Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold

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

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Sharing Knife Series, Volume Three
Publisher: Harper Voyager (January, 2009), 411 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 978-0-06-137535-4

Do you want to read about two far-sighted individuals who want to improve the world? Then you should give this story a try, it is a journey both literally, from far inland all the way to the sea and spiritually, as the couple try to gap the great gulf between their two peoples. Dag, the magic wielding Lakewalker and his young bride the Farmer-girl Fawn continue their story with plenty of adventures, but instead of fighting malices, they are this time fighting against evil people and helping others on their trek.  This book takes place immediately following Legacy

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 SeriesPassage is the third 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.

Our protagonists have gone on a voluntary exile from Dag’s family and community.  They knew it was either that or face being told to leave.  Together they decided it would be best to be out on their own and in the process start to breach the distance between the Lakewalkers and the Farmers.  There was not as much excitement in this book as in the previous two books.  There were no conflicts against malices, but there was trouble against people including bandits and renegade Lakewalkers. Dag was given the opportunity to learn more about his magic and we understand more about how it works.  This book showed much more depth into the characters and how this world works. 

I thought it was really interesting how Dag’s healing abilities worked. It showed how this is a great attraction for those who need it, but it also showed what the ill effects of using it can be. Once again clarifying that there is always a price.  This also gave insight into how and why the old world was destroyed.  The two start out on their journey alone, but by the end they have accumulated a number of people that travel with them.  Effectively creating their own mobile village which is comprised of an amalgamation of different peoples. This is a reflection of who they are and what they are trying to accomplish which is to bring the world together.

I highly recommend this series.  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 you will enjoy it more if you read the books in order as the story builds from book to book.

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