Kushiel's Dart

Kushiel's Dart

Infobox Book
name = Kushiel's Dart

image_caption = First edition cover
author = Jacqueline Carey
cover_artist = John Jude Palencar
country = United States
language = English
series = Kushiel's Legacy
genre = Fantasy novel
publisher = Tor Books
release_date = 2001
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 701 pp (first edition, hardback)
isbn = ISBN 0-312-87238-0 (first edition, hardback)
preceded_by =
followed_by = Kushiel's Chosen

"Kushiel's Dart" is Jacqueline Carey's first novel and the first of the novels in her Kushiel's Legacy series. The idea for this book first came to Carey when she was reading the Biblical book of Genesis, and specifically a passage about "sons of God" coming into the "daughters of Men." Later, when she was writing a coffee table book, she encountered Jewish folklore, which paralleled the story in greater detail. She based Terre D'Ange on a nation founded by a rebel angel. [cite web
last = Carey
first = Jacqueline
title = Stricken by Kushiel's Dart
work = Borders
date = 2001
url = http://www.bordersstores.com/features/feature.jsp?file=jacquelinecarey
accessdate = 2006-04-06

The World of Terre D'Ange

::"Main article: Terre d'Ange

Founded by angels

::"Main article: Elua and His Companions

The Kushiel's Legacy series takes place in a medieval world that is modeled on Earth (the map at the beginning of the novels is a map of Earth, with creatively historically named countries). The main characters are from Terre d'Ange, which occupies the area of France.

Terre d'Ange was founded Elua and His Companions and is thereby a nation of progeny of fallen angels.

::"For the full story about Elua, his Companions, and the founding of Terre d'Ange, see Elua and His Companions, The Eluine Cycle.

Each Province of Terre d'Ange was founded by one of Elua's Companions, except Cassiel as he chose to remain loyal to the One God.

"Love As Thou Wilt"

See Elua and His Companions and the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers for the full article.

Elua’s motto was “Love as thou wilt.” This results in the fact that love and physical pleasure is a central aspect of society in Terre d'Ange. Although marriage exists in Terre d'Ange, it is viewed equally with other forms of love, including dalliance, taking a lover or , etc. It likewise engendered an acceptance of any form of love, be it reverent or harsh, heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Usually as part of a marriage, a D'Angeline “light a candle to Eisheth” asking her to “open the womb” of the woman so that she may be able to become pregnant.

One of the central institutions of Terre d'Ange is service to the angel Naamah. As such, her servants are courtesans (a word normally associated with prostitution, but which Carey gives a more positive connotation). Because of the above-mentioned precepts of Elua, Servants of Naamah are both men and women who engage in all manner of dalliances.

The Court of Night-Blooming Flowers, or the “Night Court,” is in the City of Elua and comprises Thirteen Houses. Each house has a head, called the Dowayne. Each Servant of Naamah owes a debt to their House for the training they have received, and in many cases upbringing. Their debt is considered complete when their marque, a tattoo covering the entire back, is complete.

Ruling classes

Terre D’Ange exists in a monarchical system, which is currently ruled by the Courcel line. They are directly descended from Elua, and their signature physical attribute is a graceful neck, which parallels the fact that their emblem is the Swan.

Each region has its own ruling elite in a feudal structure.

The courts are separate from the feudal ruling class and function in a similar fashion to present-day European courts including various levels of appellate courts. Final appeals can be brought to the King/Queen, who will either hear a case or rule that the previous judgements were appropriate and thereby refuse to hear the appeal. D'Angelines are known to treat their criminals and prisoners in a fashion similar to that of present-day European standards, though capital punishment and public floggings are practised. Rape is a capital offense.

Plot summary

Phedre's Childhood

::Also see article Phèdre nó Delaunay

Phèdre is born to Liliane de Souverain, a Servant of Naamah and Pierre Cantrel, a merchant. She is born a fair-skinned, black-haired, girl with a cursed Hellene name. She is distinguished most by a red mote in her left eye, a flaw that makes her not suitable to work as a Servant of Naamah. Due to poverty and Pierre Cantrel's unwillingness for his wife to continue in the Service of Naamah, Phèdre is sold to Cereus House of the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers.

Phèdre grows up in Cereus House but is somewhat outcast, given her flaw that keeps her outside the canons of the Night Court. As a result, she can never become an adept of one of the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers. Since she will never be an adept, she must pay off her marque by earning money with any talent she has.

One day, after learning about The Eluine Cycle, Phèdre pricks her hand with a pin. The look in her eyes vaguely reminded the Dowayne of something. She called in the lord Anafiel Delaunay, a poet with a variety of knowledge, and he recites lines from an ancient epic poem that declares Phèdre an anguissette, Kushiel’s Chosen; that she will always find "pleasure in pain". He buys her marque, fetching the highest price set in Cereus in her years. To make her fit for his service, Phèdre begins learning the Caerdicci tongue at age eight, and at age ten, begins her apprenticeship with Delaunay.

Delaunay’s other pupil, Alcuin nó Delaunay, becomes her foster brother. They are trained physically, mentally, and sexually to be scholars, spies and Servants of Naamah. Her nature as an anguissette is kept secret from all of Delaunay's guests, to make her more valuable as she grows and learns. At age thirteen, Phèdre first meets Melisande Shahrizai, who is one of the few people to identify her as an anguissette at first glance. When they enter the Service of Naamah, Delaunay uses their skills as spies for his court intrigues, the nature of which Phèdre and Alcuin nó Delaunay do not always know.

In The Service of Namaah

At fourteen, Phèdre officially dedicates herself as a Servant of Naamah. She thus begins her apprenticeship a year later than she would have had she remained in the Night Court.

Her virgin-price is bought by Childric d'Essoms when she is sixteen, for four and a half thousand ducats. His patron-gift allows her to begin work on her marque, which Delaunay commissions from Robert Tielhard.

Because of Delaunay's position, Phèdre witnesses the trials of House Trevalion, wherein Lyonette and Baudoin are sentenced to death, Marc and Bernadette to banishment, and Gaspar de Trevalion is absolved entirely, partly through Delaunay's testimony on his behalf. It is at this trial that Phèdre first sees what she calls the steel beneath the fragile bloom of Ysandre de la Courcel in her cool response to learning of the treachery in her own family. She also notes Ysandre's keen interest in Delaunay.

When her bodyguard Guy is killed in an incident involving Alcuin nó Delaunay and the political intrigues of the Stregazza family, Delaunay contracts the Cassiline Joscelin Verreuil to protect his charges. An immediate discord strikes up between Joscelin and Phèdre as he does not approve of Phèdre's line of work or her nature as an anguissette, and Phèdre finds him dour and too imposing. Delaunay eventually learns that Alcuin made his marque (became a free D’Angeline citizen) that night. Having the Cassiline Brother Joscelin Verreuil as a guard is curious, as Cassilines “protect and serve” for the royal house.

One of the facts of D'Angeline existence is the riddle of the Master of the Straits. Terre d'Ange is separated from Alba by a small channel of water, but which no one has been able to cross for eight hundred years. It is said that the “Master of the Straits” controls the water and will not allow any meeting between the two nations. Phèdre becomes increasingly frustrated when she sees Alcuin working to solve this mystery and yet he will not tell her why.

On the Longest Night, Melisande Shahrizai contracts Phèdre for herself for a midwinter masque. She parades Phèdre before the nobles of Terre d'Ange, having her wear a gown of only white gauze studded with diamonds, and a velvet slip-collar with a diamond teardrop suspended from it and a lead attached. Phèdre loses herself entirely to Melisande that night, and when Melisande uses flechettes on her, she gives her "signale" for the first time. Later, Melisande informs Phèdre that her master Delaunay and the deceased Dauphin, Rolande de la Courcel, were lovers. Rolande was killed during Battle of the Three Princes before Phèdre was born. Phèdre accidentally reveals to Melisande that Delaunay is waiting for word from Quintilius Rousse. Although it is never directly stated in the book, this references the fact that Delaunay asked Quintilius Rousse to try to cross the Straits, and he is waiting for word of Rousse's success. Phèdre realizes just after that she has made a mistake in revealing Delaunay's activities, but Melisande pretends to take no note of it. Melisande's patron gift for the night is the ruins of the gauze-and-diamond gown, providing her Phèdre enough money to complete her marque.

Joscelin accompanies her to the marquist's, but before the marque can be finished, they are interrupted by a sailor, bearing a message from Admiral Quintilius Rousse to Delaunay; he knows that Delaunay's house is being watched, and seeks to give the message to Phèdre instead. She only believes him when he gives a password, "on the Prince's signet, his only born", which Phèdre believes to refer to a ring she saw Ysandre present to Delaunay. The message from Rousse is: "When the Black Boar rules in Alba, Elder Brother will accede." This message makes no sense to Phèdre but, given that the soldier said Delaunay's house was being watched, she believes that her lord is in danger.

Phèdre and Joscelin rush to their home, only to find Delaunay already dead, and Alcuin dying. He reveals that the password was "cygnet", not "signet", a reference to Ysandre, whom Delaunay was oath-sworn to protect. In his final breaths, Alcuin tells Phèdre to tell Ysandre what has happened, to trust Admiral Rousse and the remaining Trevalions, that Thelesis de Mornay knows about Alba, and that the important figure is the Dauphine, not Ganelon.

Phèdre and Joscelin rush to the Palace, but are turned away both by Ysandre's Guard and Thelesis' servants. While attempting to reach a secret passage from the theatre complex to Ysandre's rooms, Phèdre and Joscelin encounter Melisande, who takes them to her own quarters. Melisande betrays them, drugging Joscelin and attemptes to force Phedre to tell her Rousse's message so that she could interrupt Delaunay's plans, however, Phedre succeeds in keeping the message secret. Phèdre is then drugged as well. Numbed by grief of Delaunay's death, sick from the drugs, and fatigued, Phèdre wakes in the back of a cart to find out that she will be sold to the Skaldi. To get rid of the evidence, Melisande has sold both of them into slavery in Skaldia.

The Intrigue

Melisande knew that Delaunay was Rolande's lover and that Delaunay had sworn his life to the protection of Ysandre de la Courcel, Rolande's daughter and heir to the throne of Terre d'Ange. Melisande, who realized that Delaunay's oath to protect the Dauphine could hinder her plans to usurp the throne, set D'Aiglemort's men to spy on Delaunay, but they botched their assignment and murdered Delaunay and Alcuin without first figuring out his intentions.

Melisande did not know, however, that when Ysandre was 16, she had been secretly betrothed to Drustan mab Necthana, who was the rightful ruler of Alba. Delaunay was trying to solve the riddle of the Master of the Straits so that the two heirs could be married and their countries' powers allied. Thus, Rousse assailed the straits to attempt to reach Alba, and was given the message by the Master of the Straits.

lavery in Skaldia

Joscelin initially refuses to submit to the Skaldi, and most likely would have gotten himself killed, but that Phèdre steps in and persuades the Skaldi not to harm him. He is instead chained with their dogs until Phèdre can convince him that they will be best served by obedience. She begins to teach him the Skaldic language. Phèdre becomes the bed-slave of Gunter Arnlaugson, the lord of the steading. She is protected somewhat by Hedwig Arnildsdottir, the daughter of the previous lord, and spends some of her time learning songs and stories from the Skaldic women. The relationship between Phèdre and Joscelin first begins to change on the night Gunter and his men return from raiding a D'Angeline town. It reminds them of the severity of their situation, and forges truer compassion and understanding between them.

Gunter takes Phèdre and Joscelin to the Allthing held by Waldemar Selig, presenting them both as gifts to Selig. Phèdre becomes Selig's bed-slave, and learns of his plans to invade Terre d'Ange by betraying the traitor Duc Isidore d'Aiglemort. Her knowledge of the political machinations becomes even greater when she sees in Selig's room a letter to him from Melisande Shahrizai, who is helping Selig to betray Isidore. In this way Melisande is playing both Isidore d'Aiglemort and Waldemar Selig and that no matter which one wins, Melisande will have been in league with them, and will benefit.

Phèdre comes up with an escape plan and persuades Joscelin to go along with it. Initially she means to take Melisande's letter with her, but decides against it, realizing that would let Selig know she knows his plans. Joscelin disguises himself as a Skaldic warrior, killing several guards so that he and Phèdre may escape from the camps.

It takes Selig's best riders four days to catch up with Phèdre and Joscelin; while Joscelin battles several of them, the young Harald the Beardless out of Gunter's steading attempts to recapture Phèdre; she kills him with her dagger in order to escape.

Several days out on their journey, Phèdre and Joscelin take shelter in a cave, where Phèdre patches his wounds, and the two end up having sex. The next morning, they find etched on the cave wall the sigil of Blessed Elua, and realize that he and his Companions rested in that same place during their wanderings.

Phèdre and Joscelin eventually reach Terre d'Ange.

ecrecy in Terre d'Ange

Once back in Terre d'Ange, Phèdre and Joscelin encounter the men of the Marquis le Garde, one of the Allies of Camlach; she borrows names from Cereus House and tells them she is Suriah of Trefail, and that Joscelin is her cousin Jareth, refugees from a town that has been set upon by the Skaldi. When it looks as though they are going to be taken into custody, Joscelin holds their commander at knifepoint and demands horses for their escape. They proceed down a road called Eisheth's Way, until they encounter a Yeshuite wagon on the road. The Yeshuites give them shelter when they recognize Joscelin for a Cassiline, with whom their people share an affinity. They take Joscelin and Phèdre all the way to the City of Elua; in gratitude, Phèdre gifts them with the small grey pony that has come with her all the way from Skaldia.

Once inside the City of Elua, Phèdre decides that the only person she can trust is her old friend Hyacinthe, whom she and Joscelin seek out immediately. From Hyacinthe, Phèdre learns that she and Joscelin were tried and convicted in absentia for the murders of Delaunay, Alcuin, and the entire household. Some few spoke on their behalf, including Gaspar Trevalion and Cecile Laveau-Perrin. Deciding upon the best course of action to reach Ysandre, Phèdre sends a message to Thelesis de Mornay, written as a love poem in Cruithne, that it might not be understood if intercepted. Thelesis comes to Hyacinthe's to fetch them and bring them to Ysandre.

Ysandre wants to clear Phèdre's and Joscelin's names immediately, but Phèdre persuades her that to do so would be to reveal their hand too soon, and would let Isidore know that Ysandre knew of his betrayal. Ysandre instead places Phèdre, Joscelin, and Hyacinthe into royal custody.

The newly crowned Queen Ysandre de la Courcel is desperate, because she can only trust the few courtiers that she is sure aren't working for Melisande. As a solution, Ysandre makes Phèdre her ambassador to Alba and Eire, because without the support of Isidore d'Aiglemort's army, Terre d'Ange must have the support of Alban troops to defeat the Skaldi. Phèdre manages to do this by going through the Eiran Lords of the Dalriada, helping Drustan mab Necthana accomplish the deeds he must in order to bring his army to Terre d'Ange. The Black Boar is the symbol of Drustan's clan, thus, Elder Brother's requirement is fulfilled.

Mission to Alba

Ysandre decides to send Phèdre as her ambassador to Alba and Eire to convince the Dalriada to help Drustan reclaim his throne, so that Drustan can bring his army to Terre d'Ange to help Ysandre defeat the Skaldi. Phèdre agrees, if somewhat reluctantly, doubting her aptitude to serve in that capacity. Joscelin, loathe to leave her, swears his sword into Ysandre's service, becoming anathema to the Cassiline Brotherhood, and is allowed to accompany Phèdre to Alba.

In a demonstration of her benevolence, Ysandre secretly brings the marquist Robert Tielhard to Phèdre so that her marque may be completed before her journey, allowing her to leave as a truly free D'Angeline citizen. When Phèdre tries to kneel to her, Ysandre dismisses it, declaring them bed-cousins. In a tender moment, Ysandre asks to see the completed marque, and then explains to Phèdre the importance of honoring her betrothal to Drustan mab Necthana, describing herself as "bond-slave to the throne". Phèdre tells Ysandre the story of the marque, and why the Servants of Naamah bear it. Ysandre then also gives Phèdre the diary of her father Rolande, as much was written there about Phèdre's master Delaunay.

Hyacinthe comes up with the idea to transport Phèdre safely to Admiral Quintilius Rousse by traveling along the Tsingani routes that are unknown by D'Angelines. He disguises Phèdre as his cousin, a Tsingani prostitute's by-blow, and Joscelin as a "Mendacant", a traveling bard from Eisande. At the horse fair in Kusheth, Hyacinthe is reunited with his grandfather and extended family; being unanimously accepted as one of them. While at the horse fair, Phedre sees Melisande Shahrizai and becomes frozen with fear that she will be found. Hyacinthe uses the "dromonde" (a gift of fortune-telling held by the Tsingani) to assure her that Melisande will not see her. For this, Hyacinthe's family casts him out because only Tsingani women are supposed to use the "dromonde".

While traveling across Kusheth, the party is intercepted by Quincel de Morhban, the reigning Duc of Kusheth. In order to gain safe passage to Quintilius Rousse's fleet, without questions about their mission, Phèdre suggests a one night assignation with the Duc. This is accepted and the next morning they reach Rousse's fleet.

The Master of the Straits attempts to halt their passage to Alba, coming to them in a fierce storm as a face in the waves, and demands a toll. Remembering the story of Thelesis de Mornay, Phèdre pays their passage with one of the Skaldic hearth-songs taught to her by Hedwig Arnildsdottir.

The Master of the Straits lets them pass, and they come to the far western shore of Éire, where a delegation is waiting for them; Moiread, Drustan mab Necthana's younger sister, saw their coming in a prophetic dream.

In Alba & Eire

Phèdre and her companions are taken to meet the Dalriada. They enter the hall through the "Sun Door", a great honor as it is used for those of the second-highest in rank. Here Phèdre informs Drustan that the price of marrying Ysandre is helping her to secure her throne from invasion, and that the Master of the Straits will only allow the Albans to cross to Terre d'Ange after Drustan wins his own throne back. The joint Lords of the Dalriada, Grainne and Eamonn, greet the D'Angeline delegation and become part of the discussion on whether or not to go to war. Grainne wishes to give aid in restoring Drustan to his throne, but Eamonn does not consider that this is their fight, thinking that the D'Angelines bring only trouble. They are eventually reconciled only when Phèdre has sex with Grainne. As Eamonn can not stand Grainne having something he does not, he asks Phedre why she continues to refuse him. Phedre says to him that D'Angelines like strong men and not those that are afraid of battle. Eamonn then says he is not weak and will prove his courage by going to battle for Terre d'Ange.

In the ensueing battle, Phèdre spends it with Necthana and her daughters, with Joscelin as their guard. Unfortunately, this location proves to not be 100% safe as they are attacked by a small group and one of Necthana's daughters, Moiread, dies. After the battle is over, Phedre knights those of Quintilius Rousse's men that survived, bequeathing it to some twenty soldiers. That night, she sleeps with Hyacinthe, to comfort him over the sorrow of Moiread's death, and thus comes to understand the view of Naamah expressed by Balm House.

After the battle, Rousse tells Phedre's that he pledged to his men that all who survived the battle would be knighted and receive the title of "Chevalier". Phèdre keeps Rousse's pledge and, as the Queen's emissary, knights his men. These men see Phèdre as a charm of good luck and make her their personal symbol, calling themselves Phedre's Boys. On their march to the coast, they create a flag for themselves: a black flag with a ragged red circle in the middle and, inside the circle, a golden dart with point and fletching! They present this to her and begin chanting humorously bawdy marching songs. Phèdre is shocked and slightly embarrassed but announces to them all that, for those who survive, she will throw open the doors of the Night Court and have a party that none of them have ever seen!

The Master of the Straits' Puzzle

On their trek back across the straits to Terre d'Ange, the Master of the Straits accosts them one last time and exacts a terrible price: he needs an apprentice before the ships can leave. To determine who, he gives them a riddle to solve. Phèdre manages to solve it but before she can answer, Hyacinthe, uses the "dromonde" to get the answer, and upon saying it, must take the curse for the rest of his days. That night, Phèdre sleeps with Hyacinthe again as a last tribute to their friendship.

The Battle of Troyes-Le-Mont

They finally reach Terre d'Ange in the midst of battle with the Skaldi. They learn that the D'Angeline army is mostly holed up in the fortress of Troyes-le-Mont. Phèdre comes up with a plan to trap the Skaldi between the walls of the city and an advancing army. The forces of House Somerville, House Trevalion, and the Albans would not be enough, however. In order to break through the Skaldi lines, they will need more men. Phèdre achieves the impossible when they accidentally stumble upon Isidore d'Aiglemort’s traitorous forces. She tells d’Aiglemort about Melisande’s betrayal of him to Waldemar Selig, and that he will be a dead man no matter what. She offers him the choosing of the manner of his death, proposing that he regain his honor and die a hero by fighting for Terre d'Ange. d'Aiglemort vows to help the D'Angelines so that he can spite Melisande and kill Selig himself.

They plan to charge the Skaldi army the next morning and aim strait for Selig, because they know that if they kill the Skaldi leader, the fractious nature of the Skaldi tribes will prevail and the massive army will be broken. Knowing this plan will work most effectively and give the D'Angelines the greatest advantage if those inside the city know of it beforehand, Phèdre decides to make a suicidal attempt to sneak through the Skaldi lines and warn those on the battlements not to fire on Isidore's troops. Knowing that no one will let her sacrifice herself like this, she silently slips out of the Alban-D'Angeline camp in the dead of night. She manages to gain the wall and shout a message to be delivered to Ysandre before the Skaldi drag her down.

When Selig learns what she has done, he begins to skin her alive as a message to Ysandre; making a show of it outside of arrow-range. He is interrupted almost immediately, however, by Joscelin - who followed Phèdre from the camp - who challenges Selig to the holmgang. Selig agrees but as Joscelin realizes that even if he wins the fight they will not escape alive, he goes into the position of the "terminus" (the final act where a Cassiline kills himself and his ward at the exact same time). Upon seeing a rescue force leaving the fort, however, Joscelin quickly changes his mind and kills Phèdre's captor. The diversion of the holmgang gave the troops within the castle enough time to mount a rescue party for her and Joscelin, who are thereby rescued from assured death. They are brought inside by Barquiel L'Envers and Ysandre immediately brings a healer to Phèdre. Phèdre then informs her face-to-face that an army of seven thousand, half Albans and half Isidore's men, is approaching the city and will attack in the morning. She also assures Ysandre that Drustan is alive, has been crowned, and rides to war joyfully because he is riding towards her.

Phèdre watches the rest of the battle with Ysandre, looking out an arrow-slit on the battlement. She sees Isidore d'Aiglemort, not yet dead of the seventeen wounds he took in battle, charging for Waldemar Selig. He kills Selig and the battle is won, with the defeated Skaldi fleeing back to Skaldia.

After the battle, Phèdre is on the fields helping to comfort the wounded and give the wounded and dying water. She finds Isidore and gives him water before witnessing his death. Phèdre spends much of the next few weeks as Ysandre's personal aid, translating between Cruithne and Skaldi. She also writes letters for the Albans and Dalriada who are dying to send their kin home.

After the Battle

Soon after, the Duc de Morhban, brings Melisande Shahrizai, who has been sold out by her kinsmen Marmion and Persia Shahrizai, to the fortress in chains. Initially Melisande denies all the charges put against her, until Ysandre surprises her with Phèdre, who steps forward to accuse Melisande. She is convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed the next morning. Melisande requests for Phèdre to visit her in her cell during the night. In that conversation, she reveals that rather than allowing Selig to rule Terre d'Ange, she had every intention of seizing control of Skaldia. Phèdre leaves her and spends the night alone on the battlements of the city, only to discover later that Melisande somehow escaped her cell before daybreak. Ysandre interrogates everyone, even Phèdre, but then apologizes for casting any suspicion on her.

Ysandre clears Phèdre's name entirely, and bestows all of Anafiel Delaunay's estates onto her. Phèdre insists that the house in the City of Elua be sold, as she could not bear to live there after all that had happened. At this point, Phèdre officially becomes the Comtesse de Montrève, inheriting Delaunay's mother's estate in Siovale as well.

After the wedding of Ysandre and Drustan, Phèdre travels to Montrève with Joscelin and her three new retainers, the Chevaliers Remy, Ti-Philippe, and Fortun, the remnants of Phèdre's Boys. To help her accustom herself to country life, Cecile Lauveau-Perrin sends her Purnell Friote and his wife Richeline to be the estate's seneschals. After settling in, Phèdre and Joscelin travel to L'Arène to find Taavi and Danele; they return with Seth ben Yavin, a Yeshuite scholar who agrees to teach Phèdre the Habiru language, that she may find the secret to freeing Hyacinthe from his island.

Melisande's Challenge

Living a quiet life for several months on the estate of Montrève, an old friend of Delaunay's, Gonzago de Escabares, comes to visit from La Serenissima bearing an unkonwing gift from a mysterious woman in a tavern. The gift is opened and found to be Phèdre's sangoire cloak, which she had lost when Melisande sold her to the Skaldi. From this, Phèdre knows that Melisande has issured her a challenge to find her and must decide how to respond to this knowledge.

History in "Kushiel's Dart"


As noted above, the map of the world of Terre D'Ange is a map of Earth, with similar country borders, but which are renamed, generally with allusions to historical names/places.

::"For full text and geography of the world, see Places in Kushiel's Legacy.

Character Names

Phèdre no Delaunay: Phèdre is the name of the tragic main character from a play by French playwright Jean Racine. [cite web
last = Holcombe
first = John
title = Translating Racine
date = 2007
url = http://www.textetc.com/workshop/wt-racine-1.html
accessdate = 2007-08-02
] In the Kushiel’s Legacy series, it is referenced several times that Phèdre is “an ill-luck name,” and that she brings bad luck to many people she meets. This stems from the fact that Phèdre was a tragic character, so she has “bad luck.”

Melisande Shahrizai: Has two possible derivatives. Is a French form of Melissa, meaning "honeyed." The second derivative could be from the "old" German name Milucent, whose derivative is ‘Amalaswinth.’ It is composed of the Germanic elements ‘amal’ meaning ‘to work’ or ‘labor’ and ‘swinth,’ meaning ‘strength.’ Its combination, ‘to work for strength,’ is generally interpreted to mean ‘ambition.’ [cite web
last =
first =
title = Babynamesocean.com
date =
url = http://www.babynamesocean.com/german_names/meaning_of_Milucent.html
accessdate = 2007-08-02

Cinhil Ru: There are some references in the series to the Alban ruler who helped overthrow the Tiberians and drive them out of Alba. This is "possibly" a reference to Arthurian legend. One popular school of Arthurian legend runs that King Arthur was not a Roman king at all, but a native Breton king who actually drove the Romans from Britain and defended his people against barbarians (Saxons, Eirans). This idea has existed since the 12th century AD, when Geoffrey of Monmouth published his pseudo-history "Historia Regum Britanniae" (History of the Kings of Britain). It relates the tale of how the emperor of Rome demanded tribute from King Arthur, who refused and drove the Roman armies back to Rome. This theme also appears in books such as Marion Zimmer-Bradley's epic "The Mists of Avalon" and Rosalind Miles' Guenivere trilogy, as well as in the 2004 movie "King Arthur" (with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley).

Waldemar Selig: Culturally, Waldemar Selig and his tribes are similar to ancient Eastern barbarians. There are many parallels between Selig and the ancient "Scourge of God," Attila the Hun. Attila the Hun invaded Western Europe and was unstoppable until he was defeated and killed in Gaul (the medieval name for France, geographically parallel to Terre d'Ange). Although there is not much known about Attila, one common story involves his intended marriage to a woman named Honoria, who was the sister of the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Attila invaded Gaul to meet Honoria and marry her (comparison to Melisande Shahrizai). The first battle where Attila was defeated took place in Gaul, outside a town called Troyes. In "Kushiel's Dart", Selig was defeated at Troyes-le-Mont. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Attila, King of the Huns
work =
publisher =
date =
url = http://www.boglewood.com/timeline/attila.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-08


Adonai: A reference to the monotheistic God worshiped by Jews, Muslims, and Christians. "Adonai" is Hebrew for "God." In the Kushiel's Legacy series, most of the references to Adonai are closest to the Old Testament, Jewish interpretation of God. Likewise, many of the myths surrounding Him come from Jewish folklore.

Yeshua ben Yosef: The equivalent to Jesus, son of Joseph, son of God. Yeshua was executed by crucifixion by the Romans and is worshiped by his followers, the Yeshuites. Unlike medieval Christianity, the Yeshuites are more alike to Jews (locks of hair, black clothing, speaking in Habiru = Hebrew) and experience similar to treatment under the Roman Empire. Also like the Jews, the Yeshuites are generally ostracized throughout Europe, although they are not in Terre d'Ange.

Mary of Magdala: In Kushiel's Legacy, Mary is the human mother of Elua. D'Angeline myth says that Elua was conceived through the blood of Yeshua ben Yosef and the tears of the Magdalene. According to the Christian Bible, Mary Magdalene was one of the closest female friends of Jesus, and was the first to discover that he had been resurrected. Some suspect that Jesus and Mary were lovers and some even suggest they were married though both theories are discredited by the Roman Catholic Church. There was also a theory that a pregnant Mary fled the Romans and settled in southern Gaul. In pop culture this is referenced in the The Da Vinci Code.

Characters in "Kushiel's Dart"

Delaunay's household

*Phèdre nó Delaunay – Main protagonist
*Anafiel Delaunay – Noble, Phèdre and Alcuin's mentor
*Alcuin nó Delaunay – foster brother to Phèdre
*Joscelin Verreuil – a Cassiline Brother
*Guy – an expelled Cassiline Brother

Royal Family of Terre D'Ange

*Ganelon de la Courcel – King of Terre d'Ange
*Rolande de la Courcel – son of Ganelon de la Courcel, Dauphin
*Isabel L'Envers – wife of Rolande; Princess-Consort
*Ysandre de la Courcel– daughter of Rolande and Isabel, Dauphine

"See House Courcel."

Companions of Elua

*Elua – "The Misbegotten" son of Yeshua, the Magdalene, and Mother Earth
*Naamah – an angel
*Anael – an angel
*Cassiel – an angel
*Shemhazai – an angel
*Azza – an angel
*Kushiel – an angel
*Eisheth – an angel
*Camael – an angel

"See Elua and His Companions."


*Master of the Straits, – Controls the seas between Alba and Terre D'Ange
*Hyacinthe, son of Anasztaizia – a Tsingani, "The Prince of Travellers."
*Drustan mab Necthana – son of Necthana; Prince of the Picti
*Waldemar Selig – Skaldi warlord

Awards and nominations

"Kushiel's Dart" won the 2002 Locus Award for Best First Novel. [cite web
title = 2002 Locus Awards
publisher = The Locus Index to SF Awards
url = http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Locus2002.html
accessdate = 2006-12-28
] It was also nominated for the 2002 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. [cite web
title = 2002 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards
publisher = The Locus Index to SF Awards
url = http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Spectrum22002.html
accessdate = 2006-12-28


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