Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

This entry is part [part not set] of 4 in the series The Sharing Knife

Book Review; 3 Treasure Boxes
The Sharing Knife Series, Volume One
Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 24, 2007), 384 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 978-0-06-1139079

What kind of world would it be if it could be assaulted by Malices? Malices are evil immortal creatures that turn living creatures into zombie-like beings and they leach all life from the world around them. Lakewalkers have magical abilities to sense and kill Malices. Farmers are smaller humans with no magical abilities that the Lakewalkers protect. This is the love story of a Lakewalker and Farm girl who have difficulties because it is taboo for the two races to intermingle.

Lois McMaster Bujold has written numerous Science Fiction and Fantasy books and series including The Vorkosigan Saga, The Chalion Universe Series and the The Sharing Knife Series.  Beguilement is the first book in The Sharing Knife Series which has a total of four books. These books fall into the Fantasy genre but can also be considered a Romance since it revolves around a love story.  There is magic in this universe that is welded by the Lakewakers and it takes place in a society that is equivalent to ours in the early 19th century.  It occurs after the fall of a greater society that was destroyed by the creation of evil creatures known as Malices.  In this world the Lakewalkers serve by destroying these creatures as they continue to randomly pop up. The story is told in a third person narrative by the two main protagonists Dag, the Lakewalker and Fawn, the Farmer girl.

We are first introduced to Fawn, who has run away from home because she has become pregnant.  This first book is the story of her meeting and falling in love with the experienced Lakewalker, Dag. During their adventures together, Fawn becomes more than a mere Farmer.  This book deals with prejudice and shows how old beliefs hold you back. The story is very original.  The magic that is welded is new and unique.  It can only come from the death of another Lakewalker whose spirit has passed  through another Lakewalker’s thigh-bone.

I highly recommend this book.  If you enjoy reading a good, original fantasy story that revolves around a romance then you will enjoy this book.  This is a stand alone book, but I quickly picked up the next book in the series to see where the story is going.

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