The Kushiel’s Chosen readalong is hosted by Imyril (checkout their post for more details and answers).
This post covers Chapters 18 through 30, spoilers ahead!
Marmion Shahrizai has a sudden fall from grace this week. What’s your take on how he handled Persia’s treason – and on how Ysandre handles him? Do you feel sorry for him? Do you think we’ll see him again?
It’s hard because I don’t think we have all the pieces yet? But burning someone alive is pretty vicious. You want them to suffer or you want to cover up how they died. Ysandre lays down the law. She was forced into it but she does what she must.
What do you make of Nicola L’Envers y Aragon? Do you trust her? Do you think she’s right in her assessment of Barquiel L’Envers?
I like Nicola. She’s kind of clever and seems to have a conscience. She agrees that Marmion did kill his sister but not that he’s evil. Nicola offers him a chance. I trust her to be loyal to her family, Barquiel and Ysandre. I agree that Phèdre and Barquiel are on the same team in terms of keeping Ysandre on the throne but Barquiel is agressive and vindictive. It didn’t feel like he was throwing Marmion under the bus for justice. It felt like he couldn’t allow a Shahrizai to get close to the throne after what Melisande did. Also, he murdered the people responsible for poisoning his sister.
Phèdre returns to the Night Court as a patron, seeking help to understand her dreams. How have your impressions of the Night Court evolved since we first met Phèdre in Cereus House?
I find Gentian very interesting. They are mystics and healers it seems. It feels like it was good for Phèdre to go to them because normally she wouldn’t think to do so but it clearly helped a little. She needed help making a decision and they are more impartial.
Much has been made of Joscelin standing at a crossroads. Did any of his choices this week surprise you? Any thoughts on what roads he may walk down – and where they may lead him?
It feels like Joscelin is struggling for purpose. He wants to serve and protect. He loves Phèdre but he has also broken the oaths of his order. With Phèdre back in the game, he’s struggling to find his purpose. To be fair, he’s not really letting himself be Phèdre’s partner in this. I liked seeing them have some good moments on the road though.
On the road again… Phèdre discovers she has friends in unexpected places and allies in every port. What was your gut reaction to the confrontation with the Unforgiven? Any predictions for what may await in La Serenissima?
I was so nervous, even though I know what happens. I was scared the one soldier was going to get his head chopped off and that Joscelin would do the terminus. I also find it really funny that technically they are another version of Phèdre’s Boys. Just a little more serious. I also like the mirroring of La Serenissima and Marsilikos. Phèdre’s comment about D’Angeline food also makes me curious about the Caerdicci food again.