Welcome to part 6 of the read-along of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart. Our host this week is Grace of Books Without Pictures, and her questions cover chapters 46-54. Keep in mind, therefore, that there will be spoilers up through chapter 54 in the questions and answers below! Also, remember to visit all the participants blogs to see what they have to say about this week’s section! I am extremely late this time (due to life busyness), but hopefully I’ll be back schedule for this weekend.
One of the questions from last week dealt with initial impressions of Waldemar Selig's steading. Now that we've finally met him, what are your thoughts about him? Do you think he suspects that Phedre knows anything, and will he continue to play a role in the story?
I really don’t like him at all. He seems to have all the potential negative traits of the Skaldi people in addition to the potential negative traits of a person from the ruling class. I expect he will continue to play a role, since Phèdre was unable to kill him, but I doubt he suspects she knows anything. He seemed to regard both her and Joscelin as simply objects that he owned, going so far as to put Joscelin away in a closet when he lost interest in him. I doubt he really thinks much about what is in their minds.
What did you think of the visit to Lodur? Do you think it will impact how Phedre thinks of herself?
I thought that was a nice change for Phèdre. She’s been thinking of herself as the enduring victim, but he called her a weapon. She has endured enough, and I was so pleased to see her escape. I wonder if his comment helped to give her the courage to go through with her plan.
Phedre and Joscelin have both gone through some harrowing experiences in the past few chapters. How do you think it will change them going forward?
I don’t think they could go through these situations without becoming very close. He’s the only other survivor of their household, and they’ve spent so much time being each others’ strength in exile. Even if they do not end up in romantic love, I think they are as close as family. They have both also learned that they were capable of surviving some truly horrible experiences, and I think that will give them the strength to do what needs to be done in the future.
If you were in Phedre or Joscelin's place, would you have acted the same way in crafting your mastermind escape plan? What are your thoughts on how it worked out?
It worked out pretty well, I think. I mean, they escaped and now they’re in Terre d’Ange once again! I am not really an escape artist, so I don’t think I would have been able to come up with anything better.
We're finally getting to observe a budding romance between Phedre and Joscelin. How do you see this playing out? What do you think of it?
I’m not sure how much their romance can really progress. I think that night together was really important for Phèdre, because it was the first time she slept with someone solely because she wanted to. I think she needed that, after her treatment at Gunter and Waldemar’s hands. Joscelin, though, sees being with Phèdre as a betrayal of his vows, so I don’t know how he’ll come to terms with that. Also, in the long term, their tastes are probably not compatible. I think this is a romance of the particular circumstances, and it will settle down into a deep non-romantic bond. I could be totally wrong, though :).
—It was interesting to see Joscelin calling out Phèdre for her pride, about Melisande’s diamond.
—How sad was it that they had to lie to their own countrymen and sneak past?
—I’m hoping Ysandre is actually trustworthy, because Melisande was also one of Delaunay’s ‘friends’.