It’s time for Week 10 of the KUSHIEL’S DART reading challenge. The end is here, and I’m not ready for it!
Chapter 84-END is hosted by Lisa at OVER THE EFFING RAINBOW So follow below the cut for more spoilers than you can shake a stick at.
1) Isidore d’Aiglemort comes back into play for the battle against the Skaldi, and Phedre takes a huge risk to turn him from an enemy back into an ally – to a point, at least. And d’Aiglemort’s one demand is to have Waldemar Selig left to himself on the battlefield… What were your thoughts on Terre d’Ange’s unlikely hero, when all the dust settled?
This was my favourite part of the battle: Isidore’s change of heart felt very human, and I liked that he was clear about his motivations: he was basically a self-centered arse up to the end, and he rocked it.
I loved his final showdown with Selig, but I wish we’d been able to experience it from less of a distance — the disadvantage of a close first person POV in a big historical battle scene!
2) After the war, we get a wedding! Ysandre and Drustan survive to unite their people after all. Did you think they’d both get this far, and do you have any thoughts on how this union (political, romantic, or both) might turn out?
I’m really surprised Drustan made it this far! He’s far from the d’Angeline standard of beauty, and in the world of KUSHIEL’S DART, luck seems to slightly favour the pretty ones.
(Though, tell that to Alcuin and Delauney. I’m still not over it. I’ll never be over it.)
I’m hopeful that relationships with the Albans will remain strong once the fight is over. They’re going to be well-recognised as saving the country, and that should afford them a good bit of luxury during the we-won-the-war afterglow. Beyond that, though…. I’m not optimistic. d’Angelines are very focussed on their blood being the best, their lineage being purest, and that makes their land ripe for both conscious and unconscious racism.
Plus, I can’t ignore that Terra d’Ange is based on real-life France, which has a lot of racism really ingrained into it’s culture — there’s a lot of parallels between religion-obsessed Terra d’Ange and the modern day struggle between Christian France and Muslim France. But I could write entire blog posts about that….
3) Melisande is finally discovered, and brought before the Queen to be punished for her treason. Though, of course it’s not as simple as that with her… Were you surprised at all when she escaped? And do you have any ideas about who might have aided her?
Oh my god, HOW could they underestimate Melisande this much. It’s ridiculous! This woman orchestrated the entire war they just thought, but they somehow think a) it’s okay to let Phedre in to see her without her bodyguard, even though they both have good reasons to want each other dead b) a bare handful of guards is enough to watch over her.
I am intrigued by the traitor that helped her escape, but I can’t help but feel she got out of this mess with a lot more help from other peoples’ stupidity than her own wit. Which is a shame.
4) Ysandre and Drustan aren’t the only ones to get their happy ending – well, up to a point, anyway. Phedre and Joscelin try on the quiet country life, and it goes well for a while… Once again Phedre is unable to forget, or be forgotten by, Melisande – wherever she is. Do you think Phedre will return to her old life, as we leave her contemplating? If so, is her choice the right one?
I really wish Phedre would just avoid anything bearing Melisande’s stamp — that woman is never, ever good news. But at the same time, I am very, very curious to know who the traitor is.
Phedre was never suited to the country life — remember back when she was with Delauney, and got bored sitting in his grand library all day and not being able to go out on assignments? She’s changed in a lot of ways since then, but she’s still not the type to sit with a book. She’s heading straight back into the political fray in Book 2, I’d bet good money on it!
(Which is a shame, because I bet Joscelin would love a nice evening in front of a fire with books and no battles to stress about.)