Showing posts with label jacqueline carey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jacqueline carey. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Friday Face-Off: Scantily Clad

       Friday Face Off New

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme at Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.  You can find a list of upcoming topics at Lynn's Books.

This week's topic is:

When I first saw the topic 'scantily clad,' I was stumped. But then it came to me, the perfect choice: Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey! Despite the cover that doesn't really seem the most enticing to people, this is a truly phenomenal fantasy series that has incredible world-building, an amazing female protagonist, and endless political intrigue, plots, secrets, and so many more layers to it. With that being said, let's check out some covers!

Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)Kushiel dárdája (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)Kushiel. Das Zeichen (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)
2001 US Hardcover | 2015 Hungarian | 2007 German

Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)Kushielova strijelaLa Marque (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)
2016 US (Subterranean Press) | 2012 Croatian | 2009 French

Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)Kushiel: Das ZeichenLa Marque (Kushiel, #1)
2015 US Paperback | 2013 German | 2021 French

La Marque (Kushiel, #1)Kushiel's DartIl dardo e la rosa (L'Eredità di Kushiel: Trilogia di Phèdre #1)
2022 French (Mass Market) | 2013 US Special Edition (?) | 2013 Italian

My choice(s):
Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)
I have to say that I'm rather partial to this gorgeous Subterranean Press edition because it's just so beautiful. This cover is part of a larger print that spans front and back covers (you can see the full spread here) and it's amazing. I am unbelievably fortunate to own the entire trilogy in the SubPress editions and they are probably some of the most beautiful books I own. That being said, I really like seeing how the other editions have made their own sort of spin on showcasing Phedre and the prominent marque on her back. 

What cover(s) do you like the most?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Starless by Jacqueline Carey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released!

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
Starless by Jacqueline Carey
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Tor Books
592 pages
Pre-order: Amazon Book Depository 
From Goodreads:

"Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned. 

Let your mind be like the eye of the hawk…Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him. 

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction. 

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine."

I love Jacqueline Carey's work, so I'm really excited for yet another new release from--especially a new (what seems to be) epic fantasy! I'm really interested in this premise and hope to be able to pick it up!

What do you think about these upcoming releases? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Tor Fantasy, 2003. Paperback. 1015 pages.

I was a bit skeptical of Kushiel's Dart, largely due to the many reviews proclaiming it had too much BDSM and negatively portrayed the main female character (unfortunately, the cover didn't exactly help convince me otherwise). But I also saw reviews lauding it for its highly developed world building elements, the fantasy itself, and the strong characters created, so I decided to give it a go. Not to mention the fact that it is considered a classic and highly regarded fantasy novel - It can't be considered that for no reason, right?

Well, I loved it. This book is a masterpiece. Kushiel's Dart is slow-paced, but it will keep you hooked. I struggled through the first almost-hundred pages and wasn't sure if I was going to continue when suddenly I was just sucked in and I knew that I would be finishing. I ended up reading at least 100+ pages of this book a day and put most of my other books that I was currently reading on hold while I finished this one. Carey's prose is absolutely gorgeous and rather Tolkien-esque due to the in-depth, expansive descriptions and detailed fantasy world.

This is a dense, high fantasy novel that is completely deserving of being considered one of the classics of high fantasy. The world Carey created is immensely detailed and precise. In fact, there are such intricate political backgrounds and dealings that it is actually somewhat hard to follow - and it doesn't help that they are all rather complex French-inspired names, a language that I do not know well. Because of this, I thought I would be doomed since I am extremely bad at remembering all those minute political alliances and foreign names, but I found that it was not completely necessary to understand every single political reference mentioned. Only the main characters and players were necessary to follow, so it ended up working out extremely well. Kushiel's Dart really has it all: strong political intrigue, complex world building, strong religion and culture, and well-rounded, deeply three-dimensional dynamic character development that was truly exciting to follow. I really found myself connecting with many of the characters, and that is what really made this book come alive.

I felt that Phedre's journey from a young girl of the Night Court to the mature, confident Phedre at the end of the book was amazingly well done. She started out as a fairly confident girl, but she lacked a voice. She is quiet, observant, obedient, but she slowly develops into an even more confident woman who is also now independent, strong, and willing to speak her mind. When I first started this book, I felt that Phedre didn't have much of a personality, so I was worried that I would develop a strong interest for this book; fortunately, throughout the story she truly develops as a character, finding her own well-developed personality and even a great sense of  humor along the way.

Now, to the more controversial aspect of Kushiel's Dart: yes, there is a fair bit of graphic BDSM-type sex that may make you uncomfortable if you are not a fan of that, but it was worked in beautifully. It wasn't campy or cheap sex, it was sex that fit and made the storyline. In fact, I found the entire way in which sex and courtesans were trained and used in this world to be extremely positive and, well, healthy. We learn that each student has a safe word that is clearly explained to any potential client (it's included in the paperwork, actually), and everything seems to be done in a very safe manner.

Regarding Phedre in particular: Phedre was struck with Kushiel's Dart at birth, causing her to be one of the few that experiences pain and pleasure as the same feeling, which is where the more violent sexual nature comes in. But to me, this is who Phedre is and what she was born to do - this is huge part of the entire storyline. It's not just some mindless smut added in. The first few sex scenes described are more detailed, but after a while they became much tamer and Carey tended to starting 'fading out' with no major details mentioned. After reading this book, I actually feel slightly frustrated with those who saw this BDSM as something vulgar and unnecessary, as I really didn't see it that way it's an integral part of this society and this storyline. But, of course, everyone's opinions are different and I am always respectful of differing opinions - especially over such an intense book as this one.

Overall, Kushiel's Dart is getting the big five-stars from me for its gorgeous prose and fantastical elements. This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone that enjoys a strong fantasy novel with equally strong female characters and plot.

You might also like:
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Kings or Pawns by JJ Sherwood (review to come)
And I Darken by Kiersten White