It is amazingly erudite. Ms Carey demonstrates a great command of medieval European culture and religion to create so detailed an alternative.
The incredible detail of her alternate history.
I have not. Her voice does not bring an Adept of Night Court immediately to mind, but her reading is excellent. Especially her command of borrowed French.
NO. It's huge.
This is not a book for children. It is very adult, being both risqué and intelligent.
That phrase I've cited in my headline shows up entirely too much in such a long book. It seems everything that is interesting, Phedra (the protagonist and narrator) doesn't care to elaborate on. Oh she will drone on and on about the beauty of her people or the mythology of their creation, but get to something with some pathos and it's fade to black. The book already limits the readers vision by giving us everything from its protagonist's point of view exclusively. To have her censor for us as well leaves us feeling second step removed from the entire tale. Hint, if something is not important enough to be spoken of in your account or if its too delicate a matter to confide to your reader, DON'T MENTION IT.
By the ending, my give a damn was just about busted. Every time the author would pull me in, get me caring about something or someone, she'd shuffle the moment off screen. There was one liaison between Phedra and Hyacinth, two of the main characters, that had been building the entire book. When she finally got there though, it was two sentences and fade to black. The author wasted hilarious amounts of time on banal details of setting, but come a moment of true feeling (or even just carnality) and she'd shy away.
The narrator was fine. She had a good voice, acted well, carried multiple roles. Nothing wrong with that at all.
I'm am giving Kushiel's Dart a hard time. The book had an elaborate detailed and intricate plot. It's what kept me going through all the frustrations with the method and style of its telling. I wanted to know what happened. That's why story wise I rated it higher than the overall rating. She developed a rich world. It was a terrible pity that she decided only to let us peek through a knothole to have a look at it.
This has the feel of an older style of writing. It is very classy and demure. For a barbarian like me, it was a bit too cultured maybe. If you like material like the Bronte's, I think you would enjoy this text. Don't come looking to be shocked though, because Ms. Carey won't let you see anything too terribly shocking. Her protagonist is too much of a lady to talk about such things.
KEEP ME INTERESTED ALL THE LONG HOURS OF DRIVING!
THIS BOOK MADE ME ORDER THE NEXT. IF I WOULD OF REALIZED IT WAS A SERIES I WOULD NEVER OF BOUGHT IT. I'M SURE GLAD I DID THOUGH.
Phèdre steals the show - despite it all. She is an Anguisette - which in modern parlance probably means sexual masochist. I cannot say i completely 'get' the draw as described - but i did get the eloquence with which it was described. I totally got the stream-of-conscience type explorations into Phedra's thought processes as she grew up and into herself. And although her being an Aguisette was a pivotal reality - it was only a portion of the person we learned of, and that she grew in to! Phèdre was one of the most realistically crafted characters I've encountered in a long time! She was hot, she was cold, she loved as she hated, she vascillated, she fought and she won and she lost, she made decisions and doggedly stuck to them - despite! That was her gift to the reader - being real.
It was just too long for one sitting - and i found the enforced breaks in listening great opportunities to think on the way Carey gently challenged religious and moral tomes.
Carey has crafted an interesting world - with a different moral and religious structure - giving one pause to consider their own beliefs on occasion. There are many paralells that can be made between Jewish tennets and those Carey has laid out. It is all done without intent to insult, and i believe she has accomplished that! The blending of various cultures is well done! I am amused that this series, this first book written so many years ago, is only now coming to general popularity, as our society is starting to openly explore and be more accepting of "alternate" lifestyles and sexual practices.
Carey takes us on a long trip, where we meet some lovely people, and some very scarey ones, and some very very memorable ones, but they are all real! Despite the Medieval-style timeframe, the intrigues and betrayals, loyalties and conflicts, the myths and legends, and loves, it all feel very timeless. There are those little bits of detail in the descriptions of a setting or situation that Carey does so well, without the violence necessarily becoming overpowering.
Phèdre and Joscelin are. What they are evolves, changes, becomes victim and beneficiary of wants, needs, desires, schemes and betrayals, and friendships and loves and loyalties of all types, from almost every possible direction. And yet ...
I am going to continue with this series - I enjoy Phèdre's world. I want to see where she has yet to go - what she can accomplish! What she and Joscelin can accomplish.
And she reminds me in so many ways - that which yeilds is not necessarily weak!!!
Mom, wife and caregiver. Variety in my music and book libraries. I love a good romance or mystery. In order to be worth my time and money there needs to be some good characters, a good plot and a length to make it worth my money. I will follow authors, series or even readers.
This story takes a story verging on kink and BDSM but takes it out of the tawdry and reminds the audience that just because "my kink is not your kink" doesn't make it bad.
If only this place were real, we'd all wish we lived there/
Love this author and series. I went searching for the audio version after reading the paperbacks years ago
The story is intricate and subtle. As the story weaves its web you are drawn in and find it hard to believe that you have reached the end even after all the hours required to get there. Time passes quickly as you are waiting for the next harrowing chapter. Simply loved it!
Author Jacqueline Carey's prose lingers lustfully over every syllable. As she invents nations, customs, creeds, gods and half-a-dozen languages, she twists her syllables around with care and wit. When narrator Anne Flosnik pronounces a word strangely, it usually seems like a reasonable alternative. This perfect pairing of story and narration is quickly captivating so that one begins searching the schedule to find time to hear more.
It's a ride, an extravagent adventure that surpasses anything I've encountered before and my most satisfying audiobook experience yet. Characters grow and learn in realistic if unexpected ways. The storyline grows with them, in fact, with vividly depicted scenes in a remarkably real world.
She doesn't enact the story, but the quiet urgency in her tone sounds like she's as interested in the next page as we listeners are.
Lots of them, all of which are too important to the narrative to reveal here. Joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, challenges met and missed are all woven into this mesmerizing narrative.
Every hero must have an Achilles heel. For Phaedra, it is her intoxication with pain. But do not mistake this for a formulaic Middle Ages S&M saga. The author's skill and taste do not linger explicitly but use this kink - and other behaviors sexual, tender, noble, greedy and violent - to form extraordinary characters in a bold, energetic storyline of how powerfully will and duty can drive a person, and a nation, forward. Phaedra starts the book as a lost child with no resources and two curses; I assure you she doesn't stay in that condition for long.
Spellbinding. Heroine. Exciting.
When Phedra was being skinned alive.
I love her voice - her many voices. If I don't like the voice of the person reading the book, it's next to impossible to listen to the book. I love her voice.
When Phedra and Jocelyn realize they love each other.
I loved this book so much. I can't wait to read/listen to all of the books in the trilogy. I'm completely and totally hooked on this series. It was highly recommended to me and I'm highly recommending it to everyone who will listen to me.
The detailed description of how Kushiel's maiden was brought into his service and the deceit and intrigue of the nobility that drives the story.
Her Castilene guard was my favorite, he takes on te distasteful task of guarding Kushiels chosen but does it with all of his ability.
When they are captured and enslaved after being betrayed by a supposed ally.
I was a very interesting story and I probably could have listened to it all in one sitting.
This book is interesting enough to encourage me to get the whole series.
Young mom living in Japan, dealing with commute with audiobooks and knitting.
There were so many characters, names of places, and general history, it was hard to keep track of who did what to whom and why... Made it easier for me to "forget" to listen. Other books (like Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay) do deep/complicated intrigue much better, by keeping things simpler and easier to follow.
I could see where the story plots were headed from a mile away, so in that respect the story wasn't all that interesting, as it kept confirming my guesses.The most interesting element I guess was the religious aspects of the world. It was an interesting idea.
No, this was my first time listening to her. I think her voice suited the main character well.
It doesn't *need* one, but there were a few story elements that were left open, and indeed there's a follow-up book already.
The story felt a bit slow and the steamy parts (the reason why a friend recommended the book to me) weren't great. Not a bad read, but not a great one either. I'm glad the story concluded as it did, because it left me with the certainty that I don't need to read the next book of the series... reading the publisher's summary was enough.