Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey


10 Critic Reviews

No mere feminist novel, this is an assured and magnificent book that will appeal to both male and female readers.
-Publishers Weekly


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, Phédre nó 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 Phédre 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, Phédre 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.

Phédre nó 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.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


About Jacqueline Carey

See more books from this Author
Jacqueline Carey received B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College. She enjoys doing research on a wide variety of arcane topics, and an affinity for travel has taken her from Finland to China to date. She currently lives in west Michigan. Author website: jacquelinecarey.com; facebook.com/jacquelinecarey.author
Published March 15, 2002 by Tor Books. 934 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, History, Horror, Erotica, Romance. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Kushiel's Dart
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0



Superbly detailed, fascinatingly textured, and sometimes unbearably intense: a resonant, deeply satisfying, and altogether remarkable debut—but, emphatically, not for squeamish or judgmental readers.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly


No mere feminist novel, this is an assured and magnificent book that will appeal to both male and female readers.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

RT Book Reviews


This is a lavish alternate history paralleling medieval Europe, but with the addition of a new religion and detailed mythology.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart

All About Romance

Above average

Kusheil's Dart is a lot of things, but one thing it most certainly is not is bland.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart | See more reviews from All About Romance

Booklist Online

Above average

The tale blends Christianity and paganism with fascinating results, such as arguing, through deft treatment of alternative sexual practices, the sacred potential inherent in every sexual encounter.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart


on Mar 05 2011

It showed me that we never know what the ultimate journey of a book will be…and that there are powerful messages in the most unlikely of places.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart

SF Site


This is a really superior debut, integrating original themes, intelligent world-building, and skillful writing to an extent all too rare in today's fantasy market.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart


on Jun 01 2008

I find that Jacqueline Carey’s first novel is a wonderful and almost hypnotic reading experience.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart

The Zone


Recommended for a mature, non-judgmental audience, brilliantly presenting its non-standard notions of magic and morality.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart



Love, treachery, heartbreak and triumph, this novel has all the elements that make a book great.

Read Full Review of Kushiel's Dart

Reader Rating for Kushiel's Dart

An aggregated and normalized score based on 784 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review