I was introduced to the Kushiel’s Legacy series a few years ago by a friend. I fell absolutely in love with them. The books are vast worlds with equally amazing characters. I absolutely had to get around to this series and the characters I love in them. I decided to choose the main heroine of the first trilogy for this week’s crush, but she won’t be the last I feature in this series. I give you Phèdre, everyone!
Full name: Phèdre no Delaunay de Montrève
Age: Well… she ages in the books. She first appears at age 4.
Occupation: Anguissette, courtesan, spy
Who is She?
Phèdre is the main heroine in the first three of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Legacy series. She first appears in Kushiel’s Dart, followed by Kushiel’s Chosen and Kushiel’s Avatar. She makes appearances in the second trilogy. She was sold into indentured servitude when she was four by her parents. Her bond was bought by Anafiel Delaunay, who taught her to be a spy. She’s gone on many adventures and saved the kingdom she lives in many times. She is also an anguissette. This means she was marked by the angel Kushiel to endure pain and find pleasure in it.
- Phèdre has a crimson mote in her eye that marks her as Kushiel’s chosen.
- Phèdre is named for the tragic heroine in Greek mythology.
- Phèdre’s best friend growing up was a Tsingano (gypsy) named Hyacinthe. He taught her to pick locks.
- Phèdre can speak around ten languages.
- The marque (tattoo) on her back can only be worn by anguissettes.
Why So Crushworthy?
Mighty Kushiel of rod and weal/Late of the brazen portals/With blood-tipped dart, a wound unhealed/Pricks the eyes of chosen mortals
Jacqueline Carey really pulled out the stops when she created the world of Terre D’Ange and its heroine. Phèdre is just an amazing character. At first, I was a little dubious about her. A girl marked by a god to find pleasure in pain… sounded like a bad erotic novel. Oh, and she is trained to be a spy as well? There are hundreds of female spy characters. Yet, I feel like there is none like Phèdre. She has the brains and beauty of most female spies but she has so much more. Her loyalty to her loved ones is just amazing. She will literally do almost anything to protect or save them. She appears as a well-trained courtesan but in truth she is reckless and brave. She will throw herself into danger without a thought for herself. She follows the main tenet of her homeland, “Love as thou Wilt”.
I really like how unapologetic she is about herself. She knows who she is and has no shame for it. She was taught not to feel shame about love. She embodies the message of the book. Her romance with her one true love also endeared her to me. Joscelin and Phèdre are probably one of the most mismatched couples ever. She’s a courtesan and he’s a warrior priest sworn to celibacy. Phèdre says the gods probably laughed when they joined their hearts together. There were some points in the book where I didn’t like the things she did. Yet, the books show her learning from her mistakes and growing as a character. The books are written from her point of view and you can really see into the heart of Phèdre. She will always be on my list of literary crushes!