Synopses & Reviews
A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.
But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous...and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.
"Nicely detailed and wittily accented....Here's hoping it launches a series of tales as well told as the Vorkosigan volumes." Booklist (Starred Review)
"This is one of the great ones." Science Fiction Chronicle
"[Bujold] turns her hand as competently and engagingly to the fantasy genre in a tale of quiet heroism and self-sacrifice. Compelling characters and richly detailed world building make this a strong addition to fantasy collections." Library Journal
"Boilerplate fantasy, with characters too often indistinguishable and, later, the deflating disclosure that everything that happens is some sort of divine plot. Overall, no better than average, but probably adequate for Bujold fans." Kirkus Reviews
"Subtle yet powerful language raises this fantasy above most others in its genre, making it impossible to put down....Bujold's latest novel might just be what older Harry Potter fans are yearning for." VOYA
"A finely balanced mixture of adventure, swordplay, court intrigue, romance, magic, and religion makes this book a delightful read." School Library Journal
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 the Nebula Award for Falling Free and three Hugo Awards for Best Novel for The Vor Game, Barrayar, and Mirror Dance, as well as the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her novella 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 Curse of Chalion was on the final ballot for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel and it won the Mythopoeic Award. The mother of two, Bujold lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.