PurplyCookie's Reviews > Kushiel's Chosen

Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
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Oct 20, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: book-series, romantica, hated-it
Recommended to PurplyCookie by: Teijel Galang
Read from October 15 to 16, 2010 , read count: 1

In this adult fantasy tale, Phèdre nó Delaunay fights to save her queen and country in a battle whose greatest weapon proves to be Phèdre herself. This sequel to Carey's debut novel, ”Kushiel's Dart”, finds Phèdre, now Comtesse de Montrève, once again plying her skills as an anguissette--a courtesan for whom pain becomes pleasure--and her talents as a spy. She uncovers a conspiracy of treason and murder and begins an adventure that takes her once more to distant lands in the company of an intriguing cast of characters--and a new confrontation with her old enemy, Melisande Shahrizai.

The book suffers because Phedre's character is often unlikeable and unknowledgeable of her flaws, mostly due to the fact that nobody but her love interest, Joscelin calls her on them. Everyone man (and sometimes woman) who comes across Phedre is instantly enamored with her. All men gawp in shock when they see her; people are willing to do outlandish things to bed her, the list is endless. Phaedre, despite being a prostitute, is a complete Mary Sue. Everyone inexplicably loves her and it's ridiculous. The chevaliers were sadly uninteresting to me. I couldn't even tell Remy and Phillip apart because they were so similar. And of course, all three were besotted with the seductive Phedre and hated Joscelin on her behalf.

The story’s all over the place with clues falling out of the sky throughout the book then suddenly it all magically falls into place and comes together at the end due to the cleverness of the main character. There were times where I thought to myself: "Did an editor really let that slip? Did that grammatical error really mean to be there?" Answering yes or no doesn't take away the lack of fluid writing one should expect of this genre.

Perhaps it is the sickly hedonism of these books that make people look past the college-student level writing and proclaim it as "dazzling." I don't see it, personally. The bad language juxtapositions gave me headaches. The middle section of the book drags as Phedre is captured, rescued, nearly drowned, rescued, forced to understand a foreign culture while sleeping with a slightly savage lord. And so many characters! Carey should have taken out more of the meaningless characters and elaborated more on the important ones. Maybe, just maybe, that would’ve made this story more readable.

Someone with a bigger stomach for political intrigue and bondage would probably enjoy these books a lot. I didn't, though.


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Book Details:
Title Kushiel's Chosen (Kushiel's Legacy #2)
Author Jacqueline Carey
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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PurplyCookie Thanks for liking my review, Jenn! :)


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