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|Country||United States of America|
|Followed by||Moirin Trilogy|
Kushiel's Legacy is a series of fantasy novels by Jacqueline Carey, comprising the Phèdre Trilogy and the Imriel Trilogy (called the "Treason's Heir" trilogy in the United Kingdom). Since the series features a fictional version of medieval Western Europe, it can be considered historical fantasy or alternate history.
Kushiel's Legacy consists of the following novels (with release dates). This is also the chronological order within the story.
- Phèdre Trilogy series follows the story of Phèdre nó Delaunay
- Imriel Trilogy series (UK title: Treason's Heir trilogy) follows the story of Imriel nó Montreve de la Courcel
- Moirin Trilogy series follows the story of Moirin of the Maghuin Dhonn, more than a century after the events of Kushiel's Mercy
It was mentioned that the names for Kushiel's Chosen and Kushiel's Avatar were initially to be Naamah's Servant and Elua's Child respectively. This was changed for continuity and branding. Similarly, the initial title of Naamah's Kiss had been Naamah's Gift, but was changed prior to publication.
There is a short story in the compendium Songs of Love and Death (2010), entitled "You and You Alone". It chronicles the story of Delaunay, Phedre's foster father and mentor, and his rocky lifelong love.
In the series, the Roman Empire (called the Tiberian Empire) had fallen due to internal conflict instead of the Barbarian Invasions and the Germanic peoples were kept at bay to the east of the Rhine (called Rhenus with its Latin name). Paul the Apostle did not live to form Christianity and followers of Jesus (called Yeshua ben Yosef) live as a sect of Messianic Judaism known as the Yeshuites. An offshoot from Yeshuites, led by a heretic claiming descent from Jesus and his companions named after Jewish angels, had made its foothold in Gaul after a long period of exile and persecution. Their creed based on apotheosis of early founders predominates in the country now known as Terre d'Ange.
Earth Begotten is a companion book to Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy fantasy series. It is essentially a prelude to the tales of Terre d'Ange and explores the mythology and origins of Blessed Elua and his seven angelic companions. Whilst the story is very short, fewer than 1500 words, it builds on references to Elua and His Companions throughout the series and elaborates on Elua's conception and ascension to the "true Terre d'Ange that lies beyond".
Earth Begotten was published in April, 2003 by Havilah Press. A strictly limited run of 50 copies was produced to ensure that the bound version remained a collector's item. The book is printed in silver ink on black paper in Centaur type. The pages were printed by hand using a Columbian hand press. The outer boards are veneered in wood that has been treated with silver pigment and lined with scarlet endpapers.
The main setting of Kushiel's Legacy is the country of Terre d'Ange, the "Land of the Angels". D'Angelines, as the citizens are called, are descended from Blessed Elua and his band of fallen angels. Elua was born when the blood of the crucified Yeshua ben Yosef, the son of the One God, mixed with the tears of the Magdalene and then was quickened by Mother Earth. Scorned by his grandfather, the One God, Elua wandered the Earth with eight companion angels. The eight were Naamah, Anael, Azza, Shemhazai, Camael, Cassiel, Eisheth, and Kushiel. After years of wandering, Elua and his companions settled in the land that would become Terre d'Ange. Elua espoused the precept "Love as thou wilt" and he and his companions inter-bred with the native populace, creating the D'Angeline people. Elua himself is a cross between Dionysus and a wandering fertility god associated with nature, love, and liberty.
Kushiel's Legacy is set about one thousand years after the time of Elua, and the D'Angeline people worship him and his eight companions as gods. They live by his precept, "Love as thou wilt," and, since Naamah sold her body at times to support Elua during their wanderings, consider prostitution to be a sacred service. This service is regulated by its own guild. Furthermore, to serve in the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers, composed of several Houses, each with their own interpretation of Naamah's reasons for prostituting herself, is regarded as the highest pinnacle in Naamah's Service.
Terre d'Ange is divided into seven provinces, each with a companion as its patron deity. Cassiel, who eschewed mortal love and never fully rejected the One God, is the only companion without a province. The Cassiline Brotherhood, however, follows the ways and philosophy of Cassiel and have a prominent role in d'Angeline society. Naamah (patron Goddess of the Night Court) is the patron of Namarre, Anael of L'Agnace, Azza of Azzalle, Shemhazai of Siovale, Camael of Camlach, Eisheth of Eisande, and Kushiel of Kusheth.
The royal House Courcel rules Terre D'Ange from the City of Elua in L'Agnace. At the beginning of the series relations are generally good with Terre d'Ange's neighboring countries of Aragonia, Caerdicca Unitas, and distant Khebbel-im-Akkad. Skaldia, however, has long sought to conquer the D'Angelines. They also have good relations with Alba and Eire though scarce given the impact of the Master of the Straits.
The heroine of the first three installments of the series is anguissette Phèdre nó Delaunay, whose unique talents lead her to save her nation from several terrible fates. The second trilogy of the series follows Imriel nó Montrève de la Courcel, Phèdre's adopted son and Prince of Terre d'Ange in his quest to manhood. The third trilogy within the Kushiel Universe follows Moirin, a half-d'Angeline and half-Alban descendant of House Courcel, approximately 100 years after Kushiel's Legacy.
Major characters in Kushiel's Dart
- Phèdre nó Delaunay
- the heroine of the first trilogy, an anguissette.
- Anafiel Delaunay
- Phèdre's mentor and foster father.
- Alcuin nó Delaunay
- Phèdre's foster brother.
- Joscelin Verreuil
- Phèdre's Cassiline bodyguard.
- a Tsingano, Phèdre's longtime friend.
- Melisande Shahrizai
- a D'Angeline noblewoman.
- Ysandre de la Courcel
- queen of Terre d'Ange.
- Drustan mab Necthana
- Curach ruler of Alba.
- Waldemar Selig
- leader of Skaldia.
- Calantia is one of the children with whom Phèdre was reared; she went to foster at Orchis House.
- Cecilie Laveau-Perrin is a former adept of the House.
- Donatien is a boy whose marque was bought by Cereus House. Donatien was reared in Mandrake House and retains a great fear of the place and its adepts. He served at the Midwinter Masque with Phèdre.
- Ellyn is one of the children with whom Phèdre was reared, noted for being tender-hearted. She served at the Midwinter Masque with Phèdre.
- Etienne is one of the children with whom Phèdre was reared, half-brother to Ellyn. Etienne was too young to attend the Midwinter Masque the year Phèdre and Ellyn served at it.
- Jacanth is a boy whose marque was bought by Cereus House. He served at the Midwinter Masque with Phèdre.
- Jareth Moran is the Second to Dowayne Miriam Bouscerve when Phèdre first arrives at the House, and becomes Dowayne upon her death.
- Juliette is one of the children with whom Phèdre was reared; her marque was bought by Dahlia House.
- Miriam Bouscevre is the Dowayne of the House when Phèdre first arrives: elderly, with white hair and grey eyes.
- Phèdre nó Delaunay was fostered in Cereus until her tenth birthday.
- Suriah is an adept of the House who portrayed the Winter Queen at a Midwinter Masque in her youth, and became Second to Jareth Moran later in life.
- Japheth nó Eglantine-Vardennes is a former adept who has become a premier playwright; his play Passion of Naamah is chosen to be performed for King Ganelon.
- Favrielle nó Eglantine is an adept who had a fall just before her debut that left her scarred (some say this was not an accident). She is a clothier, and she designs Phedre's costume for her re-introduction into the Service of Naamah. Phedre ends up paying Favrielle's marque, so that she can set up as a clothier in her own right, instead of being forced to work off her marque in servitude to Eglantine House.
- Raphael Murain nó Gentian is the adept who aided Phèdre nó Delaunay in understanding the meaning of her dreams, which understanding prompted Phèdre to seek Melisande Shahrizai in La Serenissima, in Kushiel's Chosen. Raphael later became a priest at the Great Temple of Naamah in the City of Elua, who gives Imriel nó Montreve de la Courcel Namaah's blessing in Kushiel's Justice.
- Liliane de Souverain was an adept of Jasmine House before wedding (without the blessing of her House) and giving birth to Phèdre nó Delaunay. As Liliane had made her marque, she was free to do as she wished, but the child of an unsanctioned union was not treated as part of the House.
- Miriette nó Orchis is an adept who, after making her marque, sets up her own salon. When Phèdre and Alcuin serve Anafiel Delaunay in Naamah's honor, Mierette lies with Alcuin and soothes some of his strain about being dedicated to Naamah only for the love of his master, Anafiel Delaunay.
- Didier Vascon is the Second of Valerian House during Kushiel's Dart; by the events of Kushiel's Scion, he has become Dowayne.