I picked up my copy of Kushiel’s Dart at Borders today. (It was in the sci-fi/fantasy section, if any of you are having difficulty finding it.) To be honest, it doesn’t look like something I’d pick up otherwise. But that’s the whole point of this little exercise, isn’t it? I’m loving that we’re reading such a wide variety of stuff. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. It looks pretty long though, so if you’re going to play along you should try to pick it up soon. (We can always postpone the discussion a bit if people are having trouble getting through it in time. So no worries.)

Oh, and check out this message from the forum. We’ve been linked on a Jacqueline Carey fansite! Hopefully this means we’ll have some new people to join in the discussion.


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  1. Awesome! I look forward to hearing from the new voices; maybe they’ll spark some discussion points that our small group might not have shared.

    I hope you like this book, Kris, at least half as much as I did! 🙂

  2. To be hoenst, I wasn’t loving it at the beginning. My one big problem with a lot of fantasty/sci-fi is when the author throws a lot of made-up words at you right from the beginning to try to impress you with the depth of their imagination, when really all they’ve done is made a list that says “ice = computer firewall; coffin = cheap Japanese mini hotel room”. (Yes, William Gibson, I’m looking at you.) So at first I was all, “Adepts? Marques? Elua? What. Ever.” So I set it aside and came back to it a day later. Re-reading the first couple chapters, everything started to make sense. Now I’m about 60 pages in, and I think I’m officially hooked. One of the marketing quotes at the beginning of my paperback likens the story to a pyramid, that starts out really big and sprawling by necessity before getting more and more focused. I agree with that. Once I got over my issues with the text and stopped fighting Carey’s description of the world, I was finally able to get involved with the story itself. That’s a good lesson to learn. (But I still hate Gibson.) 🙂

  3. I’m not that thrilled by books that use lots of made-up words, myself… It’s one of the things I’m careful of in writing my own fantasy novel. I also wasn’t immediately enthralled by this book, and had to come back to it later. I think what bothered me is that it seemed as if it took the author a while to find Phedre’s voice, and the first few chapters seemed to go along with agonizing slowness. Once Delaunay and Alcuin entered the picture, however, I started liking the story a great deal. Just wait ’til you meet Joscelin… Hee! 😉

    My experience with this book has made me more open to other books that may not grab me right off the bat. Daughter of the Forest was another fantasy novel that I had to force myself to continue to read, and once I finished it I was very glad that I had preservered. Sometimes you just gotta give books a chance, you know?

    Going back to the made-up words in this book… Some of them are obvious, some of them are bastardized French (such as anguissette, the meaning of which I was able to figure out easily enough), but for some reason, it took me a long time to realize that a “marque” is a tattoo. o_O

  4. reminds me of how i was totally condused for the first half of A Clockwork Orange until i started to get what Burgess was driving at from context. how dumb did i feel when i got to the end and realized that the book had a glossary?

  5. or confused. whatever… 😉

  6. I found the Glossary in “A Clockwork Orange” early on but decided it was still too much of a pain in the ass. I’m a fast and greedy reader, and I’m all about the story. I don’t read deeply and quite frankly I can’t be bothered with a lot of intellectual wordy wank. (Can you guess I had a lot of issues with most of the stuff we read in college?) So for the most part, if an author’s writing is a hindrance for me getting into the story, I give up.

    I definitely agree with Moire about “Kushiel’s Dart” though. It was sorta of awkward for the first two chapters, but once I finally got through them I started to “get” the world Carey was describing. There are still wayyyy too many crazy place and character names, but luckily my paperback has a map and cast of characters at the beginning. That helps.

  7. Oh, and don’t feel bad about the “tattoo” thing. It took me ages too. I kept thinking it was just the, like, “price” that they had to pay to be done with the service. It wasn’t until way later that I got to the bit about “limning the base” and realized what the hell they were talking about.

  8. Hey! *pouts* I LIKE Gibson!!! ^_^

    Apparently it seems that a good many people have a bit of trouble through the first few chapters… but they all agree that it’s worth it… ooohhh… trust me.. it’s sooo worth it. The thing is that if you try to figure out the details and the terminology in the begining, you don’t have to deal with it later, and the STORY becomes the absorbing focus… it’d be distracting you were being told about the wanderings of Eula while Phedre and Joscelin were in the… oh wait… sorry…. no spoilers…. ^_^

    I didn’t have any trouble with the first few chapters, but then again, I do like it when the author takes the time to build a proper base and structure, especially if you’re dealing with a new or alternate world… but then again, Gibson sort of throws you in head first, doesn’t he? lol… I guess I tend to immerse myself fairly quickly with novels… wish I could do that will my academic reading as well… @[email protected]

  9. I agree with you about Carey, Marion. Now that I’m over halfway through the book, I definitely appreciate that she took the time – through Phedre’s backstory – to set up this whole world. It lets you get on with the story and it enriches the whole plot. With Gibson, I just found that all the neologisms and metaphors were barriers to the story, which he must’ve intended. Thus the alienation I felt reading it must’ve been the point. I can respect that intellectually, but I’m never going to have that type of book on my night table, you know?

  10. LOL… Count Zero and MLO do happen to be on my nightstand right now (along with Kushiel’s Dart), but I know that particular mix wouldn’t be in many people’s libraries, let alone on their nightstands… ^_^

  11. I totally agree with the issue about made-up words! I often have to re-read chapters to understand the story. But towards the middle of Kushiel’s Dart, the whole story and details fall in place. Jacqueline Carey is a very detailed writer- at first it’s overwhelming, then you start to love it. I’m on the 2nd book, Kushiel’s Chosen, and it isn’t as hard to read as the first, and it’s way more interesting! I guarantee it!

  12. hello, I found this site accidentally when i was trying to find out if anguissette was a real word, but i think that its really cute. I have read all three books in the series several times and i am glad to hear that you like them (especially jocelyn wink, wink.) I found the book accidentally at my college book store and i can’t seem to put it down. I guess its really nice to find things accidentally. does anyone have any suggestions of books to read that are similar or just as good as the kushiel series? I don’t know if you have but the black jewels trilogy by anne bishop is also very good. thank you

  13. i loved the trilogy…a friend of mine gave them to me for a present, saying that i was sort of a “dark” person and would love them…he also gave me the passion and the promise by donna boyd. they are about vampires… i was skeptical….but, they too are worth reading…bluette

  14. ohhh i guess i was tired when i wrote about donna boyd i should have typed that her books were about werewolves not vampires sooooo sorry i am reading about vampires now…anne rice i guess they were on my mind 😉

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