City of Elua - A Jacqueline Carey Fan Group discussion

Characters that I never got enough of

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie | 3 comments I just finished reading the Kushiel books, and I am still reeling with my mad love of them. But I was frustrated after the first one by the diminutive role that Hyacinthe plays after the first book. He shows up, he does things, but he was such an awesome character, and I felt like he really got wasted. Indeed, part of me kind of kept hoping that Joscelin would die nobly and Phedre would end up with Hyacinthe. Frankly, he seemed more of her equal. This version of the story would obviously have put a real crimp in the existence of the Imriel trilogy, but there we have it. I also wanted more of Nicola and Phedre and never really got it in a meaningful way. Nicola seemed extremely clever and insightful, but she never gets more than a few good scenes. And then there were Eammon and Maslin in the Imriel books, who I really thought should have had a more important role to play in the Big Climax. I'm not sure what that would have been, but it would have been more satisfying. I guess my overall complaint (which feels a bit unfair since I am now counting this series as one of my three favorite ever) is that Carey seems to habitually underuse her great minor characters.

message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth (Bethbell) | 3 comments That is what makes all her stories as well as other great books so worth the reading, absolutely fascinating supporting cast. No matter how strong your central characters are if you don't have equally interesting supporting cast then you are left with an incomplete feeling. I agree that those characters along with a few others I would love to read more about, but in thier own context. I think that if she used those books to delve more deeply into those other characters then some of what Phedre/Imriel was going through would have been lost. I would definately vote for more books/series based on other characters.
As a writer it is very easy to get wrapped up in all the characters you have, especially when they are wonderful, but staying connected with your main character and what thier journey/role/purpose in the adventure is one of the hardest things. I think she did a good job espcially with such a wonderful group of characters throughout all the books =)

message 3: by Nisha (new)

Nisha (parakisu) | 3 comments I agree about Hyacinthe, but not enough to kill off Jocelin. He seems wasted because after he was friend, his story is actually really abrupt and unexpected, kinda tidy even.
Still, that is why I love Carey's books. Each character carries their own weight, yet there is nothing lost in the plot.

message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Cook Kolbek (audreykol) I wanted to get to know Maslin better. Especially after he and Imriel made thing good between them.

message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephivass) I love Hyacinthe. But the relationship between him and Phedre could never hold a candle to that of her and Jocelin (imo). Carey creates such vivid characters, and the relationships she writes about are so strong. The bonds she forms between the characters are amazing. Imriel I was saddened to have his story concluded. He went through so much hell but I almost cried when he was finally able to be with Sidonie and they got their ending they more then deserved. Carey wrote her books perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing. She paired her charachters perfectly.

message 6: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 16 comments SPOILER ALERT: Given that our new protagonist in the Naamah Legacy, Moirin, is a descendant of Alais de la Courcel, known as "the Wise" by all of Alba, and Conor mac Grainne, plus a d'Angeline Servant of Naamah, Phanuel Demarre, I would very much liked to have known more of Alais' story, despite that I always knew that it was Conor who would become her husband and the father of her children.

message 7: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) I've only read Kushiel's Dart recently, but I have to say Hyacinthe, Hyacinthe, Hyacinthe... and seeing your posts does not give me hope that I will see a whole lot more of him :( I can't wait to find my copy of Kushiel's Chosen so I can continue on...

message 8: by Andreia (new)

Andreia | 2 comments I really love Joscelin with all his doubts, frustrations, sense of honor... He also has the ability to make me want to kill him sometimes because of his actions. The relationship between him and Phedre is great. I'm completely addicted to the history.

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) There are so many wonderful characters in the Kushiel series whom I adored. It goes without saying that I loved Joscelin. But I love the bluff and hearty Quintilius Rosse. Talk about loyalty and good, honest friendship in the midst of all the political intrigue. Of course Hyacinthe was amazing, but I always knew he and Phedre would just be the best of friends. Then again, we're talking Terre d'Ange and love can be so many things. Joscelin simply because he is totally unlike any typical romantic hero. He struggles to accept himself and to accept Phedre as more than just a duty.

Yes, I absolutely LOVED Melisande. Nothing makes for great reading than a complex villian and she was definitely that. Interesting that her reasons had less to do with power and more about a game of thrones. Wonder what she'd be like had she come to rule. The relationship between her and Phedre was quite deep and psychological. Neither can really do without the other. I'd love a book based on House Shahrizai; they were so fascinating.

message 10: by Nisha (new)

Nisha (parakisu) | 3 comments I agree about the House of Shahrizai. They are fascinating and almost go by their own set of rules.

Joscelin was always my favorite for Phedre. He battled with a lot; physically, mentally, and emotionally, that he's the one who deserves Phedre's love. I think its still a little tragic that Phedre still has to take another lover for her sharper desires.

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) I don't mind it in the least. It fits with the world and the philosophy. Then again, I'm a fantasy reader first and a romance reader afterwards so I don't have an issue with characters who don't adhere to standard romance rules. I think it says a lot about the kind of man Joscelin is, where he can accept Phedre's nature and his own. Besides, her desires are more about worshipping Kushiel rather than just sex.

message 12: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) Not me on the Shahrizai, I absolutely hated Melisande, and had absolutely zero compassion for Phedre's feelings for her. I wanted to punch Phedre in the face every time she thought about her feelings for M (aside from hate, hate I could understand, but not Phedre all falling into a sickening puddle of helpless horny goo every time she thought of M). And it definitely wasn't the girl on girl that bothered me, or even the violence of their sex, I could read about that stuff anytime. I just really, really couldn't stand her. Every time M showed up, I was like "c'mon already, won't somebody please take this b***h down!" I wanted to gouge her eyes out with my fingernails, I wanted to kill her in the slowest, most torturous way possible. She was good on doling out pain, I'd like to see how well she'd handle being on the receiving end since she thinks she's so big and bad and perfect. Man, idk if I've ever really hated a character that much before, and I almost hate saying that, b/c that makes it sound like I thought she was a well-written villain, which I don't think she was, I thought she was just like the bad guy in a horror movie, she just wouldn't freakin' go away! Oh no, of course she has to make some kind of mysterious magical escape, of course she goes into hiding, of course she still wants to f*** Phedre's brains out while making her bleed profusely, and of course, Phedre still gets all horny at the thought. I'm almost sort of hesitant to re-read the next two I have after Kushiel's Dart, just b/c I know she's in them, and I know she'll tick me off even more. But I will re-read them anyway one of these days, I'll just bite my tongue and do it.

message 13: by Nisha (new)

Nisha (parakisu) | 3 comments wow, that's intense, Kit. I didn't exactly like her, but I've always been fascinated about how she ends up or dies.

message 14: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) Lol sorry I didn't mean to get carried away, but man, I wanted to yell at my book :)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) @Kit: LOL. I think authors love it when their characters engender emotions within a reader--be they positive or not. Melisande was really the only woman who knew and understood Phedre and I think respected her as an equal, even though on its face it was a total BDSM relationship.

message 16: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) Vixenne wrote: "Melisande was really the only woman who knew and understood Phedre and I think respected her as an equal, even though on its face it was a total BDSM relationship."

I do have to agree with you on that. That's probably the key to why Phedre's so unable to control herself around her, because nobody, man or woman really appreciates and knows how to work the entire, full aspect of what she is.

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) Very true. I do think Nicola L'Envers comes pretty close though. Interesting how Phedre responds more to powerful and assertive women in contrast to how she responds to men.

message 18: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (kushielsdove) | 7 comments I'm in love with Joscelin and Phedre(though all of the characters have amazing personalities because of how Jacqueline Carey writes them but those two are my favorite). If I could literally be any character in the book, it would be Phedre- her compassion, love, dignity, and altruism are amazing chararistics in a human being. I think some only read the first book and categorize her as shallow, but the deeper into the series you grow, the deeper Phedre becomes. Plus, another reason why I loved her was that she was materialistic and vain, but her love for others dwarfed her love for objects.

message 19: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 16 comments Kit, while I respect your right to your opinion of Melisande, with it I couldn't disagree more. In fact, my own opinion is in agreement with Vixenne's. Perhaps it's an element of my personality/character and/or my draw toward brilliant, beautiful, defiant, devious women that enamors me of Melisande. Nevertheless, I don't know that I've ever had such a negative reaction to a main character in a novel akin to yours. In fact, that you, Vixenne and I (and others above unmentioned here) have such strong feelings about the Shahrizai makes me believe that Jacqueline Carey developed absolutely magnificent character descriptions in her creation of Melisande and the Shahrizai clan.

message 20: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 05, 2012 05:05PM) (new)

Melisande fascinated me. I love how Carey created someone we could both love and hate in different ways... the last books in the Kushiel series, where Imriel meets Melisande as a grown man, were particularly satisfying, and hearing the small stories about Melisande's younger days were absolutely tantalizing.

Oh! And Lucius. I have to say, I prayed and prayed for some sort of romantic future with Imriel and Lucius. Sigh. Only a single kiss!

I would go on to say many of the Shahrizai in the books have fascinated me... I cant think of the name of Imriel's male cousin/friend, but Balthasar in the Naamah series always had a place in my heart.

message 21: by Tracy (last edited Jul 28, 2012 09:01PM) (new)

Tracy | 16 comments That would be Mavros ... and I too loved Balthasar in the Naamah trilogy! However, what I loved most about the contrast between the conclusions of the Phedre Trilogy and the Imriel Trilogy was the inverse mirror (i.e.: Phedre bound an angel and Imriel & Sidonie freed a demon)!

message 22: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina (obsidiantrinket) | 1 comments Other than the obvious answer of Delaunay (seriously, can we have more Delaunay, please?)

Duc Barquiel L'Envers! I could probably write paragraphs upon paragraphs about how awesome this character is and why, but I'll try to capture it in just a few sentences. So many twists and turns throughout the entire series involving Barquiel - Phedre's and Imriel's. I love how the reader is swept along an emotional journey, initially being wary of, or even outright disliking the Duc, but before Imriel's trilogy is over... you're... CHEERING for him? That, my friends, is exceptional writing.

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