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Kushiel's Dart

Kushiel's Dart

Escrito por Jacqueline Carey

Narrado por Anne Flosnik


Kushiel's Dart

Escrito por Jacqueline Carey

Narrado por Anne Flosnik

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (143 valoraciones)
Longitud:
31 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 9, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179497
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del editor

A romping adventure…

The worldbuilding is lush. It’s like our world, but different. Blessed Elua sprang from the blood of the Christ, and he changed the shape of the world with a single blessing, “Love as thou wilt.” It’s a romping adventure, a spy game, a pull between love and sacrifice.

Descripción

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good...and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission...and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair...and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart—a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 9, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179497
Formato:
Audiolibro

También disponible como...

También disponible como libroLibro

Sobre el autor

New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey was born in 1964. After receiving BA degrees in Psychology and English Literature, she embarked on a writing career. Kushiel’s Avatar is her third fantasy novel, completing the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy, which also includes Kushiel's Dart and Kushiel's Chosen.


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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    As a courtesan spy, Phèdre nó Delauney is no ordinary heroine. Nor is she an ordinary courtesan. Born with a scarlet mote in her eye, she has been marked by Kushiel, the god of Judgement, to be both cursed and blessed to find pain and pleasure together. Her homeland is Terre d'Ange, a land of exquisite beauty where the blood of the gods flow through its people's veins. It is a land where prostitution has been sanctified and "Love as you wilt," is the most sacred commandment.But all is not well in Terre d'Ange. The king is aging and has no heir. The court is filled with traitors. The land is threatened by impending war. But when Phèdre stumbles upon a deadly conspiracy, she is the only one in a position to save her beloved homeland.Kushiel's Dart is Jacqueline Carey's debut novel. Her prose is absolutely gorgeous and while being very detailed is not boring. There is explicit, but not gratuitous, sex and violence, so this book is not for everyone. I enjoyed the novel very much, and look forward to reading the rest of Kushiel's Legacy.Experiments in Reading
  • (5/5)
    This isn't going to be so much a review as a collection of impressions and random thoughts. (It's a popular book: plenty of other reviews out there to read!) I'd known about this book for years—I dimly remember it coming out—but although the book description is accurate, it never enticed me. I even read other books by Carey and enjoyed them without ever feeling an urge to read this one. I finally dove in because I'm doing an A-Z book challenge and needed a book with a title that starts with K(!). And then I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed reading it, although not enough to keep my copy.The book is long, and I didn't like all parts equally. The first bit (Phèdre's childhood) dragged, but I got more interested as she reached adulthood. But as the plot turned to political machinations, while I was still enjoying it overall, the sheer number of characters and how they were related to each other overwhelmed me. (Yes, there are over five pages of "dramatis personae" at the beginning of the book, and I much appreciated that, but I still lost track of who was who. Maybe I needed an infographic.) Perhaps a few hundred fewer pages of everything might've improved things. For instance, I'd like to have gotten a more well-rounded view of the villain beyond "beautiful" and "Machiavellian," but she almost got lost in the flood of characters.Yeah, there's sex. Quite a lot compared to many books, and the BDSM flavor of most of it won't be to many readers' tastes. Luckily, there wasn't enough to totally drag the plot to a halt for me. 901 pages, and no mention of contraception or unwanted pregnancies: clearly this is a fantasy novel.There are two more books in this trilogy, and I'm willing to try the next one. If nothing else, the world-building has sucked me in!
  • (3/5)
    If only it had ended as well as it began, this book would have gotten 4 stars from me. Unfortunately, I found the later part lacked the pace and excitement of the beginning.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoy this series. This was far from the first time I've read this book, as the spine will attest. I enjoy the alt-history setting, the lore and magic woven into the world, and the depth of intrigue - be it political, personal, or sexual. Now I want to read all the rest all over again.
  • (5/5)
    1015 pages, and I'm impressed by how tightly the story was woven together, and yet how I can see that there will be plenty to fill the next two volumes of the trilogy.

    A quote from a review (by Piers Anthony) that summarized my views better than I could have expressed them:

    "It's a book the reader can live in for a while, and be sorry to leave. I think of a pyramid: the start is slow because there are many courses of tile to lay, setting up. But in time the courses build into a massive structure, intricately interlinked, with its devious mysteries. The protagonist is uniquely endowed for this effort: who would have expected a sexual masochist as a heroine! But how can one not love her? ... Overall, a powerful narrative, with savage action balanced by exquisite characterization. The best fantasy I've read in years."
  • (4/5)
    This was a fantastic start to a new fantasy series for me! This is a fantasy novel, but it many ways it can be described as alternative history. The world building was tremendous as it basically is set in a Europe where England was able to fight off the Romans and the Norman invasion never happened, a completely different version of Christianity developed, and the German tribes and French power ruled mainland Europe in different ways. Fascinating to think about from an historical point of view, and then the political intrigue and wars kept me turning pages. A great read and I will certainly continue the series.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting premise - kind of like the Companion character in Firefly
  • (5/5)
    I really loved this book. Firstly, this book was recommended to me as an erotic novel, and I didn't really find it as such. This novel was filled with political intrigue, adventure, and war, while peppered lightly with erotic scenes. That part was a little disappointing. Being a submissive and masochist myself, I wanted to read more about that part of Phedre's life. Only one or three scenes that involved domination or pain play were written about in detail, and even then in very light and ambiguous terms. With that said, this was still a good story. I was enraged, sad, horrified, and filled with desire at some parts. I couldn't put it down, I had to force myself to put it away, and focus on other things. When I finally finished it, I admit that I felt a little empty. So glad this is a series.
  • (4/5)
    Okay, so it took me about 128 pages to really get into this one...after that there was just no stopping! Unending thrill and adventure. Full fantasy with tons of strong women and hunky men. I thought, at about 5/8 of the way through, how can this be a series? What more can possibly happen to these people? Yet in the final 200 pages - loose ends were tied and new storylines plotted, old characters stopped in to say hello and introduced the next generation cast! I'm looking forward to picking up the next installment and seeing poor Josceline make his choice over and over again.
  • (4/5)
    Listening to the audiobook reveals a lot of the flaws in the writing that may not be as apparent on the page. So many repeats of "and then they discussed many things long into the night" (or similar wording).Fun story though that is more interesting than your typical "band of adventurers" epic fantasy.
  • (3/5)
    Amazing world building, but there were too many simultaneous story-lines. Also, the fact that she is remembering the past from an unknown future point caused more confusion.
  • (5/5)
    I have been avoiding Jacqueline Carey's books for years for no reason I can recall except that I think I disliked the name Kushiel for some reason or other. Well, no more. This books has it all, writing, plot, action, sex (albeit not 'straight').I will not detail the plot. Suffice it to say that it was complex with a goodly number of characters. The editing was excellent as one naturally expects in a printed book. The action was fast and interesting. The sex was unusual but it was interesting so keep an open mind. The author knows the sexual activities she is writing about perhaps from her psychology major, perhaps in some other manner.The book is well worth the reading and the time. I am sorry that I waited so long to read it but I console myself with the thought of the others in the series. The book is heartily recommended.This review can also be found on Amazon.com.
  • (4/5)
    I have a lot of complicated feelings about this series. It's so imperfect in some ways and so just what I need in others.
  • (2/5)
    The story did engage my curiosity enough to make it to the end. However, this book could have been edited down to half the pages without loosing any of the momentum. The language was inconsistent -- sometime it was written as if the author was trying to follow some imagined linguistic pattern that indicated an ancient tongue but then shifted to a more "modern" linguistic pattern. I wondered if there were multiple authors. The author also seemed to be unsure if she was writing an erotic novel or an historical romance.
  • (5/5)
    A better game of thrones than the actual Game of Thrones.
  • (3/5)
    It's a bit stupid, at times entertaining but I wouldn't read the rest of the series. Overrated.
  • (5/5)
    Perhaps on of the best fantasy/historical novels of the past 2 decades, Jacqueline Carey creates a world that is both believable and so rich that you become completely absorbed. This is a rather odd fantasy too in that there is very little magic, and none of the dragons, goblins and other odd characters that you normally find in the genre. The characters are very rich and when someone succeeds, fails or perishes you can feel it, which just makes the story more complete. It also doesn't hurt that Carey can craft a sentence to contain so many nuances and subtle branches of thought that you find yourself re-reading paragraphs to insure you didn't miss anything. She's as good as Gibson when it comes to this and I was pleasantly surprised.

    This book stands alone - but when your done you really want a sequel, and Carey doesn't let you down. There are today 6 books in the series, and each is as good as the last - which is rare indeed.
  • (1/5)
    Ugh. I've tried to get through this thingamabob more than once and I've just finally given up on it. If you aren't into the "pain" thing, it's probably not for you -- just like I find Maia by Richard Adams (a far finer writer than Carey) unreadable.
  • (2/5)
    I made it through about half of this very long book, but it was so depressing that I just couldn't force myself to go on. I didn't relate to or care for any of the characters, which made it a difficult read. Also, I much prefer fantasy novels that layer on the intrigue and the characters so it's feasible to keep track of what's going on and who's who. That doesn't happen in this novel.

    Lastly, I really feel like the book would have been better if she'd gone all the way fantasy, creating a faith based system from scratch rather than twisting Christianity and Judaism, and creating a world setting of her own rather than using Europe as the background.
  • (5/5)
    Sweepingly epic, sensual, romantic, erotic, and a hell of a good read. I actually bought this book 5 years ago (when I bought Harry Potter #5), and it's a shame I waited this long to finally read it. It seems like the epic books I've read recently (this, Cryptonomicon, Foucault's Pendulum) have been the best and brightest of my collection, easily outpacing everything else I pick up. It makes me want to read them all the more, now, which is great considering I have the two other books in this trilogy, as well as any number of huge and imposing books waiting in the wings.
  • (5/5)
    This was yet another re-read for me. I have been sort of nostalgic as of late and I have been going back and reading some of my old favorites. This is definitely up on the list of my favorite books. The richness of the world and the sensuality of the characters and the writing draw you in. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart, it is a dark fantasy with a major sexual undertone through the whole book but if you like that sort of thing, this book will hit your top ten.

    Phedre is the main character in this story and she is freaking awesome. She uses her mind, and her body, to get what she needs and in doing so pretty much rocks. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Joscelin, he is one of my all time favorite book heroes. He is bad ass, knows it, and is still pretty humble. I love him and I love him and Phedre together.

    The whole world in this book is rich with tales, characters, and lore. Most of it is an adaption of our own world with a few fantastical twists. I love how the author put all of this together and I just adore this whole series. Look for more reviews, I am trying to re-read them all.
  • (4/5)
    Re-read this for Vaginal Fantasy Hangout. This is one of my all-time favorite books and series. It's beautifully written, full of intrigue and subtle romance. There are some sexy bits, after all Phedre is a courtesan. There is a lot of political maneuvering in this book to keep up with, though the story is interesting enough to make it worthwhile.
  • (3/5)
    This book was good and very complicated. There are many different people mentioned and its hard for me to follow but over all it was a very good read.
  • (4/5)
    Phedre's parents sold her at an early age to the Night Court as an indentured servant. The red mark in her eye and her name mark her as cursed and thus unfit for anything that would change her financial future. Delauney stumbles upon her and recognizes her mark as Kushiel's Dart, a person who feels pain as pleasure who hasn't been seen in the realm for ages. He buys her bond and trains her in both courtly and sensual arts. Above all, he trains her to observant and retain even the smallest bits of information. Now renowned as an accomplished courtesan, her services are coveted by many and she collects many bits of information and secrets for Delauney. She stumbles upon a plan to betray the kingdom to a foreign force and she's discovered. Lost in a foreign land with only a hostile guard at her side, she has to find her way back to her homeland to warn of the coming destruction.I wasn't expecting a lot from Kushiel's Dart. I assumed it would be very fluffy and romance focused, but I was wrong. I was surprised that the book is close to a thousand pages long. It has more in common with Game of Thrones in the political intrigue and spying realm and the high fantasy world world is as if not more complex than Westeros. The Phedre's home is called Terre d'Ange, Land of Angels. It was settled by Elua, the product of Yeshua's (Jesus) blood and Magdelene's tears. Carey's takes a different version Christian mythology and makes it polytheistic with deities like Naamah (sexuality and prostitution), Cassiel (discipline, celibacy, and guardianship), and Kushiel (pain and chastisement). The society is therefore completely different.The Cassiline Brotherhood and servants of Naamah are equally respected. Different sexual preferences are normal. The way servants of Naamah are trained and employed are healthy and respectful of all. Breaking these conventions means social ostracization and legal repercussions. Phedre's evolution from scared little girl with no prospects to successful, confident servant of Naamah was well written and overwhelmingly positive. The depictions of her services with patrons isn't as descriptive as I thought it would be. It wasn't crass or overly detailed. There is sex, masochism, sadism, orgies, bondage, and a love triangle, but it doesn't take precedence over the main plotlines. Phedre's struggle to get back to her lands was especially exciting and my favorite part of the story. Only a few things bothered me. One part had a god physically attacks and traps Phedre's group, which I felt was a little out of place as no other deities or mythical creatures were present.The language is quite formal and sometimes hard to follow. At times, the narrative could have used some editing. I don't mind slow moving stories, but this tried my patience at times. I feel like this one book could have been at least 2 or 3 books all by itself. It was quite the saga. Other than that, Kushiel's Dart was an enjoyable. It has romance, intrigue, war realistically rendered, and friendship. I'm not sure if I will continue the series, but Kushiel's Dart was a fun lengthy read. Carey's complex world is the best part as its detail and vision are a rarity,
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic story, but was really hard to get into for me. The first third of this already long novel is pretty much just back story to build up the main character. Though well written and relevant, sometimes it felt like the plot was never going to begin. I worked through it by taking breaks to read other books every few chapters. Once past the "intro", the book moved along very well and didn't want to let me go to eat never mind read another book!
  • (2/5)

    Today, I finally decided to abandon this book after plodding through the first 206 pages. I don't know, Kushiel's Dart just didn't do it for me.

    There were many elements of the book which I thought were good- the backstory of Elua and how Terre D'Ange was founded, the Court of the Night Blooming Flowers and the culture of Naamah, etc. I thought the style was good and easy to get into, although at times it was a bit flowery, even for the fantasy epic genre.

    My main problem with the book was that the plot got bogged down with just so. many. details. Details that I didn't care about whatsoever. There were a million different characters that I needed to keep track of, and a ton of history and political intrigue that I didn't really care about. I wanted to read about Phedre and Alcuin and maybe Hyacinthe. I wanted to read about their adventures and development and interior world and society, but it seemed to me that the sole importance of these characters was to provide a backdrop to Delaunay's (not that intriguing) intrigues. It seems like such a waste since the alternate society the author creates is quite interesting and there's potential there.

    It just seems like too much work to continue this novel and try to keep everything straight, when I can turn to other fantasy epics which are easier to get into and don't require a 5 page "cast of characters" at the beginning or post-its with "notes" as a bookmark.

    The breaking point for me came when I came to page 206 and some sort of "drama" was unfolding (I don't want to spoil it for anyone who cares,) and I realized that I only vaguely recognized the names of the people to which the "drama" was happening. Furthermore, I had no clue why the drama was important and why the character who was freaking out was freaking out. It was then that I realized that it was time for me and Kushiel's Dart to part ways. To many good books out there...




  • (2/5)
    Didn't like at all.Superb writing, if you don't mind a bit of overwriting but the plot quickly devolves into walking the heroine from one sexual encounter to another (with a wholesale borrowing of BDSM 101 for Dummies), and characterization of most non-minor characters doesn't go much deeper than gushing about how pretty they are.
  • (5/5)
    So, this is one of the best epic fantasy novels I've read in awhile. I put it up there almost with Patrick Rothfuss status - so you know that I really liked this book!What I didn't like: It was sooo long! I'm normally okay with this, but there are so many names to keep track of and so much action that takes place...I almost feel as if I read three books within the space of one. Then, to top it all off, the ending makes it obvious that there is more story to tell. I knew this beforehand, but after going through so much with Phedre I just felt too exhausted to embark on the next novel!What I looooved (which is pretty much everything else): The world-building....wow. Seriously you guys, the world building is absolutely top-notch in Kushiel's Dart! I was completely immersed in this strange Europe-like polytheistic world with its various dens of iniquity. Also, the characters were just so fully-fleshed and amazing! I loved Phedre, Hyacinthe, Delaunay, Alcuin, Joscelin (he's my fave), and pretty much every single character she produced - they were all so real. Armchair reading (fantasy-style)! You travel to so many lands, meet so many different people/entities, and witness such daring feats...that before you know it, you've chewed off all of your fingernails! Lastly, it was such an emotional roller-coaster - you never stop being interested. It is such a multifaceted story: friendships, families, romance, betrayal, survival, and above all - hope!What might bother others but didn't bother me: Um, the world in which Phedre exists is one where there is a very casual attitude towards sex and Phedre herself is a courtesan with special tastes. The god Kushiel (her patron god) is the god of pain...so, uh, to sum it up she's into S&M. For some folks this is an automatic turn-off, but hear me out! While the book does let you know about episodes of er, pain and pleasure...it doesn't go into detail. There are no explicit sex scenes - just a slight description of events without going into too much detail. I thought it was tastefully done, considering the taboo subject matter.So, there ya go folks! I really really recommend this to fantasy fans and to those who love strong female protagonists.
  • (5/5)
    I like this book. This book has reminded me of why I enjoy reading so much; whether it's the political intrigue or the vast world building and character development, I enjoy fantasies because they bring another world and reality to me. As a testament of this book's well written story, I have spent the week before my finals (and the week of my finals) reading instead of studying. From the description alone, one can deduce that this has a lot of political drama and multi-layered plots laid by various factions in the story. Another thing that can be easily deduced is that sex is a central point of this book. Needless to say, this book has sex scenes, albeit well written ones that develop the story. The only gripe that I have with this book is the somewhat slow beginning, although one can argue that it helps develop her character and the reasoning behind some of her future actions and behaviors. But I digress. Don't be put off by the fact that the book is about a woman that likes sex because it is more than that. Give this book a chance and a lesson may perhaps be learned - to not be so quick to judge, whether a book or a person.
  • (5/5)
    I am about to embark on the most ambitious reviewing project I have ever undertaken thus far; I will be reviewing all 9 of the books in the Kusheline Legacy series. Here goes. I first picked this up at random in a university book store. It was relatively new and I must have stood there for at least an hour or more reading it. I was immediately entranced, and remain so. I had never been much of a fantasy reader as an adult (however, when I was a kid I read several of Tanith Lee's books, among others, so it wasn't too much of a stretch), but this book made me a permanent fan. Now, I am constantly searching for a heroine equal to Phedre no Delaunay; I'm not sure it's even a possibility.In the league of world builders, Carey ranks among the highest. Her world is fully realized and feels as if it could actually exists. In part this is due to the fact that it an alternate version of our world, with several almost direct connections (this comes mainly through geography and through religion). I'm sure there is a more concise word for what she does here, but I am not well-versed enough in fantasy literature to know it. Regardless, Carey's world feels livable. The mythology of the world is unique and all encompassing; For each realm Phedre finds herself in, there is a complete, excellently planned history and mythology. Her characters are wonderfully complex, even as they rely to a degree on traditional high romance traditions (think Arthurian legends). The novel starts with Phedre as a child and continues through her upbringing first in the Night Court as damaged goods to her transformation as the foremost courtesan and spy, though information-gatherer might be closer to the mark. One of the consistent refrains through this frist trilogy is that "all knowledge is worth having." The end of this book leaves us in a lurch for the second; luckily for me the next in the series, Kushiel's Chosen, was due out soon. I fell in love with her characters and her style. Carey herself has described her style in this series as "baroque," and this is very true. While it may be slightly of-putting at first, by the end of this book, I hardly even noticed it. It fit perfectly with the character that Phedre became. There is intrigue and plot aplenty in this book and in the rest of the series, but never does it feel as if Carey throws things in just because. While some revelations may seem somewhat obvious by the time they are given, for the most part, I was kept guessing. The who might be known, but the how is just as interesting and important. While I would not say these books are fast paced, they never drag either. All are well planned and well researched. I hate to give too much of a summary because it is too much fun discovering the world of these books on your own. If you are looking for an excellently written fantasy series that features an incredibly strong female lead, enough sexy romance to keep your pulse up and a plot to rival anything George R.R. Martin can dish out, this book and this sereis is for you. Fair warning though: there are explicit heterosexual and homosexual sex scenes, and there is also a healthy dose of BDSM themes (it's one of the main conceits of Phedre's character). If this makes you squeamish, it's your loss. The central theme of the book, and the only religious principal Phedre adheres to is "love as thou wilt." A beautiful message enclosed in a beautiful narrative.