Jul 10, 2011

Stef's Review: Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel's Dart

Good morning everyone! If any of you are fans of my Facebook blog page, then you know I mentioned something special happening soon on my blog! That something special is happening today! I am pleased to introduce a new book shark: Stef!!


Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, I am a full time antagonist and girlfriend, mother of two incredibly obnoxious felines, with too many books and not enough bookshelf space in my home. I love writing and am also a gamer, and those are probably the two top things you'll find me doing if I'm not buried in a book.

Some of my favorites: George RR Martin's series: A Song of Ice and Fire, Patrick Rothfuss' series: The Kingkiller Chronicles and Terry Goodkind's series: Sword of Truth. Top three, in that order.

While my stuff is all about sharks, Stef's posts will be all about squirrels! We're all about the animals here on I'm A Book Shark :o)

Please welcome her and check out her first review!!

Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel's Dart

Pub. Date: March 2002
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Format: Paperback - 928pp
Age Range: Adult
Genres: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Romance

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good....and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt. Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission....and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Wow. This novel is pretty packed, and at 928 pages it should be. It’s a good read, I will say that some parts can be a tad dry but honestly, the rest of it will more than make up for it. There is intrigue of the highest order, action, drama, I just really love how the author spun this tale. Jacqueline Carey took a courtesan and turned her into a spy, an advocate for the crown, and she shows the power of vows and what some people will do keep theirs… and what it can take to break others. She shows us the overwhelming capabilities of love and how sometimes, it just isn’t enough.

She also takes us for a walk on the darker side of things. S&M is Phèdre's gift, and curse. It doesn’t get incredibly graphic but its there so be advised. This whole book is created around a society that follows the rule "Love as thou wilt" and its an honorable thing, based on their gods and their beliefs, and this story’s focus is on one who does just that. Not only because its her calling, but as a means to achieve goals to save her people.

What I liked:
  • The characters are fantastic. Carey does a wonderful job of making them come alive, and she’s incredibly descriptive.
  • I like romance novels, but I also really like romance novels that don’t smack you in the face with it. The actual romance in this book is slow to build, slow to blossom, but oh so powerful.
  • I loved how the religion in this book is a twist to the religions we all know. Read it to see what I mean, but I think it was pretty brilliantly done.

What I didn’t like:
  • Sometimes Carey’s language can be too flowery. I’m all for being descriptive, so I get sometimes you say in 10 words what you can say in five, but at times I felt it was a bit much.
  • I have a habit of picking out repetitive words, and she had probably three of them that refused to go away, and I felt that they were a bit on the pretentious side. I’m also a word snob, haha, so maybe its just me.

Bottom Line: A great adult fantasy with something in it for everyone.

4.5/5 book squirrels!!!

Note from Mickey: I have not yet read this book but it's been on my TBR list for a long time now since Stef recommended it to me a while back. Putting this review up seriously makes me want to read it right now. Why do we only have 24 hours in a day?! :o) I hope you all enjoyed this review, and I hope Stef sticks around for a long time! We have some different taste in books at times, and this will really expand the blog's horizons. Please give her a warm welcome!! Thanks Stef!! Looking forward to more great reviews and such!!


  1. Welcome Stef! I have this first trilogy (it is one of three set in this world) and it is as beautiful as it sounds. Add it to your pile, Mickey!

  2. It's been added for a while! I'm so behind!! Thanks for welcoming her :o)

  3. 928 pages? Wow! I can imagine there might be a few repeated words in there. I'm not a big fantasy fan but this does look interesting.

  4. Hahah yeah, long book! But check it out if you get a chance. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for the welcome! I'm thrilled to be able to participate in Mickey's blog, and hopefully she'll have a chance to read this one soon ;)


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