Tuesday, September 30, 2003
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Here's my quickie, spoiler-free review of Bujold's latest, PALADIN OF SOULS, which begins approximately three years after THE CURSE OF CHALION (CoC).
The main character is Ista, the queen mother. Her mother, the Provincara, has just died, and she feels very hemmed in, imprisoned; everyone still thinks she is mad, and she's rarely left alone. She hits upon the idea of making a pilgrimage to visit holy places as a way to escape this stifling environment. Taking a female courier as her lady-in-waiting, and accompanied by a very small band of soldiers and a priest, she begins her journey. On the road they are attacked by a band of enemy soldiers but Ista is rescued by an incredibly handsome, virile soldier. Unfortunately, all is not as it seems, and the adventures and plot twists begin. The slow beginning was more than made up for by the action-packed last two-thirds of the story.
On the positive side, this is written the way a sequel should be. I read CoC when it first came out and remembered very little. Fortunately, it wasn't necessary. PALADIN OF SOULS is almost a stand-alone book; I think enjoyment of it would be enhanced by reading CoC first, but it isn't necessary.
Also, I'm happy to say there is a definite romance in the book. I liked the hero very much, although I didn't quite see why someone so personable was still unattached at his age (approx. thirty five years old?). Bujold does a good job in believably changing the heroine from a rather wimpy, sheltered, inactive woman into someone who takes charge of her life. I really liked many of the secondary characters, especially Liss, the courier/lady-in-waiting, and the soldier Foix.
Posted by Preeti @ 01:13 PM ET [Link]
Tuesday, September 9, 2003
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