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on 13 April 2002
The first book in the "Kushiel Trilogy", _Kushiel's Dart_, was one of the best -- if not the best -- fantasy book of last year, and its sequel, _Kushiel's Chosen_, did not disappoint me in the least. It is a certainly a different book, at least compared to the first half of _Kushiel's Dart_ which centred around Phèdre's coming of age, as _Kushiel's Chosen_ combines the headache-inducing intrigues of the first half of _Kushiel's Dart_ with the fast-paced action of its latter half. To keep the kingdom of Terre d'Ange and its queen Ysandre safe, Phèdre must learn not only who it was who betrayed them and released Melisande, but also where Melisande hides and what she plans to do. To do this, Phèdre must use all the skills taught to her by her dead mentor, as well as her unique skills as an anguisette. The price for her choice, however, may be higher than she would like, and the pain of the body is nothing compared to the pain of the soul.
Like the previous book, _Kushiel's Chosen_ is well-written and a pleasure to read. But it is also not, as was the case with the first one, a book for those who dislike a fair amount of adult content, a first-person narrative and plenty of both brilliant and beautiful characters.
Obviously, I quite like those things myself, and I've already started the count-down until the final part, _Kushiel's Avatar_, is out...
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on 12 January 2017
I echo my own comments about the first book in this series I also enjoyed this book .It is a fascinating mixture of fantasy, alternative reality historical fiction, and the spicy elements of mild erotica and the tiniest hints of magic. Although I am not normally a reader of traditional historical fiction, this story is worlds apart from the norms of that genre. Well worth reading for any fantasy fan who enjoys complex characters, compelling drama, and a well-described world. I'm going to say pretty much the same for the rest of the books in this series, and the spinoffs.
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on 6 November 2009
While Kushiel's Dart caught us with its unbelievable eroticism Kushiel's Chosen has led us on into Ms Carrey's chosen forte, the court intrigue. Phedre's games cease to be of the bedroom and move onto the world's stage at Venice (La Serrenissima). And at this point we are willing to let go. Indeed Phedre's initial calling is crass compared with the purity of Joscelyn's love. So Jacqueline Carey has brought us to the brink of a full romance. But all these sideshows are just the prelude for Ms Carey's greatest skill which is the intrigue of a political mystery. And as with all great loved epics she cannot move out of the original creation without destroying it. It is to her great, remarkable skill as an authoress that we can go so far with her; and her every moment must be one of "how do I not destroy this?"

Indeed she lapsed toward the end of Kushiel's Dart into melodrama, but her crafted characters have so much more to say than running endlessly across barbarian Europe. Ysandre, for instance, could have an entire book about her thought processes as young queen, as could Joscelyn, or even Phedre's Boys.

This an excellent story which is not fantasy, despite its classification, but Romance. How lucky we are that it has been so classified for it opens an entire readership to her skill who otherwise would not read this.
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2005
The follow up to the fabulous Kushiels Dart...
Phèdre nó Delaunay fights to save her queen and country in a battle whose greatest weapon proves to be Phèdre herself.Again we see Phedre plying her skills as an anguisette and a spy. Whilst this novel is not as good as Kushiels Dart it certainly comes very very close.
Phedre has come a very long way in this novel since she was sold by her parents in the first, she has been kissed by the god Kushiel and has a small red mote in her left eye this is what is referred to as Kushiels Dart thus making her an anguisette, which is Kushiels Chosen. An anguisette being someone who finds pleasure out of pain.
Phedre managed to end the war which threatened to destroy her country, among Phedres enemies is Melisande the battles between Phedre and Melisande continue throughout.
Again we see the erocticism that we saw in Kushiels Dart, written in the fabulous way as the first. Another stunning novel from Jacqueline Carey, Kushiels Avatar the next novel brings this trilogy to a close, until the story of Imriel of course.
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on 27 September 2015
A brilliant second instalment in the series. This one focus's on finding Melisande and some brilliant if predictable twists happen though out the book. I feel the character development is good and I found myself speeding to the end of the book eager to know what happened to everyone. This is definitely a series I recommend but would make no sense without reading the first one.
A great political intrigue book without all the hype of Game of Thrones and actually I prefer this series.
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on 2 April 2016
This is fantasy with a difference. Took me a while to get into the first one but now I'm reading the last in the trilogy and loving the characters. Beautiful and almost archaic prose, perfect for the genre. Phedre draws you into her world. A delight to read. I shall be sad to reach the end of the story.
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on 12 November 2012
I was surprised to find that this book had six reviews all with 5*, giving it a 100% score, which is surprising as it isn't that great a book. Don't get me wrong it isn't terrible, it is well written with good description of characters and palace politics, even the erotic scenes are written in a tasteful manner and not dragged out for too long unlike Fifty Shades Of Utter Rubbish That My Girlfriend Read Complained About But Still Brought The Other Two Books Because She's An Idiot And I Still Listen To Her Go On How Terrible They Are And I Have No Idea Why She Would Read Them As I Have A Copy Of Moby Dick Which Is An Amazing Book And I Would Enjoy Listening To Her Talking To Me About That.

The plot follows the young heroine Phedre no Delaunay, a young woman who has been taught the art of spying, making her a useful ally, and she is also a servant of Naamah, which means she is basically a submissive (if you don't know what that is then ask your parents, or you really have had a dull life, so start living it now!), which would make her a good bit on the side. Phedre returns to the city of Elua to find Melisande, an enemy of the realm who has sent Phedre a note saying that she will take the throne (always good when the enemy tells the good guy what they are planning, it makes it so easy, but I never get why? Haven't these guys seen a james Bond film?). Phedre returns to the service of Naamah much to her bodyguard Joscelin's dismay (they have a thing, it gets annoying really quick) so she can find out everyone's secrets while on her back/knees/tied up/wearing a mask/and all sorts of other wonderful ways which are described in this book with Phedre loving every moment, which she likes to keep telling us. The erotic side of this book does get a bit annoying, but it is written tastefully enough that it doesn't make me throw the book down because Carey wraps it up pretty quick.

There are a few annoying points to this book such as the first in that it takes to long for anything to happen, fair enough a scene needs to be set, but how much scene setting can happen while Phedre sleeps with someone, Joscelin sulks, and the chevaliers play dice with soldiers. The tension between Phedre and Joscelin gets old after twenty pages with him preying outside for a whole day, and then he spends his time sulking about, saying a few things, warning Phedre, and then sulking about again. What is annoying about this is that we know Joscelin is one priest you don't want to mess with, but this book he acts like a stroppy teenager until about page 500, Phedre keeps prattling on about how her heart aches for him, but then she goes off to sleep with someone else, so you kind of don't feel that bad for her. I can even see that if you want him to feel better then maybe you shouldn't keep sleeping with other people...just a thought. The other bit that is annoying about this book is that the map of her world is Europe, Alba is basically Britain led by the Picts and Terre D'Ange is France during the renaissance, and the Yeshuites, with their Rebbe and searching for a promised land remind me of a people...mormon perhaps?

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a poor book, far from it. The plot is good, each of the books have ended properly but kept open for a second and third. The erotic scenes are what put this book over most other fantasy, but Carey has written is tastefully (unlike a book with Fifty in the title) and has decided to spend more time on the plot, description, language, and writing style, rather than just write endless sex scenes (unlike something rubbish with Fifty in the title). The build up has some suspense to it, but is weakened by the fact that once you know where the attack will be, and that there is never enough time, it takes forever for Phedre to arrive. The confrontation is well written, allowing one's own imagination to picture the battle between Joscelin and his advisory, which is well chosen in this setting (unlike in The Wheel of Time where he just tells us the battle's about to happen and then the outcome, NOT FUNNY!). Carey has made a good two of a trilogy, and the second book is usually the weaker of the three so the finale should be interesting.

6/10
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on 29 June 2014
A worthy follow up to Kushiels Dart. The plot, no less intriguing, the detail involved, spellbinding. No review can do justice to this book. I respectfully suggest that you read both Kushiels Dart and Kushiels Chosen without delay. I cannot wait to read Kushiels Avatar. Jacqueline, you really are a masterful writer, respect
With great affection,
Les Smith
Lesasmith
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on 23 December 2015
Not as good as first book but then that seems to be a trend with trilogies. Having said that I enjoyed it immensely.
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on 28 August 2010
This is the second book in the Kushiel's Legacy trilogy, but despite the steep competition provided by the first book, it does not disappoint.

Full of adventure, terrible betrayal - and not just by Melisande Shahrizai - the story describes how Phedre at last uncovers the plot to overthrow Ysandre from her rightful place as Queen of Terre d'Ange, aided belatedly by her Cassiline, Joscelin.

For much of the tale, Phedre is left alone to deal with things, Joscelin having become too conflicted to remain with her. Don't worry, reader. They will get back together in the end, but will they ever be as close as they once were? You'll have to read the book to find out.
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