An intensely sexual character is trained as a spy by a man who owes a debt of love and honor to the queen of a land. After his death through treachery, and her subsequent conviction and enslavement, she fufills his debt of honor for him, and causes the evil plans to fall apart.
The review of this Book prepared by Sam Callahan
Great epic fantasy is successful when it takes you to places you have never entered before. Authors like George Martin,China Mieville, Robin Hobb, Steven Erikson and Goodkind are examples now add Jacqueline Carey name to this esteem list. "When Love cast me out,it was Cruelty who took pity upon me. " These words help start up this dark erotic epic fantasy that will take you to the kingdom of Terre d'Ange, a country born of angels where prostitution is a holy act and court intrigue is most lethal. You will see this through the eyes of unforgettable heroine,Phedre who is sold to the engimatic Delaunay to be trained as a courtesan and schooled in foreign languages and is to become Delaunay's spy. She will learn her nation's darkest secrets and deadiliest conspiracies. Phedre's adventures will take her to the beds of her country's most powerful men, to be sold to slavery to a barbarian king and savior of her homeland from a brutal invasion! This lavish epic fantasy is filled with scenes of disturbing sexuality as Phedre who gets sexual pleasure through use of pain, court intrigue as she uncovers a treasonous plots to overthrow the king. This novel also boasts casts of characters like the warrior priest,Joscelin who vows to protect Phedre as he loses his heart toward her. The Noble Anafiel Delaunay, Phedre's owner who teaches her to become a master spy for his agendas. Hyacinthe,Phedre's kind-hearted friend who is the prince of travelers and to save his homeland will make a heartbreaking sacrifice and the power hungry Skaldian warlord, Waldemar who seeks to conquer Terre d'ange and the brilliant but utterly ruthless villianess, Melisandre who use machivellian manuvers in quest for ultimate power. Carey has the ability to tell scenes of disturbing sensuality and sweeping battle scenes. Carey's world-building abilities are excellent. So pick up this book and enter Phedre's world of dark desire and darker intrigue. You will never forget the journey!
The review of this Book prepared by Rodney Powell
Tor, Jun 2001, 25.95, 701 pp.
In Terre d'Ange, physical perfection means freedom and anything less denotes some form of bondage. Phedre no Delaunay is born with a red speck on her left eye, which means a life of slavery. Because of he “scarlet letter” on her eye, as a child, she is sold to eventually work as a servant of Naamah, providing pleasures to the free people of Terre d'Ange.
However, unlike the rest of the free masses, noble freethinker Anafiel Delaunay, upon seeing the red spot, feels Phedre's mar is not a flaw. He believes it represents a greater perfection. He buys Phedre's marque and begins to educate her for more than the art of pleasure. She begins to spy for him, but soon becomes embroiled in a dastardly plot to dethrone the King, in which she struggles to warn His Highness before doomsday arrives.
KUSHIEL'S DART is a powerful, extraordinary exotic political fantasy that never slows down yet fully develops the key cast and the culture. The epic fantasy story line is loaded with action that flows due to the characters seeming genuine while providing a deep look into a different culture and way of life. No one will believe that this is Jacqueline Carey's debut because her first published novel has to have come from someone with at least a five-book resume.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner