As a reader, whether avid or novice, what do these names make you think of?
- Tolkein (Lord of the Rings)
- Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time series)
- L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)
- Frank Herbert (Dune series)
- Roger Zelazny (Amber series)
- Gregory Maguire (Wicked series)
- Terry Brooks (Shannara Chonicles)
- Veronica Roth (Divergent series)
- Suzanne Collins ( The Hunger Game series)
- James Dashner ( The Maze Runner series)
- Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)
Every single one of these books did NOT end after the first book. Aren’t you glad? Could you imagine if every single series ended after the first book? I know I wouldn’t be happy. When you become enraptured by a writer, I find that no matter how well the end is written, you truly never want it to end.
Now that that’s out of the way, I have to be honest. I really was not looking forward to reading this book. I mean did you see how long the first one was (912 pages)?! Not only was the first one long, but since it is an introductory book, the reader is introduced to a myriad of characters and places, enough to make your head spin. All in all, it does become rather daunting, and I took a break (and will thus continue to do so) and read a different book in between Kushiel’s Dart and Kushiel’s Chosen. I really was unsure how much more my brain could take with all the names (that I’m STILL unable to pronounce) all the places, and generally all the drama. I was seriously contemplating calling it quits.
The beginning of Kushiel’s Chosen promptly picks up right where it left off. Phedre has made the bold choice to re-enter into Namaah’s service, which does not make Joscelin happy. (If you are already confused by this review, please feel free to read my review of Kushiel’s Dart). Phedre is not entering the service on normal pretenses, she is seeking an outlaw who escaped in the first book. Using her wiles, Phedre deduces on a whim where she must go to find answers. However perilous the journey may be, there has, and always will be, more than meets the eye with Phedre.
Finding the renegade outlaw is the number one priority in this book. The underlying issue is finding a way to free Phedre’s friend Hyacinth from his looming doom of becoming the new Master of the Straits. Phedre immerses herself into the Yeshuite culture to see if there is a fictional key to give any insight to her friend’s situation. About halfway through the book is when Hyacinth is put on the back burner, and the story kicks it up a notch.
Phedre comes to the beautiful city of La Serenissima. A man made city built up on water. Trade is a plenty, as long as ancient lore. Their goddess, Asherat-of-the-sea, is vengeful. A tragedy had befallen Asherat, and it is rumored that her wailing surrounds La Dolorosa; a depressing prison that drives it’s residents over the brink of insanity. Ever the spy, Phedre gathers too much information that leads to her arrest, and imprisonment in La Dolorosa. Sanity leaching from her daily, she is faced with a decision that could truly change the course of everything she holds dear. Releasing her of choice, the prison is promptly broken into and sent into disarray, allowing her to escape, just not as gracefully as she would have hoped. Falling over the cliffs of La Dolorosa in what should be a certain death, Phedre believes it is Asherat who saves her, and for that, Phedre swears to cleanse her temple.
As Phedre is adrift in the sea, a band of pirates picks her up, thinking she is a siren. As she explain her situation, the pirates think to use her as a bargaining chip for a boon. Slowly defenses are dropped, and Phedre befriends all on board, building lasting friendships with all the pirates.
Towards the end, the reader is literally on the edge of their seat. In this book, you have romance, travel, confrontation, deception, the Little Court, queens, princes, princesses, intrigue, imprisonment, rescue, kidnap, trials, oracles, pirates, death, life, and so much more. From an unlikely character, it’s astonishing to see what she can truly accomplish once she puts her mind to it. Women can truly change the course of things. I’m so glad I did not put this book down.
4 out of 5 stars!!!!!!