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Jacqueline Carey: Kushiel's Scion

I'm gonna look back on this later and shake my head, I know. But it's real, that first flush of love for a book, and since I'm house-bound today anyway, I might as well.

Finished Kushiel's Scion this morning! I broke down and peeked at the end to make sure Eamonn doesn't die (I thought Gilot wouldn't! Noooo! Wahhh!)

I really need to get a hold of the previous Kushiel books, because oh my god, what really happened in Daršanga? Carey does do a lot of explanation for each book, recapping all that comes before, but that's not enough. It involves a lot of sensory images (the stagnant water) but mostly names - Mahrkagir, zenana, Drujan. sdfjkljfskdl I just looked up Drujan (actually I ended up for several fascinated minutes clicking about the wiki, incomplete and clunky though it is).


(at least it wasn't Sidonie and Imriel's child; I thought it was that.)

But still. Oh my god, oh my god, I can't do this.

Why do I keep spoiling myself? Well, I enjoy it well enough.

Anyways. As to the actual book (upon which subject I originally intended to speak) I have Things to Say. I really enjoyed the character of Canis, who would speak in simultaneously random and yet perfectly reasonable ways - just unexpected. Though I could never really imagine how he managed to live in the barrel - did it sit upright? And what does "half-staved" mean? (Is the barrel only half, cut through the top to make two C shapes, or through the top, to make two circles? Or just the whole thing, and pieces taken out?) And Lucius and Claudia - you're turning into Phèdre, Imriel! Eamonn is delightful, and now I wonder about how the succession goes. Because does that mean that Moirin is partly descended from Imriel? Seeing as he did marry Dorelei? (At least, I think that's what it meant, because omg I am not going to look anymore. I swear).

Incidentally, I wish I were good at designing logos, because I think that Phèdre's marque is beautiful - a briar rose! - and yet the thing on the girl's back on the books is just not. It's huge (granted, the artist has limited space because of the shrunken size of the figures) but it's blunt and too big. For Dahlia House, sure. But an anguisette, trained by Delaunay? I imagine something delicate in lines but with dark, striking colour. Since her skin is pale, the black and red should show up beautifully. But mostly I'm just annoyed that there's a huge honking flower at the top. No! Smaller! Please.

But back to Imriel.

There seems to be a cumulative battle at the end of each first book - in Phèdre's, in Imriel's, in Moirin's (Terre d'Ange, Lucca, and Ch'in, respectively). I also really want to know more about Alais and her ability to look into the future: this is part of Moirin's heritage, I know, but I can't quite understand how the succession works out. Alais has several daughters, a few of which go back to the wilderness, but who does she marry? And how does she intervene in Terre d'Ange to create a Higher and Lower council? (Or whatever they are; Parliament, I suppose).

I think Hyacinthe hides the Lost Book of Raziel. I wonder where he goes, though. He, and Sibeal. Where would one go after being Master of the Straits?

There was a lot of drinking in this one! I was surprised. (Also, I realized that uisghe is whiskey. How I didn't see that like I did jynn tonnyx is beyond me, but there you go.) Imriel really does fulfill that drunkard student trope, though to be fair, he usually is fine the next morning. The Unseen Guild seems a touch odd, though, especially since we never really see manifestations beyond an uncertain Claudia and a cloaked-until-the-end Canis. Then again, considering the nature of the organization, I suspect that's all that we can get without breaking reader suspension of disbelief.

I find that I am still not very convinced by the romance between Drustan and Ysandre, though I suppose I'm slowly warming...they just seem to be so blank. Maslin is frustrating but at least he seems real. And I'm now very fond of the Shahrizai, for all that they unsettle half the people they meet. (Balthasar Shahrizai, a hundred some years later, sarcastically: "And because one of her ancestors did something terrible years ago, all her relatives should be reviled.") Mavros, Faragon, Baptiste (heh, the French-ness of that name...) - the whole clan. Even Melisande. Eventually you just get to admire the Magnificent Bastards, although she's not really that - just a truly masterful puppetmaster.



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