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
"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)
Norwegian, creatomaniac and a lover of fantasy and adventure audiobooks. I usually put one on while I am making whatever takes my fancy.
The story is epic and exiting, the narrator really shows of the charaters to their advantage.
Strong female main character and interresting advesaries and bicharaters.
(Would not recomend this to someone not prepared for some graphic sex and violence in certain scenes.)
Intricacies of the plot. Kept me listening beyond my comfort zone.
The throwing of the necklace/collar.
Nope. Needed time to digest.
Get it. Will definitely get the "rest of the story(ies)"
Say something about yourself!
This book was entertaining and even had some parts that were interesting enough to be gripping for a while, but overall it started to just become a bit ridiculous. By halfway through the book I was starting to take bets on how long it would take for the protagonist to sleep with the shortening list of characters that she hadn't gotten to yet, and by the end there remained only one or two major characters that she had been near and hadn't managed to bed.
Of course some allowance for that is understandable given that the main character is a courtesan, but the sex scenes weren't even worked in that well and where initially they were at least decently built up and interesting, after a while the twist that takes each of her relationships sexual feels forced and unsurprising. The main character seems unable to connect in a way that does not involve desire and her continually taking all her relationships in that direction starts to just seem sad. And, worse for the reader, it becomes predictable and boring! The author clearly enjoyed exploring in repeated detail what it was like to have a character who derived pleasure from pain but in practice it felt like regular interruptions of the story to rehash the same sex scene over and over again with only minor variations. When the story was good it was tolerable, but mostly it was just annoying.
If you have nothing else going on and are desperate for a relatively mindless and sometimes entertaining read this might not be a bad choice. I was entertained enough at the start to make myself get to the finish, but I won't be continuing this series and if you're debating between this and another book that looks in the least bit promising, go with the other book. Whether you're looking for the romance, the sex scenes, or the story, you can find better of each or all three together elsewhere.
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.
Mom, 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
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.
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