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Kushiel's Chosen: A Novel (Kushiel's Legacy) Mass Market Paperback – March 14, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this engrossing adult fantasy tale, the fascinating Phèdre nó Delaunay fights to save her queen and country in a battle whose greatest weapon proves to be Phèdre herself. This sequel to Carey's accomplished debut novel, Kushiel's Dart, finds Phèdre, now Comtesse de Montrève, once again plying her skills as an anguissette--a courtesan for whom pain becomes pleasure--and her talents as a spy. She uncovers a conspiracy of treason and murder and begins an adventure that takes her once more to distant lands in the company of an intriguing cast of characters--and a new confrontation with her old enemy, Melisande Shahrizai.

There's some evidence of haste in this novel: the writing is not always as tight and controlled as it was in Kushiel's Dart. Nevertheless, Carey's fans will certainly enjoy this return to Terre d'Ange, and those new to her work will find a satisfying combination of fantasy, sex, and adventure, as well as a smart and engaging heroine. --Roz Genessee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After Carey's boldly imaginative fantasy debut, Kushiel's Dart (2001), in which the dauntless Phèdre nó Delaunay used intelligence and sexual skill to triumph in politics and war in a Renaissance-like world, Phèdre, elevated to the peerage and resuming her anguisette duties, returns for further fabulous, if at times redundant, adventures, determined to rest on something other than her laurels. While the first novel told a coming-of-age story, the sequel covers only a relatively brief period, though it has enough plot lines and melodrama for six heroines. The action first focuses on the recapture of Phèdre's evil nemesis, the dominating Melisande Shahrizai, who has escaped from prison and death. Alas, the initially fascinating Melisande turns into a tiresome harridan. Later plot twists include everything from a journey to the Venetian La Serenissima to imprisonment at Melisande's hands in a mountainous jail on a lonely island. For opulence, a costume ball rivals that of Broadway's Phantom of the Opera. Carey is adept at bringing both her exotic settings and vast cast of characters fully to life. The dream of every man and not a few women, Phèdre is too much to handle for all but her faithful Joscelin, the Cassiline monk who defied his vows to remain her loving companion. Phèdre's first outing deservedly won her a host of followers, but wordiness and needless complexity combine to make this hefty novel less of a stellar achievement than its predecessor. (Apr. 16)Forecast: A push that includes national print advertising, regional author appearances and targeting to romance readers will bring back the faithful, but if too many of them are disappointed, Carey might do well to give her heroine a rest and apply her considerable talents to fresh challenges.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Kushiel's Legacy (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (March 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765345048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765345042
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacqueline Carey is the author of the New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series of historical fantasy novels, The Sundering epic fantasy duology, postmodern fables "Santa Olivia" and "Saints Astray," and the Agent of Hel contemporary fantasy series. Carey lives in west Michigan. Although often asked by inquiring fans, she does not, in fact, have any tattoos.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In Kushiel's Chosen, Jacqueline Carey has written a phenomenal successor to Kushiel's Dart. The novel picks up where Kushiel's Dart ends and takes the beautiful, bull-headed, intelligent, vain, patriotic and conflicted heroine, Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, on further adventures to distant, fascinating lands. It begins with a well-executed mystery (where is the captivating Melisande hiding?) and progresses through a wild series of misadventures into a thoughtful story about the consequences of one's actions and the act of redemption. In between, we find ourselves caught up once again in the tumultuous relationship between Phèdre and Joscelin. Stubborn courage and their love for each other are the only things they have in common. Can such opposites remain together? Once again, Carey's characters are complex and deal with issues that we can reflect on in ourselves. Another strength of both books is the artful way that Carey has of creating complex, believable religions. Kushiel's Chosen is a fitting sequel to Carey's first brilliant novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Kushiel's Chosen" is the second book in Jacqueline Carey's thrilling fantasy trilogy of life in a world similar to Earth, during a period reminiscent of our Renaissance. This novel, a fantastic romantic adventure, is every bit as exciting as her first book, "Kushiel's Dart."
Our heroine, Phedre no Delauney, is now Comtesse de Montreve, a peer of Terre d'Ange. This lash-loving lady has come a long way from the little girl who was sold by her parents, years before, into the service of Naamah, the honored profession of the courtesan. Phedre was kissed by the god Kushiel. There is a tiny crimson mote in the white of her left eye, (Kushiel's Dart), marking her as an "anguisette," one of Kushiel's Chosen. A true "anguisette" is extremely rare. They are born to find pleasure in pain.
Phedre played a major part in ending the violent war that threatened to destroy her country. The new Queen of Terre D'Ange, who Phedre pledged to serve and protect, has been crowned. However, those who would wrest the throne for themselves continue to plot treachery and renewed violence. Chief among the traitors is Melisande Shahrizai, Phedre's nemesis and patron of old. Melisande announces her continued presence in the world of intrigue by beginning a game of cat and mouse with Phedre, who comes out of retirement to thwart plans to harm the Queen. Her return to Court, the City of Elua, and her profession as a spy, threaten her star-crossed relationship with her beloved companion and bodyguard, the Cassiline apostate, Joscelin Verreuil.
The plot and subplots are unique and stunning. The excitement just doesn't stop. Ms. Carey combines eroticism with swashbuckling adventure, romance and world building. Her imaginative use of historic detail, diverse cultures, the creation of many varied characters and their development, make this series so special. A riveting novel - I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!
JANA
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on August 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jacqueline Carey returns to the lush and decadent world of Terre d'Ange in "Kushiel's Chosen", sequel to the strange but beautiful "Kushiel's Dart", and produces a sequel that unfortunately doesn't quite live up to its predecessor.
Our masochistic heroine, Phedre, leaves behind her comfortable new life as a country countess when she begins to suspect that all is not well in Terre d'Ange. She believes that Melisande Shahrizai, from her hiding place in La Serenessima (Venice), still plots against Queen Ysandre--with the help of at least one D'Angeline noble. But who is her co-conspirator, and what are they planning? Phedre returns to prostitution in the hopes of finding clues, but doesn't accomplish much except driving away her bodyguard-lover Joscelin. Phedre decides there is only one thing to do--travel to La Serenissima and investigate there. In Italy, Phedre uncovers the conspiracy--but disaster strikes and she finds herself lost at sea and entangled with pirates. Now, Phedre's task is to get back to La Serenissima in time to save Ysandre. Along the way, she begins to realize that maybe being marked by the angel of punishment means more than having weird sexual proclivities.
While "Chosen" is a decent book, it fails to engage the reader in the way that "Dart" did. I think my essential problem lies with the middle section of the book--the pirate part. Maybe it's because Phedre's skills are espionage and seduction, not sailing and fighting, so she doesn't do much during this period of time except sit around and feel guilty whenever someone dies. Maybe it's because this sequence doesn't seem to advance the main plot any (except maybe that Phedre's absence makes Joscelin think about his feelings).
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Powell on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jacueline Carey has done something few writers can attest to:
She wrote a sequel that is just as good as it's predecessor!Carey returns us to the kingdom of Terre D'ange, the land of holy prostitution and lethal intrigue.Kushiel's Chosen leads off where the first book ends, with the mysterious escape of archvillianess, Melisandre.Phedre, our heroine is determined to find out the traitors who helped Melisandre escape from prison and when she gets cloak sent by her enemy as a challenge she takes it upon herself to find Melisandre. Phedre's obession with her enemy will pull her back into her holy order and it will strain her relationship with her lover, Joscelin.Phedre's adventure will take her sun-drenched villas of La Serenissima
where she will uncover Melisandre's sinsiter conspiracy to gain the crown and a deadly assasination plot against queen Ysandre!
This novel has all of the ingredients that made the first one such a smash hit: lyrical prose that sings upon the page; outstanding world-building that makes Phedre's world come alive
sweeping action sequences like daring escape upon island prison that holds our heroine and unforgettable swashbuckling swordfight between Joscelin Queen Ysandre's would be assasin! The characters of this epic novel are also a wonder like blood-cursed pirate Kazan Atrabiades who rescues Phedre and helps her at her cause.I love Phedre and her world of dark desire, darker intrigue and swashbuckling adventure! Bring on Kushiel's Avatar!
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