Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Re-read of Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Universe #1)

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.

What I thought:
So, I read this last year, but never formally reviewed it because it's been out in the world a loooooong time and I was way late to the party. But, this book is on my keeper-shelf for a reason. 
This book destroyed me the first time I read it. It's an emotional boulder falling off a cliff, and, I, like an idiot, keep walking beneath it. Because, really, the second time, I know what happens. I'm prepared. Right? 
*Snorts* How could I have been so naive? But, much like Phedre, (the main character), I'm drawn to the pain of it, and I will read this book again and again. 
Never has a story consumed me like this one. Never. I have never been so devastated over a character. I've never sobbed so freaking hard over fictional happenings. OMG, every love and every loss is magnified because their Phedre's first, and then their mine. 
So, yeah, I've never seen so clearly through the lens of a character before, but it's not just one of them. There is quite a cast here and there's not a single one without depth. I mean, seriously, when you prop this book open, there should be holographic people walking across the damn pages. 
Sweeping plot. 
This book is everything. I'll say it's probably not for the squeamish, I think. I'm hard to shock, really, so it felt perfectly natural to follow a prostitute across a continent or two. I suppose that might be a moral hurdle for some. But the prose here is gorgeous and Phedre's trips though the occasional boudoir are tastefully done.
I love this book.   

Rating: ****** (6 stars)

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