Kushiel’s Mercy: week 1

Last book you guys!!! (Well, I don’t know if you guys are planning on reading the other series..) Anyway, yay! Here we go. Chapters 1-10. Questions by Susan.

1) So far, what do you think of the variety of responses people have to Imriel’s and Sidonie’s relationship?

A neat detail how the nation is divided between old and young and those who work in the field of pleasure and those who work in military or politics. For some reason, this question kind of reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine about the British royalty. So bearing in mind that I know little about the monarchy generally, she (who is about 4 years younger than me) made some off hand comment about how she doesn’t know why people don’t like Prince Charles. He seems like a nice enough guy. And I was all “OMG Camilla!” I remember from when I was a kid something about a tampon, and I just can’t not think that when I look at him. She is younger and might not remember it. It sounds similar (though less gross and more serious) with Imriel.

2) Imriel starts the hunt for Melisande. What do you think of his efforts so far? Could you hand over a wayward relative to the authorities?

I liked what Mavros had to say about it–that the Shahrizai stand behind him but they don’t like it. Could I? No, probably not.

Other than writing to the Guild, his efforts seemed more like stalling than anything else. Not that I blame him.

3) Sidonie makes her first ventures into the spicier side of the love arts. Comment away!

Here’s me being cynical, but again with the “the Mandrake’s arm formed the perfect arc that he had spent years learning” or whatever. Not everything requires perfection.

4) The priesthood weighs in on Sidonie’s and Imriel’s relationship. Do you think Imriel’s words were the clincher, or do you think the priests had mostly made up their minds before the meeting?

I don’t know. I think they listened with an open mind, but I also think they wanted to see love. And since matters of love and the soul were what they were concerned about, I don’t know if any particular answer to the question about whether Imriel’s love was worth tearing the country apart would have been a wrong answer. They weren’t there for politics.

Again with the cynical or whatever, I rolled my eyes at the end of the meeting, the way each priest of priestess stated his or her conclusion–the priestess of Eisheth saying there might be healing it in, for example. It just seemed to trivialize the individuality and depth of each companion and priesthood to one aspect.

5) It’s been two years since Imriel last celebrated the Longest Night in the D’Angeline fashion. What was the most interesting part of this night for you?

This is the first Longest Night Imriel and Sidonie spend together as a couple, so that itself was nice. I liked their costumes. I liked Ysandre here. Actually, in this whole portion, I like Ysandre. She’s in a tough position. She tries to be “fair” to both sides of the divided country (those anti- and those pro-Imriel) but recognizes that’s not fair to Imriel. I think she’s rooting for him, and not just because he’s going to capture Melisande.

6) We catch our first glimpse of the Carthaginians and the general Astegal. What do you think of their tribute?

Like Imriel, I don’t know what to make of it. I think I understand why the D’Angelines are wary, but at the same time, we don’t see anything overt to make anyone suspicious. Astegal is playing to their pride–“oh, D’Angelines and Ysandre and Sidonie are so beautiful.” They are a vain people but smart enough to be wary of all the praise.

You guys, Sunjata! How did an ex-slave eunuch come to be part of the Guild?!?! No theories, but in a book filled with fun new character, HE’S A FUN NEW CHARACTER!

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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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5 Responses to Kushiel’s Mercy: week 1

  1. Allie says:

    I’m with you on not all things needing perfection, but I still think the showing was useful. It was a nice start, allowing Imriel and Sidonie to see a bunch of ideas for stuff they might want to try together.

    I am very curious about Sunjata! Is he part of an opposing faction to the spy who wants them to go to Cythera? Whose side is he on!?!

    • emmawolf says:

      Oh yeah, I think the showing was a good idea too. For Imriel and Sidonie. I like how “showings” in this series, in addition to being arousing, are supposed to provide inspiration.

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    ‘Camilla’ – good example of things staying in your memory!
    I also think Imriel was very laid back in starting his search, like you, I don’t blame him – I don’t envy him the search anyway and I particularly don’t envy him having to take custody of his own mother. Tough choices.
    The Carthaginians seem to have a plan don’t they – it’s not obvious what it is (to me anyway) – but I definitely feel that there is some scheming going on and this isn’t simply a tribute.
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      This is a reread for me, but I’m trying to read it forgetting what I know is going to happen. And I just don’t know what it is that they feel so uneasy about. I think it’s what’s going on in Aragonia and the overpraise. Like they are being so nice to keep them from the truth. Astegal hit on it when he complimented Sidonie and she was cool about it. He said something like she is so young to be so jaded. So I kind of like that even though they are vain, they aren’t so blinded by it all. Then again, everyone from parliament (other than Bariquel) seemed all in.

  3. nrlymrtl says:

    Haha! i totally had to go google Prince Charles and Tampon because I had no idea what you were referring to. So funny, if a bit inappropriate since Charles was married at the time. Sounds like a goofy conversation my Bill and I would have and never tell anyone about.

    Mavros is such a good friend – and I liked his honest statement about the Shahrizai.

    I think Ysandre is mostly rooting for Imri too. She didn’t start at the position but I believe she’s come around to it.

    Totally agree with you about Sunjata. So looking forward to what folks think of him as the story unfolds.

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