Link to the Original Artwork

Read the iphone version

I made quiche again. And chocolate chip cookies. Beth was dive-bombed by the hummingbirds, who love that we feed them as long as we don’t go near the feeder. Had a really nice correspondence about humor and editing with fellow sci-fi cartoonists Tom Dell-Aringa of Marooned. Plus for the next week we have sun in Seattle. All is well.

I just listened to the audiobook for Kushiel’s Chosen, and felt it to be as solid and good as the other two I’ve read. It’s fantasy, and not sci-fi, but I thought I’d review it anyway.

I started reading the Kushiel series with 4th, Kushiel’s Scion (I try to start from the first book in a series, but no doubt it was labeled “the 1st of the Imriel trilogy”). While reading it, I wondered who these seasoned secondary characters were who seemed strangely developed. So it was fun to go back to the first (Kushiel’s Dart) and second book and see their origins.

I think the main thing that carries these novels is that Carey is a skilled writer. She writes personalities I remember seeing (and being?) in high school, but she makes them interesting, makes me care about them, and writes them convincingly as adults. The action moves well and holds my interest.

I’d call these books romance novels, but they do push the bill. There’s the romance kissing going on, a clever and sexy female protagonist, men with long hair and vambraces. But Carey pushes it further with hardcore S&M. And while the S&M gets fairly extreme, Carey wisely keeps the description light enough to keep it from turning into porn. A tricky balance.

On the negative, I think it could have used a strong editorial cut. But… the extra stuff didn’t feel excessive, so perhaps it is worth it to be able to enjoy the characters I like for that much longer.

Kushiel’s Chosen largely takes place in the fantasy world’s equivalent of Venice: gondolas and men whistling at women. Me personally, I’m not a big fan of that. I like different worlds to be different worlds. And it may have been intensified by the woman reading it, who played up the accents. While at the same time, I think the reader, Anne Flosnik, does a lovely job, and keeps it lively and engaging.

I don’t know when I’ll read book #3. The books are long enough I’m not compelled to read one right after another. But this is the third time I’ve come back to the series, and I’m sure in a few months, I’ll be on to the next.