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Thread: Curse of Chalion
June 12th, 2005, 11:12 AM #1
Curse of Chalion
So, whose read this? I'm about to start something new today (Off on a Sunday, which is rare, and to read...what a way to spend a Sunday!)..
But, I've been hestitant of Bujold works for some reason. It looks interesting, but, I dunno.. Someone at work said they found it boring.. But...
June 12th, 2005, 02:52 PM #2
Oddly enough, I just finished this book last week. Decent book. It kept me entertained, but that's about it. Most of the characters are rather stock, although the main character is pretty interesting. Some of the plot devices are a bit convenient, but not the worst I've seen. As far as boring, I didn't think so, but I can see how some people would find it so. Overall, it was just an average, enjoyable read. Worth giving a try, but don't be expecting too much.
June 12th, 2005, 03:23 PM #3
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And I guess the other thing to ask, Keyoke, is: does it have to be Bujold's Fantasy writing?
A lot of members have said how much they've enjoyed her Miles Verkosigan space opera series. Might be worth a try.
Enjoy your day off!
June 12th, 2005, 04:29 PM #4
I read it and liked it -- found it very absorbing at a time when I was having a lot of difficulty getting lost in a book. To my mind, Bujold writes an entertaining story; the book is intelligent but not in any way groundbreaking. But then, not everything needs to be.
June 12th, 2005, 05:59 PM #5
In her fantasy series I like Curse of Chalion best, though I haven't read the The Hallowed Hunt yet. Curse ... has the most humor so far in the fantasy series. The story is also good, but it takes a while to click, I thought.
June 12th, 2005, 06:09 PM #6
I read Curse of Chalion some time last year and loved it. It was a breath of fresh air, IMO. Good story, believable characters, interesting world, etc. And best of all, it was standalone.
I also recently finish Paladin of Souls. While it was very good, I like Chalion better.
June 13th, 2005, 03:01 AM #7
i just finished reading "Curse of Chalion" yesterday, and while I enjoyed it very much, it still reads to me as a Miles Vorkosigan story transposed in a fantasy scenery. Same type of characters, same type of plot. this is not necesarily a bad thing, as vorkosigan is one of my favorite characters, but I was expecting more originality.
The strong point of the book is I think the mix of magic with religion, a very strong concept of how the gods are a product of the human mind, and there is a sparkle of divinity in each of us, and the way free will is tempered by moral choices.
I'm looking forward to the next Chalion book...
June 13th, 2005, 03:32 AM #8
I am currently reading The Hallowed Hunt and it is very absorbing now I am half way through it. I must say it did take a while to get into, as I had forgotten a great deal about the world created. I preferred Paladin of the Souls to the Curse of Chalion, mainly because I liked the pov better. I think that it is very different from the Vorkosigan books because the ideas of magic are a little abstract, and the flavour is more descriptive than verbal. Not a bad thing but different. It made it more difficult for me to get into the series, as I prefer dialogue to long descriptions and I got used to her writing style with the Sci Fi, but she is such a good writer that I would say this fantasy series rivals the best established writers (sometimes less is more Ms Hobb). Anyway, one word I would never use to describe LMB's books is boring. Funny, intelligent, absorbing, empathic, but never boring. See what you think!
June 13th, 2005, 04:30 AM #9
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I read this one a few months ago. I really liked it, although (as others have mentioned) the characters are all pretty much very standard stereotypes. It is fun, entertaining, and well written. Not the best book in the world, but it kept my attention all the way through, and I really don't have anything bad to say about it. Great ending, too!
June 16th, 2005, 06:04 AM #10
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I have Hallowed Hunt, but haven't read it yet. Out of Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls I prefer Curse, even though Paladin of Souls was extremely successful with genre awards.
I think there is a segment of the fan base that would find the work boring, it is subdued, however I enjoy Bujolds work a lot. I love her SF work, and I think her ability translates well in her fantasy work.
I think Curse was excellent, and Paladin was good, and I have hopes for Hallowed Hunt.\
Great writer who I enjoy regardless of genre, but is admittedly slighly overated rated when her name is on an award ballot IMHO.
June 16th, 2005, 09:48 AM #11
I read Curse of Chalion almost a year ago. I remember liking it enough to finish it, but it wasn't memorable. It was well-written, with characters and a storyline that was somewhat bland and boring. There weren't any scenes that really stuck with me, and the characters themselves were dull (at least I feel this way now since I can't remember anything about any of them). In some ways, it reminded me of a not as good or interesting Carol Berg novel.
July 22nd, 2005, 06:25 AM #12
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Just finished The Curse of Chalion, and, as usual with Bujold's writing, I found this to be a very satisfying read.
Cazaril is a compelling protagonist, a man who is only an average swordsman and horseman, a thirty-five year old grizzled veteran of war and slavery, who suffers disfiguring, but hidden, scars. He is intelligent, and ultimately driven by a deep sense of right and wrong. I find it interesting that, in a fantasy and scifi world where most male heroes are young, big, strong, handsome, healthy, and talented, the creator of Miles Vorgosigan would give us Cazaril as well. We need more protagonists like this!
I always find Bujold to be a great storyteller, taking us through plot turns that are at times predictable and at others surprising. The plot turn which resolved the seemingly unsolvable "die three deaths" prophecy was clever and unexpected. The understated romance between Cazaril and Betriz develops slowly and effectively.
My biggest complaint about the book is that, excepting the protagonist, the other characters (and especially the villains) are fairly one-dimensional. I also found the role of the gods and how they interacted with humanity to be somewhat unconvincing. The denouement also felt a bit clumsy, especially Cazaril's doubts about his place in the new political climate of Chalion.
Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a satisfying traditional fantasy read, and I will definitely plan to read the second book of the series.
July 23rd, 2005, 01:33 PM #13
the reluctant, physically challenged anti-hero is a trademark of Lois McMaster Bujold. However - her sense of humor and compact, elegant writing style will make me return to her books in the future. I think the awards won by her books were well deserved.
July 23rd, 2005, 04:04 PM #14
I enjoyed both Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.
I thought both of the books had very good main characters. As clong said, Cazaril is hardly the usual young squire. And the main character of Paladin of Souls is a middle-aged woman whose children are grown and who are trying to find out what to do with herself now. Definitely not standard fare.
The supporting characters might be a bit bland, I don't know. I don't remember much about them. But the stories themselves were good and they kept me turning the pages with eagernes. As I said I enjoyed them.
These books are not Bujolds only fantasy, by the way. She has also written a stand-alone book called The Spirit Ring. Perhaps it's a bit more "YA" but I liked it nevertheless.
July 26th, 2005, 06:31 AM #15
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I am a little disapointed by the serie. I have read both Paladin of Souls and the Curse of Callion and for 2 books that both have a Hugo award they are very weak. Do not get me wrong, the books are above average but I think that each year there are at least 10 books better than these.
However they are some good books for in-between some real ones.
I will try to get the new one and read it, but because of the 'flat' writing style of Bujold's writing I do not expect it to better than the other 2. However I weill give it a try because everybody says that they are good.