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Barquiel L'Envers
Barquiel by tiamat[1]


Barquiel L'Envers, Duc L'Envers


D'Angeline (Namarrese)

Hair Color


Eye Color

Dark Violet


Isabel L'Envers


Valère L'Envers


3 grandsons


Ysandre de la Courcel


Nicola L'Envers y Aragon


House L'Envers

First Appearance

Kushiel's Dart Chapter 30

Barquiel L'Envers is the Duc of Namarre and the older brother of Isabel L'Envers. Ysandre de la Courcel is his niece.


Barquiel is tall, slender and long-limbed. Like most of his house, he has deep violet eyes. His hair is white-blond and he keeps it cut short, which is very unusual for a D'Angeline man. He has pale skin. He also has a scar on his chin, which he got in Khebbel-im-Akkad. He developed a fondness for Akkadian clothing while there and wears it several times throughout the series. He is frequently seen wearing a burnouse.


Barquiel appears in all six books. He is also in the short story "You, and You Alone."

Early Life[]

Barquiel was a companion of Prince Rolande during his youth. He accompanied the prince to Tiberium where he met Anafiel Delaunay. He witnessed the beginning of Delaunay and Rolande's relationship. He later returned to Terre d'Ange and fought beside Rolande on the Skaldi border. He also fought in Battle of Three Princes.

After Delaunay wrote his poem blaming Isabel for the death of Edmée de Rocaille, Barquiel was furious. While he was certainly no friend to Delaunay before, this made them bitter enemies. Following Isabel's murder, Barquiel sought to find who was responsible, but was only able to determine that it was one of the Stregazza.

In Kushiel's Dart[]

Some time before the main events of Kushiel's Dart, Barquiel decided that it was to his, and his house's, advantage to make alliances with foreign powers. He arranged a match between his cousin Nicola and [[Ramiro Zornín y de Aragon]], brother to the King of Aragonia. He also got himself appointed Ambassador to Khebbel-im-Akkad, possibly with Childric d'Essoms's assistance.

Barquiel remained in Khebbel-im-Akkad for around two years. His daughter Valère accompanied him. While there, he succeeded in negotiating an alliance between Khebbel-im-Akkad and Terre d'Ange. The Khalif grew fond of him and gave him lands, horses and men of his own. He also succeeded in organizing a match between Valère and Sinaddan-Shamabarsin, the Khalif's son. While there, Barquiel adopted numerous Akkadian trappings, such as pillows, carpets, horses and burnouses.

When Barquiel learned of Lyonette and Baudoin's treason, he petitioned Ganelon to allow him to return home after Valère's wedding. His petition was accepted and he returned to Terre d'Ange. In the meantime, Delaunay very much wanted to gain an audience with Barquiel so that he could make an alliance with him for Ysandre's sake. He had Phèdre nó Delaunay ask d'Essoms to tell Barquiel that Delaunay knew who killed Isabel. Barquiel agreed to see Delaunay, but insisted that Phèdre and Alcuin nó Delaunay accompany him. During the meeting Alcuin told Barquiel that Dominic and Therese Stregazza poisoned Isabel. Barquiel and Delaunay eventually reached an agreement. He wasted no time in seeking justice and vengeance for his sister. When it became clear that Dominic would weasel out of any attempts to bring him to justice, Barquiel sent his Akkadian guard to assassinate him.

Following Delaunay's death, the common story was that Barquiel paid Phèdre and Joscelin Verreuil to break their allegiance to Delaunay and let his Akkadian guard into the house to kill him. No charges were ever brought against him, though Phèdre and Joscelin were tried in absentia. Barquiel was among the trusted lords Ysandre invited to her secret council to discuss the Skaldi invasion. He thought Ysandre was foolish to honor her betrothal with Drustan, thinking it made little political sense, but did not stop her.

When the invasion began, Barquiel was one of the supreme commanders of the D'Angeline forces. He utilized Akkadian tactics against the Skaldi, attacking them with light cavalry armed with short bows. His men abruptly changed direction during their charge and turned to shoot arrows at the Skaldi. These tactics were very effective, but not enough to win the battle. Barquiel and his men retreated to Troyes-le-Mont with the rest of the D'Angeline Army.

Later Barquiel charged out of the fortress, accompanied by some of his Akkadian-trained men, to rescue Phèdre and Joscelin from Waldemar Selig. He helped plan the counterattack at Troyes-le-Mont and fought in the final battle there. After the Skaldi were defeated, he was present at Melisande Shahrizai's trial and condemned her along with the others.

In Kushiel's Chosen[]

After Melisande's escape, Barquiel made it his priority to find her. He summoned Nicola home from Aragonia so that she might help him find out who released her. Their cover story was that Nicola was thinking of divorcing her husband. Barquiel's primary suspects were Marmion Shahrizai and Phèdre. Nicola slept with Marmion and reported back to Barquiel on what she'd learned. She also took an assignation with Phèdre at his urging.

Nicola became convinced that Phèdre was innocent and tried to convince Barquiel of this. Her attempt was unsuccessful. She also failed to convince Phèdre to trust him. At a fete hosted by Nicola, Barquiel gave Phèdre a tip regarding the Unforgiven in exchange for information on Marmion. Shortly after this, Barquiel obtained proof that Marmion was responsible for his sister's death. He arrested him and brought him to the City of Elua to be tried.

After this, Nicola continued her efforts to make Barquiel and Phèdre trust each other. When they failed, she told Phèdre the L'Envers password before her departure for La Serenissima. In the meantime, Barquiel continued to search for Melisande without success. When Ysandre departed on the progressus, she named him Regent. Unbeknownst to him, Percy de Somerville turned traitor and was plotting with Melisande and Prince Benedicte to kill him. Barquiel's death was necessary if their scheme was to be successful.

Fortunately, Phèdre sent Barquiel a letter from Kriti, bidding him to hold the City of Elua "by the burning river." Barquiel acted as soon as he received the message, sending for his own men from Namarre and setting spies on Champs-le-Guerre. As soon as the Royal Army began to move, they raced back to the City and the gates were closed. Word soon reached the City of Ysandre's "death." Despite this terrible news, Barquiel managed to maintain order and control in the City. When Percy and the Royal Army surrounded it, he remained defiant and prepared for battle.

Barquiel held the City successfully until Ysandre's arrival with the Unforgiven. He greeted them at the gates, welcoming Ysandre and acknowledging Phèdre's contribution. He was named Royal Commander after Percy's treason and subsequent execution. During the fete held to honor Phèdre, Barquiel sat across from her. Having realized he'd misjudged her, he asked her to dance as a way of putting their quarrels to rest.

In Kushiel's Avatar[]

Barquiel continued to serve as Royal Commander during the ten years between Chosen and Avatar. He used his resources to search for Imriel in many places, but failed to find him. When Phèdre and Joscelin began their search, they immediately suspected Barquiel might've been responsible for the boy's disappearance. They questioned him. Barquiel informed them that he had nothing to do with it, but he wouldn't be sad to hear if Imriel was dead.

It is possible that Barquiel asked Valère to assassinate Imriel while he was in Khebbel-im-Akkad, but it is unknown if he did or not. He was not pleased to see that Imriel had been found, in any case. He believed that Ysandre's desire to unite House Courcel by bringing him into the family was weak and foolish.

He attended Phèdre's fete for Hyacinthe.

In Kushiel's Scion[]

Although Imriel was being fostered by Phèdre and Joscelin, Barquiel remained deeply suspicious of him. These suspicions only increased when he learned of Melisande's escape from the temple of Asherat. Barquiel was convinced that Imriel was part of his mother's schemes and planned to court Alais when she was old enough. He resented the fact that Imriel was welcomed at Court. During this time he took on Maslin de Lombelon as a protege. As soon as Barquiel knew of the proposed marriage between Imriel and Dorelei mab Breidaia, he concocted a scheme to convince Imriel to accept it. He paid a man to frame Imriel for treason. Phèdre discovered that he was behind the scheme and confronted Ysandre about it. Ysandre had Barquiel step down as Royal Commander, but protected him by keeping his role in it a secret.

In Kushiel's Justice[]

Barquiel continued to dislike Imriel immensely in Kushiel's Justice. As soon as he discovered Imriel and Sidonie's affair, he rode nonstop from his estate in Namarre to the Shahrizai hunting lodge to confront him. He threatened Imriel at swordpoint and insisted he fight despite being seriously injured. Eventually Ghislain no Trevalion and Maslin were able to calm him down. Sidonie confronted him and announced to everyone present that he framed Imriel for treason.

In Kushiel's Mercy[]

Barquiel began Kushiel's Mercy by leading the opposition to Imriel and Sidonie's relationship. He proposed a match between Sidonie and his youngest grandson, but Ysandre turned it down because the realm would never tolerate part-Akkadian heirs. He also paid a man to rant at Imriel during the Longest Night, reminding the crowd what Melisande had done. He was quite suspicious of Carthage's proposal and was one of only four members of Parliament who voted to reject it. Disgusted that the proposal had been accepted, Barquiel retreated to his estate in Namarre and was not present for the celestial marvel that put the spell over the City of Elua. When he returned, Imriel recalled that he'd not been in the City for the celestial marvel and decided to seek him out. When Barquiel realized that Imriel remembered his relationship with Sidonie, he agreed to speak to him. Imriel told him everything that happened. During the conversation he realized that Imriel did love Sidonie and did not seduce her in an attempt to take the throne. Barquiel agreed to help Imriel escape the City and get to Cythera.

With Imriel searching for the cure to Carthage's spells, Barquiel summoned Alais from Alba to rule while Ysandre was enchanted. He assembled a delegation in an attempt to convince Ysandre of the truth and keep her from attacking Aragonia. This failed, and Ysandre accused Barquiel and Alais of treason. After receiving Imriel's letter detailing how to undo the spells, Barquiel searched the City in an attempt to find the cursed emerald. Unfortunately his search was cut short by Ysandre exiling him and Alais from the City of Elua.

Barquiel and Alais retreated to the easily-defensible city of Turnone where they put together a shadow Parliament and began to gather an army. Barquiel also began serving as Alais's Royal Commander. Turnone became acknowledged as the new seat of rule and together Barquiel and Alais ran the country. Ysandre, who was convinced that they were both traitors, issued an ultimatum at the spring equinox: if they did not surrender by the next full moon, she would declare war on them and begin sacking villages.

When Imriel and Sidonie arrived in Turnone, Barquiel and Alais met with them and told them of Ysandre's threat. They decided to prepare for war if Imriel and Sidonie could not break the spell in time. During this time Barquiel and Imriel came to an understanding and he fully accepted Imriel at last. As soon as news reached them that the spell was broken, Barquiel and Alais traveled back to the City of Elua. They were welcomed warmly and a ceremony was held to honor them. Both of them received the Medal of Valor for serving Terre d'Ange in its time of need.

Barquiel attended Imriel and Sidonie's wedding. He wished them congratulations, a tremendous difference from his earlier feelings on the pairing. When their first child, Anielle, was born, Barquiel agreed to be her oath-sworn protector.


Barquiel L'Envers is a very taciturn man, with a sharp and sometimes cruel wit. He takes his duties as a general, uncle, father, and warrior very seriously. It is very difficult to gain his trust and respect, though once-gained it is not easily lost. He's not without honor though, respecting oaths and bonds like when Phèdre used the password of House L'Envers to marshal his aid in the second book. He's not above using more nefarious methods though for the greater good. He may not be the most beloved man in the series, but he has the respect of many.


Barquiel is married, though his wife is only mentioned once in canon. Phèdre describes her as a "strong woman in her own right."

Not much is known about Barquiel's relationship with Valère. She appears to have some resentment toward him for marrying her off to Sinaddan, though she agreed to the match. Regardless, she remains loyal to him and to her house

Barquiel is quite close to Ysandre and is very protective of her. With Rolande dead, he was a substitute father to her. He works throughout the series to protect her and secure her throne. Ysandre under Carthage's spell was extremely difficult for him to deal with. He mentions that dealing with Ysandre in that state broke his heart.

Over the course of Mercy, Barquiel grew very close to Alais. They'd not been close at all before. His relationship with Sidonie suffered due to his opposition to Imriel, but it was repaired once he accepted him.

Quotes by or about Barquiel[]

"Didn't you enjoy my largesse in the Khalif's court? I heard I sent you to Khebbel-im-Akkad after paying you to betray your master." -Barquiel, to Phèdre and Joscelin

"So don't assassinate the little bugger." -Barquiel, referring to Imriel

"Some great undying love affair that turned out to be." -Barquiel, on Imriel/Sidonie