exactly that

OK, Kushiel’s geeks, get your thinking caps…


Our household goods arrived recently, and that means our books (which are not few, let me tell you) are all here too.  On a whim I decided to re-read the whole Kushiel’s Legacy series.

It is a lot of  fun re-reading a series that you have read to completion.  You notice things that you may have missed, not having the knowledge of a story completed.  Names and places and conflicts stick in my head better.

One thing I noticed is the parallels drawn between Prince Baudoin de Trevalion and the yet to be born Prince Imriel nó Montrève de la Courcel, both Princes of the Blood, born generations apart, never to meet.  Having similar, if nuanced beginnings, both having crafty and ambitious traitors for mothers, sharing similar lineage, both of House Courcel, being children of Lyonette, Lioness of Azzalle and Prince Benedict respectively, both siblings of Ganelon de la Courcel.  They were both entitled to the same privileges and courtesies due a Prince of the Blood.  It is interesting to me to see how they took their royal heritage in different directions.  

Baudoin was content to be a pawn in his mother’s machinations, while Imriel worked hard to prove that he wanted no part of Melisande’s (Oh!  Melisande!  Is there a better villainess in all of literature?) treasons.  Baudoin enjoyed flaunting his royalty and taking as many royal liberties as possible while Irmri was content to hide below the radar, working the fields and enjoying the mews of the country estate in Montrève.

So what say you, readers of Readerland?  How do you find Baudoin and Imriel similar?  Different?  Do you think these differences are a matter of their respective nurturing?  Do the ways in which they individually embrace their royal heritage ultimately determine the outcome of their lives?  Were Marc and the Lioness responsible for the who Baudoin grew to be?  Was Imriel indeed saved from Benedict and Melisande’s corruption by the goodness of Phèdre and Jocelin?  

It’s interesting to think on, any way.


Interested in sharing in comments…have at it!


PS:  Has anyone else ever been peeved by the seemingly poor cover art?  Not only are these pictures not at all representative of how Phèdre is described in the books, her marque is always skewed off center of the picture, and also not how it is described.  On Mercy and Justice the cover art seems to match how Sidonie is described…*shrugs*


Comments on: "Parallels in Hindsight" (7)

  1. Jamie Bougher said:

    Gah, yes, the cover art drives me batty! That isn’t even remotely close to the description of her marque. Also her hair is supposed to be curly, not straight. Sigh.

    Unfortunately, I’m still on my first readthrough of the series, and when I did that I was mostly looking out for the raunchy bits, so I don’t have any thoughts on your main question. Sorry!

    • I thought of you when I wrote this post. LOL!

      You must read the whole series! It took me a while to adjust to Imriel’s point of view, but after he grows up it takes off.

      And the Queen and Cruarch’s daughters: amazing women, that’s for damned sure.

      • Jamie Bougher said:

        Oh, I’ve read all of them! And the first of the other series she started. I’m just terrible at noticing such intricacies the first time around, and I haven’t re-read the series yet. Getting around to it! I won’t be able to until I’m moved in at school and all my books are no longer in storage…

        But HELL yes, those daughters kick ass!

        • Oops.

          I had heard she wrote another series, but didn’t know it was available yet…hmmmm.

          Good luck getting moved!

          • Jamie Bougher said:

            I read volume one of her “The Sundering” series – not in the Kushieline universe. Volume two is out but I didn’t find the first book compelling enough to seek it out.

            Also, I just checked her page – new Kushieline book on the way! “Naamah’s Kiss”!

            SQUEE! ^_^

  2. YES, entirely, to the cover art thing!

    (Although I was under the impression that the cover on Kushiel’s Justice was, in fact, Sidonie. If it was meant to be Phedre, that’s a terrible, terrible drawing. Grr.)

    I’d say that the difference between Badoin and Imriel is less to do with their upbringing, and more to do with Darsanga.

    After all, it’s that period in Imriel’s life that leads him later to confront the nature of goodness, and what that means. If Melisande’s plan had failed, but he had *not* later had that experience, he would have remained as he began – an anonymous goatherd in the Sanctuary of Elua. Because I rather doubt whether Melisande would have ever divulged his whereabouts!

    Also, you note the similarities between Lyonette and Melisande, but I’d say Phedre – although not treasonous – is also similar. She’s at least as capable and intelligent as Melisande, if not more so.

    I think I’ll end this comment, actually, by saying “yay for strong female characters! Plural! Actually, multiple! And they talk to each other! About things that are not men!”

    (also, yay for wonderful raunchy bits!)

    • I also believe the covers of Justice and Mercy are supposed to be Sidonie, which delighted me because in a way they are her stories as well, whether or not they are told from her point of view.

      Yes, and Darsanga is exactly what I was thinking of in regards to Imri’s core differences. Having to question goodness and face the shadows of the horrors he met there, I think, are what make Imriel what he is (other than a male PoV and protagonist that I don’t hate)–a good person, flawed in many ways, but determined to rise above it.

      I think, though, that if he hadn’t been kidnapped that Melisande would have tried again. I think her escape from the temple at Asherat would have happened, because I can not imagine Melisande simply accepting her lot. She would have, I believe, eventually retrieved Imri and brought him there too.

      I have always thought of Phedre and Melisande as two sides of the same coin. As she notes, Phedre is the conscience that Melisande is lacking in all things that don’t directly affect her (or, as it turns out, her son). Phedre is her equal, if not more so, because she was trained to play Melisande’s games by the one Melisande herself instructed.

      Melisande is one of my favorite characters. I have a love for her that had me hoping that Imriel would indeed spare her as he did.

      But, yes, yay for strong female characters, many of them (both “good” and “bad”), being involved in stories that don’t revolve around the men in their lives.

      You might also like, if you haven’t read them, some of the other books with likewise female leads that I talk about here.

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