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Kushiel's Chosen
Jacqueline Carey
Tor Books, 704 pages

Kushiel's Chosen
Jacqueline Carey
Jacqueline Carey was born in 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois. After receiving B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature, she spent half a year living in London and working in a bookstore, travelling once the work permit expired. Upon returning to the U.S., she embarked on a writing career, travelling when possible, thus far ranging from Finland to Egypt. She currently lives in western Michigan, where she is a founding member of the oldest Mardi Gras krewe in the state.

Jacqueline Carey's Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Kushiel's Chosen
SF Site Review: Kushiel's Dart

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Regina Lynn Preciado

This sequel to Kushiel's Dart continues the adventures of Phèdre nó Delauney, Comtesse de Montreve and natural-born anguissette. If you haven't read Kushiel's Dart, be warned: this review contains spoilers.

This is the middle volume of a trilogy, and it succeeds in further developing the characters, the dangers, and the world so well that the year-long wait for the third installment becomes -- no pun intended -- a torture.

Kushiel's Chosen opens with a choice. Phèdre has received her sangoire cloak from her nemesis and obsession Melisande -- it's a challenge to a high-stakes game of thrones, risking lives at every step. If Phèdre accepts the challenge, she risks losing the love of her Perfect Companion, Joscelin. But if she does not, what will happen to Queen Ysandre, and to Terra d'Ange itself?

If you know Phèdre at all, you know which path she must chose. You can guess at the manner of hardships she will have to endure as she probes this deeper treachery on Melisande's part. Her journeys take her to La Serenissima, with its uncouth suitor and aging Doge; to Illyria and its pirate king; to Kriti and its closeness to the gods. Joscelin's destiny takes him among the Yeshuites, where he -- Cassiel's chosen, ever at a crossroads, "to choose and choose again" -- must decide between a prophecy and his impossible love for Phèdre.

Phèdre's narration continues in the storyteller style of the first volume, with lots of one-sentence paragraphs and phrases like "I didn't know, then" that imply that she is speaking from some distant future. I tend to get irritated at that type of writing if produced by less skilled authors than Jacqueline Carey, but it fits Phèdre's personality so well, and the book is so good, I succumbed to the rhythm. Jacqueline Carey's writing is consistent and lyrical.

Kushiel's Chosen is more polished than its predecessor. I didn't have to read any passages with my eyes closed like I did a few times in Kushiel's Dart. I'm sure many would claim that Kushiel's Chosen shows growth and improvement in Carey's prose, but I missed the rougher cut of the original. Where Kushiel's Dart was raw, Kushiel's Chosen is subtle.

In my own not-so-subtle way, I say: read this series, and let Carey know how much she rocks so that she'll keep writing and publishers will keep buying.

Copyright © 2002 Regina Lynn Preciado

Freelance writer Regina Lynn Preciado lives in her truck but maintains a household in Los Angeles. Find out what else she's reading in her book blog.

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