In Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey uses language to evoke the class and sophistication of the main character, Phedre, and her milieu. In describing Waldemar Selig, an enemy leader of barbarians, she writes:
He was handsome enough, for a Skaldi, was Waldemar Selig. Tall and hale, in his middle thirties, with eyes that thought in a strong-featured face. His hair was a tawny brown, bound with a gold fillet, his beard combed to two points, both twined with gold wire. He had a sensual mouth, for a warrior. For a Skaldi. But his eyes, they kept their own counsel.The elegant, lush language will appeal to readers who enjoy more literary fiction or evocative, immersive world-building.
One of the challenges of RA and considerations of language is the importance of avoiding phrases like "well written" "good writer" "good book." These can mean different things to different people, and, although one might think a reader who wants a well-written book is looking for an elegant use of language, the reader could just be interested in a fast-paced book that sucks him or her into the action or a well-developed, identifiable character.