Kushiel’s Dart Readalong – Week One
Together with a whole bunch of cool ladies, I’m reading Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. This book has been on my TBR for ages, so I jumped on this opportunity to read the 1000-page book with other people. Can you believe this is the first real structured readalong I’m participating in? Welp. I guess you can still have firsts after five years of blogging. The idea is that we read a few chapters each week, answering questions about those chapters, and working our way through the book like this.
This week we read the first eight chapters. We’ve just started, so if you’d like to join in, I think you still can! This week’s host is Dab of Darkness.
1. Here we have the earliest days of Phedre’s life, and we have the story of Elua and his followers. Did you note any similarities between Phedre’s beginning and Elua’s stories? Do you enjoy having these stories upfront or would you rather have had the stories shuffled in later with an adult Phedre looking back?
Though there are some similarities between Phedre and Elua’s stories, I don’t think they’re all that poignant. I liked getting stories about Elua and seeing more of Phedre’s childhood, but I felt there was too much telling and too little showing. We’re told Phedre is part of this house, but I have no idea what life there was truly like. Phedre’s childhood never truly comes to life for me.
2. Hyacinthe has become Phedre’s one true friend. Do you think she is the same for him? The dromonde, or fortune telling, fascinates Phedre. Do you have a fortune telling story?
Though I like Hyacinte as a character, I don’t think we see enough interactions between him and Phedre to make me believe they are really friends. He seems like a decent kid though; what fascinates me most is that we see a hint of him becoming part of something bigger. Will he be a spy master? Because that would be very cool.
I don’t have any fortune telling stories, I’m afraid.
3. The Midwinter Masque on the Longest Night is a long held tradition in Terre D’Ange. What stood out for you? Have you been to such a fete?
The Masque sounded like a cross between my high school prom and the yearly Dutch festival of Carnaval. Fancy costumes + heavy drinking + breaking stuff… yeah, that sounds familiar. On my prom, some people got so drunk they broke down tables at our venue.
4. Anafiel Delaunay has many secrets. How do you think those secrets will shape Alcuin and Phedre?
Hm. That does depend on what those secrets are, no?
5. Delaunay has a saying; All knowledge is worth having. Do you believe this is so?
Maybe. Although I think knowledge is never worthless, I find it hard to believe that all knowledge is all equally worth having. It’s kind of useless to know how many bottles of coke would fit on the moon.
My thoughts on this week’s reading
I completely get why people call this book slow starting. The first hundred pages are an interesting mix of flashbacks, commentary from “old” Phedre, foreshadowing, and worldbuilding. Although I didn’t have much issues reading it, I’m not completely “into it” yet either. We meet many characters, but they’re given very little scene time. I don’t feel like I know any of them yet.