Beguilement (Sharing Knife): 1 Mass Market Paperback – 20 Jul 2007
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"A quiet, beguiling and transcendent tale of love, mystery and magic...The main characters are...complex and beautifully written."--Romantic Times BOOKclub
A quiet, beguiling and transcendent tale of love, mystery and magic...The main characters are...complex and beautifully written. --Romantic Times BOOKclub"
-A quiet, beguiling and transcendent tale of love, mystery and magic...The main characters are...complex and beautifully written.---Romantic Times BOOKclub
From the Back Cover
An epic fantasyof devotion, destiny, and perilous magic, from one of the mosthonored writers in the field--multiple Hugo Award-winning author Lois McMaster Bujold
Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family's farm. But on the way to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier-sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret on-going war against the scourge of the "malices," immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims, enslaving human and animal alike. It is Dag--a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and present responsibilities--who must come to Fawn's aid when she is taken captive by a malice. They prevail at a devastating cost--unexpectedly binding their fates together as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight, prejudice and partnership . . .and perhaps even love.See all Product description
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The Sharing Knife investigates what happens when these two worlds clash - when a farmer daughter helps a Lakewalker to dispose of a Malice - and the repercussions this has on the protagonists and their families. This book is the first half of a duology and deals with the world of the 'farmers' and our heroine Fawn's attempt to strike out on her own road and escape her stifling family. Dag, the Lakewalker who rescues her from some bandits, is an older and experienced Patroller who has lots in his past which he is trying to ignore. When these two meet they are forced to confront the differences between them in order to move on.
The love story is much more to the fore in this book than Lois McMaster Bujold's previous offerings - the Chalion series or the Miles Vorkosigan space operas. It's a gentle love story where you understand why hero and heroine are drawn to each other - mainly through the differences between them and shared experiences that bind them together. There are some amusing moments with Fawn's family and some scary moments when Fawn is kidnapped, but overall it is a gentle and light story which I enjoyed very much.
If you want to check it out yourself, there's a sample chapter posted at the following website: [...] Give it a go!
I feel I should start by saying that the fantasy element of the book is interesting but doesn't feature much in it. This is particularly true of the second half which largely consists of domestic family scenes. It would almost be more accurate to call this book a romance story with a bit of fantasy in the background than a romantic fantasy book. I found this refreshing as it is good to see an author trying to take the genre in a new direction, away from all the dragon, wizard, war and prophecy orientated stuff that are around now. I found, however, that the romance was just too sickly and soppy for me. I like a strong romantic element to books (I am a typical girl!), but this one takes it too far in my opinion and I just found it all a bit unbelievable and contrived (the bit with Dag talking about water-lilies was just daft and did she have to call the heroine Fawn?!).
The setting is also refreshingly unconventional for a fantasy book. Most seem to be set in a land resembling medieval Europe, but this world is more like rural America a couple of centuries ago. It is well imagined and described with subtlety.
As with the author's last books, this is written with warmth, wisdom and humour - the dialogue in particular is nice. Unlike the other books though, you pretty much have to read the next book after this one as it only tells half of the story.
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