~by Jacqueline Carey
2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
2002 Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee
2002 Locus Award Winner
2002 Locus Award Nominee
As a courtesan spy, Phèdre nó Delauney is no ordinary heroine. Nor is she an ordinary courtesan. Born with a scarlet mote in her eye, she has been marked by Kushiel, the god of Judgement, to be both cursed and blessed to find pain and pleasure together. Her homeland is Terre d'Ange, a land of exquisite beauty where the blood of the gods flow through its people's veins. It is a land where prostitution has been sanctified and "Love as you wilt," is the most sacred commandment.
But all is not well in Terre d'Ange. The king is aging and has no heir. The court is filled with traitors. The land is threatened by impending war. But when Phèdre stumbles upon a deadly conspiracy, she is the only one in a position to save her beloved homeland.
Kushiel's Dart is Jacqueline Carey's debut novel. Her prose is absolutely gorgeous and while being very detailed is not boring. There is explicit, but not gratuitous, sex and violence, so this book is not for everyone. I enjoyed the novel very much, and look forward to reading the rest of Kushiel's Legacy.