Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 2

Chapters 8-14. Questions by me.

1. There’s some politics, and Imriel learns a little more about the Ephesian ambassador/Unseen Guildsman Diokles Agallon. Does this shed any light on Melisande’s whereabouts or the Guild? Do you have any new guesses?

I feel like this was the first time we saw them really in play. You know, that they do more than just seduce D’Angeline nobles. If had Imriel been a Guildsman, would he have had no choice but to support the ambassador? I think we already knew that there were factions within the Guild. It makes sense that Imriel suspected Agallon of being part of an anti-Melissande faction. I don’t think it would make sense to send someone pro-Melissande to try to make treaties with Terre d’Ange.

2. Joscelin tells Imriel to give it a year with Dorelei to see if his feelings for Sidonie (or hers for him) fade. What do you think of this advice? Do you have any thoughts on Imriel’s wedding?

So I can’t get past Imriel’s marriage going against “love as thou wilt.” I was just “really?” when Phedre when she said she was proud of him. I mean, Elua says had one rule. (You had one job!) Yeah, Imriel’s making a great sacrifice, and if it weren’t for Elua’s precept, I think I would say this is something to be proud of. But I just can’t shake this feeling of blasphemy, which was icky when placed next to Phedre’s words. I think Joscelin is right–give it a year, see what happens then. That seems much less blasphemous.

3. We learn a bit more about Alban law and culture. What do you think of the law that imposes more harsher sentences on the wealthy/ruling class? What is more dangerous: armies or books? What do you think about the Maghuin Dhonn?

I think that’s pretty awesome. It reminds me of this image:

equality

I know it’s not the same thing. But a fine of $x would be more burdensome to someone with less money than it would be to the wealthy. So graduated punishments seems like it can provide equal deterrents to a spectrum of people. I still think the punishment should fit the crime and that a punishment shouldn’t be capricious or excessive.

Maybe I can’t get out of my own world, but I’m pretty sure armies are more dangerous than books. I do see the Maghuin Dhonns’ (is that the right plural) point that new ideas can be scary too. New ideas, ways, or infrastructure can harm or destroy their way of life, but I think Drustan was being a bit dramatic.

4. Dorelei lays some truths on Imriel. How do you like her now? What do you make of the dream she had of Imriel?

This is probably the moment I fell in love with her. Before then, she didn’t really have a personality. Probably because Imriel didn’t see her, as she said. But she lays the smack down on him, and I’m all “you go, girl!”

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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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7 Responses to Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 2

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    ‘had Imriel been a Guildsman, would he have had no choice but to support the ambassador’ I never even considered that aspect! That’s the one thing that we said about the Guild in our previous readalong – you just don’t know what you’d be called on to do and it really might conflict with your own thoughts and feelings. This is a perfect example. And, you’re right, we never have seen the Guild actually at work before so this was interesting.
    Yeah, I thought it was a little odd when Phedre said she was proud of Imriel. I suppose she could just have meant that he’s grown up and he did the adult thing. The whole marriage feels wrong to me to be honest but we’ll see what happens and I am really curious about Alba – I suppose this is one for Carey to expand ont he places we visit!
    I love your image – really clever point made so easily. I think you make a good point about the punishment fitting the crime. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a system like the one described here (which isn’t to say it doesn’t exist).
    I thought that heart to heart scene with Dorelei was great – she knew what was going on and told him straight. I really liked that she spoke so honestly to, it’s not like she’s in love with him herself but she’s giving it a shot!
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      “Yeah, I thought it was a little odd when Phedre said she was proud of Imriel. I suppose she could just have meant that he’s grown up and he did the adult thing.”

      *nods* Yeah. I think we are supposed to feel all conflicted or whatever because, if this were the normal world, he’d be in a loveless marriage and that would be it. But here, love is a big deal. I’m thinking/hoping/wondering if maybe the d’Angeline love thing also means, well, to quote Creedence Clearwater Revival, love the one you’re with. And that being d’Angeline means they also have the ability to find love more easily?

      “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a system like the one described here (which isn’t to say it doesn’t exist).”

      In the US, most of the time punishment is a range. The judge or jury can consider certain characteristics of the defendant, but I don’t think wealth is one of them as such. It’s not as blatant as the Alban process, but I guess it’s something.

  2. tethyanbooks says:

    I see what you mean about it breaking Elua’s precept, with his marriage to Dorelei. However, I got the impression that no one in Terre d’Ange sees it as a permanent barrier to loving as he wilt (except that he has to go to Alba for at least a year). The marriage is mostly for the succession, so they only strictly need to have a kid together. I guess it is still a kind of blasphemy, since it is taking something that should be considered as a statement of love (marriage) and turning it into a political contract. Still, I think Joscelin’s advice sort of implied Imriel would be able to carry on with Sidonie after the succession was secured.

    Also, I definitely agree with you on armies more dangerous than books.

    • emmawolf says:

      “However, I got the impression that no one in Terre d’Ange sees it as a permanent barrier to loving as he wilt (except that he has to go to Alba for at least a year).”

      Hmm…good point. Maybe I just fell into Imriel’s drama.

  3. nrlymrtl says:

    I like your equality/equity image. It really demonstrates what Alban law is aiming for with their larger penalties for the rich and powerful.

    Yes! Dorolei’s smack down is also when I fell in love with her. She’s a real person and Imri is so wrapped up in himself that he didn’t see that until she laid it out for him.

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