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Kushiel's Chosen

(Phèdre's Trilogy #2)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  40,735 ratings  ·  1,033 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 wa…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)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  40,735 ratings  ·  1,033 reviews

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mark monday
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-modern
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 erasu
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.35 ***

A Buddy Read with the FBR group!

This second book in the Phedre Trilogy was, in my opinion, better than the first. The pacing was much better and it kept you on your toes throughout. It had some lull moments, but they were well spaced and gave the main heroine time for some angst and going through all the facts and things she had done wrong and has to plan to do still... The more dynamic format might have positively been assisted by the smaller page count, although at 678 pages it is
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
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
Kara Babcock
Dec 13, 2008 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
Sarah Mac
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 personal note
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kushiel’s Chosen is the second book in the first of three trilogies in the Kushiel’s Universe books. It picks up not long after the first book left off, and Phèdre decides to pursue one of the loose ends from that first book. As before, the story ends with a satisfying conclusion to the main issues, but with some loose ends left to carry into the next book.

I enjoyed this as much as the first book, but not as evenly. The first half was on the slow side and easy to put down, but things really pick
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, bdsm, reviewed, lgbt
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
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
Megan Baxter
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I wrote my first review, I wondered for a while if this was really fantasy - or rather, said that up until one particular thing happened, there was nothing that made this particularly fantasy in terms of magic. I'm not sure what genre non-magical but certainly not Earth-based historical fiction would fall under.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read t
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kushiel's Dart fans
A solid 3.5 stars.

This is the 2nd book in the series and while good and true to the story line, it just seemed to drag on.
It's a chunkster and I probably wasn't in the right head frame to be reading something that required me to remember a lot of names, places and previous story lines.

Jacqueline Carey is an excellent writer. It is her beautiful writing style that kept me going with this one.

This is part of an epic long series (7 books in all, I believe?) and each of them is well over 500 pages+.
May 23, 2012 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,
Ellen Gail
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, doorstop
There is a wild and piercing sweetness in celebrating life after a long sorrow; all of us felt it that night. Spring is ever a time of renewal, and it seemed fit, after so long, to rediscover pure, unalloyed happiness.

I love this book as much in 2021 as I did in 2015. Perfection.


[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 aske
Dichotomy Girl
After 1st Re-Read:

In many ways this is the "hardest" for me to re-read because I find the first half just a bit tedious with all the stregazza politics, but the 2nd half more than makes up for it!

Original Review:

I read this in a day. And it leaves me wondering how in the world I thought her first book was average. I am already a few hundred pages into #3, and am very glad that she writes very long books, and that there are 4 awaiting me.
steph // bookplaits
Although this isn’t a perfect book, it made me feel *so* deeply and think about the characters *so* much that I can’t rate it less than 5 stars!

I found Kushiel’s Chosen a lot easier to get into than the first book - because I knew the world and characters, it was easy to be swept away by the story immediately. Sure, the intricate politics still go over my head a bit, but I was captivated nonetheless!

Phèdre remains a compelling heroine and I still love her, despite her numerous flaws (e.g. how sh
Sotiris Karaiskos
This second book of the series follows broadly the pattern of the first. We have a first part - almost one third of the book - especialy sexually charged where we are watching the political controversies and the various scheems that are knitting in Terre d'Ange, followed by a second where we go out on the road and wander around the world where the series takes place - who is essentially the world that we are living quite ... mixed - and we end up in the fight that resolve most things. In spite o ...more
Jan 05, 2015 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
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truth be told, there were a few small things in this book that annoyed me a little (mainly the 1373829 side quests inside each side quest), but in the end the amazing world building and the glimpses of so many different cultures, and especially the characters and the political intrigues made it so worth it!

It also made me enjoy Melisande a lot more as a villain, and I adore her complicated relationship with Phèdre.

And now I’m an even bigger trash for Phèdre/Joscelin lol.
This is a joint review with book #2, Kushiel's Avatar.

I am not rating either of the second two books in this trilogy, and here is a review length treatise on why that is not at all actually a review:

Sometimes you make a mistake and then instead of admitting it, you just double down. Or, you know it's a mistake and you double- and triple down anyway. This is both of those in one instance.

I read the first book in this (well-written! imaginative! sexy!) series back in 2015 after my lovely internet
Jun 18, 2015 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.
The W
Nov 04, 2009 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
Feb 12, 2011 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
Jamie Collins
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved this one though after a great beginning it sagged a bit in the middle but the rousing finale more than made up for that. I plan to read books 3-6 faster since I want to have them done by the time book 7 is released later this year.
Kushiel's Chosen is the second book of Phèdre's Trilogy. As with the first one, this started rather slow. I would rate the first half probably around 2 stars, but then there were a few turns of events that re-kindled my interest and I quite enjoyed the rest of the story (4 stars for the second half). So, I think 3 stars are justified for my overall experience.

Like with the first instalment, the author managed to take me by surprise – just when I thought I knew where the story would go … (vie
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this one really fast (for me at least) and delighted at some of the new developments. With that said, it wasn't quite up to the first in terms of quality. I found it lacking a bit, but the world building is still stunning and it's nice to read a fantasy that focuses more on the court intrigue and not the battles. ...more
Oct 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to PurplyCookie by: Teijel Galang
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 intrig ...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

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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