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)
Love Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, C.S. Friedman and Sanderson. Also especially like Clive Barker and am trying to get into the Foundation
The story is excellent. The characters well rounded and believable.
The depth of the story and the fullness of the world created.
Boring. Wrong accent.
A story of love and passions that scours the heart and scourges the flesh.
Thank goodness the last three books have a different narrator. I would have gone stark raving mad have to listen to Flosnik's terrible voices.
Yes, if you enjoy fantasy, great characterization, and like/don't mind some well-written sex scenes.
Everything! The characters are great and I particularly enjoy that there is no black and white, good vs evil. I like a few of the "bad" characters.
Phaedra, of course.
They should make an HBO series!
The book, yes. I absolutely love this book and have read it about three times. However, I wouldn't suggest the audiobook. The performance is stilted and fairly monotone. It was difficult to listen to.
There was little change in tone through the story. The overall reading felt very stilted.
I am really not in to romance.. I like historic writing the are fiction but follow closely to historic time lines.
Yes i would I found it very interesting
yes and no. the story does go off in different direction\. I think reading it yourself is best.
The series is good and the fight for one self and survival is well done but also she cares about the people she interacts with
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.
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