Top critical review
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Not as good as Beguilement
on 9 January 2010
Legacy is book two in the Sharing Knife series, by Lois McMaster Bujold. It continues the story of Dag and Fawn, picking up pretty much where they left off at the end of Beguilement (book one).
I enjoyed Beguilement, but I have to say that I didn't like Legacy nearly as much. I thought the dispute with Dag's family was drawn out for far too long, and it wasn't all that interesting. I got to read a lot about Fawn and Dag cooking plumkins and visiting the Lakewalker camp and its people, which is not how I expected to spend much of the second book. Whilst it was nice at first to learn a bit more about the Lakewalker ways, it was just overdone and I was dissapointed with the authors reliance on having the characters explain absuloubtly everything through dialogue. I didn't even find the Lakewalkers all that interesting to begin with-they weren't very original-and this didn't help.
It isn't until about chapter 10 (possibly later) that the main threat of the book is actually introduced. I enjoyed Legacy a little more once the story moved away (for the most part) from the Lakewalker camp. Sadly, it was over all too quickly, and I found the last 5 or so chapters about as difficult to get through as the first 10. (In a book of 19 chapters, this doesn't leave much actual space for the main conflict) Although there are some nice worldbuilding ideas, the story on a whole is only just "okay". There's little original about it, and whereas book one seemed to balance this problem by having strong characters and an excellent mix of romance and action/conflict, book two somehow falls short. In fact, there were times when I just couldn't stand Dag OR Fawn.
I'd had high hopes for the Sharing Knife series after reading the first book, but after being so dissapointed by Legacy, I will not be continuing with it. This is a shame, as Lois McMaster Bujold is capable of writing great fantasy - try her Curse of Chalion, if you want to see her at her best. Avoid Legacy though, it wasn't that great.