Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 13: A fictional book

When I was looking at that 30-day blogging list, I wondered if this meant a book in the genre of fiction, or a book that was not actually real. I'll go with the first, and make this post a review of the most recent book I read.

Review: Kushiel's Dart
By Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Dart is quite the epic tale, at 700 pages, and still just the first in a series. A young girl, Phedre, is sold into the Night Court because she has an unfortunate blemish: a red dot in one pupil. It is revealed that this is in fact a mark of the divine, Kushiel's dart to be precise, and shows her to be one of Kushiel's chosen. Without going into too many details (the back story is an involved mythology), this means she likes pain, in a sexual way. She finds herself in the household of one Delaunay, who trains her to garner political knowledge while going about her ways as a famed courtesan.

A lot of things happen and I'd rather not spoil them. The story takes place in mythical France (not called France, but it is anyway), and the way this version of Europe is depicted is intriguing. It's quite a good read, though due to her particular pleasures I wouldn't call the sex scenes all that stimulating. Also, the religiosity and the nationalism get at times a bit heavy-handed. Finally, I thought the book could have ended sooner; in fact, I'm not sure if I want to continue reading the series because I'm so tired of the character of Melisande. I just looked at Wikipedia and it looks like she continues to play a large role in most of the rest of the series, so I may just have to give it up. My final criticism is that there's very little magic. Which doesn't actually detract from the book; it's just sort of annoying since the cover seems to suggest magic is important.

Rating: B+

(And yes, I'm picking up the 30 day blogging thing again despite months having gone by. I think the prompts are nice.)

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