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Kushiel's chosen
Jacqueline Carey
Adult Fiction CAREY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

After Carey's boldly imaginative fantasy debut, Kushiel's Dart (2001), in which the dauntless Phdre n" Delaunay used intelligence and sexual skill to triumph in politics and war in a Renaissance-like world, Phdre, elevated to the peerage and resuming her anguisette duties, returns for further fabulous, if at times redundant, adventures, determined to rest on something other than her laurels. While the first novel told a coming-of-age story, the sequel covers only a relatively brief period, though it has enough plot lines and melodrama for six heroines. The action first focuses on the recapture of Phdre's evil nemesis, the dominating Melisande Shahrizai, who has escaped from prison and death. Alas, the initially fascinating Melisande turns into a tiresome harridan. Later plot twists include everything from a journey to the Venetian La Serenissima to imprisonment at Melisande's hands in a mountainous jail on a lonely island. For opulence, a costume ball rivals that of Broadway's Phantom of the Opera. Carey is adept at bringing both her exotic settings and vast cast of characters fully to life. The dream of every man and not a few women, Phdre is too much to handle for all but her faithful Joscelin, the Cassiline monk who defied his vows to remain her loving companion. Phdre's first outing deservedly won her a host of followers, but wordiness and needless complexity combine to make this hefty novel less of a stellar achievement than its predecessor. (Apr. 16) Forecast: A push that includes national print advertising, regional author appearances and targeting to romance readers will bring back the faithful, but if too many of them are disappointed, Carey might do well to give her heroine a rest and apply her considerable talents to fresh challenges. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When Phedre no Delaunay, Comtesse de Montreve, receives a direct challenge from the traitor Melisande Shahrizai now an escaped fugitive from the land of Terre d'Ange she undertakes a bold venture to find the treasonous noblewoman and bring her to justice. She dons once again the symbolic sangoire cloak of her former profession that of courtesan in service to the Temple of Naamah, the angelic patron of love in all its forms and uses her special talents to ferret out a conspiracy that threatens her realm and the life of its queen. Set in a richly detailed Renaissance-like world, this sequel to Kushiel's Dart boasts a wealth of stunning visual images and vivid, complex characters. Carey's sensual, often erotically charged prose, reminiscent of the best efforts of Tanith Lee and Anne Rice, adds an unmistakably sexual tension to an already tautly plotted tale of conspiracy, intrigue, passion, and, ultimately, love. Highly recommended for a mature fantasy audience, this title belongs in most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Phedre no Delaunay
Bears the mark of a demigod; confidante and champion of the Queen of Terre d'Ange; determined to protect the queen from Melisande.

Melisande Shahrizai
Escaped prison and a death sentence for treason.

Broke his vows to devote himself to Phedre.

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