Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The curse of sainthood strikes again..., 15 Oct 2003
This review is from: Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster) (Hardcover)
The dowager royina Ista, now recovering from both the curse of the royal house of Chalion and from having been driven not quite mad by her last brush with sainthood, decides to go on pilgramage in order to escape those loving protectors who haven't quite registered the 'recovery' bit yet.
Given that she is -- quite understandably -- more in the habit of cursing the gods rather than praying for their favour, one would rather suspect that this is probably not the smartest idea she's ever had. And so it transpires....
...This is an excellent read, Bujold is near the top of her form and I think it's a little more consistent than the previous one ('The Curse of Chalion') which flagged for me a little in the later middle section before powering up to it's grand finale. This is also more explicitly fullbore The Bastard's book, who was always the most interesting god of the original novel, which is a Good Thing(tm).
However this book doesn't, I think, get quite as close to the heart of the -- real life as well as fictional -- mystical experience as first one, so that 'lightning caught in a bottle' feeling doesn't come through quite as cleanly.
Still, this is still among the best that Bujold has written IMO, and way way ahead of almost all fiction I've read that seriously attempts to deal in that particular issue. Kudos.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaker for the gods, 18 Nov 2003
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster) (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold since I was entranced by her Miles Vorkosigan series a couple of years ago. She has an interesting way of telling a story, combining fascinating characters with the ability to write action when the story calls for it. I was sure that she could write fantasy as well, and she proved it with The Curse of Chalion. Now, she has written a sequel of sorts, called Paladin of Souls. And once again, she hits the perfect mix.
Paladin of Souls is a sequel only in the sense that the events in the book take place after the previous book. Ista was the mother of two of the main characters in The Curse of Chalion, and she didn't figure that prominently in it. Bujold takes her, a relatively undeveloped character except where the curse was concerned, and gives her a living vibrancy. The reader can see why she went mad before, and why she is still seen as slightly insane. But we can also see the inner workings of her mind, and see why she is like this and how she can sometimes use it to her benefit. When one is touched by the gods, one is not unaffected, and Ista shows that effect. She's in her 40s, most of her family dead and her daughter off ruling the kingdom, and she's bored. She's also one of the only people who know the whole truth of what happened, and what lengths her family had taken to try and remove the curse. The entire book is told from her viewpoint, so the reader also gets to see her reaction to the events and the people around her.
Ista's not the only wonderful character, though. All of the characters in the book are three-dimensional, unless the book doesn't call them to be. There's Liss, the messenger girl who Ista enlists to be her traveling maid (mainly because Liss doesn't treat her like an invalid who will kill herself the first chance she gets). She mixes wonderfully with everybody, demonstrating how uncomfortable she is with the trappings of a royal court, but willing to do anything for Ista. Her two soldiers at arms, Forda and Foix, are loyal to a fault, but also men with their own emotions. Bujold makes great use of them as well, giving Foix a lot to do that a normal man-at-arms wouldn't get. Bujold's great strength has always been her characterization, and it's this skill that makes even the slower parts of the narrative (there are a few sequences that seem to go on forever) interesting in themselves.
The plot of the book is just as good, with Bujold slowly unfurling it as she goes along. Just when the reader thinks it's going one direction, it suddenly turns and goes somewhere else. It starts out as a story of redemption for Ista, and while that ultimately is the point of the story, it redeems some of the other characters as well. The fact that we care about these characters only adds to the strength. Bujold keeps the story flowing, with only the aforementioned slow parts bringing it down just a little. A couple of Ista's conversations with the Bastard (one of the five gods) drag a little bit at times, but the Bastard is such an interesting character that it's easy to forgive.
While the book is not filled with action and is a character-driven one, there are some great sequences that show she can handle fast-paced action as well. Everything is vividly described, and while there is a lot of blood flowing at times, none of it is too grotesquely described. There may be missing limbs, but nothing too outrageous. One thing I thought was a little bit less well-done was the final battle, though. It's a bit confusing at times, with events moving from the physical plane to inside Ista's head and then back again. Overall, however, Bujold does a great job, immersing the reader in the book, and never letting go.
The writing style is simply gorgeous. I read the book very slowly because I was just reveling in it. She captures the gentle humour of the characters along with the metaphysical aspect of the plot, almost making it lyrical. Her prose has really matured since she started with Shards of Honor. Don't race through Paladin of Souls to get to the finish line. Instead, savour it. Take your time and lose yourself.
I haven't read a bad Bujold book yet (there have been a couple sub-par books, but that's only when compared with her other stuff). This is yet another winner. It also almost demands a sequel (and she is writing another Chalion book), but perhaps she'll do what she did this time and go off on another tangent. Wherever Bujold leads, I'll be right there waiting.
David Roy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, 4 May 2011
By 
A. Jones "firemonkey" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A worthy follow on from Curse of Chalion. Ista goes on a pilgrimage that turns into a dangerous adventure with demons, walking dead men and invading Roknari. The characters and plot are again suberb and the pace keeps you going along at a fine pace. Further sequel please!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 19 May 2010
By 
Sean Ryan (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster) (Hardcover)
I ordered and bought Paladin of Souls because I was near the end of The Curse of Chalion, which I had bought and was enjoying it so much and I assumed the plot could not be tidied up satisfactorily in the remaining pages. I was wrong but this book was already on the way.

The heroine is a minor character from the previous book. Her situation is cleverly used by the author to create another compellingly good fantasy novel. The plot can get a little complex at times but the story draws you in like in the previous book. I found it very good. I have bought the third book in this world (The Hallowed Hunt) and will probably get her earlier books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The curse of sainthood strikes again..., 15 Oct 2003
This review is from: Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster) (Hardcover)
The dowager royina Ista, now recovering from both the curse of the royal house of Chalion and from having been driven not quite mad by her last brush with sainthood, decides to go on pilgramage in order to escape those loving protectors who haven't quite registered the 'recovery' bit yet.
Given that she is -- quite understandably -- more in the habit of cursing the gods rather than praying for their favour, one would rather suspect that this is probably not the smartest idea she's ever had. And so it transpires....
...This is an excellent read, Bujold is near the top of her form and I think it's a little more consistent than the previous one ('The Curse of Chalion') which flagged for me a little in the later middle section before powering up to it's grand finale. This is also more explicitly fullbore The Bastard's book, who was always the most interesting god of the original novel, which is a Good Thing(tm).
However this book doesn't, I think, get quite as close to the heart of the -- real life as well as fictional -- mystical experience as first one, so that 'lightning caught in a bottle' feeling doesn't come through quite as cleanly.
Still, this is still among the best that Bujold has written IMO, and way way ahead of almost all fiction I've read that seriously attempts to deal in that particular issue. Kudos.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xac62e024)

This product

Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster)
Paladin of Souls (Bujold, Lois Mcmaster) by Lois McMaster Bujold (Hardcover - Oct 2003)
Used & New from: 1.75
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews