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Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy) by Jacqueline Carey
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0312872380
Date: 23 June 2001 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

From release/information:

Book Description: REVIEW: "A very sophisticated fantasy, intricately plotted and a fascinating read." (Robert Jordan) REVIEW: "Perhaps once in a decade, if you are fortunate, you discover a debut novel as intoxicating as Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart. Part reimagined history, this sumptuous, spellbinding fantasy is kaleidoscopic in breadth, intimate in detail. It is sure to be read and talked about for years to come." (Eric Van Lustbader) REVIEW: "Kushiel's Dart takes fantasy into shadowy, exotic corners it rarely dares to tread. The standard of the writing is so high, it's hard to believe this is a first novel. Jacqueline Carey is a writer to watch, as the clich goes, but more important a writer to read." (Storm Constantine) EXCERPT: She will sell me to this cruel old woman, I thought, and experienced a thrill of terror. My mother stood with my hand in hers and gazed down at my upturned face. It is my last memory of her, those great, dark, lambent eyes searching my own, coming at last to rest upon the left. Through our joined hands, I felt the shudder she repressed. Such a small thing on which to hinge such a fate. Nothing more than a mote, a fleck, a mere speck of color. If it had been any other hue, perhaps, it would have been a different story. My eyes, when they had settled, were that color the poets called bistre, a deep and lustrous darkness, like a forest pool under the shade of ancient oaks. Bistre, then, rich and liquid-dark, save for the left eye, where in the iris that ringed the black pupil, a fleck of color shone. Thus did I enter the world, with an ill-luck name and a pinprick of living blood emblazoned in my gaze. "Take her, then." Letting go my hand, she shoved me violently. I turned my head at the last for one final glimpse of my mother, but her face was averted, shoulders shaking with soundless tears. I had entered a different world. Is it any wonder, then, that I became what I did? Delaunay maintains that it was ever my destiny, and perhaps he is right, but this I know is true: When Love cast me out, it was Cruelty who took pity upon me.DESCRIPTION: A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger.... a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm....Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phdre n Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she is trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure. And above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy.... and unlikely heroine. But when Phdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens her homeland, Terre d'Ange, she has no choice. Betrayed into captivity in the barbarous northland of Skaldia and accompanied only by a disdainful young warrior-priest, Phdre makes a harrowing escape and an even more harrowing journey to return to her people and deliver a warning of the impending invasion. And that proves only the first step in a quest that will take her to the edge of despair and beyond. Phdre n Delaunay is the woman who holds the keys to her realm's deadly secrets, and whose courage will decide the very future of her world. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new. It is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. A world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess.... all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine. AUTHORBIO: Jacqueline Carey is a researcher in art history and currently resides in Michigan. Her previous publications include various short stories, essays, and a nonfiction book. Angels: Celestial Spirits in Legend and Art. Kushiel's Dart is her first novel.

(Source: Tor Books)

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