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)
Like several of the other reviewers, I found the first quarter of the story a bit slow. In addition, the early (but usually short) episodes of BDSM sex scenes really weren't doing it for me. However, the story soon picks up and becomes an excellent "read."
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the *fantastic* narrator. One of my few complaints with most audio books is that having a single narrator often jars me out of the story, particularly when a male narrator tries to do a female voice, or vice-versa. Anne Flosnik has no such trouble. She easily covers multiple characters of every sex believably and flawlessly.
Overall, this book was real treat. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series to see where our heroes end up next.
The posh accent ruins this book. Hyacinthe sounds like a cockney. Quite disappointing. This narrator is much better suited for Austen, and should stay with what she's good at.
I listened to this book because it was recommended to me by a friend. I read the other reviews, and while I do agree with the person who said that the first section is just about sex, I would have been missing out on a lot had I not finished listening to the book. Phaedre's character is strong, and I found it really interesting how she uses her "charms" throughout this whole book. The rest of the book past the first section is really very epic. I definitely plan to listen to the rest of the titles in this series.
I was very disappointed in this book. I have to admit I was moved by the fact that it was a long novel, and that it was an extensive series. I never want a good book to end. The small amount that I listened to here was clearly about sex, which is fine with me, I like sex. But the narrative droned on and on. I was also some what unsettled by the content of training young 10 year olds to be adepts in houses where they will service the wealthy. Yes call me a prude if you like, I am not one, but there you are. The main heroine discovering that she loved pain at age 7 was the turning point. I stayed with her until she was deflowered and I could take no more. All that being said I think I would have traveled on through it if the narrator was not so boring and monotone. There was no change in inflection at all from character to character. Horrid content, boring reader, and too much court intrigue. Blah
I liked reading the book, but listening to it was a bit painful. Perhaps it was because I stopped driving so much. I am still planning to get the next book. If that one doesn't go any better I don't think I will continue with the series.
Bought the book expecting more typical, or what you expect from a fantasy story, but didn't get it. The narrator is good, no fault there, but the story was just too slow for me. I just couldn't make it through the book. I haven't deleted it, and maybe I will give it another try. If you do buy it, the book is heavily descriptive, but at least for me never seems to take off.
In reading 300 audio books, "Kushiel's Dart" joins only 2 others condemed to the bottom of the pile, hopefully never to be read. Anne Flosnik is an excellent narrator, and brings feeling to the work, however learning a list of characters all with unique names, from a referencless, abstract culture is not entertaining. After 2 I was hoplessly lost in lala land.
I began this audio book with fervent anticipation based on the description and previous reviews. Fantasy with an erotic edge, great! Alas, I was seriously disappointed and I ceased listening after three hours. I've listened to several hundred audio books (very long commute) and this was only the third one that I put aside unfinished. The writing was all fluff, a morass of adjectives with a paucity of verbs and not a glimmer of suspense. The author did nothing to make me care about the characters or even curious about what was going to transpire. I switched instead to listening to "The Help" and was hooked from the first sentence. (I experienced the same sense of intense fascination listening to Shantaram and The Gathering Storm). I can readily appreciated a slow paced book if written well. This one failed to deliver.
I was disappointed with this book. I wasted my credit. I love sci-fi and fantasy. I was expecting that but I got a lot of sex,and an uninteresting story. It may get interesting later, but the first part was so boring I couldn't bear to get through it. If you are looking for something new to read, try the Lost-fleet series by Jack Campbell, Codex Alera by Jim Butcher, the Final Empire saga by Brandon Sanderson (or just his stand alone Elantris book - excellent book), that is, assuming you have already listened to the Wheel Of time series by Robert Jordan. If you haven't, then read that first.
Completely failed to engage me. The pain aspect combined with details and names which I felt no attachments to, made me put this book down.
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