Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel’s Dart [2.5/5]
by Jacqueline Carey
(Tor, March 2002)

This is the first volume of the epic tale that chronicles the rise of Phedre from unwanted child to powerful player in the political scene of Terre D’Ange, home of the most sophisticated culture in this fantasy realm, which seems a clever version of an alternate Europe.

I actually read this almost a year and a half ago. Luckily I’m blessed with a helpful retention rate when it comes to books. Especially novels. Comes in handy during the day job, that’s for sure. In any case, though I’m not going to make this an in-depth review, I thought I’d just jot down my impressions for my own future reference. I remember thinking the world-building quite grand; done on an impressive scale. And the writing very pretty. However, I have to admit that while initially finding Phedre compelling, I became disappointed in her as a lense through which to view the story. I found her to be limited in her horizons and muted in her emotional reactions. Perhaps the book could have benefitted from having an additional point-of-view character. I also thought the book too lengthy and while I was, at first, lured in by the level of intrigue and betrayal displayed by the various courtiers, it seemed to me that once Phedre left the capital city, her travels and wanderings slowed the pace of the book considerably, and left me struggling from section to section.

I had much higher hopes for this, based on the raves those in my immediate reading circle were giving it. Given how many other books are in my to-be-read pile, I rather doubt I’ll end up reading the rest of this series. However, I might try out her new book, Banewreaker, when I get the chance. Perhaps I’ll find it a better match.

One Response to “Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey”

  1. Ginger Stampley Says:

    I read this last year after TBR, when I got it in a book exchange, and was profoundly unimpressed given how a lot of our mutual friends had raved about it. My real thought was that I wanted the GURPS worldbook.

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