It feels like it was just yesterday that I started the reread posts for Kushiel’s Scion. Probably because it was and I’m behind. This week it’s chapters 12-19, questions by Allie.
1) In this chapter, Katherine and Roshana introduce Imriel to some innocent regional courtship games. What do you think of the differences between the two games? Do you remember anything similar from when you were a teen?
Upon first reading this portion, I was kind of off put by the games. Honestly, I think I still am. I think now it’s more like “can’t you see he is so wounded that he can’t even!?!” As a teen, I was not into “courtship games.” I was into books. I think this is just something….I don’t know. This portion (and other similar) kind of take me out of the world. It’s something that I have a hard time suspending my disbelief for. It’s not that I think Carey wrote it badly or anything. I don’t think I’m a prude either. I mean, come on. I’m reading erotica. I guess it’s the “instruction” angle. This isn’t meant to be a judgment. It’s not a squick feeling, like it’s grooming. It’s just a, I’ll skip this part. I don’t think sex is something to learn as such. Maybe that’s why I also had problems with Phedre “there is a precise art to taking off someone’s clothes.”
2) How do you think Imriel’s ideas of love and sex affected by the model set by Joscelin and Phedre? Do you think they’re doing a good job getting him through these awkward years?
I feel like this is a tricky question. I’m going to go with yes. Imriel is hurt and complicated and confused, and probably only Joscelin and Phedre can understand this. Joscelin and Phedre, well, they don’t have a “traditional” relationship, by real life standards or by D’Angeline standards, but by now, I think it’s pretty healthy. I think the health of their relationship and the respect they have for each other is an important model. I don’t know if this makes sense or gets at what Allie was getting at.
3) Imriel is getting a lot happier and easier at court these days. Is there anything that was particularly notable for you in this period, during the apple-picking party or on the Longest Night?
Nicola and Imriel’s complicated relationship with her. From the beginning, I wasn’t in love with her. I thought her trying to play spy was weird. But I liked her in Kushiel’s Avatar (and she was useful in finding Imriel). And I like her here. I feel like Nicola is a symbol of the violent desires he’s afraid of. He wants to embrace them but is afraid of turning into the Mahrkagir. So he resents Nicola’s ability to do it with love.
4) Imriel comes of age in this section, and spends his first night in the Night Court, at Balm House. What do you think about his experience with Emmeline?
Love. I love her talk about healing.
Also, it’s just a small moment, but I love the description of Mavros when Joscelin talks to him about the mock-abduction of Imriel to take him to the Night Court on his birthday. How he’s just like “yeah, no, I’m not doing that.” Of course, he’s older and knows Imriel better than some of his other friends. It just seems understanding, and I like it. (Same with Alais. I think she might have more knowledge of Imriel’s past whereas Mavros intuited more…if that makes any sense.)
5) Imriel has also made a new close friend, Eamonn mac Grainne! What did you think of their fight? How do you think their closeness will affect his image at court?
Yay! It was fun to read. I liked how upset Eamonn was with the wooden swords. How it will affect Imriel’s court image, I don’t know. On one hand, I would say there is some exoticism with Imriel being friends with someone foreign and strange. But on the other, this is D’Angelines we’re talking about. But on a third hand, they have become more open, especially with Albans.