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Beguilement: The Sharing Knife #01by Lois McMaster Bujold
Synopses & Reviews
Young Fawn Bluefield has fled her family's farm hoping to find work in the city of Glassforge. Uncertain about her future and the troubles she carries, Fawn stops for a drink of water at a roadside inn, where she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, enigmatic soldier-sorcerers from the woodland culture to the north. Fawn knows the stories about the Lakewalkers: they are necromancers; they practice black sorcery; they have no permanent homes and own only the clothes they wear and the weapons — mysterious knives made of human bone — they carry. What she does not know is that the Lakewalkers, as a whole, are engaged in a perilous campaign against inhuman and immortal magical entities known as "malices," creatures that suck the life out of all they encounter, and turn men and animals into their minions.
Dag is an older Lakewalker patroller who carries his past sorrows as heavily as his present responsibilities. When Fawn is kidnapped by the malice Dag's patrol is tracking, Dag races to rescue her. But in the ensuing struggle, it is not Dag but Fawn who kills the creature — at dire cost — and an uncanny accident befalls Dag's sharing knife, which unexpectedly binds their two fates together.
And so now the misenchanted knife must be returned to the Lakewalkers. Together, Fawn and Dag set out on the long road back to his camp. But on the journey this unlikely pair will encounter danger and delight, prejudice and partnership, and maybe even love...
"Compelling characters lift this first of a two-book romantic fantasy from Hugo-winner Bujold (The Hallowed Heart), set in a dangerous land without a name, though individual towns, villages and hamlets are specified. Dag, a Lakewalker patroller with a dry wit, is dedicated to destroying the evil 'malices' that blight the countryside. Fawn, a runaway farm girl, helps him kill a malice and its zombie-like mud-men, but not before the malice destroys her unborn child by taking its 'ground' or life force. Fawn slays the malice with Dag's sharing knife, a bone blade created to carry the spirit of a dying patroller, but Dag's formerly empty knife now carries the baby's ground. Dag and Fawn fall in love while he helps her recover from her miscarriage. Bujold hints at an epic past of mighty kingdoms and ancient sorceries — a past that will hopefully be fully detailed in the sequel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A quiet, beguiling and transcendent tale of love, mystery and magic...The main characters are...complex and beautifully written." Romantic Times BookClub
"...Bujold delivers a novel that is a sweet, touching, and fast read." School Library Journal
"Bujold quickly develops unforgettable characters as she crafts a world filled with unique monsters and an original approach to magic." Library Journal
"Bujold develops the characters and their relationship skillfully enough to please romance as well as fantasy fans." Booklist
"Flurries of action early on, devolving into stock fantasy-romance; overall, just about noteworthy enough to bring readers back for the promised conclusion." Kirkus Reviews
The Hugo Award-winning author of Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt returns with an enthralling new romantic fantasy — the first volume in an epic two-volume saga.
“Bujold builds a better fantasy romance with compelling characters and the fascinating clash between their cultures, she a farmers daughter, he an adventurer on the trail of a deadly demon.”—Locus
One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold has won numerous accolades and awards, including the Nebula and Locus Awards as well as the fantasy and science fiction genres most prestigious honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, four times (most recently for Paladin of Souls). With The Sharing Knife series, Bujold creates a brand new world fraught with peril, and spins an extraordinary romance between a young farm girl and the brave sorcerer-soldier entrusted with the defense of the land against a plague of vicious malevolent beings. Meet Fawn Bluefield and Dag Redwing Hickory in Beguilement, the first book in Bujolds unforgettable four-volume fantasy saga, and witness the birth of their dangerous romance—a love threatened by prejudice and perilous magic, and by Dags sworn duty as Lakewalker patroller and necromancer.
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 familys 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 Fawns 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.
November 2006 Book Sense Pick
About the Author
One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold burst on to the scene in 1986 with Shards of Honor, the first of her tremendously popular Vorkosigan Saga novels. She has received numerous accolades and prizes, including two Nebula Awards for Best Novel (Falling Free and Paladin of Souls), four Hugo Awards for Best Novel (Paladin of Souls, The Vor Game, Barrayar, and Mirror Dance), as well as the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her novella The Mountains of Mourning — she has, in fact, won more Hugo Awards for Best Novel than any other author with the exception of Robert A. Heinlein. The mother of two, Bujold lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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