Welcome to week 6 of the read-along of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Chosen! Our host this week is Lynn of Lynn’s Books, and her questions cover chapters 62-72. As always, if you’d like to join us, here’s our goodreads group. Beware below of spoilers through chapter 72. This is our second to last week, and everything is coming together. This was a pretty stressful section-break, since it cuts off just before the group enacts their final plan!
1.We had a bit of a discussion about Kazan in the previous week’s questions, about his nature, double crossing, etc, and whether Phedre was right to save him. What are your thoughts on Kazan now given these most recent additions. Also, I think we should include his mother in that discussion - it was interesting to finally see her I thought. And, in fact his whole homecoming.
His homecoming changed my perception of his relationship with his mother. I had imagined her blaming Kazan for his brother’s death. It looks like the truth was that she initially blamed Kazan while grieving, and realized too late that her blood-curse had caused her to lose both her sons. It was good to see how deeply she regretted the curse, and that she and Kazan forgave each other.
Also, I appreciated seeing Kazan realize that he now has to worry about politics. He came in to a hero’s welcome, but his presence put his home in danger. I think now that he’s perhaps not going to be a pirate anymore, he’s going to need to think more about the wider impact of his actions. It was good of him to commit to a plan that minimized the risk to his homeland.
Lastly, I liked that he acknowledged to Phedre that their ‘bargain’ was not a bargain at all. It seems like he learned quite a lot about himself and his actions in the cave, and it will probably help him to be a better person in the future. Also, his blood curse is gone, and his family has welcomed him home— it seems like he could have easily abandoned Phedre to her task. I know he sees it as repaying a debt, but I think more highly of him that he is helping her through the end.
2.What did you think of the whole ‘tribute’ ship idea - is that your idea of a good plan or your worst nightmare?
Can it be both? I think it’s both. I think being trapped in such a tiny place would be really horrible, and I would fear that those little air holes weren’t big enough. It got her into town alive, but what a journey.
3.Let’s just talk about the reunion with Joscelin and Phedre. Oh my word! More to the point the changes in both of them and how you think their relationship will now move forward.
It looks like losing each other may have made them both re-evaluate their priorities. For instance, I remember Joscelin saying something along the lines of, “I don’t care if you have a thousand patrons!” I still don’t think Phedre will want to give up serving Naamah and especially Kushiel, but I think she is very clear now that she loves Joscelin and does not want to hurt him. Also, the flower-strewn tent was adorable. I respect that they made that for Joscelin and Phedre, even though that part of their reunion was probably a bit against Yeshuite custom.
4.Lastly, what do you think Phedre’s plan is - it’s in a temple, she spoke about making retribution in earlier chapters and yet her latest plan seems to have caused gasps of surprise. What do you think we have in store.
I don’t really have a clear idea. I know she wants to clear out the corruption in the temple of Asherat-of-the-sea. Maybe there will be some kind of oracle-like proclamation from Phedre inside the temple, using some kind of voice amplification? They’ll also have to get to the queen right away, and I think they’ll have to use Joscelin or Phedre for that, so Ysandre will recognize them and trust them. I believe they said Melisande will not be there, so I suppose there won’t be any dramatic unmasking. Perhaps the pirates will fight Marco Stregazza’s people, since they’re very keen to kill some Serenissimans. Well, those are my ideas, we’ll see how wrong I am soon :)!
—On Phedre’s vanity, it made me laugh that one of the very first things she said to Joscelin was “What did you do to your hair?”
—I like that Kazan is not trying to be possessive of Phedre. He could have been unpleasant about meeting the guy she loves.