Kushiel’s Mercy readalong: weeks 6 and 7

Ok, so I had to stop reading after week 5. I realized why this book isn’t my favorite of the series despite having 200 pages or so that I love more than any other portion. It’s because Sidonie and Imriel return to the City of Elua and learned that they all voted for Donald Trump. And I just can’t. Most of the time, when I do a reread, I stop after Astegal is dies. I don’t need Frodo et al. returning to the Shire and overthrowing Saruman. I can stop when real evil is defeated.

Nonetheless, here we go (sorry my heart’s just not in it anymore):

1. The Euskerri paid a brutal price for their sovereignty. What do you think about how this played out? Did anything stick out in your mind?

I like the words to Serafin about how look at the price of ambition.

2. How do you feel about the way things ended for Astegal? Was it just? If not, what would you have preferred to see happen?

Loved it! Love Astegal trying to goad Imriel, but Imriel is just so confidant in himself and in Sidonie that it can’t get to him. Love that Imriel could have killed him less painfully, but fuck that. Love Sidonie’s snark and refusal to be ashamed.

3. Do you have any theories on why Imriel’s charm is able to protect Sidonie?

Nothing other than magic. He can do the spell too. I guess anyone can learn it.

4. What do you think about Alais’s change of heart regarding political power and her new plans for her future?

She wants to be the change she wants to see in Alba, and it’s beautiful.

5. The spell twists the personalities of people we knew, sometimes in disturbing ways. Do you see the seeds of who they are now in their true selves? Given their currently twisted view of reality, do you think anyone is acting against their own principles?

Yes. Fox News will make you work against your own principles until the seed of your true self is corrupted.


1) We talked last week a bit about the charm Imriel put on Sidonie so she could maintain her own will. Did it work as well as you expected? Less or more? Is there anything more they could have done with these charms?

Maybe if they had redone the spell?

2) Mavros as part of the Queen’s Guard! Was that a surprise to you? Were you surprised by any other characters in this weird, corrupted version of the City of Elua?

Yes. I was surprised. It was all surprising. Maybe also a little surprising that, given everything, Ysandre would trust a Shahrizai in her guard.

3) In a desperate moment, Imriel seems to be filled with the light of the 13, or at least Elua, until he’s knocked out. Do you think it was Elua answering his prayers sideways?

Yes. Sideways and literally. It wasn’t until he was lying down that he was able to see where the gem was.

4) We have a few desperate moments once the location of the gem is revealed to Imriel – his duel with Joscelin, his ride to the square, his scramble up the tree, his taking hold of Sidonie, and the breaking of the spell, the appearance of the demon. What did you like most about these moments? Anything you didn’t like?

The fight with Joscelin was heartbreaking.

5) Terre D’Ange is at peace. What reconciliations stood out to you?

I don’t know. Ysandre’s reaction to it all kind of surprised me. Maybe I expected her to be stronger or maybe her breaking down was a very human moment.

6) Finally, we have a wedding. Perfect ending to the trilogy? Need something more? Any final questions that you want answered?

Pretty much perfect. I love Sidonie’s marque.

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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1 Response to Kushiel’s Mercy readalong: weeks 6 and 7

  1. nrlymrtl says:

    Ah, I see what you mean about not needing Frodo & company to return home only to find they have to kick Saruman’s ass out of the Shire. Still, I’m glad you finished the read along with us.

    Yes, Astegal’s death and how Imriel and Sidonie handled was so very, very good.

    Snort. Yep. Fox News.

    I think Ysandre was having a very human moment and for once, she couldn’t hide it from the world.

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