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The book: The fourth in the series; if you have not read the others, I suggest you start with Sharing Knife: Beguilement!
Having finally arrived at the mouth of the Grey River, Fawn and Dag decide to visit, and maybe stay at, a nearby Lakewalker camp, so Dag can work on his big plans to help farmers. Lakewalkers opinions on this are divided, of course... Whether Fawn can find fulfillment in playing a minority wife, or if Dag can change old Lakewalker traditions; or if they have to take off again - read the book.

The writer: Lois McMaster Bujold has written both s.f. and fantasy; the Sharing Knife series is a fantasy overlay on early Mississippi travel/adventure.

My opinion: better than part three, I think, even if the book comes over as leisurely, rather internalized, in places... Not the best book to *start* reading Bujold with (for that, try an early Vorkosigan, or the Curse of Chalion); but still essential fare in this series, as it is the final volume, I think. It could go on, there are enough story threads to embroider on; but it feels like a satisfying conclusion, too. It is moderately easy going until, say, page 300, when Bujold lets rip with exciting action scenes again. But with a storyteller as good as Bujold you don't need speed to make it all interesting. She is very good at drawing you into the people, the relationships, the developments, and keep it interesting 9or even fascinating) on relaxed passages.
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on 28 August 2011
It took me 1 week to read this amayzing four books from Lois McMaster Bujold, the flowing and easy way of writing, the adventures of the leading caracters, the combining of cultures are nowadays a very actuall item. I really loved it.
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on 16 June 2010
Excellent, draws you into the story with no hesitation. Brings out the farmer/lakewalker interaction nicely. One of my favourite authors.
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on 1 July 2010
"A Lakewalker entrusted with protecting the populace from malices -- terrifying remnants of ancient magic -- Dag Redwing Hickory never expected to fall in love with Fawn Bluefield, the farmer girl he rescued. When they joined in marriage, defying their kin, they bridged the perilous split between their peoples. Now Dag's extraordinary maker abilities have grown -- along with his fears about who and what he is becoming, and his frustration with the disdain in which Lakewalker soldier-sorcerers are expected to hold their farmer neighbors.

Fawn and Dag's world is changing, and the traditional Lakewalker practices cannot continue to hold every malice at bay. At the end of their long journey home, the pair must at last answer the question they've grappled with for so long. When the old traditions fail disastrously, can their untried new ways stand against their world's deadliest foe?"
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on 7 February 2009
This is the fourth volume out of four. The whole set makes a very satisfying story arc, but you do need to read all four.

This may not be cheap, but as ever with Lois Bujold's books, it is well worth the money.

It's very difficult to summarise the whole story arc in a few sentences, but imagine a setting of 17th century technology America along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The settlers (farmers) are menaced by ancient magical 'malices' who eat their essences.

They are protected by Lakewalkers, human descendants of those who accidentally created the malices. The Lakewalkers are barely keeping abreast with the danger when a Lakewalker falls in love with a farmer, against all the rules.

How Dag and his farmer bride save the world is the story arc.
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on 17 March 2010
Bujold can't write a bad book, but this was just OK rather than gripping. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a "can't put down, can't wait for the next bit" storyline as many (most) of her books are. This was a good tidying-up final book and better (much) than the previous (third) one, but the whole series lacked a really exciting, amusing or clever leading character and this restricted the overall enjoyment of another typically interesting and different Bujold world
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on 16 May 2011
The series ends as you'd expect, nice and simple and tidy.

The is some action and, although there is a bit a overdone melodrama in the book, on the whole it is a quick and easy read.

The ending is predictable but ok.

It is another light-weight read, like the previous books in the series.

On the back of the first book, at least of the edition I have, it said this was going to be a two book series and it does feel like it should have been, there really wasn't enough for four books.
Bujold is a good writer and stops you from getting too bored but it is completely forgettable.
I can't imagine ever recommending this to someone unless they had absolutely nothing else to read.
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