A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger... a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm...
Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phédre nó Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she is trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure. And above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy... and unlikely heroine. But when Phédre stumbles upon a plot that threatens her homeland, Terre d'Ange, she has no choice.
Betrayed into captivity in the barbarous northland of Skaldia and accompanied only by a disdainful young warrior-priest, Phédre makes a harrowing escape and an even more harrowing journey to return to her people and deliver a warning of the impending invasion. And that proves only the first step in a quest that will take her to the edge of despair and beyond.
Phédre nó Delaunay is the woman who holds the keys to her realm's deadly secrets, and whose courage will decide the very future of her world.
Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new. It is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. A world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess... all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This brilliant and daring debut, set in a skewed Renaissance world (people worship Jesus-like "Blessed Elua" but also demigods), catapults Carey immediately into the top rank of fantasy novelists. In the character of Ph dre n Delaunay, "a whore's unwanted get" sold into indentured servitude in opulent Night Court, the author has created a particularly strong and memorable female lead, and has surrounded her with a large and varied cast, from nobles and priests to soldiers and peasants. An engrossing plot focuses first on court intrigue and treachery, then, in a surprising shift, on high adventure, travel in barbarian lands including Alba (England) and war. Two demigods rule Ph dre: Naamah, for sensual love; and Kushiel, for sado-masochistic pain, his "dart" being a blood spot in Ph dre's eye. Not everyone will go for Ph dre's graphic if elegantly described sexual encounters, which usually involve the infliction of pain, whether from lashing, branding or even cutting. Ph dre, however, is no clich d sexpot but a complex character motivated by religious zeal. In one amusing scene, a group of sailors on the march chants: "Whip us till we're on the floor, we'll turn around and ask for more, we're Ph dre's Boys!" At the end, the heroine reminds one of an equally strong-minded sister whose home was Tara. No mere feminist novel, this is an assured and magnificent book that will appeal to both male and female readers.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I bought the first book (Kushiel's Dart) at a garage sale. FInished it in three days. Went to the bookstore and bought the next 2. A week later I bought the next three. Everyone I have lent them to hates me because they cannot put them down once they get started. You have to be a bit brave to give them to someone to read, they are very sexy. I love Phedre, Joscelin, Imriel and Sidone and yes Melisandre!
A perfect 10, or 5 I guess =)
I'll be man enough to admit it, I picked this book up for the cover, but let me say that no cover could ever portray the amazing writing within. It's intrigue, action, love, and seduction all at once and this was the first book leading to my purchase of all the rest of the series. If you are a fan of fantasy, this is a must buy. Carey is a great writer and storyteller; I lost lot of sleep staying up late to finish the last 500 pages of this and every following novel.
Amazing and epic
Once you enter this strange world that she created, you will fall in love with her characters and their lives. After i read this book, i went out and bought every other one and loved them.