I received my copy of Kushiel's Dart as a moving present of sorts and after glancing over the back cover I wasn't in any hurry to read it. Finally, for lack of anything better to do, I sat down and started reading the first book in Jacqueline Careys' Kushiel's Legacy series and I was pleasantly surprised.
The book is told through they eyes of Phedre, a young woman who is fated to find pleasure in pain. Initially labeled as 'flawed' because of the scarlet mote in her eye Phedre's flaw is discovered to be the mark of a God. The person who first recognizes this mark trains Phedre to be a skilled courtesan and spy in order to use her in his own deep game.
While the novel includes a variety of spicy love scenes with a BDSM flavor it doesn't rely on graphic love scenes to drive the story. The overall plot is well written with a great deal of political intrigue, romance, and a bit of mysticism. As a lover of romance and fantasy this novel combines the best aspects of both genres.