Kushiel’s Dart Review
I loved Kushiel’s Dart. It was a really epic fantasy. Jaqueline Carey developed a wonderful fantasy world and a fantastic cast of characters over the long span of her novel. Every page was needed to tell this ambitious story and there was never a dull moment.
The world of Kushiel’s Dart is an alternate historical Europe. The native land of the heroine, Terre D’Ange, is reminiscent of France and other European nations are recognizable with their names changed. Phèdre is the novel’s heroine, and she was born with a red flaw in her eye. The enigmatic Delaunay sees Phèdre’s mark for what it is: a mark from Kushiel, the god of pain. This mark signifies that Phèdre is destined to find pleasure in pain. Delaunay sees how he can use Phèdre’s gift to his advantage and he takes her in. Under Delaunay’s tutelage, Phèdre learns how to be a spy and a courtesan. When she comes of age, she becomes a courtesan to the most powerful people in the realm, to uncover secrets for Delaunay.
This book has it all: politics, intrigue, action, romance, and magic. Phèdre is a captivating narrator; it really feels like you’re in the room with her as she’s recounting her saga. The plot is intricate, and Carey reveals world-building details and pieces of intrigue at a perfect pace. It really feels more like a historical fiction novel of a history that never happened, rather than a fantasy novel. That’s how believable the story world is. Things seem complex, but Carey clarifies and explains things fully through dialogue and Phèdre’s narration. The language is eloquent and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this one to fantasy and historical fiction fans.
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