We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Kushiel's Dart Audiobook
Kushiel's Dart
Written by: 
Jacqueline Carey
Narrated by: 
Anne Flosnik
Kushiel's Dart Audiobook

Kushiel's Dart

Regular Price:$45.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing 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. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair...and beyond.

Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.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. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart - a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new.

©2008 Jacqueline Carey; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This brilliant and daring debut catapults Carey immediately into the top rank of fantasy novelists." (Publishers Weekly)
"A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating audiobook." (Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1619 )
5 star
 (772)
4 star
 (417)
3 star
 (208)
2 star
 (119)
1 star
 (103)
Overall
4.1 (1185 )
5 star
 (643)
4 star
 (272)
3 star
 (126)
2 star
 (70)
1 star
 (74)
Story
4.2 (1165 )
5 star
 (629)
4 star
 (309)
3 star
 (136)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (46)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jefferson 11-26-12
    Jefferson 11-26-12 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2186
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    326
    299
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1323
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To Love as Thou Wilt While Craving the Whip"

    The world of Jacqueline Carey's historical fantasy novel Kushiel's Dart (2001), the first in her Kushiel's Legacy series, is composed of cultures with equivalents from our medieval world: Terre d'Ange (France), Aragon (Spain), Tiberium (Rome), Alba (England), Skaldi (Scandinavia), Akkad (Arabia), Tsingazi (Romany), and Yeshuite (Jew-Christian). Her original contribution to the genre is the religion she imagines based on the birth of Blessed Elua from the blood of the crucified Messiah mixed with the tears of the Magdelene in the soil of the grieving Earth, and on the divine companions like Kushiel who, attracted by Elua's beauty and "Love as thou wilt" ethos, followed him to settle in the rich and beautiful land of Terre d'Ange, where they mated with the indigenous humans (which is why the current d'Angelines are so graceful, beautiful, sophisticatedly sexual, and quick healing).

    The first person narrator of Kushiel's Dart, Phedre no Delaunay, like many heroines of young adult fiction, is essentially orphaned and extraordinarily special. After being sold as a small child by her parents, Phedre is adopted by a charismatic, mysterious, and wealthy man, receives an extensive education (history, literature, languages, acrobatics, spying, and sex), grows into great beauty, intelligence, and empathy, and suffers adversity as she builds her identity and finds her place in her world while playing a key role in its momentous events.

    What separates Phedre from YA heroines is the nature of her unique gift, for she is the only "anguissette" in the world, the only person who bears in her eye the blood-red mark (dart) of Kushiel, the divine embodiment of love through punishment and the mingling of delight and pain, so that she exudes at least as much pleasure-heat when lashed as when kissed. When occupying one of her many patrons' "pleasure-chambers" and having various shackles, whips, and blades applied to her person, Phedre becomes "awash in pleasure at the exquisite pain" and sees through red vision the bronze face of Kushiel. As with any gift of the gods, Kushiel's dart is both a curse and a blessing. Will Phedre remain a helpless victim of the impulses she comes to despise or find a way to wield her gift as a weapon to save her land?

    Despite straining a bit for deep male voices, Ann Flosnik's reading of Kushiel's Dart is excellent, and I suspect that her refined manner and nasal and husky voice make listening to it more moving and exciting than reading it would be (though it was helpful to see the spelling of the many exotic proper names in a printed version).

    Although Kushiel's Dart has many exciting, moving, and arousing scenes, and although the evolving relationships between Phedre and Alcuin, Delaunay, Hyacinthe, Joscelin, and Melisande are compelling, I felt that it all lasted longer than necessary. For example, Carey could have combined and condensed Phedre's two stints as bed-slave to two different Skaldi war leaders into one. And the section involving the Master of the Straits seemed in retrospect unnecessary and weighted the book too much towards the reality of the divine.

    But if you like lines like, "my fingertips grazed his erect phallus, straining against the fabric of his hosen," and if you enjoy stories of romantic historical fantasy featuring political intrigue, dramatic fight scenes, and graphic and often kinky sex, and if you like books like Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Chalion and Jay Lake's Green, you might like Kushiel's Dart. I enjoyed it, but I feel that I've had enough of Phedre for the time being.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Trefan Calgary, Canada 06-01-12
    T. Trefan Calgary, Canada 06-01-12 Member Since 2011

    Compulsively Reading

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I don't know if I can finish this"

    After listening for 11 hours, I've had to switch to something else more fast paced. This book is so ploddingly slow, I just can't endure it right now. It's putting me to sleep at work while I listen to it. Who knows if I'll ever come back to finish it. In my experience, if the first several hours have put you to sleep - it generally doesn't get much better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tke 01-12-11
    tke 01-12-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great listen!"

    This is a great book, and the narrator is one of the best I've listened to. I generally only listen to audiobooks while I'm cleaning house, working out, ect, but I was so captivated by this series that I found myself staying up late to listen and my house sparkled! At first I thought it might be better to read it to help keep all the intricate details straight, but ended up preferring to listen because I enjoyed the narrator so much (I also would have driven myself crazy trying to figure out all the correct pronunciations). Although I would not recommend this to someone who is easily offended by graphic sex scenes or someone looking for a "light read", it is definitely right up my alley and I very much enjoyed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 05-13-09
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 05-13-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    348
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    265
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    45
    0
    Overall
    "Amazing when I read it years ago . . ."

    Even better as an audio book! I have always promised myself to go back and read this series again, but I've never found the time. BUT! As an audio book, the Kushiel series is AWESOME! I highly recommend it for adult readers who like their fantasy on the spicy side. (I also LOVE the narrator!) Be smart -- buy this one, and prepare to be amazed!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara 10-17-13
    Tamara 10-17-13 Member Since 2013

    Book Addict.My preferred books are historical fictions, fantasy (supernatural) fictions, or just good fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    419
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Epic Adventure well read and engaging."
    Where does Kushiel's Dart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've read over 250+ books, and it is definitely in the top ⅓rd of my favorite books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Even though Phèdre is the heroine of the story, I also felt a strong connection to the supporting characters such as Anaphaèl (her master), Iacente (her best friend), and Joceline (her companion).


    What about Anne Flosnik’s performance did you like?

    Love her reading and truly appreciated giving each character their own voice and personality.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The story and thanks to the narrator, I felt as if I were part of the adventure too as a silent friend and felt strong emotions at times, enough that I cried over the loss of some of Phèdre's companions as if I had lost someone dear to me myself. I strongly felt some of the stress and weight that Phèdre's decisions could entail for herself.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a new and different epic adventure, you won't be disappointed. The story is beautiful and beautifully read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. D. MOORE SW Florida 02-27-13
    R. D. MOORE SW Florida 02-27-13

    A hopeless audiophile with my books with me wherever i go! Dystopia - paranormal romance - and even some erotica - I'm over 50 - not Dead!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overall Very Satisfying"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. 07-17-12
    C. 07-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating look in a new world!"

    If you like immersing yourself in a new world- detailed descriptions and plots of religions, politics, cultures- this is a great book. The narrator is great for the most part, because her tone gives an ethereal ambiance. Her voice for male characters could be a little more varied; sometimes I lost track of which male character was talking, despite the accents. Kushiel's Dart overall is a terrific story and great audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine LEXINGTON, KY, United States 07-06-12
    Katherine LEXINGTON, KY, United States 07-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complexly delicious"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the world of believable fantasy that is weaved. The story is a bit complex to follow in the beginning, but quickly becomes one that is easily and enticing to follow.

    Heads up for some slight S&M and sexual references, but nothing is as obvious and extensive as with say 50 Shades, but enough that it makes for a good addition to the credibility of the main character.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah willimantic, CT, United States 10-20-10
    Sarah willimantic, CT, United States 10-20-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "A beautiful read (or listen)!"

    This book is amazing in its scope, detail and complexity. It is also beautifully and intelligently written and researched. Carey's alternate world is detailed and believable, with clear parallels to our world. Anne Flosnik also does a fantastic job of narrating it. While it has sexual content of the more adventurous variety and is clearly not a book for those uptight about sexuality, the sex is never gratutious. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes fanstasy, or just good literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Westminster, MD, USA 05-26-10
    Erin Westminster, MD, USA 05-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Breathtaking"

    I can't give enough praise to Jacqueline Carey and her unforgettable heroine Phedre. The writing is gorgeous, the scenery lush, and the characters are complex and believable. It was slow at first and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get into the story. But stick with it. After a few hours, you'll be hooked. Anne Flosnik is a talented, talented narrator. She really brought the beautiful prose-like quality of the author's writing to life and her emotional reading made the audiobook fly by so fast I was ready to cry when it was over. I didn't want it to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.