Title: Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy Series #4)
Item Number: 9781400179527
Publication Date: November 2008
Universal Product Code (UPC): 9781400179527
WonderClub Stock Keeping Unit (WSKU): 9781400179527
Rating: 4/5 based on 2 Reviews
Image Location: https://wonderclub.com/images/covers/95/27/9781400179527.jpg
Weight: 0.200 kg (0.44 lbs)
Width: 0.000 cm (0.00 inches)
Heigh : 0.000 cm (0.00 inches)
Depth: 0.000 cm (0.00 inches)
Date Added: August 25, 2020, Added By: Ross
Date Last Edited: August 25, 2020, Edited By: Ross
|$99.99||Digital||WonderClub(9288 total ratings)|
Cheron Kneedyreviewed Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy Series #4) on April 03, 2018
*** 4.65 ***
Jacqueline Carey is a very interesting author. She lulls you into thinking that she is writing just another fantasy-adventure, but starting with her lyrical way of weaving a story to the sensuality implicit in all of her relationships, be they friendly or not, out of the tales of political intrigue, flirtation, showmanship, and familial clansmanship, seeds are planted for myriad of conflicts that might or might not come to play, setting us up for a journey that will never have us bored. Then just as you are thinking, ooo, our favorite characters are safe, she comes up with something that puts them and the reader through the wringer... I have no idea what category her books should go in, but I know that they deliver!
"... "There would be love, and while it was mine, I could cling to it. I could rejoice -- in life, in the existence of love. In the existence of people like Phedre and Joscelin. Although the standards they set were impossibly high, still, I could rejoice that such courage and compassion existed in the world. I could hope and aspire."..."
"Kushiel's Scion" is the first book in Imriel nÃ³ MontrÃ¨ve de la Courcel's arc, the son of Melisande, the greatest traitor in Terre d'Ange's history, is the third in line for the Throne, and the adopted son of Joscelin and Phedre, but it is a continuation of the Phedre trilogy, thus the forth book in the overall Kushiel Series. I was so thrilled to have Imriel as the new main POV and narrator! He is young, fresh, and has so much to learn... Having started this book while he is only thirteen years old, we get to spend the most uncomfortable and cringe inducing time of any teenager's life with him, being privy to all of his insecurities, his struggles with the experiences in his past, his battle with figuring out who he is and whom should he look up to and model himself after. Just as in all the books up to now, there is a lot of sexuality and the perceptions of it, as well as its central role in the Terre d'Ange's society, but the author always manages to handle it in a very tasteful way, a lot like in a classical painting, more for its beauty or ugliness, as an art form and way of interacting, rather than something vulgar or crude. Having a young man in the trows of puberty and growing pains thrown in a culture like that, you would understand why there is a lot of sex on his mind. The way he deals with it, as well as the way he tries to build his character, are fascinating and so relatable, it is painfully beautiful. Having Phedre, Joscelin, and his relations on his mother's and father's sides, it is a miracle he is able to go through it all without going insane:):):)
"... "I lie awake in my bed, clinging to the brightness I have known, fighting back the tide of darkness, the memories of blood and branding and horror, and the legacy of cruelty that runs in my own veins, shaping my own secret vow and wielding it like a brand against the darkness, whispering it to myself, over and over.
I will try to be good."..."
This is in the core of the book - Imriel knows that the blood that runs in his veins through his mother's side comes with dark desires, imperious pride, a marked desire to be in control, and the baggage of a family strong and loyal to its own, but very dismissive and downright despicable to all others. However, being raised by his adoptive parents, who have surrounded him with love and kindness, tried to instill honor and humility in him, treating all the way they want to be treated, Imriel wants so much to be like them, to be good! However, his natural desires scare him and he does not yet have the tools to know how to control the one and do the other. This is the conflict that is a constant in the book from the beginning to end, but he does undergo a lot of personal growth, as well as a better understanding of the world around him. It is a good thing too, because it does seem like around every corner there is someone waiting to do him harm, use him, or plain kill him... The confused young man has to have a lot of the life lessons jammed into his scull the hard way, since after all, he is just a hormonal teenager, be it a rich and pretty one:) He does have some good friends around to help him on the way and I have to give a special attention to Eamonn, whom he follows to college in the city of Tiberius, where they study Natural Phylosiphy, and from there the two of them go to the wedding of another friend in the city of Luca, where everything goes wrong!!! Eamonn is all a young man should be and I love the feeling he brings into the story - like a ray of sunshine! Lucius, Brigitta, Gilo, Anna and Claudia Fulvia all play part in his learning in their own way.
"... "It is passing strange, what a fluid thing is one's own identity."..."
I am obviously hooked to this story and this world, so I have gotten to the point of missing objectivity and going with my subjective opinions, but I am not blind to the fact that there is a slower cadence to the flow of this story compared to the last book. However, this is more like a set-up and introduction book for our new arc, so I would recommend patience. It pays off even in the end of this volume:) I would recommend it to all those who loved the Phedre Trilogy and to all others with a more lyrical soul, who can endure battles, political intrigues, and plenty of sexual activity. Trust me though, it is not just "one of those books"!!!
"... "True friendship must be akin to romance, I think; only without all the anguish and anxiety."..."
Now I wish you Happy Reading and may you always find what you Need in the pages of a good book!!!
Craig Fowlerreviewed Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy Series #4) on December 13, 2008
So you wrote a highly-successful trilogy. Congratulations! What now? Well, you could write a sequel trilogy: new narrator, same old world and intrigue. Some writers want to milk the cash cow for all it's worth. Other writers, like Jacqueline Carey, create worlds compelling enough to justify returning to them time and again. Sinking into Kushiel's Scion is like having an old friend come to visit: all the things that you remember are there, but time has passed, and with it has come change. So you get to know each other again, laugh over old jokes, and share new ones.
Imriel is really the only logical choice for narrator of this trilogy. He belongs to the next generation, and although he is third-in-line to the throne of Terre d'Ange, he is first-in-line to inherit the political turmoil set in motion by his exiled mother, Melisande. It's fitting from a dramatic perspective as well, for Imriel is PhÃ¨dre's adopted son, a successor of sorts for her. The son of the antagonist of the previous trilogy is the protagonist of the new trilogy, and his first order of business is related to exactly that issue: who the hell is Imriel de la Courcel, and is he good?
I kept on waiting for something to happen in this book. At each turn I expected someone'Imriel'to get kidnapped or beaten or framed for a crime. That last one sort of happens, and it is a minor if important event. I was looking for something big, something that would incite action and drive the rest of the plot, much like Imriel's kidnapping drives the plot of Kushiel's Avatar . That kind of plot bomb is absent from Kushiel's Scion. Most of the book covers the span of years prior to Imriel's coming-of-age, at which point he leaves for the university at Tiberium. Then, in the second movement, if you will, we get some action that influences Imriel's outlook, prompting him to return to the City of Elua for the book's recapitulation.
Now I realize I was doing what many other reviewers have done, which is compare Kushiel's Scion to Kushiel's Avatar. I think it's natural to want to compare two consecutive books in a series, and from the perspective of writing quality it's a valid comparison to make. Nevertheless, Kushiel's Avatar is the concluding volume in a trilogy, and as such its plot is constructed differently from Kushiel's Scion, which is the beginning of a trilogy. It's far more apt to compare this book with that other beginning, Kushiel's Dart . Indeed, then we see the similarities emerge.
As Kushiel's Dart does with PhÃ¨dre, this book quickly covers a number of years during Imriel's youth. Imriel is of noble birth, but both our narrators are outsiders to nobility, for he was raised as an orphan and a goatherd. Moreover, both of them have psychic burdens they will bear for the rest of their lives: PhÃ¨dre, of course, is Kushiel's chosen; Imriel has DarÅ¡anga, as well as the shadow of his mother's betrayal hanging over his deeds. Kushiel's Dart is PhÃ¨dre's coming-of-age novel, the story of how she comes to terms with who she is and ends up embracing a life into which she has been manipulated by Anafiel and Melisande. Likewise, Kushiel's Scion is Imriel's story of growing up. He is part of the Courcel family yet not a part, part of the Shahrizai family yet not a part. Restless from this sense of not belonging, he eventually strikes off beyond Terre d'Ange to seek some sense of direction. It's not adversity that Imriel needs; it's reassurance that he can be good, that he is not a slave to fate.
As far as the change in narrators goes, I think they're really interchangeable. PhÃ¨dre was a great narrator, and so is Imriel, because they're both Carey narrating with a single voice, one which uses a somewhat archaic, stilted vocabulary and syntax. I don't mean to say that they are the same person, and if you replaced Imriel with PhÃ¨dre, you'd definitely have a very different story. Yet the style of narration remains the same, which is both reassuring and a little disappointing.
Also much the same are the politics. I love the politics in this series. Carey achieves the proper balance between national interests, like the Alban succession issue, and the conspiracies among families and houses, like Bernadette de Trevalion's plot to murder Imriel. One of the reasons I find historical fiction so fascinating is its ability to portray that dynamic between the massive national conflicts and the smaller, personal conflicts that drive individuals. Epic fantasy can accomplish the same thing, and Carey is an excellent example of this. Ysandre may trust Imriel, love Imriel as her cousing; but as the queen, she has certain obligations. Obtaining justice is not as simple as accusing the guilty party and presenting evidence, not when such accusations might breed more distrust and discontent. As he matures, Imriel recognizes that this is part of being nobility. Instead of choosing to reveal Bernadette's plot, he blackmails her into secrecy in an attempt to prevent future blood feuds.
If anything, I wish there had been more politics. Most of the intrigue centres around the Unseen Guild, a secret society that manipulates events in Europa for its own purposes. This is the society that taught Anafiel Delaunay the ways of espionage. Imriel encounters the Guild in Tiberium, personified as Claudia Fulvia, wife of a Roman senator. They are just as interested in him as he is in them: having a Crown Prince of Terre d'Ange, someone who is third-in-line to the throne, in their organization would be incredibly beneficial. Imriel stumbles upon the Unseen Guild while trying to discover who taught Anafiel. Soon, however, he becomes obsessed with learning more about the Guild and their relationship to his exiled mother.
Honestly, the problem with having the Guild as adversaries (I'm deliberately avoiding the less neutral term of "antagonist") is that they're so damn shadowy. Aside from Claudia, and perhaps Canis, we don't knowingly meet any other Guild members. As a rule, I am suspicious about enemies who operate behind the scenes'they smack of plot device. To Carey's credit, the Guild is not the one that rides to Imriel's rescue when Lucca comes under siege. Still, they are far from a compelling addition to the canon.
As the first book in a trilogy, Kushiel's Scion captures the introductory flavour of Kushiel's Dart. Unfortunately, it lacks a big central conflict. Even the latter book has one in the form of the Skaldian invasion. The siege of Lucca is a major turning point in Imriel's life, but it lacks the gravity of previous events in the Kushiel series, where every book, including the first one, left Europa altered in some fundamental way. So in that sense, Carey did not meet the standards she set in her previous trilogy. But I'm not saying it's bad, and I'd venture that it's something more than good. In terms of characterization, which is a parameter I rank highly (often even higher than plot), this is a great book. For those who have read the first trilogy and are aching to return to Terre d'Ange, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I know, I miss PhÃ¨dre too. But every generation must eventually cede new adventures to the next one, and it's Imriel's time now.
My Reviews of Kushiel's Legacy:
â† Kushiel's Avatar | Kushiel's Justice â†’
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