Time for the final week of the Kushiel’s Avatar readalong. Again, thank you all for reading this with me. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Questions by Allie.
I really hope people will want to continue with Imriel’s trilogy. You guys know how much I love Imriel!
1. Phedre stops by to extract a promise from Melisande. Why do you think Melisande chose the condition she did, out of the two that Phedre asked for? Do you think she has some other scheme afoot that no longer involves the d’Angeline throne?
Well….. if we look at the wording, it says she won’t raise her hand (or another’s) against them. And originally, Phedre had only asked protection of their lives, not their throne. So, who knows? Maybe Melisande sees a loophole. Maybe she can see a way to push them to abdicate.
2. When Phedre gets back to the City of Elua, she faces Ysandre’s anger. Do you think Ysandre treated Phedre & Joscelin fairly? What do you agree or disagree with in her reaction?
I’m really glad you asked this question. I’m not so sure Ysandre was fair. Earlier in the novel, we see Phedre tell Imriel that everything the Mahrkagir did as “punishment” to Imriel, everything that he did and said it was Imriel’s fault, was really another way for the Mahrkagir to abuse his victims. And I absolutely think Phedre is right. Here, with Ysandre, we have another ruler taking her displeasure out on an innocent party. In this case, Hyacinthe. We’ve spoken before about whether Ysandre had any “right” to Imriel. His mother is still alive. Did Melisande lose her maternal rights by being imprisoned in the temple of Asherat? I don’t think she did. Melisande gave Imriel to the keeping of the priest of Elua and then to Phedre. I don’t think Ysandre had a legal claim to Imriel. And so I’m not so sure Ysandre was right to use the law to punish Hyacinthe for something Phedre probably had the right to do. And her punishment seems to fly in the face of what Phedre was telling Imriel about the Mahrkagir’s abuse. So yeah, I’m comparing Ysandre to the Mahrkagir.
3. The next major event of the story is the confrontation with Rahab. Did this go how you expected, or were there any notable surprises?
I guess my surprise, or frustration, was Ysandre making like a fete out of it. Like it was her way to save face for her unfair treatment of Phedre and Htacinthe. Or like it was her plan all along and she just needed the time to get everything ready.
4. Do you think Hyacinthe will (or should) pass on his knowledge and power at some point? Also, how much of an impact do you think he will have on the Tsingano culture?
It’s interesting that, like Joscelin, someone who is an outcast seems to have so much influence on a people.
I don’t think he should pass on his knowledge. I think he knows that power corrupts. Even if he has good intentions now, how can he be sure his successor will be worthy?
5. At the end, all is well, and Phedre seems content with her life. Was there anything that stood out to you in the resolution of the story, or in Phedre’s massive party in Night’s Doorstep? How do you feel about the way her trilogy has ended?
I love it (though I could have done without the party because I’m an introvert). It feels very complete. Phedre found love in unexpected places. Romantic love and familiar love.
I feel sad for Hyacinthe. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it seems to me like will never feel at home anywhere. In a way, that kind of gives “Prince of Travelers” a new meaning: even though he has permanent home, he might not fit in and feel at home. I don’t know. Sometimes I make stuff up.
I like that Phedre took Imriel to see Severio. As Phedre said, a lot of his family has committed treason in one way or another. It’s good for him to know that not all of his family are so power hungry and ruthless. Though what Severio would have done if Imriel had eyes on the little court…