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Best quote from a novel
Oh my goddess, we have so many contenders for this post. I simply can’t list just one, unless I wanted to be funny. Contrary to my usual nature, I wish to share quotes that actually mean something to me.
So, from the very talented Jacqueline Carey and her quite astounding literary masterpiece, Kushiel‘s Legacy, my favourite quotes from the Phedre Trilogy.
We are all of these things […]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty…and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.
We pay for sins we do not remember, and seek to do a will we can scarce fathom. That is what it is, to be a god’s chosen.
It’s the same questions we ask of our existence, and the answer is always the same. The mystery lies not in the question nor the answer, but in the asking and answering themselves, over and over again, and the end is engendered in the beginning.
All knowledge is worth having.
That which yields is not always weak.
See what I mean when I say I can’t just choose one?
And I’m not even finished!
Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Phedre/Joscelin, Kushiel Series.
I would classify them as a romantic relationship between a sexual and asexual person. Yes, they make love, and yes, Joscelin enjoys it — but he’s still pretty asexual. You can be asexual and enjoy sex. It’s just…not necessary for life.
Sexual people (like Phedre, and the writer of this blog) need sex. It is a physical need. Phedre needs something a step further — she needs BDSM sex, because she’s an anguissette. (This is [part of] why she becomes Namaah’s Servant again in the second book, and why she continues to take patrons — only a few each year, but still — throughout most of the series.)
The two types can work out in a relationship, though it is difficult.* Phedre and Joscelin make it work, but not without difficulties (and a terrifying moment when you think they’re not going to make it). There is true, deep love and devotion in their relationship, however — the type of love that can only be forged under extreme hardship and duress (running for their lives in Skaldia, the millions of other things they go through). They are, for lack of a better term, “lovers in arms”, though neither one is in the military.
It is exactly the sort of relationship I cannot get enough of in literature and film (the type forged in duress/with undying devotion/etc, not necessarily the asexual nature of one or both of the parties, though that is awesome too).
*(Personally I’d never be able to make it work with an asexual person, but I’m a freak of nature with an abnormally high sex drive.)
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Ok, there’s a lot of kissing in the Kushiel Series. The series is pretty much porn, with hefty amounts of romance and mysticism thrown in (any wonder why I love it so much?), and it’s fantastically written.
Later on in the book, Joscelin and Phedre (and Imriel) are on their way to find the Name of God so Phedre can save Hyacinth from his fate. She and Joscelin are having issues in their relationship because of their experience in Daršanga. When Joscelin and Imriel are fishing, Joscelin catches a large fish and drops it at Phedre’s feet. Something changes in that moment, and Phedre steps right over the fish and kisses Joscelin full on the lips. They find a secluded area and make love, blessed by Elua as they find solace and healing in each other’s caresses.
It was a very sweet kiss.
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Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
The second book in the series, it’s the one where we get to see Phedre’s marque in full on the cover. The previous cover showed a profile shot of her, which had only part of the marque. (Also…I’m not too fond of her face in the first cover (and the third). They don’t fit with what my head came up with, and there’s a certain amount of cognitive dissonance there. In general I prefer when the main character’s faces are not depicted at all — or at least only partially — on book covers, because it leaves more to the imagination.)
As is probably well known, Carey’s Kushiel series has an entire fanbase who have gotten book-inspired tattoos, most notably the marque. The marque is a huge part of the series, and it was nice to see it shown on the bookcover.
(Also, awesome to see her Longest Night costume.)
The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
This one is harder to answer because I’ve read fewer books in the past year than I usually have. (Yes, you read that right.) Most of the books I’ve read have been non-fiction, which usually means that I haven’t actually finished them yet. And I have trouble picking a non-fiction book as the “best” that I’ve read, because that’s not how I measure their worth — I measure their worth in how USEFUL they are to me (also what KIND of useful — Silver RavenWolf’s books are good as doorstops or toilet paper, so are a lesser kind of useful than ones I’d actually get good knowledge out of…also SRW’s books could probably be classified as fiction, so I guess it’s sort of a moot point).
So. I haven’t read that many fiction books in the past year. That I can remember. I actually don’t really remember much from week to week.
Which means I’m choosing a book I just finished, because it’s fresh in my mind and it’s by one of my favorite authors. Kushiel’s Justice, by Jacqueline Carey.