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Kushiel's Scion

(Imriel's Trilogy #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  19,048 ratings  ·  602 reviews
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phèdre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions.

Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty, and desire. It is a court steeped
Paperback, 944 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 12th 2006)
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Bastia Marlowe I'm going to actually say yes only because so much of Imriel's struggle as a scion of Kushiel interplays with his foster-mother's struggle as a chosen…moreI'm going to actually say yes only because so much of Imriel's struggle as a scion of Kushiel interplays with his foster-mother's struggle as a chosen of Kushiel. It makes Imriel's story that much more rich by knowing Phedre's background, especially when it comes to what makes Imriel so unique.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,048 ratings  ·  602 reviews

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Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*** 4.65 ***

Jacqueline Carey is a very interesting author. She lulls you into thinking that she is writing just another fantasy-adventure, but starting with her lyrical way of weaving a story to the sensuality implicit in all of her relationships, be they friendly or not, out of the tales of political intrigue, flirtation, showmanship, and familial clansmanship, seeds are planted for myriad of conflicts that might or might not come to play, setting us up for a journey that will never have us bor
Ben Babcock
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
So you wrote a highly-successful trilogy. Congratulations! What now? Well, you could write a sequel trilogy: new narrator, same old world and intrigue. Some writers want to milk the cash cow for all it's worth. Other writers, like Jacqueline Carey, create worlds compelling enough to justify returning to them time and again. Sinking into Kushiel's Scion is like having an old friend come to visit: all the things that you remember are there, but time has passed, and with it has come change. So you ...more
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've seen a fair amount of moaning about this 1/3 of an overall 2/3 not stacking up to the first trilogy and I have to disagree with it all. There are not many times I wish to be a man (bar waiting for the toilets at a concert) but reading this made me pine for a codpiece and facial hair. Imriel is a bad egg, readers of this series will know why but he's cut from very prestigious cloth and his fine breeding makes for a spectacular young man.

The pace is steadier, we've not got so much intrigue o
Ashley Daviau
Dec 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was absolutely dreadful and it quite nearly bores me to tears. I don’t know why I insisted on torturing myself by plodding through 900+ pages of such a boring story, I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Because reading this book truly did feel like a punishment. I don’t know how it got so many glowing reviews, I’m quite puzzled by it in fact!
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

I want to start off by saying that Carey’s Kushiel’s trilogy (the first set of novels that comes before this trilogy) is easily one of my all-time favorite fantasies. Those books affected me so profoundly that I was incredibly sad to see them come to an end… Until I realized that Imriel’s trilogy picks up right where Kushiel’s it left off. It’s always wonderful to find out that a journey you thought was over is, in fact, just beginning! Only now,
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
This begins the second trilogy, in the Kushiel's Legacy series. This trilogy follows Imriel de la Courcel no Montreve, the adopted son of Phedre and Joscelin, and the biological son of Melisande Sharizai.

Imriel is now a teenager, coming into his majority at the royal court of Terre D'Ange. He's third in line to the throne, and as such has his allies, and his enemies at court, mostly just because he his mother's son. His mother was a traitor, but he has never known her, and shys away from his her
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actually read this in one day lol

Like Imriel much much more than Phèdre, although the plot of this one isn't on the same level as the first two books of the Phèdre trilogy.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mon avis en Français

My English review

J’étais vraiment tombée sous le charme de la première trilogie de Jacqueline Carey mettant en scène les aventures de Phèdre et de Joscelin. Même si j’étais impatiente de me lancer dans l’histoire d’Imriel, j’ai attendu plusieurs années pour vraiment le faire et c’était donc avec plaisir que j’ai retrouvé les personnages que j’avais pris le temps d’apprécier.

J’ai été assez surprise en commençant le roman en retrouvant Imriel encore assez jeune. On peut ainsi l
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Spoilers for the previous trilogy.

I keep being surprised by these novels, thinking about the fact that they were published almost a decade ago. They still seem pretty unique in how far they are willing to go, and with such grace.

Kushiel's Scion is superbly fun for its relationship with the preceding trilogy. For me, much of the joy of cycles comes from checking in with the characters that already have their Happily-Ever-After. And the HEA of Phedre's trilogy is superb. Phedre and Joscelin are in
Célia | Estante de Livros
This book caught me in a complicated time of my life, so my opinion might be a little biased. Still, it was a valuable companion and it helped me, so I will try to write something coherent.

I loved the previous books in Kushiel's series. Three years have passed since I read the last one, but it was not hard to remember the characters, the places and the story as I was beggining this one. Some years have passed since "Kushiel's Avatar" and here we have a new narrator, Imriel, son of Phèdre's and T
Diana Stormblessed
I love Jacqueline Carey's writing style. What this series needed was a fresh narrator. I love Imri. I can't wait to read more about him.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book from Carey. While not quite as engrossing as the first books, this one is another great read. Hoping for good things in parts 2 and 3.
Sotiris Karaiskos
After the Phedre trilogy our dear Jacqueline Carey continues her story with the trilogy of Imriel, the son of Melisande, who has caused so many problems to our heroes so far. Together with the trilogy, we are also changing protagonist and narrator and I can say that we are changing the climate to a great extent. Because of this, we take things somewhat upside down, from a man's look and from a darker point of view.

 You see the protagonist of this new trilogy has inherited some of the dark charac
Amanda Van Parys
I always have high expectations for Carey's novels and this one did not disappoint. She has a way with prose that is flowing and delicate without being purple. Every word makes sense and feels like it is placed with precision and care. I usually skim over erotic segments in literature and begin to feel awkward, but the way Carey writes sexual encounters is written with meaning and purpose and is often so tender and considerate that you might even find yourself tearing up. Overall, I really enjoy ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, buddy-read
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I surprisingly enjoyed this much more than I thought I would.

Although not as wonderful as I remember the Phedre trilogy being, this story - in its own right - is just as intriguing. I know many people have complained that it's not what they were expecting, that Imriel isn't as great a narrator as Phedre. Perhaps they are right. I know after I finished Kushiel's Avatar, the thought of reading Scion felt like a betrayal. I bought the book, but I couldn't bring myself to actually read it. It took
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all fantasy lovers
I'd wondered if Jacqueline Carey would be writing any more in her Kushiel universe, and was thrilled to find that she's continued in a new trilogy centering on Imriel de la Courcel.

I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. This book begins a new trilogy, one that blends with the previous storyline while forging ahead and making the reader love Imriel just as we've loved Phèdre. It's a treat to see this new perspective on life, and I found myself just as engaged with Imriel's story and character despite our diff
Christine Kirchoff
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm glad to be back in this world. I really liked Kushiel's Scion and the point of view of Imriel. It was a bit slow moving in some places. The plot is epic, the world building is fantastic and the romance is surprising. Four stars and a highly recommended read!
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
there’s something uniquely devastating about books written from the generation after the heroes you know and love. i spent most of it yearning for phèdre to be mentioned, wanting to reread kushiel’s avatar again, to go back to the glory days. and yet, there’s something beautiful in the domesticity of it all.

after all, phèdre is what she is, and she accepted that. she never had to struggle with whether she was good or not. she was a chosen, a vessel, an anguisette and she would do whatever she n
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've tried starting this one before and didn't have much luck. For some reason I had better luck this time and I'm glad I did. A story about love, and a little slice of what I wish the world was more like.
Timelord Iain (Eeyawn)
Tempted to lower the rating since I loved the end of this trilogy so much more... Goodreads needs a 6th star so I don't feel back when I hand out "weak" 5 star ratings...
Under the Covers Book Blog
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
As you may already be aware, this series has captured my heart and not let go for the past few years. I am making SLOW progress because, quite frankly, these books are big and they pack so much in them that it's usually a heartbreaking read and I need to take breaks in between. KUSHIEL'S SCION marks the beginning of a new trilogy in this universe and I didn't pay much attention to blurbs and things like that. What I had originally looked at was the appropriate order in which to read all these b ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Lord, this is hard.

If you're not familiar with Jacqueline Carey and her Kushiel's Legacy series, which is steadily approaching epic proportions.... well, let it suffice to say that if you're not familiar with it, you should be. The series is filled with everything that makes fantasy so great; an sub-alternate world that parallels our own wonderfully, a great historical feel, well-rounded characters, political intrigue, great scenery, epic travels, wonderful costumes, deep emotions, quests o whic
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book of the second Kushiel trilogy. We bid goodbye to Phedre as our protagonist and narrator, and switch to angsty Imriel, Phedre's adopted son, third in line to the throne of Terre D'Ange. The book starts when he is 14, but the majority of the action finds him at 18. I am not kidding when I say he's angsty, because he is a boy with emotional trauma from his childhood abduction, but also the baggage of being the natural son of the country's greatest ever traitor, Melisande.

Jamie Collins
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really love Carey’s prose - it should be ridiculous, with all the mayhaps and betimes and anons, but it works for me. I also love her slow pacing; this book practically has live-action sleeping, but again, it seems to work. My favorite part was actually first third or so, where nothing happens except Imriel simply growing up, from about age 14-18.

It gets a little creepy when he turns 16 and people are encouraging him to have violent sex, because such desires are inevitable in someone with his
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Once again, Carey made me forget that I have a toddler at home who doesn't care if I didn't go to sleep until 4:30am reading this book. I am an idiot - but I had a great time reading this continuation of the Kushiel series. Instead of Phaedre, the series focuses on Imriel. He's a bit annoying at times, but who isn't when they're young? I am always amazed at how much stuff Carey crams into her books and I look forward to reading the rest.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reread Oct. 2016
Jul 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
‘*‘ Meine Meinung ‘*‘
WARNUNG - diese Rezension enthält klare Worte, die eventuell für manche Leser nicht in eine Rezension gehören.

OMG - auf was habe ich mich da eingelassen.
Dieses Hörbuch eignet sich wieder hervorragend, um auf dem Balkon in der Sonne zu liegen. Man kann zwischendurch einschlafen und verpasst nicht. Und ganz ehrlich, dieses Hörbuch ist Schlafmittel pur.
Eine Welt, in der „Liebe, wie es dir gefällt“ Programm ist, finde ich gar nicht so schlecht. So werden Sex-Praktiken, die von d
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need to let you know that I love Jacqueline Carey and her elegant brand of story telling from the outset. Her characters come alive on the page and the story, though technically slow moving, embeds the reader in a world so real and breathing that once in, it's impossible to leave. The story of Imriel de la Courcel growing up in the home of Phedre and her warrior-priest Joscelin is gripping and full of adventure and intrigue. I highly recommend it for an addictive read.

Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
a wild ride full of questionable life decisions. v good.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Kushiel's Scion [Apr 1, 2018] 149 47 May 05, 2018 05:59AM  
Should I read Kushiel's Dart before this one? 4 17 Feb 15, 2017 08:25AM  
Around the Year i...: Kushiel's Scion, by Jacqueline Carey 2 18 Aug 31, 2016 06:31PM  
SF/F Read Alongs: Kushiel's Scion 16 23 Feb 21, 2016 08:24AM  
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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

Other books in the series

Imriel's Trilogy (3 books)
  • Kushiel's Justice (Imriel's Trilogy, #2)
  • Kushiel's Mercy (Imriel's Trilogy, #3)
“Even a stunted tree reaches for sunlight.” 81 likes
“Love child!" What else? You will find it and lose it, again and again. And with each finding and each loss, you will become more than before. What you make of it is yours to choose.” 30 likes
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