~by Jacqueline Carey
2003 Locus Award Nominee
Kushiel's Chosen is the second book in Carey's sensual fantasy/alternative history/court intrigue series Kushiel's Legacy. While it didn't grab me in quite the same way as the first book, Kushiel's Dart, the second volume was also extremely well-done and very enjoyable to read. Carey's writing is extraordinarily rich and absolutely beautiful. The world and characters she has created are marvelous.
Melisande Shahrizai, traitor to throne and country, mysteriously disappears on the eve of her execution. While still considered to be dangerous by some, other matters must first be dealt with by the Queen. When Phèdre receives a veiled message from Melisande, she feels she has no choice but to pursue her former patron and to bring her to justice, no matter what lengths she must go to.
Leaving the comforts of her inherited title and estate, Phèdre, the Comtesse de Montrève, returns to the City of Elua and the Service of Naamah. Unable to find all the information she needs at Court, she and her companions travel La Serenissima to follow what little leads they have.
Phèdre nó Delauney de Montrève continues to be a fascinating and enchanting character as she grows and learns. She is strong-willed and sure of herself, but she comes to realize that this may at times be her downfall. I have really enjoyed this series and look forward to read the next book, Kushiel's Avatar.