Monday, May 16, 2016

Read-Along: Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey [END]

Welcome to the 9th and final week of the read-along of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Justice. If you’re interested in joining for the final book of the trilogy, keep an eye on our goodreads group for more information.  Susan of Dab of Darkness provided this week’s discussion questions, which cover chapter 66 through the end of the novel.  Thus, beware of spoilers for the full novel below!

1) In this section, Imriel had plenty of farewells and also reunions. Which ones did you find the most interesting or touching? 

Given our discussion about Ysandre never visiting Alba, I was pretty shocked that Sidonie was in Alba to meet Imriel.  Now, I’m even more disapproving of Ysandre’s apparent lack of interest in her husband’s homeland.

2) Maslin decides to stay in Vralia as an ambassador. What do you think of his decision? When Imriel, Phedre, and Joscelin depart, Phedre says something privately to Maslin that causes him to collapse to his knees and weep. What do you think she said? 

I think I was less surprised than Imriel was, because it did seem like he was building up a place for himself.  Not to sound unkind, but I think Maslin will enjoy being the sole beautiful d’Angeline in Vralia.  This is a place where he can’t be overshadowed, and where he has a defined and valuable role.  Hopefully, it will be good for him, and homesickness won’t hit him too badly.

On what Phedre said, I am not sure.  Maybe something about his father?  She helped him along the way by telling him stories about his father’s courage and bravery.

3) Imriel & crew make it to Skaldia where they dine with Aldemar and meet some interesting merchants. Do you think the Unseen Guild had a hand in any of Imriel's recent adventures? 

Aside from the last part, I don't think so. Unseen Guild members who randomly materialize to make sure Imriel gets through safely… this sounds an awful lot like Melisande’s allies to me.  With that on mind, what has Melisande been up to?  She has been nearly absent for two full books now.  Surely whatever she’s planning will pop up in book three. 

4) Finally, Imriel is reunited with Dorelei's kin. There's a solemn burial of Berlik's skull, which is followed by a boisterous party. If someone was burying a skull at your feet, which would you prefer - serious ceremony or rowdy affair? 

If I were grieving, I’d prefer the serious ceremony.  I don’t think I could handle the kind of rowdy wake they held, it would hurt too much.  If I were Dorelei, though, I guess it would be nicer to hear people remembering me with love and warmth.

5) Sidonie and Imriel are finally together openly. Some still do not approve. What challenges do you foresee for them? 

It looks like it will be a political battle from here on out, so that’s nothing new to either of them.  It was nice that Imriel essentially got Drustan’s blessing.  In any case, he knows that Drustan is not opposed to their relationship, but can’t support it publically due to his wife’s opinions.

Ysandre is going to be a problem.  She has not always been the most reasonable person in the world.  I agree with Imriel that she’s being quite a hypocrite about this, given that she was the one who insisted everyone accept Imriel despite his parentage. It is also not going to look good for Ysandre as the Queen of Terre d’Ange, if she attempts to force her daughter to violate Elua’s one precept.

Also, I don’t think Ysandre has thought through the likely results of her opposition.  It is extremely unlikely that Sidonie will just drop the man she loves and let her mother dictate her life.  If Ysandre insists on making this an ultimatum, the most likely outcome is that she is going to lose her relationship with her daughter.

Other Things:

--I realize they meant no disrespect to Dorelei, but I think Sidonie and Imriel could have waited more than a day after the funeral before they started sleeping together. It’s not like they were short on time.

--I hope Alais finds happiness in Alba.  That’s kind of a tricky spot—she’s marrying someone she doesn’t love so that she can stay in the nation she loves.

--I have a lot of sympathy for Talorcan.  Even though he knows Imriel did care for her somewhat in the end, I can see why the rage, grief and frustration is twisting him up inside. I hope he is able to heal.

--Lastly, I had a lot of fun reading this book with everyone and I'm looking forward to reading the conclusion of Imriel’s story!


  1. *nods* to everything. Ysandre is....I don't know. I want to like her more than I actually do. I understand her initial surprise and disapproval. I understand that Imriel and Sidonie put her in a difficult political position. But she has to see at least some hypocrisy. Maybe she does.

    As for Talorcan, I too hope he's able to heal. I hope he doesn't take things out on Alais.

    1. I hope she does. Maybe that can help her to come to terms later, if so. And I agree for Talorcan. I don't think he'd take things out on Alais deliberately, but I am a little worried about their future.

  2. Also nods, Ysandre, well, I'm not loving her, it all started with a little niggle, then it grew when she treated Phedre and Joscelin badly to make a point and ever since then I've looked at her actions. She's a little bit too superior for me liking.
    It's going to be very interesting to see how this develops in the next book.
    Lynn :D

    1. Same here, actually. I really wanted to like her, but then I was so surprised when she treated Joscelin and Phedre so badly on returning from rescuing Imriel. I know she's had a difficult throne to hold (which is probably part of it), but I don't like how she seems to act like she's above other people. I hope she comes around.

  3. Ysandre is a raging hypocrite. Her family might have Blessed Elua's blood in them, but I would say in her it's been severely diluted.

    1. Yeah, I can't disagree with you there. I wanted to like her from the beginning, but... as we see more and more of her I really don't.