“The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good…and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.
Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission…and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.
Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland.
Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies.” – Goodreads
I heard about Jacqueline Carey’s Phèdre’s Trilogy sometime in 2012 or 2013, and was intrigued to read a series starring a character like Phèdre nó Delaunay; I like female characters who are strong and intelligent, and I was especially interested to see how Carey would treat the masochism element.
[pullquote]…after 200+ pages if someone can’t get their mind around the world you’ve created, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.[/pullquote]
What Kushiel’s Dart ended up being — as least through page 206, which was as far as I got into the 1,105-page chunkster — was more of a political “thriller,” replete with aristocrats betraying each other at every turn, dastardly murder plots, and two-faced friendships.
In short, boring. And there’s two more books in the series. I just couldn’t do it.
The amateur psychologist in me wanted to learn more about Phèdre, her “peculiar” enjoyments and how she comes to terms with them. Is she able to find happiness?
Instead I was bombarded by the political drama of a constructed world that on which I could never quite get a handle. So they’re all Nephilim? Is everyone a member of the various houses? How did this world come about?
Maybe these questions would have been answered had I kept reading — but after 200+ pages if someone can’t get their mind around the world you’ve created, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.
Like Byron Easy, Kushiel’s Dart is not poorly written — it’s just so far from my taste in books that I couldn’t enjoy it. I’m disappointed.
Anyone read Carey’s series? What did you think?