It may be a tale built on love, the denial of love, tragedy, and revenge, but some funny moments do crop up in ''Kushiel's Justice'', mostly due to Imriel's phrasing. To whit:

* "Thus it was that my first real act as a Prince of Alba, a role I'd agreed to play for the purpose of fostering peace and prosperity, was to stage a cattle-raid on my nearest neighbour."
* (Coming on the heels of a relieved reunion after Imriel has been tramping through snowy forest, starving and alone, for weeks on end): "I have his head in a bag."
* Berlik, everyone agreed, must look immensely silly in his muslin cap.