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     Sarafiel Delaunay de Montrève 

Sarafiel Delaunay de Montrève

The mother of Anafiel Delaunay.

     Anafiel Delaunay de Montrève 

Anafiel Delaunay

"All knowledge is worth having."

Phèdre's mentor. Delaunay is a nobleman with a mysterious past and an important mission. He adopts Phèdre into his household, trains her, and uses her to spy on his enemies. Eventually it is revealed that Delaunay was once the consort of long-dead Prince Rolande. He swore a vow to protect Rolande's daughter Ysandre, the Dauphine. His choice to honor this vow leads to his death at the hands of Isidore d'Aiglemort's men, who botched their orders to watch him.

Tropes appying to Delaunay:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Delaunay shows his affection for Phèdre and Alcuin by stroking their hair.
  • All There in the Manual: His full backstory and relationship with Prince Rolande was revealed in a short story called "You, and You Alone."
  • Anyone Can Die: Did anyone see his death coming?
  • Badass Bookworm: Delaunay is both a scholar and a capable swordsman.
  • Batman Gambit: Uses these on several occasions, such as when he told Barquiel the identity of Isabel's poisoners, knowing he'd take revenge and thus remove them as threats.
  • Bury Your Gays: He and Alcuin die in the first third of Dart.
  • Character Death: Is murdered in his own home by D'Aiglemort's men in Dart.
  • The Chessmaster: Patiently works behind the scenes to protect Ysandre.
  • Declaration of Protection: He swore a vow to protect Ysandre and her claim to the throne of Terre D'Ange. He means to do everything he can to fulfill that promise.
  • Determinator: He will stop at nothing to fulfill his pledge to Rolande.
  • Devoted to You: Was completely devoted to Rolande, so much so that he refused to marry and ended up being disowned for it. His love for Rolande is what drives him to protect Ysandre and work to ensure her succession onto the throne.
  • Enemy Mine: He decides to make peace with Barquiel L'Envers, who's been his enemy for years, since they both have an interest in protecting Ysandre.
  • Fiery Redhead / Hot-Blooded: Very much so, in his youth. His rash decision to write the poem which labelled Isabel L'Envers a murderess (caused in part by grief and rage, as well as a sense of justice needing to be done) had drastic and bitter consequences for him, as his poetry is banned and burned and he gains the enmity of House L'Envers and House Courcel. It seems that this is partly why Rolande was so attracted to him.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: As befitting a Siovalese nobleman.
  • I Gave My Word: Delaunay is hell-bent on keeping his promise to Rolande and ensuring Ysandre's succession to the throne. Though many characters express doubt and disbelief at his determination to fulfill a dead man's wish, he still soldiers on.
  • I Have No Son!: Was disowned by his father when he refused to marry and have children. This is why he's known as Anafiel Delaunay instead of Anafiel de Montrève.
  • It's All My Fault: He is guilt-ridden after Guy's death, feeling like he should have done more to stop it and the events leading up to it.
  • Lover and Beloved: Alcuin and Delaunay are both mentor-protégée, and—eventually—lovers.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Between Delaunay, Rolande, and Isabel L'Envers, which ends tragically.
    • A second one occurs between himself, Alcuin and Phèdre—or at least, they think there is. He's largely unaware of it.
  • The Mentor: To Phèdre and Alcuin.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Dies during Dart.
  • Mysterious Past: Phèdre, Alcuin, and Hyacinthe spend a lot of time puzzling over Delaunay's past. Eventually they learn the truth. As Hyacinthe's mother predicted, they rue the day(s) when they find out who Delaunay really is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His poem implicating Isabel in Edmee's death wound up having huge reprecussions, both for Delaunay himself and for Ysandre, who had to grow up being labelled a "murderess's get."
  • Oblivious to Love: Delaunay—for all his perceptiveness—has no clue about Alcuin's feelings for him until Phèdre tells him of them.
  • Papa Wolf: Delaunay will do anything to protect those he loves, including Phèdre and Alcuin. At Baudoin's party, when two of Baudoin's men assault Phèdre he draws his sword at them and with a very dangerous look on his face reminds Baudoin that Phèdre and Alcuin are his invited guests, implying that there will be serious consequences if harm comes to either of them.
  • Parental Substitute/Like a Son to Me: Is this for Phèdre and Alcuin. Until they both fall in love with him, that is.
  • Sexy Mentor: Alcuin and Phèdre think so at any rate.
  • Red Is Heroic: Delaunay is described as having auburn hair. He has a very noble streak and thus ends up playing the hero in a lot of situations.
  • Second Love: Alcuin is his.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: He and Rolande, due to Isabel L'Envers' jealousy.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: See Enemy Mine example above.
  • Warrior Poet: He was one of the most skilled poets in Terre d'Ange, to the degree that the King's Poet thought he was better than her. He's also a capable warrior.
  • Wife Husbandry: Unintentional example. He adopts Phèdre and Alcuin and raises them, thinking they see him as a father figure. Instead they both fall in love with him.
  • Yaoi Guys: He has long-term relationships with Rolande and Alcuin.

    Alcuin nó Delaunay 

Alcuin nó Delaunay

Alcuin is Delaunay's other pupil, who, like Phèdre, he teaches to listen and observe and uses him to spy on his enemies. But unlike Phèdre, Alcuin hates working as a courtesan and does it all out of love for Delaunay. He and Delaunay become a couple once Alcuin has made his marque.

Tropes applying to Alcuin:

  • Bury Your Gays: Dies alongside Delaunay at the hands of Isidore d'Aiglemort's men.
  • Character Death: Alcuin is murdered in Delaunay's home by D'Aiglemort's men in Dart.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: His parents were killed during a Skaldi raid.
  • Doomed Hometown: His home village of Trefail was decimated by the Skaldi, just moments after Delaunay took him away from there.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Alcuin has male patrons as well as female.
  • First Guy Wins: Both of Delaunay's pupils are in love with him, but he adopted Alcuin first, as a very young child, and they end up together after Alcuin completes his marque.
  • Lover and Beloved: Alcuin and Delaunay are both mentor-protégée, and—eventually—lovers.
  • Love Triangle: Both Alcuin and Phèdre are in love with Delaunay. He wins.
  • May–December Romance: Alcuin and Delaunay.
  • Mystical White Hair: Played with. Alcuin has ivory-colored hair and—in-universe—this contributes to his otherworldly beauty. However, Alcuin doesn't actually have any mystic powers or origin, and the reader knows this.
  • Nice Guy: Alcuin is generally a nice person.
  • Pretty Boy: Even for a D'Angeline, Alcuin is startlingly beautiful.
  • Second Love: Is this for Delaunay.

     Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève

Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève

"That which yields is not always weak."

The heroine and narrator of the first three books, her most distinguishing feature is a scarlet mote in her left eye. Phèdre is sold into indentured servitude as a child and her bond is eventually purchased by Anafiel Delaunay. Delaunay recognizes what the scarlet mote in her eye means: Phèdre is an anguissette, one who is cursed to experience pain and pleasure as one. He teaches her how to listen and observe as well as the "arts of the bedchamber." Phèdre frequently uses her skills as both courtesan and spy to save Terre d'Ange from various deadly plots.

Tropes applying to Phèdre:

  • Action Girl: Has shades of this. Though Phèdre's talent is mainly in the bedroom and the spying game, she also has some ability in self-defense and tumbling. The Night Court taught her the former, and Delaunay taught her the latter. Delaunay also teaches her other skills, such as how to tread quietly and in the dark, which she uses to her advantage in various situations.
    • On the eve of the battle at Troyes-le-Monte, Phedre sneaks into the enemy's camp and climbs the battlements of the castle to warn the trapped people there of the coming battle.
    • After La Dolorosa falls under attack by Joscelin and the Yeshuites, Phedre manages to escape her cell by tricking the guard Fabron into coming close to her to sexually touch her and kneeing him in the balls while he does so.
  • Adult Fear
  • A Friend in Need: After Hyacinthe sacrifices his place in the world to become the next Master of the Straits, thus being put under a horrible geis, Phèdre is determined to help him break free of it, and does not stop until she finds a way to save him from his fate.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Apologises to the Markaghir for killing him with a hairpin in Darsanga. Though her apology comes after he's dead.
  • Attempted Rape: In Selig's steading, while she is going to farewell Gunter and his household Phèdre is almost raped by a group of Skaldi men. It's only thanks to Joscelin that it doesn't happen.
  • Babies Ever After: Subverted— Phèdre and Joscelin choose not to have children for fear of one of them inheriting Kushiel's Dart. They do raise Imriel, however.
  • Badass Adorable: She is incredibly attractive and seems meek and submissive to those who bed her. However, that doesn't mean that she's weak. It's something which her patrons and enemies are completely fooled by.
  • Badass Bookworm: Phèdre is of a very scholarly bent (largely because of Delaunay's influence) and dedicates a lot of her time to learning languages and reading scholarly books. Her motto (also Delaunay's) is 'All knowledge is worth having', which says a lot about her character.
  • Badass in Charge: She is Kushiel's Chosen, a hero of the realm. She is also the Comtesse of Montreve and in charge of an entire estate of people.
  • Badass in Distress: After discovering Melisande's treachery, both Phedre and Joscelin are drugged by her and sold into slavery among the Skaldi. They are unable to escape until months later, when they come to Selig's steading and are there almost alone during a stag hunt. Much later, Phedre is held captive in La Dolorosa (again, by Melisande) and only manages to escape from the prison by sheer luck.
    • In Mercy, she is put under the Carthaginians' spell like everyone in the city (except Imriel) and has to be saved from it by Imriel and Sidonie.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: When Phedre is held captive in La Dolorosa in Chosen, Melisande visits from time to time. When she does, Phedre is forced to wash don clean clothes.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Has one with Joscelin at Troyes-le-Monte, when she confesses her love for him and threatens never to say the words again if he doesn't go help his brother fend off the Skaldi who are attacking him.
  • Blessed with Suck / Cursed With Awesome: Depends on the situation. Phèdre has very conflicting feelings about being an anguissette. It makes her experience pain as pleasure, which sounds convenient on the surface, but can actually be very complicated. On the one hand, it means she's almost impossible to torture. On the other hand, Phèdre is sometimes frightened by her own needs and desires and doesn't like that she takes pleasure from pain, cruelty, and humiliation.
  • Body Guard Crush: Joscelin is hired to guard Phedre while she goes on assignations. When they first meet one of Phedre's first thoughts is that he is quite handsome.
  • Born Lucky: Averted, at least according to Phedre herself. She claims that she is unlucky because her parents gave her a cursed name.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to her a lot, largely during assignations.
  • Brains and Bondage: She's made of this trope.
  • Brainy Brunette: Phèdre is a very smart brunette. Justified, since she'd need to be, given her profession as a spy.
  • Bring News Back: Happens in Dart when Phèdre and Joscelin flee Skaldia in the dead of winter in order to warn Ysandre of the impending invasion. Also, Phèdre spends the entire second half of Chosen trying to warn Terre d'Ange of Melisande's plan to assassinate Ysandre.
  • Catchphrase: "Ah, Elua!"
  • Childhood Friends: With Hyacinthe, who is also her oldest friend.
  • The Chosen One: She is Kushiel's Chosen, something which certainly has its upsides and downsides. As frequently mentioned, the gods use their chosen hard, and Phedre is used hardest of all.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Waldemar Selig tries this on Phedre outside Troyes-le-Monte, in an attempt to get information out of her and send a huge message to Ysandre and the other D'Angeline nobility trapped inside the castle. He tries to skin Phedre alive. Though Phedre previously stated that she is impervious to torture, she notes that (like in this case) there are types of pain which she can't gain pleasure from.
  • Compelling Voice: A few times Kushiel has made his influence known through her. Generally simple things like getting people to stand down and listen. Also taken to the max when she learned the name of God. In Kushiel's Avatar, this occurs when Imriel is being tormented by Jolanta and her friends in the zenana (and right after having been raped, too). Phedre is so furious at them that she yells at them to stop, which they do, unsurprisingly.
  • The Conscience: To Melisande.
  • Cunning Linguist: Both meanings.
  • Daughter Of A Whore: Her mother was an adept of the Night Court, though she had already left to wed her one true love when she had Phedre. Though 'whore' is not entirely accurate, as Naamah's arts are considered sacred worship, many characters refer to Naamah's Servants as 'whores' (mostly foreigners who do not believe in Elua and his companions being gods). The Dowayne of Cereus House, however, says this trope almost word-for-word when Liliane gives away her daughter to her.
  • Determinator: Phedre never gives up during her quest to warn Ysandre of Melisande's treachery and the invasion that is coming, and also never gives up in trying to thwart Melisande's assassination of Ysandre. She also tries her hardest to rescue Melisande's son from his slavery, going to such levels which only the gods ask of her, and also never falters in her quest to free Hyacinthe from his Fate Worse than Death. Seeing everything she achieves during her trilogy through sheer stubbornness and force of will, clearly Phedre is the queen of determinators.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: Melisande gives her a sheer dress studded with diamonds and a matching collar with a diamond to wear when they attend the Midwinter Masque together.
  • Eastward Endeavor: Phedre journeys to the setting's equivalent of the Middle East to rescue Melisande's son from slavery, but comes to realize that it is central to her patron deities' ineffable plans for her. It becomes abundantly clear when she sees her Darkest Hour coming, tries to back out, and receives a vision of said deities withdrawing their favour if she doesn't carry on.
  • Ethical Slut: She has other lovers, such as Nicola, but Joscelin is okay with it now and he's still her official consort.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Has female patrons as well as male ones. This is perfectly normal in Terre d'Ange.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When Hugues meets Phedre in Kushiel's Avatar, he is surprised at how short she is. Phedre is annoyed at this, but Joscelin tells her that with all she has accomplished anyone who knows of her expects her to be over fifty feet tall.
  • Famed in Story: She becomes famous as a hero of the realm and one of the top courtesans in Terre d'Ange. One hundred years later, Moirin mac Fainche is very familiar with Phèdre's story.
  • Family of Choice: Instead of her parents (who abandoned her to be raised in the Night Court), Phedre's family consists of her mentor Delaunay, her foster-brother Alcuin, her consort Joscelin, Montreve's retainers and servants, and her foster-son, Imriel de la Courcel. And Hyacinthe, her oldest friend who is like a brother to her (though the relationship is not entirely platonic). Phedre doesn't even think much about her parents anymore; to her they are most likely dead.
  • The Fashionista: She does care quite a bit about clothing, and eventually becomes a fashion trendsetter.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With the women of the zenana and Imriel, during their time in Darsanga. Also Kazan and his pirates in Chosen, and Joscelin in Dart. Phedre makes a lot of friends when she is in dangerous situations and trying to find a solution and thwart Melisande's plans.
  • Friends with Benefits: Phèdre and Nicola L'Envers y Aragon are essentially this.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Phedre goes to Alba with Joscelin, Hyacinthe and Rousse and his men to gain the military help they need to defeat the Skaldi from the Albans and Dalriadans.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Phèdre may be a masochist, but it's telling that the most vividly written sex scenes are those with Joscelin who doesn't seem to care for rough sex or giving pain. Phèdre herself enjoys their caring passion even more than those she's experienced with anything else
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: She heals quickly and cleanly, an added bonus of being an anguissette. Most characters comment upon it throughout the course of the series with some surprise, given Phedre's profession.
  • High-Class Call Girl: She's one of the top courtesans in all of Terre d'Ange.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She's a kind person and will go out of her way to help those less fortunate, such as when she paid Favrielle's marque.
  • Hot-Blooded: Very much so as a child, though her experiences mellow her considerably later in her life.
  • I Have No Son!: After Phedre is taken in by Cereus House her family has nothing to do with her (as per the Dowayne's orders). Her mother essentially disowned her by taking up the Dowayne's offer. Since she was only four years old, Phedre is less affected by this than she might have been; it only cements her personal identity as a 'whore's unwanted get'.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Phèdre goes through a stage in Avatar when she wishes she were no longer Kushiel's Chosen. There are also other times in the books when she hates the fact that she's an anguissette.
  • Indentured Servitude: Was sold into indenture by her mother when she was four years old.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With the Rebbe in Chosen, Cecilie Laveau-Perrin, her cook Eugenie, Anafiel Delaunay, Master Gonzago D'Escarbares.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • She blames herself for Anafiel Delaunay and Alcuin's deaths, thinking that if she hadn't been stupid enough to give away Rousse's messenger to Melisande (or if she had simply told Delaunany about what had happened when she got back to the house) then it wouldn't have happened.
    • She also blames herself for Remy and Fortun's deaths, for a similar reason.
  • Lady in Red: Wears red dresses on several occasions, most notably at the Midwinter Masque in Chosen. There's also her sangoire cloak, made of a special shade of dark red that may only be worn by anguissettes.
  • Made a Slave: Sold to the Skaldi in Dart by Melisande, and to the Margkhagir in Drujan in Avatar.
  • Mama Bear: To Imriel. To the point where in Avatar, she offers herself in Imriel's place as a sacrifice after Imriel accidentally spills blood on the island of Kapporeth. To spill blood is death, and Phedre is completely willing to take Imriel's place in this if it means Imriel's survival. Also, in Justice, after discovering that Imriel had been wrongly arrested as a Tatar spy she chews out both the captain of the guard in Tarkov and Micah ben Ximon (Micah for not sending a man with proof of Imriel's innocence from the battlefield; the captain for making the mistake of arresting Imriel in the first place. It's clear to everyone involved that you do not mess with the people Phedre cares about, least of all Imriel.
  • Meaningful Name: Phèdre mentions that hers is an "ill-luck" name but says her parents were likely unaware of this connotation.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Many of her sex scenes definitely qualify as fanservice. Justified, since she's a Servant of Naamah—it's basically her job to be like this.
  • Official Couple: With Joscelin.
  • Omniglot: Learns many languages over the course of the series, many of them drilled into her by Delaunay. She has a talent for them and often picks them up quickly. So far, she is proficient in Skaldi, Cruithne, Eiran, Caerdicci, Zenyan and Habiru, gets along alright in Aragonian and manages to pick up Je'bez and Vralian as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: When Phedre is four years old, her parents sell her into indentured servitude because they're broke.
  • Parental Substitute: Is one to Imriel.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Wears a lot of these, usually to an assignation or at the Midwinter Masque.
  • Rags to Riches: She starts out as a "whore's unwanted get" and ends up the Comtesse de Montrève.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Less so on the covers, but she describes herself as this in the books proper.
  • Really Gets Around: In the first book alone, Phèdre has sex with: Childric d'Essoms, Pepin Lachet, Solaine Belfours, probably some other patrons, Jean-Louis (an adept at Baudoin's birthday), Baudoin de Trevalion, Rogier Clavel, Melisande Shahrizai, Joscelin Verreuil, Quincel de Morhban, Grainne mac Conor, Eamonn mac Conor, and Hyacinthe. It causes Imriel no small amount of angst when he realizes she's slept with quite a few really important people, including a decent chunk of the D'Angeline aristocracy. Curiously, Phèdre tends towards monogamy when Kushiel grants her peace.
  • Sex for Services: Phèdre offers herself to the Duc de Morhban in exchange for passage across his lands.
  • Sex Is Violence: She craves this due to her nature as an anguissette, but can enjoy sex that doesn't involve pain.
  • Sex Slave: Is sold as a sex slave to the Skaldi and the Mahrkagir. Melisande also wants to keep her as one.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: To show off her marque.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: At the Allthing, Gunter orders his women to clean up Phedre nicely so that she can be presented to Selig as a gift.
    • Every time Phedre dresses for the Midwinter Masque at the palace everyone in her household is awed by how beautiful she looks in her costume.
  • Slave Collar: Melisande puts a leash and collar on Phèdre when they spend the Longest Night together.
  • Starting a New Life: Phedre is abandoned by her parents as a small child to be raised in the Night Court. Years later her bond is sold to Anafiel Delaunay, causing her life to take a very drastic turn as she is taught the arts of the bedchamber and covertsy by her mentor and slowly grows into her full potential as Kushiel's Chosen.
    • At the end of Dart she becomes the Comtess de Montrève, Delaunay having named her as one of his heirs in his will, and the previous Comte having had no heirs to succeed him after his death.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: She says in Dart that she cannot be forced to reveal secrets through torture. This is proven true when Waldemar Selig tries skinning her alive to make her talk.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Phedre makes a habit of keeping small items as keepsakes, to force herself to remember certain events.
  • True Companions: In Dart, with Alcuin and Hyacinthe (and later Joscelin). In Chosen with Remy, Fortun, Ti-Philippe and Joscelin. In Avatar with Joscelin and Ti-Philippe, and later the women of the zenana. And in the second trilogy with Joscelin, Imriel, Ti-Philippe and Hugues (as well as others in the Montreve household).
  • Unwitting Pawn: On Phedre's Longest Night assignation, Melisande parades her around in front of all the peers of Kusheth to find out which one of them is allied with Delauanay. She later tricks Phedre into telling her that Delaunay is waiting for a message from Quintilius Rousse. Phedre is unaware that she is being used until the day Delaunay and is household are murdered and Melisande reveals her treachery to her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Does this to the Yeshuites at Camlach after they provoke an unnecessary fight against the Unforgiven which kills three of their people. If they had agreed to come in for questioning and told the Unforgiven the truth of why they were trying to go north into Skaldia, none of it would have happened.
  • Whip It Good: She frequently gets whipped during assignations.

     Joscelin Verreuil 

Joscelin Verreuil

"In Cassiel's name, I protect and serve."

Joscelin is a member of the Cassiline Brotherhood, a celibate order of warrior-priests, who is hired by Delaunay to protect Phèdre on her assignations. At first Joscelin is very prudish and uptight, but he gradually relaxes. He and Phèdre dislike each other initially, but they eventually fall in love. He is one of the most skilled and dangerous warriors in the series.

Tropes applying to Joscelin:

  • Adult Fear:
    • After storming out of their house in La Serenissima with no intent of returning, Joscelin hears news that Phedre, Remy and Fortun have gone missing at the Little Court. He understandably freaks, and after Ti-Philippe joins them they set out to find and rescue Phedre. They try to take La Dolorosa, where Phedre is imprisoned, but in the attempt Phedre falls off the cliff and into the sea (which has very strong currents) and is presumed dead. Joscelin majorly freaks out at the thought that his rescue attempt accidentally got Phedre killed.
    • He also has to endure Phedre being raped and abused in Darsanga by the Markaghir, while being unable to do a thing about it.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Has this in Chosen toward Phedre after she sneaks out of the townhouse by herself without anyone in the household knowing to rededicate herself to Naamah.
  • Babies Ever After: Subverted— Phedre and Joscelin choose not to have children for fear of one of them inheriting Kushiel's Dart. They do raise Imriel, however.
  • Berserk Button: Do not, DO NOT try to harm Phèdre near him. Imriel's also off limits.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He along with Phedre and the other D'Angelines bring the Alban army to Terre D'Ange to aid the D'Angeline army in expelling the invading Skaldi from the land.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Phedre gives him one on the battlements of Troyes-le-Monte, after he sees his brother surrounded by Skaldi and is debating whether or not to help him. It's followed by a profession of Phedre's love for him and a threat to never say those words again to him if he chooses his vow over his brother's life.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: His relationship with Phèdre.
  • Badass Creed: "In Cassiel's name, I protect and serve."
  • Character Development: Starts off the series as very proud and believing wholly in the Cassiline view of Elua's Companions, feeling disgust at Phedre's profession and resentment at having to guard a Servant of Naamah as she goes on assignations. However, during his and Phedre's captivity in Skaldia he experiences things which no other Cassiline had ever endured, and is forced to break all his vows except one to protect Phedre. He becomes humbler during this time, especially after having the sense knocked back into him by Phedre in Selig's steading, and finds himself falling in love with her. Because of his broken vows Joscelin is ordered by the Prefect not to accompany Phedre to Alba, but Joscelin out of love for Phedre decides to leave the Cassiline Brotherhood and go into Ysandre's service so that he can go to Alba and protect Phedre. He doesn't do it lightly and is hurt when the Prefect declares him anathema, though he gets over it eventually. At first he fully believes in the Cassiline Brotherhood's beliefs, but over the course of the first trilogy (especially in the second book) his views change about Phedre's way of life and the ways of Elua and his Companions in general. In Chosen, he is unable to live with becoming Phedre's consort because of his beliefs and his guilt over his broken vows, and acts as a regular guardsman to her instead. However, after Phedre's disappearance in the Little Court Joscelin realises that he can't stand to live without Phedre more than he can't stand to live with her, and ends up agreeing to become Phedre's consort after all. The experience in Chosen also makes him more open and accepting about Phedre's lifestyle and less rigid in his own beliefs. In Avatar, he admits to Phedre that now he believes in the heretical belief the Brotherhood rejects: that Cassiel followed Elua "not out of divine love, but just love".
  • Celibate Hero: Is this until his first time with Phèdre.
  • The Comically Serious: Since he's a Cassiline, he's trained to look unassuming and stoic. This is played for laughs in some instances, such as in Kushiel's Avatar, when Imriel recognises him as a Cassiline due to the constantly serious expression on Joscelin's face.
  • Cool Uncle: Is this to his nieces and nephews, who think it very awesome that they have a hero of the realm for an uncle.
  • Declaration of Protection: He vows to protect Phèdre. He never, ever breaks that vow.
  • Determinator: In whichever book, he never breaks his vow to protect Phedre, and even follows her into Darsanga so that it will be kept.
  • Duel to the Death: With David de Rocaille in Chosen. It becomes known as the Cassilines' Duel. He also challenges Waldemar Selig to the holmgang before the walls of Troyes-le-Mont. Subversion in that he only did it to provide a distraction so he could mercifully end his and Phedre's lives.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In-universe inversion: the Skaldi men think he's a pretty boy and not a real man because he doesn't have a beard, but the Skaldi women certainly find him attractive.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Phedre after their time in Skaldia (though their friendship blossoms into something more), and later Ti-Philippe, who he had disliked a little because of their contrasting personalities. While working together after Phedre's disappearance in the Little Court, Joscelin sees a different side to Philippe and begins to like him more. He admits to Phedre later that he owes much to Philippe, who organised their retreat from La Dolorosa and remained steady and reliable while Joscelin was nearly catatonic about what happened to Phedre.
  • Friend to All Children: He is very good at handling children, due to his childhood in Verreuil. Children actually seem to like him, despite him being a Cassiline warrior-priest, which is something Phedre can't understand since adults are smart enough to be wary of him because of it.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Phèdre does this to him when they're enslaved in Skaldia.
  • Heroic BSoD: Being sold as a slave to the Skaldi nearly kills him, until Phèdre snaps him out of it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Especially in Dart. He gradually relaxes, though.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Joscelin is about to kill himself and Phèdre to save them from Waldemar Selig when Barquiel L'Envers charges in at the last minute to rescue them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is this in the beginning of Phedre's trilogy. Though generally having a good heart, he is very arrogant and proud and rigid in his Cassiline beliefs, looking down on Phedre for being a Servant of Naamah and enjoying her assignations. By Avatar, after undergoing much needed Character Development he's become a Nice Guy, however.
  • Just a Kid: Since d'Angeline blood doesn't allow for facial hair, Skaldi men dismiss him as a still-maturing boy. They grow out of it when he kills a seasoned warrior in a honor duel.
  • Knife Nut: He typically fights with a pair of daggers. Cassiline Brothers are only supposed to draw their swords to kill.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When he gets his sword out, especially if Phèdre is in danger. The same is true of all Cassilines.
  • Like a Son to Me: He views Imriel as this, even when ensnared in Carthage's spell.
  • Made a Slave: Is sold to the Skaldi as a slave alongside Phedre in Dart.
  • Master Swordsman: Though he relies primarily on his daggers and only draws his sword to kill.
  • Mercy Kill: He comes to do this for Phèdre when Selig is skinning her alive. Fortunately, he doesn't need to go through with it.
    • Phedre also believes thatr he is about to perform the terminus in Chosen, when their group is confronting the Yeshuites and the Unforgiven at Camlach. She never finds out for certain if it really was the terminus however.
    • In Mercy he promises to deliver one to Ysandre if L'Envers and Alais take the City of Elua.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Many women in the series find him attractive, including quite a few of the women in Gunter's steading. Has plenty of fangirls in the fandom as well.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: At first, Joscelin is disgusted by what Phèdre's chosen occupation. They nearly break up when she decides to resume working as a courtesan. However, he comes to terms with it eventually.
  • No Accounting for Taste:
    • How most D'Angelines see Phèdre's relationship with him. Phedre and Joscelin do not care.
    • Conversely, this is how he feels about Phèdre's attraction to Melisande.
  • Official Couple: With Phèdre, eventually.
  • Parental Substitute: Is one to Imriel.
  • Pretty Boy: Nothing surprising since he's a d'Angeline. It's a little bit deconstructed when he and Phedre are slaves to the Skaldi, because the warriors are unable to take seriously a smooth-faced youth as a fighter rather than window-dressing. Someone even threatens to undress him to confirm he's actually male rather than a Sweet Polly Oliver.
  • Pride: Is very proud when he's first introduced in Dart. His experiences in Skaldia manage to make him humbler though, and by the end of Chosen he's become a Humble Hero.
  • Starting a New Life: Starts a new life with Phedre at Montreve after she becomes a peer of the realm.
  • The Stoic: One of his trademark characteristics, and one he was trained into by the Cassiline Brotherhood. A lot of people recognise him as a Cassiline partly because of how serious he looks a lot of the time.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Happens to him in Skaldia. Joscelin is forced to go to lengths other Cassilines haven't, such as murdering a man in cold blood, so he and Phedre can escape. Phedre notes later on that Joscelin looks more dangerous then the other Cassilines, since he's had to fight for his life more than they have.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Phèdre, especially after Chosen. He willingly followed her into Drujan when nobody else would.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: It gets pretty thick between him and Phèdre, but then it gets resolved.
  • Warrior Monk: All Cassiline Brothers are basically this.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Gets seasick ridiculously easily.
  • You Are Worth Hell: He goes into Darsanga, the Kushielverse's equivalent of hell on earth, for Phèdre.

     Imriel no Montreve de la Courcel 
See the House Courcel page.


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