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Kushiel's Dart by Jacquieline Carey
Description: Alternative history fantasy. Spies. Gods. Courtesans. Oh, my.

My housemate warned me that they were crack, but foolishly I didnít listen. Opened the first one and was devoured. Iím waiting for the third one to paperback so I can go back, reread, write some marginalia and do some genuine chewing.

Iíd have to say that the series thus far for me has been all about how the quoted yielding doesnít mean weak. Phedre yields. She yields. She yields. And she is chosen, not the chooser. The gods have chosen. Pricked sinister eye with bloody dart. Sheís just their game piece. And yet, it is in yielding that she makes her own choice. 

The repetition of the word choice. Kushielís Chosen. Cassielís  choice. The choice to give up heaven for love and what is heaven. What it means to be someoneís true companion.

Although, they arenít books for everyone. The theology is, in a word, interesting. And since her nature as a masochist is fairly utterly central to the plot, wellÖ Culturally, Leather corseted crop slapping evil Willow sadists are seen as powerful. And, well, evil. Wrapping your brain around a character for whom pain isnít just pleasure, it is a religious ecstasy is an interesting trip. How she must learn over and over to accept and negotiate her own nature. For Joscelin to negotiate his nature. To stand at the cross roads and choose. Over and over. Choice.

Meaty stuff.

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