Kushiel's DartBook - 2002
The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing 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.
Ph#65533;dre n#65533; Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission...and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.
Ph#65533;dre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Ph#65533;dre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair...and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Ph#65533;dre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.
Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart -a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Such a small thing on which to hinge a fate. Nothing more than a mote, a fleck, a mere speck of color. If it had been any other hue, perhaps it would have been a different story.
"... the keeping of secrets from adults is oft the only power a child may hope to possess." -Phedre
“It is a fine line, in all of us, between civilization and savagery. To any who think they would never cross it, I can only say, if you have never known what it is to be utterly betrayed and abandoned, you cannot know how close it is.” -Phedre
“It's funny, how one can look back on a sorrow one thought one might well die of at the time, and know that one had not yet reckoned the tenth part of true grief.” -Phedre
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
Violence: Our protagonist experiences pleasure with pain, so lots of rough sex, although the author does differentiate between consensual S&M sex and rape/torture.
SummaryAdd a Summary
Abandoned by her parents on the doorstep of the Night Court—home to the courtesans of Terre D’Ange—Phèdre is groomed for a life of service to Naamah in the City of Elua. But a red spot in her left eye marks her unfit to officially serve in the Night Court, so her marque is sold to the courtier Anafiel Delaunay, who raises her up to be a spy as well as a courtesan. Delaunay is also the only one to recognize what the red mote in her eye betokens; Phèdre is marked by Blessed Elua’s companion Kushiel, and she is an anguisette, doomed to take her pleasure in pain. Without knowing the depths in which is swimming, Phèdre stumbles upon the key to a plot that threatens the Crown, and indeed Terre D’Ange itself.