Kushiel’s Avatar

  • ISBN13: 9780765347534
  • Condition: New
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Product Description
The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good … and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a woman pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. Her path has been strange and dangerous, and through it all the devoted swordsman Joscelin has been at her side. Her very nature is a torturous thing for them both, but he is sworn to her and he has never violated his vow: to protect and serve.

But Phèdre’s plans put Joscelin’s pledge to the test, for she has never forgotten her childhood friend Hyacinthe. She has spent ten long years searching for the key to free him from his eternal indenture, a bargain he struck with the gods– to take Phèdre’s place as a sacrifice and save a nation. Phèdre cannot forgive– herself or the gods. She is determined to seize one last hope to redeem her friend, even of it means her death.

The search will bring Phèdre and Joscelin across the world, to distant courts where madness reigns and souls are currency, and down a fabled river to a land forgotten by most of the world.

And to a power so mighty that none dare speak its name.

Recent Comments
  1. a reader @ 4:39 pm

    I was expecting to be disappointed from the reviews on here and from the ho-hum 2nd book in the series. I wasn’t.

    Carey put in all the usual convoluted plot twists, family and political intrigue, strange events, unpronounceable names and excessive traveling to new lands. The main difference is that 10 years have passed since we last knew everyone and that time has been good. All the characters have matured and their personalities have deepened. Phedre is a woman, not a girl playing spy games and I find her even more appealing than in the other two books. Joscelin is a much more relaxed man, secure in himself and their love together. Melisande even has her claws cut a bit and becomes much more human (she now has a HUGE weak-spot).

    The plot starts off simply but becomes tangled and the travelers become very sidetracked, as always. This time, their adventures become extremely dark for about 1/3 of the book. Joscelin and Phedre are tested to the core of their beings and their love. I found this section of the story very moving. Phedre begins to feel the presence of her gods and this drives a lot of the rest of the story. She finds out the truth of her nature, more than she ever wanted too. (She also gets the chance to save the world, essentially, but that’s almost a footnote.)

    The whole book is about faith and love-losing it and finding it, both within and without oneself. Above all, it is about love itself, in all its forms and powers. Love can be a weapon and a healer, it can save and it can curse, it can kill and bring life. Phedre’s journey through her spiritual awakening is much deeper than I expected for this series. On the whole, I found it to be a very moving book and deeply religious (in the various religions of the land.)

    For the book itself, it is much better than the second book. They are faced with the real world more than simply backstabbing court politics (like the second book). There are a few explicit sex scenes between her and Joscelin thrown in (only one integral to the plot). Her abilities as an anguissette are used only for one part of this book, sexually speaking (it saves her life and the lives of others). Part of her journey is discovering that bearing pain can take many forms and not just for the pleasure of others or herself. She also begins to find purpose in the fact that she was god-chosen and that it wasn’t just a random event. All the political intrigue seems to wear on her and after her experiences she feels it’s all rather shallow. I have a feeling she’ll be less immersed in court politics when this is done.

    This book is the same as the other two on the surface, but the deep thread running through the book is about the larger questions of humanity and Carey does a good job of letting Phedre figure out her own answers. I think it was a fitting ending to the series. We have watched a girl grow into a complete woman.

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  2. ennekube @ 5:22 pm

    I don’t want to discuss too much of the plot — there would be too many spoilers — but Carey does a very thorough job of wrapping up all the loose ends leftover from her middle novel “Kushiel’s Chosen”… Phedre’s quest to free Hyacinthe and its links to the One God, the whereabouts of Melisande’s son Imriel, the mysterious bronze edge of power in Phedre’s voice… She answers all the questions we were left with before.

    At times the book is a touch melodramatic, and there are definitely a few slow spots, but if you enjoyed “Kushiel’s Dart” and “Kushiel’s Chosen,” I highly recommend the final book in this trilogy. (If you haven’t read either of the first two books, I recommend you start with those, because you won’t be nearly as caught up in the characters’ histories without them). For those people who complained about “Kushiel’s Chosen,” don’t worry — the scope of the novel definitely extends beyond a Phedre-Melisande contest of wills (taking us to new countries and introducing the power of new gods, no less), Phedre grows as a character (much better than she was in “K’s Chosen,” though I still liked her best in “K’s Dart”), and the ending is satisfying (if slightly bittersweet).

    Despite the few flaws I mentioned earlier, I thought this book was worth the wait… You know a novel is good when you finish it and find yourself wishing the series wasn’t over! Anyone know if Carey is planning to write more novels set in Terra D’Ange?

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  3. Jana L. Perskie @ 7:06 pm

    “Kushiel’s Avatar,” is the last book in Jacqueline Carey’s dramatic trilogy of life in a world similar to Earth, during a period reminiscent of our Renaissance. This fantastic romantic adventure is every bit as exciting as Ms. Carey’s first two books, “Kushiel’s Dart” and “Kushiel’s Chosen,” and a very worthy conclusion. (Although there are still some loopholes left – tiny ones, but just enough room for another book to slip through. Always hoping)!

    Ten years have past since we last saw our lash-loving lady, the true “anguisette,” Phedre no Delauney, Comtesse de Montreve, peer of Terre d’Ange. She and her beloved companion, the Cassiline apostate, Joscelin Verreuil have been residing on their estates and maturing with grace and beauty. But neither is able to forget the fate of Phedre’s childhood friend Hyacinthe and the terrible sacrifice he made in order that a queen be crowned and peace reign. Nothing less than discovering the most secret and holy name of the “One God” will do to free him – an almost impossible task to accomplish which will involve traveling over continents and seas, in what I believe is the most awesome adventure of them all! Then Melisande Shahrizai, Phedre’s nemesis and patron of old, surfaces and begs a boon – I won’t even go there. You’ll have to read the book.

    The adventures of Phedre and friends are every bit as breathtaking, if not more so, than those in preceding books. Ms. Carey has explored various religions and forms of spirituality in her other novels – religions resembling Christianity and Judaism, and others where gods and demigods are worshipped, similar to those of ancient Greece and Rome. In this, the last part of the trilogy, the author pulls all her characters and their adventures together to show a bigger pattern and spiritual purpose. In other words, there is an author’s message. These folks are not just hanging out to have fun while risking life and limb…and lash! Phedre discovers that her service to Kushiel has served a much higher cause than she ever thought possible, and has been integrated into the service of all whom she has served. Ms. Carey gives additional depth and dimension to her characters and story with this last touch. A terrific conclusion to a superb epic fantasy!

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  4. Amazonbombshell @ 7:10 pm

    After reading the first book in this series — KUSHIEL’S DART, which was incredible — I wondered if Ms. Carey could keep her stories interesting and her characters growing. My estimation of the trilogy fell a little with KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN — less exciting than the first but still an involving story — but KUSHIEL’S AVATAR more than proves that Jaqueline Carey is a master.

    Set a decade after the end of KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN, the book starts off strong with a mysterious letter from Phedre’s down-but-never-out adversary, the beautiful and deadly Melisande, quiet in exile these ten years. The adventure begins immediately and doesn’t end until the last page, with Phedre on a dangerous double quest: to locate a missing person whose very existence threatens Terre d’Ange, and to find a way to set her childhood best friend free of the geis that will otherwise bind him for eternity.

    AVATAR has all the adventure, eroticism, intrigues, and creative twists of DART, with none of CHOSEN’s slowness. Joscelin and Phedre have both matured immensely, and the relationship between them is well-drawn and plays almost painfully into the plot. Melisande spends less time as a major player, but her shadow is everywhere, lending the story another layer of mystery. There is also a delightful new character on the scene, whose inclusion adds new depth to Phedre and Joscelin, and who helps to bring the cycle to a satisfactory — indeed excellent — close. The only drawback is that there are no more Phedre novels!

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  5. Sarah J. W. Tyrchniewicz @ 7:35 pm

    Of all of the books in the Kushiel’s Dart series, this one is definitely the darkest. Phedre’s travels take her into territories unknown to her geographically, as well as into the deepest chasms of her soul. Phedra must face the darkest parts of herself in order to fulfill promises not only to Hyacinth, her most beloved friend, but to the traitorous Millisande. It is a story of loyalty and honor as well as of redemption.

    What was particularly intriguing about this story was the comparison between Phedre’s reluctant acceptance of who and what she is with Imriel’s (Millisande’s son) ignorance (and later defiance) of his heritage. If Jacqueline Carey chooses to write another Terre D’Ange story, I do hope that it follows Imriel’s path and the long road he (no doubt) will have to take in accepting who and what he is.

    Overall, this story should be pleasing to anyone who has read the previous books in the Kushiel’s Dart series. However, there are times where the story seems to drag, as Phedre and her party stop in and greet everyone she has met both in this book and the previous two (tying up loose ends, I suppose). Carey spends some needless time on characters that do not truly deserve it (and often are simply forgettable). And there are times when readers will probably say “Yes, yes… we know Phedre carries this heavy burden so lets just get on with it already!” But the story itself is beautiful in it’s own way, though it does not compare to the first two (hence the 4 star rating rather than 5).


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