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  1. #1
    94k words and counting JLSelby's Avatar
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    Bujold's Fantasy Work

    A friend suggested I read Cordelia's Honor and I devoured the entire Miles series. I've been told, though, that her fantasy work isn't nearly as good. Has anyone read both the Miles series and the Sharing Knife and its subsequent books and can offer an opinion on the quality of work?

    Thanks.


    --Joe

  2. #2
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    The second novel in the Chalion sequence, Paladin of Souls did receive the following awards:

    * Hugo Award for Best Novel, winner (2004)
    * Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel, winner (2004)
    * Nebula Award for Best Novel, winner (2004)


    In our Fantasy Book Club, Curse of Chalion was the discussion book back in December 2003, if you want to get some ideas about the book.

  3. #3
    I've not read her SF stuff, so I can't make that comparison. I did read all three Chalion books, however, and compared with other fantasy I thought they were alright. Nothing spectacular about them, but also nothing much to criticize. I would call them solid, decent fantasy.

  4. #4
    I've only read The Hallowed Hunt (book three in the Chalion sequence) and I didn't finish that. It's on the pile to be revisited, but I'm in no hurry. To me it wasn't remarkable, either good or bad; the characters didn't do much for me, I wasn't that interested in the plot, and the world didn't intrigue me. Again, it wasn't bad, it just didn't have anything to keep me reading.

    FWIW I have heard that Curse of Chalion is the strongest book in that series, and that the Sharing Knife is much more romance-oriented, but I have not read those works so that's only secondhand. If you're thinking of picking up Bujold's fantasy work I would recommend Curse of Chalion over Hallowed Hunt, mostly because Hallowed Hunt isn't that good.

  5. #5
    Inter spem metumque iacto Julian's Avatar
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    Question

    On the Chalion series:

    The first (The Curse of Chalion) is truly excellent. Certainly one of the best books I've read in recent years.

    The second (Paladin of Souls) is - err, equally excellent, I guess. That is: it's pretty close to the first. It's a bit too close, perhaps - but still very good.

    The third (The Hallowed Hunt) is different, in various ways. It's not a bad book, but lacks the appeal of the first two - it's too far removed from them, for one thing.

    All in all, I'd certainly give Curse a chance. If you don't like that one, don't start on the others.

    I've yet to read The Sharing Knife series...

  6. #6
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    I read all seven of Ms. Bujold fantasy and these are my comments:

    - the five gods series (done 3 for now)

    The Curse of Chalion - I loved it a lot but it's a matter of voice - you like the pov, you like the novel - an A+ novel for me

    Paladin of Souls - I loved it too, but a little bit less mainly due to the nature of magic and some related stuff; a strong A novel

    Hallowed Hunt - I do not like werewolves and the like so this one did not work that well for me; still a solid B for characters and writing

    Sharing Knife:

    1 - one of my big time favorites, read it many times, the epitome of romantic fantasy; it is first half a two book dulogy and 2 is as good as it and as big a favorite; but I love romantic fantasy when done "for me" (M. Snyder, E. Gee, even S. Micklem and J. Carey to some extent - these are big time favorites but would fit in romantic fantasy only partially)
    So if you do not like "boy meets girl" or in this case "one armed widowed 40's magician" meets "pregnant farmer 18 year old girl" the books won't be for you

    3- Horizon - the universe expands and I loved it too though a little bit less than 1/2

    4 - disappointment - nothing new, unnecessary book, 3/4 could have been compressed to one volume easily

    All in all a great series and 1/2 are still among my all time top fantasies

  7. #7
    I strongly recommend the Chalion books. Apart from the strong characterization that Bujold carries off so well, the books also have a good and refreshing grasp on religion, faith and gpds as aspects of humanity.

    The Sharing Knife series impressed me increasingly as I read it. It would be pretty easy, reading the first book or two, to think that the series was about Bujold deliberately targeting the romance market. The real structure of the series only becomes apparent when you've read the whole thing: it's about starting a generational change that reconciles two cultures alienated from each other, and it just happens to start with two people falling in love across that divide. Highly recommended as well.

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