maybe better in places if you can overlook the fact that there is so much less lore in this book than the first (I like reading worldbuilding/lore quite a bit). Plot wise, it was almost as if the author re-used a small parts of the first book's plot. I liked book 1 better due to the lore and how Phedre's perspective changed from pawn to player, whereas in this book I didn't get a sense that Phedre became a substantially better player.

So... maybe?(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Jul 07, 2016 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastickal
I was waffling between 3 & 4 stars on this one, but since the second book in this series was a marked improvement for me on the first book, 4 stars it is.

our intrepid heroine Phèdre - courtesan supreme with a very special talent for transmuting pain into pleasure - makes her debut redux as a titled Lady and so re-enters various schemes and plots at a very different level. and with that elimination of class issues (as well as the death of her charming pimp patron in the first book) came the e
Bob Milne
Aug 16, 2016 Bob Milne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's funny what the years can do to your taste in books - and I'm talking about something deeper, something more profound than those books that just don't stand up to being revisited. Instead, I'm talking about those books that you appreciated back in the day, but somehow knew you weren't quite ready to enjoy. Books that linger somewhere in the back of your imagination, biding their time until you're ready to continue with the series.

Kushiel's Chosen, the second book of the Kushiel's Legacy seri
With the expectations Kushiel's Dart gave me, I might have been worried that Kushiel's Chosen wouldn't match up. I wasn't, but I wouldn't have needed to be anyway. I loved this book just as much as the first one. Everything I've said about how it's not for everyone still stands (see my first review), although there was less sex, I think, and perhaps more of the politics. Somehow, this book didn't feel as dense as that one, but there's still a lot of content considering it's the second book of a ...more
Perhaps some day I will read one of these BDSM courtesan-spy epic fantasy doorstops and actually be able to talk about it afterwards, but today is not that day. Because right now, I am just so fucking grateful to this book, it has eclipsed the book itself – unintentionally hilarious, strangely unproblematic – almost entirely. This is what I read during the final two weeks of my last semester in law school. It’s what I read on the eight minute dog walking breaks, what I read when I snapped awake ...more
Another beautifully written epic fantasy.

Kushiel's Chosen picks up where Kushiel's Dart left off. But whereas Phedre is initially drawn into intrigue for the sake of her murdered mentor & foster-brother, the tragedies & travails in this second installment are a product of Phedre's own impetus. She doesn't have to become involved, but she makes that choice -- the same way she submits to a patron's whims, but on a larger political scale. Likewise, the intrigue in this book has a more perso
Ben Babcock
Mar 30, 2010 Ben Babcock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Screw magic. Give me some political fantasy any day, and I'm a happy reader.

I liked Kushiel's Dart. I'm not sure if there's a definite quality improvement or if I'm going too easy on this one, but I loved Kushiel's Chosen.

The Kushiel's Legacy series takes place in a sort of Fantasy Counterpart Culture world where it's Europe, only not. From this starting point, Jacqueline Carey creates a world that, while somewhat similar to our own, nevertheless has unique societies and politics. As she crisscr
Mar 28, 2011 Sath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, bdsm, lgbt, reviewed
The second in the Kushiel's legacy series, continues on exactly where the first novel left off.

Phedre no Delaunay, now the comtesse de Montreve, comfortably living in her country home with Joscelin and her three chevaliers, and spending most of her time learning Habiru, in the hopes of discovering the key to freeing Hyacinth from the yeshuite curse. But then a parcel comes from Melisande Sharizhai - Phedre's sangoire cloak - and there is only one way to interpret it; Melisande's games of politic
Feb 19, 2016 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

-Phèdre's pms was terrible
- Joscelin is still a cutie patootie
- Melisande is the best villain ever

I liked it less than Kushiel's Dart. That's the only certain thing I can tell you to be honest.

The problem for me was Phèdre. Even in the first book I had liked her less than the so-called secondary characters and she certainly didn't do anything to "redeem" herself in my eyes this time around. It's not a matter of her beliefs or her personality, but simply of taste: I do not feel like I can care f
Allison (The Allure of Books)
I was almost scared to read this, because I was just sure it wouldn't be able to measure up to Kushiel's Dart. If I'd known how wrong I was, I wouldn't have waited two months to pick it up! I probably won't be able to wait even a week to start the third one.

So often, books in a series have different vibes, and the feelings you get while reading them are so varied that its hard to consider them connected. Not so with these, Kushiel's Chosen was very much a continuation of the first, and I can't r
Kushiel's Chosen was my least favorite of Jacqueline Carey's trilogy featuring the anguisette Phedre no Delaunay. In this novel, the action shifts from Terre d'Ange to Carey's version of Venice (La Serenissima) so Phedre is free to display her snobbery and chauvinism to a grating degree (no one else is as beautiful as Angelines, no other place is as lovely, cultured, fashionable or interesting, no other language is as beautiful, yadda, yadda, yadda. By the time I'd read 700 pages of this, I want ...more
Jul 27, 2015 Jeannette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Collins
3.5 stars. This is almost as good as the first book, with the same lovely overwrought prose that I am finding quite absorbing.

Unsatisfied with her triumph of the previous novel, our heroine travels to a foreign land seeking a traitor who escaped justice. It’s interesting to have a strong female character who isn’t a warrior, although making her a sexually submissive masochist is going rather far in the other direction.

I’m not quite convinced by Melisande’s supernatural power over Phèdre, and the
Ellen Gail
May 02, 2015 Ellen Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
[Mild non-specific spoilers for Kushiel's Dart below]

Top 5 Reasons I Loved Kushiel's Chosen

1)The first thing I see when I open the book is a map and a cast of characters sorted by location. I asked for it in my review of Kushiel's Dart and book two delivered! In these kinds of epic fantasies, I find those so helpful.

2)It consistently manages to surprise me. When I got to the end of the chapter that revealed a particularly big bombshell, (view spoiler)
Sep 03, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fanatasy
The sequel to Kushiel's Dart does not disappoint. The first in the series introduced Phedre no Delauney as an anguisette, the red mote in her eye indicating that she's been chosen by Kushiel to follow a path of pain and pleasure. Trained in the skills of a courtesan of the Night Court, she is also trained to be a spy for the master of her marque, Afaniel Delauney.

In this, the court intrigue continues as traitor to the crown, Melisande Shahrizai escapes from prison. Suspecting another traitor wi
Feb 20, 2011 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adventurers. Adult themes abound.
Recommended to Darlene by: Chris
Yes, there is erotica, and not necessarily the kind I like, but it is well within the plot and story so take no offense at this. Until you have started reading this books you will not understand their depth. Rather try to look at these books as an adventure in another Europe of such. Ladies and Lords and Queens and battles and deception, intrigue abound. The map and cast of characters are in the front of the book to keep you informed.

Then there is Kushiel, herself. Never have I met a follower of
May 23, 2012 Benedict rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
So, while I don't plan to give away any major plot twists, I'm reviewing the second in a series, so spoilers, of course, if you haven't read the first, and probably light spoilers here anyway.

I'll note that my copy of this arrived while I was 18 chapters into the first Game of Thrones book. NIGHT AND DAY. Carey's prose is so much richer, her characters so much more complex, her paragraphs so much more unified-in-a-single-thought (okay, that last is just uncharitable; sorry to Martin). Sincerely,
Jan 11, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second astonishing book in the trilogy (or quintology?) of Kushiel's legacy featuring the anguisette Phedre, now the close confident of the newly minted Queen.

Phedre is a courtesan's daughter, born to one of the Houses of Night-Blooming Flowers as a result of an illicit union between a merchant's son and one of the adepts (read: highly trained, highly paid indentured courtesans). Her indenture, or marque, is sold by the head of her mother's house into the household of a nobleman who is already r
Dec 06, 2011 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot of this one follows the pattern of the first book too closely for me. Phedre returns to the life of a courtesan and becomes popular and sought after. She then departs on a secret mission to expose a traitor to the throne, visits faraway lands under stressful circumstances, has adventures including several imprisonments and a sea voyage, and saves the country and her queen. Sound familiar?

I had several problems with the story. First, Phedre's return to her former occupation seems pointle
The W
Mar 08, 2013 The W rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
W Rating : B-(C+ is more appropriate)

Well, this was not a let down sequel, per say, but was definitely a lesser novel than the first. Your sequel really should always be better due to your readers knowing the characters and what the world is about so you, the writer, can spend more time on the rest of your story.

The first 350 pages are Phedre, blindly confident in her vision/hunting. She screws over Joscelin and continues throughout. Basically, she was selfish which is pretty annoying. Carey ha
Aug 31, 2007 Talkswithwind rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As with Kushiel's Dart, this book suffers from Omniscient Bad Guy syndrome in the form of Melisande. This book is more intense than Dart, partly because the whole book can be devoted to the main plot and the author doesn't have to spend pages introducing the main characters. A friend of mine described this book as a "Map book", in that the characters go to every place named on the map just inside the title page.

The book didn't do anything for me. The OBG overshadowed the whole thing, so that's w
Feb 27, 2008 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrea by: Kari
This is hands-down one of my favorite books! The whole first trilogy is one I've read at least 3 or 4 times! Much more than a mere fantasy novel, these books explore human nature, passion, deceit, politics, and of course, love. Set in medieval pseudo-Europe (more specifically France, aka in the book Terre D'Ange), this book is rich in detail, full of different cultures and languages, and has VERY vivid characters. I've given it to numerous people with one warning, it DOES contain some explicit s ...more
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

I always knew that reading this trilogy would be an amazing experience. It just took me years to take a dive and commit to the page count. And I’m so glad now I’m doing it. It’s so much more than I ever thought it could be. Phèdre nó Delaunay is one of the most complex and riveting characters I have ever read. Add to that the fact that Ms. Carey’s writing is superb and the epic story that unfolds in these pages is bound to stay with anyone who reads it forever.

KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN brings more love
What a wild ride. By now the characters of this universe have grown on me so much that I'm willing to disregard the unlikely turns the plot takes to see what becomes of them. Still - the readers certainly do get a guided tour to this version of Fantasyeurope that leaves out little. Some of the turns the plot does take (emprisonment, pirates, duels, warfare, etc.) were over the top but embedded in the story in a way that I didn't care anymore if this was a likely story or not. By now its clear th ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Shoshana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up, fantasy, 2014
1.5. Maybe.

As with the first book in this series, I didn't feel the plot/interestingness of this book picked up until at least halfway through. I'm not even sure why I stuck it out that long: the story up until that point is a tedium of Phedre navel-gazing, butting heads with her romantic interest, and random other shit that only sometimes held relevant.

Once we got out of fake-Venice, I enjoyed the story more, but definitely felt the lack of Joscellin (whose name I know I've misspelled). The tr
Feb 03, 2009 Roxane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Kushiel’s Chosen being the second book by Carey that I’ve read, I guess
you can say that I’m slowly getting accustomed to her style and characters. For one thing, it felt relaxing going back to characters I’d grown to appreciate in the first book, namely Phèdre and Joscelin but also Ysandre and Drustan.
The question as to how Melisande had managed to escape from her cell was the main question throughout the first pages as well as to her current whereabouts.
The writing is as in the previous book ex
Aug 09, 2007 Skwerlie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled so hard to get through this book. I decided to read the series because I had enjoyed some similar series and all of my friends seemed to love this one. The first book, Kushiel's Dart (while a bit silly and no particular masterpiece), was good enough to make me check out the sequel, but Kushiel's Chosen just didn't click with me. At all. I had to force myself to pick up the book and read more, out of some sort of hope that it would get better toward the end and sweep into some sort of ...more
A brilliant second instalment in the series. This one focus's on finding Melisande and some brilliant if predictable twists happen though out the book. I feel the character development is good and I found myself speeding to the end of the book eager to know what happened to everyone. This is definitely a series I recommend but would make no sense without reading the first one.
A great political intrigue book without all the hype of Game of Thrones and actually I prefer this series.
Jul 02, 2015 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-bingo-2015
A very strong book two, which can can be a difficult thing to achieve in a trilogy! This book was able to move at a faster pace from the beginning, since not a lot of world building was needed. The sexual exploitations seemed more graphic to me than in the first book, but I guess you've got to turn it up a notch as the trilogy continues. It was also full of plenty of action, adventure, and intrigue to keep you on your toes and wanting to see what happens next. I'm looking forward to starting the ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Alytha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As good as the first one.

Although Phèdre should really have kept that girl with the crossbow closer. Would have saved a lot of trouble.

And yay for the ending! :)
Under the Covers Book Blog

I always knew that reading this trilogy would be an amazing experience. It just took me years to take a dive and commit to the page count. And I'm so glad now I'm doing it. It's so much more than I ever thought it could be. Phèdre nó Delaunay is one of the most complex and riveting characters I have ever read. Add to that the fact that Ms. Carey's writing is superb and the epic story that unfolds in these pages is bound to stay with anyone who reads it forever.

KUSHIEL'S CHOSEN brings more love

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SF/F Read Alongs: Kushiel's Chosen Read Along 21 20 Sep 09, 2015 11:29PM  
Horror Aficionados : Kushiel's Chosen - Buddy Read (Spoilers) 52 47 Jul 15, 2013 11:14AM  
Vaginal Fantasy B...: Hangout for the later books? 1 33 Sep 06, 2012 09:42PM  
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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 Avatar (Phèdre's Trilogy #3)

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