After a hundred pages of introduction I was almost thinking about abandoning it. When you surpass that trial the book becomes wonderful and you can not stop reading it.
The characters are well described, each one with its own peculiarities and flaws, and the story is always full of intrigues and twists.
A bit boring at first, when plot and characters are first introduced: too many names, patterns, friendship ties and relations to keep in mind and connect. Once the frame is clearer, though, and the action really kicks on, the whole work grows in interest, suspence and intrigue, its quality improves and the reader is definitely glued to the page. I loved in particular the female characters, strong and determined, each in her own way, and the war scenes. A very good story, in the end, worth reading....Continua
I picked this book up on some very enthusiastic recommendations from friends, and upon reading the oodles of positive reviews all over it I was looking forward to an enjoyable read. How wrong I was. This so called 'erotic, sensual, epic fantasy' fulfills not a single of the above adjectives. The book began well enough, however the pretty opening proves itself to be no more than an elaborate wrapping around an empty box. After 250 pages of Phedre smugly going on and on about the beauty and superiority of Terre D'Ange and all it's people, down to the seediest peasant, the only interesting characters are killed off and we are given no compensation for them whatsoever. And I had thought that it couldn't possibly get any more dull... wrong again. Phedre proceeds to accomplish one task after another, going through no challenges or growth at all, remaining the same pretentious, narcissistic whore from beginning to end. To top it all off, the author actually manages to make S&M and erotic torture boring, tepid and dry. An achievement in and of itself. The characters are boring and flat, coming out laughably perfect, failing even as stereotypes.
I don't like giving really negative comments, but I could not find any redeeming qualities about this book. Don't waste you time or money on it....Continua
It took a little more than a week, to finish the reading of this book.
It is the second time I read it, the first in its original language -and I had the sensation the translated one was cut out of a few passages, actually.
However it turns, I loved this novel.
Loved it, more than I had the first time. Kushiel's Dart is, I guess, one of those books which one might read twice at least, for being able to catch a sufficient deal of its beauty and complexity.
All the first part of the book is, actually, pretty complex.
The immediate fifty first pages are pretty slow at a reading, but they're a necessity too, which one endures heading for the prosecution.
I had liked Delaunay's figure already at the first reading; I have loved him all the more this second. And actually wept when things turned badly, for him and Alcuin.
All the remaining pages, a good half and little more, runs so straight, one wouldn't want to stop reading; I wouldn't even sleep, if I could -pity that's exam period, and I had to study; I swear, I think I would have finished the book whithin three day, wasn't it so.
Phèdre is, of course, the greatest of the heroines. One could object she's a Mary Sue, but I wouldn't daresay so in any way, and not after having read twice the whole Kushiel's Legacy Trilogy.
She is too tormented, too in struggle with her own desires; with the desire Melisande triggers in her. She despises herself, and is human in all of her feelings and emotions, all the while being the mithyc figure she represents: Kushiel's Chosen, pricked by his dart in the left iris, cast toward those of his lineage who try to betray the very realm on whose earth he and the others Companions once have walked along with Blessed Elua.
And then comes the Cassiline. Joscelin.
My favourite character of all the five -soon six- books in which he appears.
He is the very most tormented character of the serie: caught between his vows and trainings, Cassiline discipline carved deeply into his bones, he has -as Phèdre tells him at a moment- a temper. He loves, and angers, and fights with all of the temper he has, with the strenght coming from these same feelings and emotions.
Useless to tell that I like him very much for his beauty too.
The plot is, too, of a disarming complexity, which actually never falls into absurdity; Carey is skilled to persuade the reader with shrewd observations, spoken in Phèdre's voice, that every situation, every step of the way has to be in that exact direction and no other.
I would have a thousand and more words to say about this book and its characters. But the truth is: that's one of those novels which speak on their own, not needing further comments from a real fungirl, as I do am.
Only I can say, just read it. And if you can, read it in English.
Carey's writing style isn't easy to one not having a habit to read in English; but believe me: it's worth the difficulty.
Have I to repeat it? Well, maybe not, but I'm going to anyway.
I really, actually love this book. Likely I will read it thrice.