Hi everyone, and welcome to Week 2 of the Kushiel’s Dart readalong! This week’s questions are written by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow, and cover chapters 19-26. Many thanks to everyone for reading along–it’s great to get to re-read one of my favorite books with such a great group of people.
And now, onward to the questions.
We get a lot of political intrigue to wade through this week, plus a couple of pretty big dramatic revelations, not least of which was the twist of fate for Prince Baudoin and his mother. What did you make of the trial, and what became of these two?
This is the part of the book when shit starts getting real. Everything that Phedre and Alcuin have been observing is starting to play out, and we see that the politics of the realm aren’t quite as stable as we’ve observed up until this point. I found the trial fascinating this time around because it’s our first real introduction to Ysandre, who may appear to be young and fragile, but is both competent and tough.
On a rather different, much more personal note for the House of Delaunay was the drama that unfolded surrounding Alcuin (poor Guy!). What do you think might become of Alcuin now that he appears to be out of the game?
I hope that Alcuin will find some measure of happiness and will no longer feel the need to sacrifice himself for Delanay. And I hope that he and Delanay can rebuild their relationship. The two of them don’t communicate particularly well, and much of this could have been avoided if they were open with each other.
As we’d suspected last week, Phedre’s refusal to use her signale gets her into some trouble with d’Essoms – but it also gets her the result that Anafiel had hoped for… Do you think she’ll be more careful from here or will this only make that addictive slope more slippery for her?
I’m not sure that being careful would have helped her. She didn’t think he’d actually do it. I don’t know that he knew he was going to do it. But the poker incident paired with Guy’s death are a real wake-up call that just by being a part of Delanay’s household, Phedre and Alcuin have some serious enemies. This leads me to believe that Delanay’s past is even more important than he’s letting on.
Speaking of Phedre and trouble, what do you make of the ‘relationship’ building between her and Melisande?
Melisande is dangerous. Just seeing the way that she used and so casually discarded Baudoin is ominous. But I think that she and Phedre are extremely compatible as lovers and rivals, and that Melisande’s danger is part of what makes her so appealing to Phedre. I do not expect it to end well.