Dear Madame Carey,
In a whirlwind effort, I consumed the 3rd book of KUSHIEL'S...it was
sweet torture since I carted it across the country with me a couple of
times, never having enough time all at once to really give it the
attention I knew it deserved. And it was well worth the wait.
I cried, quite a few times, tears plopping onto the pages and my
sniffling bringing stares of curiosity from the others in the
lunchroom. I also laughed out loud, just as often, which for some
reason unknown to me, garners more odd looks than tears.
And a blessedly happy ending! After following her adventures through
all 3 books, I was so afraid that Fate would do something unseemly and
untoward at the end, but I am ecstatically happy that after all of her
sacrifice, Phedre has at last been rewarded with the beautiful and
happy life she so truly deserves.
The moment she is approached by Elua and his companions being asked to
go into Drujan, my heart nearly stopped. And when they began to draw
away, it nearly broke. I cried with happiness at her and Jocelin's
reconciliation in the bathing pool out side of Saba.
I think what stirs me the most is that inclusion of spirituality in
the tale. I would ask from whence came your inspiration for this
pantheon? On many levels, I emphasize with Phedre...both in a sexual
and spiritual aspect, but mostly the spiritual. I have heard and seen
many things in my life and I recognize Phedre's visions as written by
someone who knows what she is talking about. I would like to know how
these individual voices came to be: Elua, Naamah, Kushiel, Cassiel,
Camael, Eisheth, Azza, Shemhazai...as well as the others,
Asherat-of-the-Sea, et. al.
I can really only thank you for giving your art to us and sharing this
This is beauty, plain and simple and I know my life and my imagination
are the richer for it.
I am still working to get my own fiction out, it deals with angels
(but in a manner much differently than does KUSHIEL'S) and having a
hard time finding the right agent, but onward, ever onward, else my
characters will whisper insistently in my ear until I am mad or dead.
You strike me as an author that knows exactly what I am speaking of.
But I have taken up much more of your time than I intended.
Before I babble too much more, I ask, if you have an ability, to
answer me about your spiritual proclivities and how these angels and
deities came to be in the pages of these marvelous books!
And again, thank you for your work. I know you must hear it daily, but
thank you. Your work has meant a lot to me on many levels.
May all that is light and good in this world (and others) bless you
and keep you.
p.s. As if it needs to be said, I am eagerly anticipating your newest endeavor!
Thanks very much for your thoughtful note! Kushiel's Avatar was the
most challenging of the three to write, and I'm glad you found it a
worth conclusion to the trilogy.
In answer to your query, there's no single source of inspiration for the
pantheon -- with the exception of Elua, who is my own creation, most
have roots in existing mythological figures, and I've had a lifelong
interest in mythology and spirituality. However, something I wanted to
do in the Kushiel books that one seldom finds in fantasy is to imbue my
theology with a sense of a living, breathing faith, one of real
significance to the mortal characters who inhabit it.
Exactly how that works is a mystery in the truest sense of the word!
I'm just glad it did. Best of luck in your own writing!
- Jacqueline Carey
She is just so very very cool. I sent a short note back thanking her for loving all of us so much. :)