Read-Along – Kushiel’s Dart – Part 2

Still trying to cKushiel's_Dartatch up to this read-along. Only 10 days behind at this point!

HERE is the schedule, if you’d like to keep up and read along with everybody else.

For this section, Allie at Tethyan Books is hosting, so if you want to join the discussion, head on over to her site.

Chapters 9-18 covered below. There will be spoilers.

1) In these chapters, Phèdre finally gets to have her own dedication ceremony.  Were you surprised by what they did with the dove? Also, do you think it is fair to ask people to make a life decision about serving Naamah at such a young age?

I wasn’t really surprised by the dove. I’m curious if it’s supposed to symbolize her letting go of her purity and innocence, now that she is going forward with these unpure acts.

They’re not even asking people to make these life decisions. They’re practically forcing them. Nothing about this situation is fair, I don’t think. She was born as basically a sex slave. She supposedly has the opportunity to get free (though I wonder how many actually do), and Dalauney gives her the option of backing out, but at that point she has been so indoctrinated that I don’t think it was ever an option for her.

It all seems pretty messed up to me.

2) Sex ed is definitely different in Terre d’Ange.  Do you think the Showing was useful for the teenagers? Do you think, at their age, you would have appreciated something like the book-learning they received in the art?

I think that sex has been so public for them (well, Phedre at least) that the book learning just served to explain what they had already seen and heard. Sure the showing was useful. They are going to have to do this stuff very soon, so it helped them to see how to do it right.

3) Hyacinthe has some neat theories about Delauney’s past.  What is your favorite theory?

Honestly, I didn’t follow much of this. He was in love with a woman who ended up marrying the king or something? She was killed and replaced, and Delauney wrote ribald poetry about the new queen?

I don’t think I understood enough about the conversation to really have a favorite theory. The whole situation was very convoluted and I’m having a hard time remembering all these names it mentioned. I definitely do not have the eye for detail that Phedre or Alcuin have.

4) Phèdre seems to be making a name for herself as an anguissette, known for never giving the signale. Do you think she would ever actually choose to use the signale, even if she were in real danger? Do you think her inability to do so might get her into trouble?

Oh definitely. She will use it at some point in the story. It will definitely get her in trouble. Reading about her first time with the sadist (that I can’t remember his name), I’m thinking that I would have called out the signale immediately. I’m a big wuss when it comes to pain.

But yeah, I think she’ll choose to use it at some point. I’m guessing that whoever she uses it with will ignore it though. She has a lot of suffering in her future.

5) Do you think Alcuin is enjoying his career as much as Phèdre, or do you think he has a different focus? Do you think their differing appeals and tastes will drive them apart?

I don’t think he enjoys it as much as Phedre. It seems that he does whatever Delaunay wants out of true love for Delaunay. His focus is purely on pleasing his master. I don’t think he enjoys the sex, like Phedre does.

I think what will eventually drive them apart is Phedre at some point disagreeing with Delaunay. I’m assuming she will find something out and will have an argument with Delaunay and Alcuin will take Delaunay’s side. I think Alcuin would always side with Delaunay. I also don’t have high hopes for Alcuin surviving this book. He is just too nice and pure to live.

More of my thoughts

The sex really picked up in this section. Pretty much every chapter here has some sort of explicit sex act, but it truly is not the main focus of the book. It feels like a fight scene in any action book, where the blow-by-blow is short and to the point, but build-up and the after-effects are examined in more detail.

I’m liking the individual character moments more than the political intrigue. It feels very similar to Game of Thrones here. There’s all these political machinations going on, but really I’m just interested in Phedre, Delaunay, and Alcuin, much as I was really only interested in the Starks and the Lannisters in Game of Thrones.

I’m looking forward to the next section which I will hopefully have finished soon. Today is comic book day though, so expect a comic book review round-up in the next couple days as I blast through all those. I think there’s 30 books on my pull list this week, so I have a lot of reading to do.

Thanks for reading! I love comments with any feedback!

Other participating bloggers:

Allie at Tethyan Books
Kheya at Not Food Porn

Kushiel’s Dart Read-along Part 1

I’ve been trying to get into these read-alongs for some time now, but the books were always either something I’m not interested in, or a sequel far down the line in a series. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey has been on my to-read list for quite a long time, so I’m going to try to join in on this read-along. I’m starting a week behind, but I should be able to catch up soon.

Susan, over at Dab of Darkness does these read-alongs quite often and they are really fun to read and see what all these different bloggers think about the same book. They are also motivating for me to read books that I normally might not. She is hosting the first week HERE.

HERE is the schedule, if you’d like to keep up and read along with everybody else.

Chapters 1-8 are covered below. There will be SPOILERS.

1) Here we have the earliest days of Phedre’s life, and we have the story of Elua and his followers. Did you note any similarities between Phedre’s beginning and Elua’s stories? Do you enjoy having these stories upfront or would you rather have had the stories shuffled in later with an adult Phedre looking back?

I didn’t really notice any similarities, but I wasn’t looking for them either. Honestly, the story starts off very slow for me. It was about 6o pages in before I started to become very interested. All these backstories and histories being shoved up front kind of turned me off a little. I would have definitely preferred them being shuffled in later. I’m interested in Phedre, and her relationship with her master Delaunay. Also her relationship with Hyacinthe. The other stuff really feels like too much of an info dump.

2) Hyacinthe has become Phedre’s one true friend. Do you think she is the same for him? The dromonde, or fortune telling, fascinates Phedre. Do you have a fortune telling story?

I don’t think that Hyacinthe views Phedre as a true friend. I think that he is using her for information about the goings-on in the palace. He seems to be a user, but that is solely based off my own intuition, without much actual evidence to go on yet. I am definitely interested to see where this relationship goes. I think that Phedre will eventually be hurt by him though.

I don’t have any fortune telling stories really. I have never had my fortune read. The closest I have come is fortune cookies at the Chinese buffet. The last fortune cookie I got said “Dark things are coming, but you will prevail.” I’m not sure how to feel about that. The cookie didn’t taste good… I’m hoping that is the dark times it foretold.

3) The Midwinter Masque on the Longest Night is a long held tradition in Terre D’Ange. What stood out for you? Have you been to such a fete?

I think the thing that stood out the most for me is that the prince is a punk kid. He rolls in with his posse of friends and just tramples on everybody else’s good time. Also, the fact that Delauney could recognize Phedre, even through the mask, even without looking at her eyes. The dude is talented for sure.

I haven’t ever been to a Masquerade. I’m kind of a nerd. Parties aren’t really my thing, even with masks on.

4) Anafiel Delaunay has many secrets. How do you think those secrets will shape Alcuin and Phedre?

I assume that they will discover something about Delaunay that makes them not like or trust him anymore. Then they will find that the bad something they discovered is actually a good something, but it will be too late and Delaunay will suffer for it.

It seems like Alcuin and Phedre will also have many secrets of their own, from each other and from Delaunay.

5) Delaunay has a saying; All knowledge is worth having. Do you believe this is so?

I do. I know that some knowledge can be harmful. That there’s some things you will wish you didn’t know. “Ignorance is bliss” and all that. But I’ve found in my life that Ignorance IS bliss, but you will not always stay ignorant, and you will always wish you had known sooner.

The truth will out. I feel like the truth is always worth having.

My thoughts so far

This is not the type of book that I would typically read. There hasn’t been any so far, but I know that there are graphic sex scenes depicted in the book, and it is a bit of a fantasy erotica. Not my usual style.

However, the story has been good so far, if a little bogged down by world-building. I’m looking forward to seeing where it is going.

I will be posting the next 8 chapters as soon as I read them, and then hopefully be caught up for the next week. In the meantime, be sure to check out the other bloggers who are posting about this book:

Allie at Tethyan Books
Kheya at Not Food Porn

Writing Update 5/12

Just a quick update with what I’m working on.

I sent my screenplay, On the Doorstep, to a friend who works on the movie scene in Atlanta. Waiting for him to get back to me on thoughts about it. I don’t really have high hopes of it going anywhere. It was just written for fun on an impulse. But who knows. It could happen right?

I have put Tutela on the back-burner for now. I’ll get back to it probably after the summer.

I’m currently about halfway through a 8-issue comic book series that I’m writing to submit to Oni Press while they are accepting submissions through the end of June. The series is called Role-Playing and is a story that has been brewing in my mind for about ten years now. I’m very excited about it, as I think it’s the most personal thing I’ve ever written, and maybe the most funny as well. This one I DO have high hopes for.

Next up on my to-write list is another somewhat personal story called Haints. It’s going to be a somewhat Lovecraftian horror story, heavily inspired by my grandfather who passed away last year. I’m planning it to be a roughly 40,000 word novella to send out to magazines, or self-publish through Amazon, depending on how I feel about it at the end.

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting a new comic book review round-up later in the week, depending on how fast I can read through my stack tomorrow.