Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, Week 6: Chapters 46 – 54

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I got a bit off track with the read-along for Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart.   I’m not attempting to catch up a bit and picking up where I left off.

These questions for week six come from Grace over at Books Without Any Pictures and cover chapters 46 – 54.

One of the questions from last week dealt with initial impressions of Waldemar Selig’s steading. Now that we’ve finally met him, what are your thoughts about him? Do you think he suspects that Phedre knows anything, and will he continue to play a role in the story?

I feel like Selig was a bit of a legendary figure in the last section, up to and including his introduction.   Here we get to see the man behind the myth and maybe understand why his reputation has been built up as it has.  The notion that he’s the one ruler who can unite the various people against the Scaldi is an interesting one — and one that Phedre tries to nip in the bud, though she loses the opportunity.  I can’t help but feel that while Selig is a larger than life, unifying figure, he’s not quite prepared to play the political game on the same level that Phedre has learned.  He seems to either be too trusting of her or he’s underestimated her abilities.  Either way, I can see this coming back to bite him.

What did you think of the visit to Lodur? Do you think it will impact how Phedre thinks of herself?

For too long, I feel like Phedre has underestimated if and how she can play the political game.  She’s sat back a bit and allowed things to happen to her.  The visit to Lodur may have given her a new perspective on her training and what her role can be.  I find it interesting that while she thinks of escaping before the meeting, it’s only after the meeting with Lodur that she formulates a plan and begins to set it in motion.

Phedre and Joscelin have both gone through some harrowing experiences in the past few chapters. How do you think it will change them going forward?

I have a feeling that we’re going to see Joscelin struggle a bit more with the changes that he’s been forced to undertake in this section.  He’s had to betray his oaths (at least as he sees it), though it could be argued that he had some very good reasons to do so.   I expect guilt and remorse to come into play at some point and that he will take his betrayal of who he believed himself to be a lot harder than Phedre might. I feel like the experiences of being a slave and then escaping may harden Phedre a bit and cause her to up her game a bit when and if she crosses paths with Melisandre again. (And I have a feeling a showdown is coming before we reach the end of the book!)

If you were in Phedre or Joscelin’s place, would you have acted the same way in crafting your mastermind escape plan? What are your thoughts on how it worked out?

I think Phedre is learning to plot her moves several steps in advance, but she’s still not thinking through all the implications of her plans.   It’s a good idea to make the move to escape based on the circumstances presented to her, but I don’t think she thought through the weather conditions or that she and Joscelin wouldn’t exactly have the right gear to survive the brutal conditions.   I think that they are both fortunate that there was pursuit of them and that they were able to defeat the pursuers and take their supplies.  If not, I don’t think the escape attempt might have gone as well.

We’re finally getting to observe a budding romance between Phedre and Joscelin. How do you see this playing out? What do you think of it?

So, Joscelin didn’t think that Phedre could enjoy physical intimacy without pain being involved.  I found that revelation very interesting.   I also wonder how much regret he will have at breaking his vows when and if they get back to the world they were so brutally thrust out of.   I had a feeling these two had an eye for each other but as the old adage from Star Trek goes, “Sometimes having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting.  It is not logical, but it is most often true.”

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1 Comment

Filed under Kushiel's Dart Read-A-Long, Read Along

One response to “Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along, Week 6: Chapters 46 – 54

  1. So glad that you’re still reading the book!

    Selig is obviously smart. However, he has very few people to hone his wits against, and even fewer that know something of the larger world. So you are totally right that his political smarts just aren’t on the same level as Phedre’s.

    The pursuers were definitely a catch-22. Bad that they were tracked, good that they were able to kill them and take their supplies. When Joscelin gave Phedre the warm gloves from killing the sentry (I think that was the sentry?), I can see why it was necessary but hard. Same for drinking the blood of a dead/dying horse.

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