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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Kushiel's Scion: Treason's Heir: Book One
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on 23 August 2006
"Kushiel's Scion" is the fourth book in Jacqueline Carey's thrilling fantasy series of life in the exotic realm of Terre d'Ange, a world somewhat similar to our Earth, during a period reminiscent of the Renaissance. The preceding "Kushiel's Legacy" trilogy, composed of "Kushiel's Dart," "Kushiel's Chosen," and "Kushiel's Avatar" are all extraordinary novels, and although it is not necessary to have read them in order to enjoy this one, they do provide a fantastic reading experience and a wonderful introduction to Jacqueline Carey's latest protagonist, Imriel no Montreve de la Courcel. "Scion" is also the first novel in a new trilogy which will chronicle the life of de la Courcel, the foster son of Phèdre nó Delaunay, the Comtesse de Montreve, peer of Terre d'Ange, and her consort, the Cassiline apostate, Joscelin Verreuil.

Imriel, a royal prince of the blood, was abandoned in infancy by both of his treasonous parents. Captured in childhood by pirates, the boy spent his youth in slavery, subjected to abominable & depraved torture until he was rescued by Phèdre and Joscelin, who love him as a son. Now, a handsome and accomplished teen, Imriel is experiencing the normal restlessness and insecurities of adolescence, but is additionally burdened by his past experiences. He finds it difficult to live down his mother's, Melisande Shahrizai's, reputation as an arch villainess who would sell her soul and her son, seemingly, for a kingdom and power. When he unwillingly become involved in court intrigue, Imriel decides to study abroad and takes on an anonymous identity to do so.

Much more than a coming of age tale, Ms Carey dramatically and skillfully changes her point of view from the mindset of a mature woman to that of an adolescent boy with an unusual amount of baggage. Unlike most young men of his age, Imriel must struggle with an infamous heritage and nightmarish memories. While this boy-man is not anywhere near as complex a character as the mature woman, Phèdre nó Delaunay, Imriel is no slouch either. He has yet to acquire Phèdre's life experience, and that is what this novel is about - acquiring experience, adventuring and building character. There are enough complexities in this tale to satisfy the most demanding and discerning reader.

The plot and subplots are unique and stunning. The excitement just doesn't stop. Ms. Carey combines swashbuckling adventure, romance, eroticism, political intrigue and world building. Her imaginative use of historic detail, diverse cultures, the creation of many varied characters and their development, make this series so special. A riveting novel - I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended

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on 23 December 2016
At first, I hungered for Phedre's point of view. But I gradually lost myself in young Imreil's growth from wishing to do the right thing on to the way he fell in love with the goodness of his bride. The desert of his effort served to produce a strong surge of tears in me.
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on 3 April 2008
I'm not going to go through a blow-by-blow (no pun intended) account of the plot. Suffice to say that we see the more mature side of Imriel emerging in this book, the second of the trilogy centred on him. I wasn't sure if Jacqueline Carey would be able to generate the same kind of excitement and unpredictability as she did in the earlier trilogy but I needn't have worried. This book really surprised me in its adventurous plot and unflinching character development. Carey allows her characters to have very human emotions - selfishness, greed, thoughtlessness, hatred but also hope, healing, self-sacrifice, love and devotion. We see all of these in Imriel!

As usual, we are introduced to new geographical locations and new cultures. We learn lots more about the Cruithne and Dalriada - the first part of the book is very focussed on their culture and much of it is based in Alba. Carey is also good at developing peripheral characters and allowing them to play essential parts in her stories - there's plenty of that in this book.

Having hugely enjoyed the whole of the first trilogy I was very slightly disappointed in some elements of the first book in Imriel's trilogy - although it was still a cracking good story. This book makes up for it with knobs on. There is less 'angst' in Imriel - although he still has huge problems in his life, he is becoming more comfortable in his own skin. This is due, mostly, to the interventions of two very different women - Dorelei (Drustan's niece) and Sidonie (the eldest daughter of Ysandre and Drustan, heir to the throne of Terre D'Ange). The core of this book is Imriel's difficult relationships with both of them. He learns that you can't always have what you want and sometimes you can't resolve the conflicts in your life without losing something precious.

I can't wait to get my hands on the final installment in the trilogy - pre-ordered in fact!

Update: I've had to pre-order the next book (Kushiel's Mercy) from the US site as it was withdrawn from the UK site - I've no idea why. It has now been shipped (as at 9 June 2008) so I'm waiting eagerly for the postman to arrive.....
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2008
After a long break between the first series and now, fans have long since anticipated the arrival of the new Jacqueline Carey, however the question that's been bandied about the chat room's is will it live up to the hype as well as their expectations?

Facing this question, and having been a fan of the original series its been not only a long wait but one that made me apprehensive about picking up this first offering as I didn't want the magic of the first series to leave me, yet its something that in much a way that a moth is drawn to flames I found my hand wandering upon its arrival. Finally biting the bullet I picked it up and began. The tale, told from the point of view of the next generation of the original characters has had some significant changes as the magical aspect appears to have been powered down quite a bit which to be honest makes it more interesting to me as I'm a "spirit of man" type of reader. I like it when a character has to slog their way to their goal as opposed to clicking their fingers, that's no adventure plus the struggle allows the reader to see the character develop as well as allowing them to form a closer connection to them which in turn allows greater emotional attachment which builds the anticipation of each twist as you wonder what's going to happen along with how the character is going to escape.

Not quite what fans will have expected but the first offering in a new series is always going to have a hard time but by the end it's clear that Jacqueline has a clear grasp upon the protagonist and will undoubtedly improve in the next instalment. In all a slight disappointment but its solid writing that can only stand the author in good stead for future book's.
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on 1 December 2007
The first trilogy was brilliant, this first book in the new trilogy is just as good.

This is a brillantly written novel, as are all of Carey's work.
You get the same things you get in the first trilogy, great action, eroticism not just in deed but in thought and enough politics and intrigue to fill Five volumes of a lesser author's work.

There is only one diffrence in this book, and that being the main protagonist is male and not female. I know that Phedre is probably the best female protagonist in the fantsy fiction world, but don't let this put you off, Imriel de la Courcel is just as good.
Read this novel you will not regret it

P.S, After this trilogy has been concluded Carey is said to be writing another trilogy set in the same world just a couple of hundred years in the future.The main protagonist will be FEMALE.

I hope that this review was of some help to you.
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on 12 March 2009
I have to admit I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered that Carey was writing more of her Kushiel books. If you havent read the previous ones, then go and read those first. So grap Kushiel's Dart (Mass Market Paperback) first. The reason I'm saying this is because if you read this and you love it (like you should), it will slightly spoil the first trilogy. And the first three books are in my opinion just so much more facinating, but I guess that's just because they are about Phedre (people who have read them know what I'm talking about here).

This book starts a new trilogy from where the previous trilogy ended. The same world and lots of the same characters. Of course the times are now slightly different and there are new people thrown into the mix. The main difference however this time is that the protagonist changes from Phèdre nó Delaunay to Imriel no Montreve. And I admit this change did worry me. Phedre for me is the most interesting, most complex and most challenging female protagonist I've ever met in fantasy literature, hands down.

The world the book is set in is the same politically and sexually coloured fantasy world Carey so skillfully painted in the first books. There are gods, religions, political factions, cultures, countries. All carefully crafted, believable. It's like our world through a (fantasy) looking glass. For some the sexual and BDSM coloured overtones might be a bit too much. Yes there are both of them in this also, and again they are integral part of the world and the characters.

Now Imriel is an interesting character, weighted down by his own history and his own problems, but I admit, she isn't Phedre. I would have wanted to read something about Phedre, but Imriel will do more than fine. He might not be as complex character as Phedre was (but who could be), but his strugle with his own destiny, life and desires paints a troubled and complex character.

By it's own standards it is a great book. So, like I said if you liked the first three, you'll like this also. If you haven't read the first three, please(!) start with those. It wouldn't be right to read this first. But it is a worthy sequel.
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on 4 May 2009
Kushiel's Justice is the second book in Jacqueline Carey's Treason's Heir trilogy. If you haven't read the first part Kushiel's Scion, then get that first, otherwise you might find the charaters a bit lacking. Well actually, if you haven't read any of Jacqueline Carey's books, start with Kushiel's Dart first. This is more than a suggestion.

Kushiel's Justice follows (as the previous book) the life and adventures of the now older Imriel no Montreve de la Courcel, as he strugles with growing up and falling in love. And love for him of course isn't easy. He still tries to be good as he has promised, and wants to do the right thing, but it isn't easy.

It is slower than the previous book. Well, actually slower than any of the previous books. It takes its time to build the characters and the settings. It doesn't have as much great epic adventures or battles as the previous book, and it is very dark in tone. You feel the suffering and pain of the characters, as Carey is as expressive with people's feelings and thoughts as always.

It is more slowepaced than you might have expected from Carey. It is more poetic I suppose, you could call it the romance novel in the series - and it works. Now obviously there has been romance elements in all of the Kushiel books, but in this, it is the romance element that binds the story together. Surprisingly also then there are less erotic scenes in this books than in the previous ones.

Quite different from Carey's previous books, but it works so well. Can't wait to read the last part.
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2008
The tale opens from an older Imriel's experience and as such the voice improves the telling as opposed to a whiney teen angst ridden telling, we come to a more mature voice and one that allows the reader to connect more firm attachments to the character which, if I'm being honest, has always been the greatest strength of Jacqueline's writing. The writing is solid, the characterisation believable and to top it off the reader is treated to a story that is a worth successor to the originals. Whilst some of the writing in the original tale of this second trilogy seemed unnecessary at the time it becomes clear within the pages of this tale that its all relevant even if you didn't realise it at the time.
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on 7 May 2010
I read this book without knowing that there were previous books, albeit in a different trilogy. This work covers situations that most people thankfully never experience these day's. Carey has done this with compassion, thoughtfulness and great sensativity. I have finally found another author who stands up there with Katherine Kerr and Bernard Cornwall. This novel will fill your heart with love for the charctures, compassion for the strength they have and what they have indured and above all, make you think. This is what the novel is about. It's pushes the boundries, makes you look beyond yourself, and makes you ask questions. One of the best books I have ever read
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on 10 April 2015
This series continues to be amazing! Imriel who is secretly in love with Sidonie, marries a princess of Alba and loses her due to a terrible prophecy. Now he needs to travel to faraway lands of Wralia (prototype of Russian Empire) to avenge his wife and come back to his beloved. This book is tragic, epic and philosophical. I absolutely loved listening to it on audio, and since then bought and read the rest of the series as audiobooks as well. Hugely recommended.
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