So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Kushiel's Chosen. Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Chosen is the second volume of a trilogy. In the first book, Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey introduces the reader to an alternative past for France called Terre d'Ange which is a land founded by Jesus and Mary Magdalene's son Elua and his 12 followers. Kushiel's Dart is Phedre, a young woman who was sold into prostitution by her mother, but who was raised to be a spy. After many adventures she foils the plot of Melisande Shahrizai to take over the country and becomes a national hero and a comtesse. However, Melisande escapes punishment in a mysterious jailbreak.

This second book picks up the action when Phedre receives a clue that Melisande may be hiding in La Serenissima, our modern Venice, and goes in search of her. As with the first book, there are lots of adventures, narrow escapes, and court intrigue. Many new characters are introduced and the struggle between Melisande and Phedre continues. There is even less BDSM than in the first novel, although the theme is still present.

There are enough background details in Kushiel's Chosen that it can be read without having read Kushiel's Dart. However, I can't see too many people wanting to do this. The plot structure of the two books is very similar which might irritate some readers of both books. Hopefully in the third, the author mixes it up a bit. Still, an impressive creation full of detail and very tightly developed for such a large book.

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