Lois McMaster Bujold has won the Hugo award four times, and the Nebula award twice. In this, her first epic fantasy, we join Cazaril -- a former soldier, and courtier who is about to embark on a perilous journey, rife with lethal treacheries, demonic magic, and scheming characters. Lord Cazaril has been in turn courier, courtier, castle-warder, ...
Lois McMaster Bujold has won the Hugo award four times, and the Nebula award twice. In this, her first epic fantasy, we join Cazaril -- a former soldier, and courtier who is about to embark on a perilous journey, rife with lethal treacheries, demonic magic, and scheming characters. Lord Cazaril has been in turn courier, courtier, castle-warder, and captain; now he is but a crippled ex-galley slave seeking nothing more than a menial job in the kitchens of the Dowager Provincara, the noble patroness of his youth. But Fortune's wheel continues to turn for Cazaril, and he finds himself promoted immediately to the exalted and dangerous position of secretary-tutor to Iselle, the beautiful, fiery sister of the heir to Chalion's throne. Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cardegoss, Cazaril is forced to encounter both old enemies and surprising allies, as he seeks to lift the curse of misfortune that clings to the royal family of Chalion, and to all who come too close to them...
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The book is a bit slow getting started, but the pace picks up as time goes on and by the end is very fast.
The writing and characterization is excellent.
Mar 14, 2008
I really enjoyed "The Curse of Chalion." It combines themes of religious mysticism, political machination, high fantasy, and redemption. Cazaril is extremely likable and I became very attached to him and his unintentional quest. Bujold was thorough in mapping out the details of the culture's religion, and all in all the intricacies of the plot were creative and cleverly designed. I'll probably read this book again some day.
Apr 7, 2007
This was the first book by Lois McMaster Bujold I'd read. I found the book captivating. The main character Cazaril was brought to life right from the beginning. His tortured body and diminished circumstances create instant empathy which is only strengthened as we learn more about his past, his beliefs and his integrity. The religious beliefs the author has created are unique and thought provoking, adding the the depth of this story. There is subtle humor throughout the book, much of which we hear in Caz's thoughts as events unfold. Based on the experiences he has been through he should be a bitter, jaded, mean person, but instead we find humility, a wry sense of humor and an appreciation of life. The rest of the characters in the book are drawn fully. You truly despise the "bad guys" and care deeply for Caz's friends. I would recommend this book to any one.
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