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The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Chalion Universe

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Third Book in The Chalion Universe
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Listening Length: 16 hours and 23 minutes (448 pages), ASIN: B000P6R51Q

The prince, the heir to the kingdom has been murdered by the young and beautiful lady Ijada.  The question is why and what should be done to avenge the prince’s death. Ingrey, has been sent to investigate and bring Ijada back to court. During their journey we learn who these two people are and  how their stories are intertwined. The Gods also make an appearance, especially The Son who has  a vested interest and concern at how everything plays out and influences both Ijada and Ingrey whenever possible.

Lois McMaster Bujold has written numerous Science Fiction and Fantasy books and series including The Vorkosigan SagaThe Chalion Universe Series and the The Sharing Knife SeriesThe Hallowed Hunt is the third novel in The Chalion Universe.  This is a fantasy book, but not in the traditional sense.  There are no dragons, elves, etc but there is limited magic, demons, animal possession and the personal involvement of the Gods. The book takes place in a society similar that of the 15th Century in a neighboring country of Chalion known as the Weald.  The story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist: Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff, a man who has a wolf spirit residing in his soul.

The story starts right in with a mystery that Ingrey is sent to solve. Before long we realize that Ingrey received a wolf spirit in childhood and  what this means to both him and the story. Soon it is revealed that Ijada, also recently received a leopard spirit. Finally, Ingrey’s cousin in introduced and we come to realize that there is a connection between these three characters as well as their animal spirits. The characters were all well developed and the story unfolded with a good pace, leaving just enough of a hook to keep the reader interested in what was going to happen next.

The Hallowed Hunt is a standalone story which builds up to a great conclusion. I thought it was by far the best book in the series although all the characters are new. This novel has a completely separate story line with no relation to the first two books outside of the setting.  I highly recommend this book to all Lois McMaster Bujold fans; it was a good and interesting read.

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Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series The Chalion Universe

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Sequel to The Curse of Chalion
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (March 25, 2005), Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 16 hour(s) and 22 min., ASIN: B0008KLPII

Demons are running rampant and unbalancing the world, so the God’s decide to send in an unlikely heroine to set things right. This is Ista’s story, she had a brief appearance in The Curse of Chalion and at that time came across quite mad.  This book takes place several years after the end of the first book and we come to realize, she was not mad, but instead God touched and suffering after making a couple of disastrous decisions. Ista has decided to go on a pilgrimage to escape her unhappy life and during her journey she becomes instrumental in helping the Gods.

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. The Curse of Chalion is the first novel in The Chalion Universe.  This is a fantasy book, but not in the traditional sense.  There are no dragons, elves, etc but there is limited magic, demons and the personal involvement of the Gods. The book takes place in a society similar to that of Spain in the 15th Century.  The story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist: dowager royina Ista Dy Baocia.

It took a while for the story to get going, but once it did, I couldn’t put the book down.   I really came to care for all the characters, even the wife of A’srhys dy Lutez. The introduction and back story of the demon ridden humans was fascinating. The story was well told and after it’s slow start it really started to pick up steam and exploded through to an exciting and satisfying ending.  There is a bit of a love story, which I thought added to the plot and created more interest in the characters.  The portrayal of the Gods was interesting and unusual.

This is a standalone book with interesting and likeable characters. It is quite different from The Curse of Chalion, with a different focus and different characters, but it still stayed within the confines of the original universe. If you enjoyed the first book, then you will also enjoy this portrayal of the Chalion Universe.

 


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The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Chalion Universe

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Chalion Universe
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (July 15, 2004,) Audible Audio Edition,Listening Length: 18 hour(s) and 27 min., ASIN: B0002P0DGE

There is a curse on the Royal family of Chalion, which is slowly destroying the country.  Lupe dy Cazaril, an unlikely knight who was betrayed and sold into slavery has escaped and is seeking peace.  He is lead to his old noble patroness, who just happens to be the Grandmother of the young Prince and Princess, with hopes that she will help him.  Instead he gets drawn into not only discovering the curse, but being guided by the Gods to remove it.

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. The Curse of Chalion is the first novel in The Chalion Universe.  This is a fantasy book, but not in the traditional sense.  There are no dragons, elves, etc but there is limited magic, demons and the personal involvement of the Gods. The book takes place in a society similar to that of Spain in the 15th century. The story is told in a third person narrative, primarily from Cazaril’s point of view.

Since the story revolves around nobility similar to that of Spain in the 15th century, it took me a while to get use to the names and titles of the characters.  But once I did, I was hooked on both the plot and the characters.  Cazaril, makes a great hero, he is kind, intelligent and subtle. The details of the storytelling were captivating.  I loved Cazaril’s descriptions of his various adventures.

I enjoyed this book, the story has a good build, leading up to a great ending.  This is a standalone book, but since it is part of the Chalion Universe, I am interested to see what else will happen in this universe. I recommend The Curse of Chalion, it is an interesting and unique story with a satisfying ending.

 

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