Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > Kushiel's Chosen

Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
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's review
Oct 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-epic
Read in September, 2009 — I own a copy , read count: 1

The third book that I read on my vacation journey was Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Chosen. That is, I read most of it during the trip but completed it this weekend. This is the second book in Ms Carey's first trilogy of the land of Terre D'Ange, following Kushiel's Dart. This is an adult fantasy novel, as is the series, and not really meant for those that blush at a hint of eroticism.

The main character, Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, is a courtesan and spy and she uncovers a conspiracy of treason and murder that takes her on adventures to other contries accompanied by an intriguing cast of characters. Ultimately she faces her old foe, Melisande. I really enjoyed reading this novel, despite several factors that normally kill a story for me. First it has many many characters, all with names that are difficult to pronounce. Often when I read novels like that, I lose the thread of what is happening and to whom. Not this time. The world itself is a replica of our own Earth, at least the European and Mediterranean areas and I found that to be a solid anchor. Even though different names were used I could "typecast" a new character when they were introduced, associating them with our cultures and physical appearances. Ms Carey's writing is highly skilled and she writes in a style that seems to fit the type of story it is; i.e. sensual writing, almost poetic in some places as would befit a beautiful courtesan protagonist.

I also felt this was an unusually good story line and even though it is the middle book of a trilogy, it fits solidly into a greater whole and doesn't suffer from "'middle book" syndrome that befalls so many fantasy trilogies. I read the first book over a year ago and planned to read the third book sometime next year but now I'm thinking I'll be pushing that up to the next 3 months of this year. I just want to see what happens next and I want to surround myself with these characters once again.

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