Kushiel’s Dart Read-along: Week 4 Update

Image credit: Imyril @ onemore.org

The wonderful hosts of Wyrd and Wonder decided to host a read-along of Kushiel’s Dart, the first installment in the Kushiel universe.

If you want to join the read-along, you can find all the info regarding the reading schedule on the Goodreads group page. The second week of the read-along is hosted by Mayri from BookForager and it covers chapter 48 to 61.

Warning: this post will contain spoilers!

Waldemar’s old teacher Lodur calls Phedre “a weapon thrown by a D’Angeline god” and this changes how Phedre sees herself to some extent. How does this change the way you’ve thought about Phedre so far?

This description suits her well and I’m glad it allowed Phèdre to see herself in a different light. Being Kushiel’s Dart is her curse but also one of her strengths. And her being a godly weapon might be a hint for what’s to come…  

Joscelin has broken all but one of his vows during the time he and Phedre have been in Skaldia. How do you feel about everything he has gone through? Everything Phedre has gone through? And the Prefect of the Cassiline Brotherhood’s opinion on these matters?

Both of them have gone through so much and it has changed them in a lot of ways. Before being taken prisoners, they were unable to work together and acted like petty teenagers but they are now fully grown adults.

Joscelin (or as imiryl called him “Mr Judgy Mc Judgment”), was the prime example of the perfect Cassiline brother yet, he has broken almost all his vows for Phèdre and he has now pledged his sword to the Crown. In a way, this choice brings him closer to Cassiel since he’s doing exactly what his patron-god did, betraying his vows for what (and who) he believes in.

As for Phèdre, I feel terrible for her but I think she did a fantastic job with the Skaldic. While I don’t think she would have made the trip back home without Joscelin and his skills, I’m also sure that without Phèdre’s help, he wouldn’t have survived the Skaldic kennels. Out of the two, she’s definitely the one with the brain cells and I’m glad she’s realizing that she’s much more than “just” a servant of Naamah.

As for the Prefect, he is the perfect example of an “old-stick of a Cassiline” and I don’t care about him at all. Be ashamed of Joscelin all you want but he’s way more honorable than you, old fart!

A whimsical question: Phedre doesn’t seem to be able to lose or give away Melisande’s diamond. What do you think this stone’s eventual fate might be?

I don’t actually remember at all so, I’m just guessing Phèdre will keep it until she’s reunited with Melisande and then throw it at her dramatically. And say something along the lines of “am I still your pet now?” or “Who’s laughing now Melisande?”.  But with more style.

And a follow-on to that: all gifts in this story, god-given or otherwise, are double-edged swords. Discuss. 😊

This question is fascinating yet, the only answer I can give is : Yes?

I mean, it really does look like there is no such thing as a free gift in this world! (Sorry Mayri, my one remaining brain cell doesn’t know how to answer this question any better…🤣)

What do you make of Ysandre de la Courcel now that we’ve finally met her? And what of her intention to honour her betrothal to Drustan mab Necthana?

I grew to really admire Ysandre after reading the trilogy but I had forgotten that she was Phèdre’s age. She’s such an interesting character, she’s very young yet, like Phèdre, she has already been through so much.

I’m glad she’s trying her best to honor her engagement to Drustan and that she’s disgusted by the idea of marrying Isidore.

Now that we know the whole of Delaunay’s story, has your opinion of him changed at all?

No, not really. I admire his loyalty to Rolande but it doesn’t redeem him. He is a very flawed character and I still think he should have been more open with his plans. It probably would have saved his life (and Alcuin’s!).

Finally, Phedre’s marque is finally complete. Do you think she is free?

Phèdre is way too smart and loyal for her own good. She’s free to decide where she’s going to place her loyalty but, as we can see by the fact that she now has to brave the Master of the Straits and search for Drustan in Alba, she’s not completely free, is she? However, I don’t think anyone who cares about anything is ever going to be free, so there you go.

And, of coursen include anything else that piqued your interest from this section.

This is a re-read yet, I am still fascinated by the scope of the story. So much is happening, we have explored Terre d’Ange, Skaldia and we are now going to brave the Master of the Straits and discover Alba. Even if my reading experience is quite different from the first time, I’m having so much fun with this book! 😀

12 thoughts on “Kushiel’s Dart Read-along: Week 4 Update

  1. Yes, Joscelin is very much following in Cassiel’s footsteps isn’t he? Both you and Zeezee have commented on this and I didn’t notice it at all! Now I’m fascinated by what this means …
    I am loving the scope of this story – so excited to get to Alba now! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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