Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 4

You know the drill. Questions by Lisa.

1. The aftermath of Imriel’s night at Valerian House takes a bit of a dark emotional turn… What did you think of what happens between him and Phedre? Did it surprise you at all?

Uh, yeah. I was surprised. I still don’t know what to make of it and keep hoping I’m misreading it. Because I’m squicked. I very much view them as mother and son.

2. We go from this scene to Imriel’s decision to leave Terre D’Ange and visit Tiberium, and he doesn’t waste much time arranging the trip – though he does make time to say some goodbyes, and to confront Barquiel L’Envers. Any thoughts about this encounter – or his meeting with Sidonie?

I don’t know. The meeting with Sidonie was sweet and sour. Barquiel and Maslin teaming up and distrustful of Imriel. Which is a bit ironic maybe? They think he might hurt Sidonie (traitor’s son and all that) and don’t suspect his (their) true (maybe) feelings.

Everything with Sidonie makes me wonder about Ysandre and how these things might be true of her as well.

3. Next stop is Tiberium, and Imriel quickly catches up with Eamonn! What do you think of the University setting, and Eamonn’s taste for studying philosophy? Do you think it will help Imri in any way?

Sure. All knowledge is worth having. In the beginning of this book, he struggled with what it meant to be good. I think these studies will help up be less rash and more deliberate.

4. An old mystery deepens as Imriel searches for information on Anafiel Delaunay – and appears to find more than he bargained for… What did you make of Claudia Fulvia?

Ok, so apparently I like least the books that take place in Italy. I don’t know. I like Italy just fine. I think it’s the sex and spy combo and the Italy thing is just a coincidence. I’m not into James Bond, and I’m not into this. It was weird when Nicola tried it, and it’s weird with Claudia (but slightly less so).

Also, I just, what? Like all he has to do to become a spy is ask enough people, soon enough he would find one, they’d be all, “yeah, sure! All you had to do was ask!” (yeah, Imriel didn’t ask “are you a spy? Can I be one too?” But he knows how Anafiel and Phedre used their skills and what they were meant for.) So Claudia the Unseen Guild really make me roll my eyes here.

Sigh. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it was a matter of he, as a Prince of Terre D’Ange, as Phedre’s son, would have been approached anyway. It’s just that Claudia had to shut him up and impress upon him the seriousness of the situation.

It still seems stupid to me to ask everyone you can about learning the arts of secrecy.


About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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5 Responses to Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 4

  1. tethyanbooks says:

    I guess I was less squicked by that moment because it seemed to me a case of mind/body dissonance. Imriel would never willingly think of Phedre like that, and that’s why he’s so completely and immediately disgusted with his body for even briefly doing so. I think inappropriate moments of lust sometimes happen to people, and Imriel’s reaction showed how not okay he was with thinking of his mother that way.

    I am kind of surprised that Imriel used basically none of his own covertcy skills in uncovering the Unseen Guild. It was a very blunt way of searching for a group of spies. Maybe Imriel seriously thought covertcy might have just been a course at the University or something?

    • emmawolf says:

      I’m not sure if “squick” is the right word for me, and you bring up a good point about how it disturbed Imriel too to the point of him needing to go on a drinking binge. I think it might also be for me a time when my head isn’t totally in the book. This is an example of them being touched by the gods. It wasn’t just teenage hormones but also divine intervention. And I guess that is what makes me most uncomfortable? The gods asked her to go rescue Imriel, which forged their mother/son bond. So that made the divine aspect of the encounter all the more strange for me.

      “I am kind of surprised that Imriel used basically none of his own covertcy skills in uncovering the Unseen Guild. It was a very blunt way of searching for a group of spies.”

      Inorite!!! I guess back in Imriel’s time, the university didn’t have a course catalog.

      • tethyanbooks says:

        I guess I tend to avoid thinking about the mystical aspect to it, because I really don’t like the idea of a person being divinely forced to feel lust for particular other person (especially in this situation, given the other divine interventions as you have mentioned).

  2. nrlymrtl says:

    I think we have the mystical element going on here – Kushiel’s Chosen (Phedre) and Kushiel’s Scion (Imri) and so there is that natural ying/yang thing. Also literature and human history is littered with those who felt that lustful pull towards a relative and didn’t say no. Thankfully, our heroes have the common sense to say no. I can see why Carey put it in – Imri is still learning that while he can’t control his emotions he can control his actions. Phedre does a great job demonstrating this ability by acting that the momentary zing between them doesn’t matter one bit.

    Haha! Now I will be wondering what Drustan and Ysandre do in bed.

    Nicola was in Spain, but I get your point. I think there is something about the Romance languages that lend the mind towards secrets and spying. It’s still a flimsy theory but I’m working on it. 😉

    And yes, I agree with you. For all that Phedre taught Imri, he has an upfront or blunt nature. He doesn’t like games and secrets. He likes people to speak plainly. And yet… he’s making quite a mess out of investigating where Delaunay trained.

    • emmawolf says:

      I think the mystical element almost makes it worse for me since it was the mystical element that drew them together! I’m so much less squicked by other incest stories (though I don’t remember reading any mother/son stories). I don’t know why I’m more …erm…. with this one. I think I get why it’s there, I just don’t like that it’s there and would have reacted in the same way Imriel did. Does that make sense?

      “Nicola was in Spain.”

      I think I had two totally unconnected thoughts and tried to connect them. Chosen and Scion both take place partly in Italy. Both involve secret spy sex (though in different places). And for some reason, both of these are my least favorite of their respective trilogies. (I hate saying it’s my least favorite because that makes it sound as though I don’t like it. I do! I just like the other ones better.) I don’t think it’s the Italy part (though that’s the most obvious connection between the two books). I think its the spy sex (in part) (which has nothing to do with Italy). (And I do like though that each time I read them, I get something new out of them. Especially reading it with you guys.)

      “He doesn’t like games and secrets. He likes people to speak plainly.”


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