on April 18, 2007
...as the previous trilogy. I felt that this time around, Carey put a lot more thought into the actual crafting of the book; the prose had a different vibe, her style seems to have matured. Compared with Kushiel's Avatar, this book is much less perverse! Thankfully, there are fewer incidents of "Ladida! But we're D'Angeline!" being used to write off just about anything. There are some strong new characters (Eamonn and Lucius were favourites of mine) but also some completely one-dimensional additions (Brigitta springs to mind). Also be prepared for previous favourites Phedre and Joscelin to take a back seat, as Imriel comes to the fore.
Plot-wise, I felt I was waiting the entire book for something to happen, and when I turned the final page, was left thinking "that's it?" The promised climax, the central antagonism hinted at the beginning of the book, never materialises. Carey is very much laying the foundation of the next in the series (at least I hope so; if this is the end that it will certainly be a lame one). This isn't terrible, per se, but next to Kushiel's Dart, the first in the series and thus the book that lays down the framework for the trilogy, Kushiel's Scion doesn't stand up.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Carey and the Kushiel series. New fans, I would strongly suggest starting with the trilogy than plunging in here: Scion is a good read in the context of Carey's world and mythology, less good as a stand-alone novel.
on July 3, 2006
Carey goes back to the intricate world of Terre d'Ange, but this time the hero is Imriel, not Phedre and the story is told from his point of view. It's a good read and I enjoyed it, but it just doesn't have the same wonderful sense of epic as the first trilogy. This is definitely a coming of age story and I have the sense Carey spent most of the novel carefully laying the ground work for the next book by creating strong bonds of friendship and tension between all the characters. I had a bit of trouble connecting and identifying with Imriel, which is why I couldn't give this novel 5 stars. I found the character of Claudia repulsive and couldn't see what appeal she might have for Imriel, other than sexual. The secrets Claudia hints at never really come to light and I found that irritating and a bit of a waste of my time as a reader. The promise of true, terrible danger is merely hinted at, and though Imriel does manage to get himself into a bit of a mess, you know that nothing particularly terrible will befall him. There is no great spiritual awakening here that will forever alter his life or view of the world. Another problem was I couldn't help but compare it to Carey's earlier trilogy. That's my fault, not Carey's, so I shouldn't complain. Still, this story just felt smaller, a bit confined, and less fantastic in comparison. There's also no core relationship here; nothing I could secretly hope might blossom into more, as was the case with Phedre and Joscelin (by the way, it was great to see those two again, although in a smaller, less dramatic capacity). With that being said, the promise of a deeper story and more complex plots still remains. The unseen enemy who pulls all the strings will reveal his or herself soon and no doubt cause a world of trouble for Imriel. Here's hoping Carey delivers on that promise in the next installment.
on June 14, 2015
The first book in the second Kushiel trilogy, this begins Imriel's tale, and what a tale it is. This is the beginning for him, and it is a slow burn. There is a lot of healing and coming of age, but by the time he hits eighteen the story is in full swing. The final third is exciting and dangerous and perfect Carey. For many, the first three books are the best, but for me, it has to be these. Phedre may be a more compelling character, but Imriel's story is better told. Either way, they are all great. Read them all!