Friday, March 6, 2015

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

This book continues the story from an earlier book (which I haven’t read). It took a little while to get into the story, but the book worked fairly well alone. A royal woman has been more or less forced to leave the court and she starts a pilgrimage. Soon she finds herself in a castle with some very peculiar inhabitants and finally is faced with a battle with hostile troops which are led by magicians, who are using demons to harness powerful magical powers. But when everything seems to be lost, a bit of deus ex machina (a completely _literal_ deus ex machina) saves the day. The way magic worked, demons and their influence on people (and animals) who harness their powers was the best part of the book and pretty interesting- that was the good part of the story. The bad part was the characters, who mostly were pretty annoying. The main hero is so highly regal, that she apparently can’t comb her own hair even when she is journeying through a forest. There is long discussion about how she could get a proper ensemble for her journey – including a maid to take care of the so important royal hair. There is certainly no lack of discussions in this book. I almost lost my patience in the beginning, where the characters discussed for pages what kind route she should take on her journey. And the route didn’t even matter at all as their journey was sidetracked soon after it started. At later all things will be discussed in mind numbing detail. The book was nowhere as good as any book in the Miles Vorkosigan series and was clearly below the average of the Hugo award winners. (Now I have still two to go).

496 pp.

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