Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

I have a recommendation for those of you who are looking for a fine and engaging fantasy romance!

The Sharing Knife: Beguilement, by Lois McMaster Bujold.

I was rather surprised with this book. I knew I would enjoy it, or at least I had high expectations that I would, and I did, more so than I expected. I have read two other Bujold books, The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, and while both of them had a subtle romance in them, neither of them were to the extent of this one. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement turned out to be a fantasy romance, rather than a fantasy with some romantic elements! The building of the relationship between Dag and Fawn was pretty much the main focus of the book. And being the romance reader that I am, I fell in love with these characters, faults and all. And Dag sure does have some physical flaws :).

There was very little action as you learn about the world and who the Lakewalkers and farmers are. Dag is a patroller with a dark and sorrowful past for the Lakewalkers. Lakewalkers have patrol groups that track the land for malices--evil creatures that wreak havoc on the land and the people. Dag encounters Fawn, a farmer girl, being abducted by mud-men, which are malice controlled people. However, after Dag saves her, he leaves to continue his tracking of the malice, and once again Fawn finds herself captured and taken to the malice. A strange thing occurs when Dag arrives just in time to save Fawn from eminent death when he tosses Fawn his Sharing Knives, the only thing able to kill a malice, and uses one of them to destroy the evil thing. The incident binds the two together until they can travel back to Dag's home in order to make sense of this strangeness.

During their time together, the two begin to form an attraction for one another, but there is much prejudice between the two people, Lakewalkers and farmers, causing you to wonder how will the two persevere, enabling them to explore the feelings growing between them.

I found the concept of the Sharing Knives and the story behind them to be some fabulously cool bit of imaginative thinking. The world and the people were simple enough to follow, nothing too overly detailed. This book streamed steadily along as you journey with Dag and Fawn. You learn the world as you learn about them through dialogue. Highly engaging and fascinating. I am eager to pick up the next book, Legacy (The Sharing Knife, Book 2) to see what more is awaiting Dag and Fawn, as they continue their journey together.

I would definitely recommend this book to those that love a good fantasy romance. This is a five star book, in my opinion! And there are actually 4 books out in The Sharing Knife series. After Legacy, there is Passage and then Horizon, that continue the journey of Dag and Fawn. Some reviews I've read think that the pacing is slow in these books, but my experience reading Beguilement was that it was the perfect flow for my tastes. If you want action, then maybe this isn't such a great choice for you. But if you like a good character driven book, then give this one a try!


Blodeuedd said...

Hi Amy,
Great review. Sounds like some nice fantasy romance, I do like that. Even if I have not read much yet, but there is only one way to fix that :D

Christine said...

I've been reading praises for this series for quite some time now. I'm glad to hear you're one who enjoys it as well. It's one of those series on my list to get to eventually.

Renee said...

::smacks forehead:: IDK why I hadn't thought of what a perfect book this is for your tastes. It is such a great blend of fantasy and romance!

I listened to the audiobook last year, and really enjoyed it. I've always meant to get back to the rest of the series, but haven't gotten around to it.

Thanks for the review and reminder about this series! :-)

Cecile said...

Hey Amy!! Great review of this book. Not sure if this series is for me... Are you reading the other books?
I hope you had a good weekend!

Amy C said...

Hi Renee,
You know, if you had mentioned it before I would likely have read it sooner, too! It is one I've looked at since it released. I had read Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls and really loved those two books. I had figured there would be more of a romance in this series by the blurb. So I don't know why it's taken me this long to give it a go. I'm glad I finally did though, and so glad to hear that you read, or rather listened, and liked it also! I'm curious to see how things go over with Dag's people and the deal with the Sharing Knife that Fawn primed! I imagine it's going to be alot harder for his people to accept Fawn, if they even do!

I need to see if the bookstore has the second one or I'm going to have to order it.

Amy C said...

Hey Blodeuedd, I think this might be a good one for you :). Would love to know what you think if you should ever give it a whirl!

Hey Christine, I think I seen it reviewed on someone's blog last year maybe, and it was a good review. Well, I do hope you do get to it eventually! I really did enjoy it :).

Amy C said...

Hi Cecile, you're probably right. This series is probably not your cuppa tea! But that's okay. Not everyone likes reading fantasy. I certainly can appreciate that. I can't get into the Urban Fantasies...AT All! I think it's because there is just so much action, maybe?

But yes, I do definitely plan on reading all the books. I just gotta get them first!

Anna said...

Great Review Amy! These books do look good, I love the cover art. :)

Amy C said...

Thanks, Anna :)

You know what is especially cool about the two books' covers? If you look at them, they actually go together!

That is Fawn on the first one and Dag on the second cover. Those are supposed to be fireflies that Dag is magically drawing down to Fawn. So it's like the two covers were split in half from one picture :)! How cool is that?

Donna [Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings] said...

Dag and Fawn look like an interest couple. Lately I've been stuck in Urban Fantasy mode. :) But I'm going to put this one on my list reads to check out. I do love a good fantasy romance.

Leontine said...

You and I share a similar taste in fantasy and this really appeals to me. I love a good character driven story so I am sure going to check this out, thanks Amy :)

Erotic Horizon said...

Thanks for the head up Amy...

I will follow your advice and get it...

Hope things are good with you..


Cybercliper said...

Wow, great review!!! I've had this book on my TBR pile for months now but wasn't really sure. I absolutely love fantasy and futuristic romance and there doesn't seem to be alot of it out there - or at least I can't find it! Thanks...

Eva S said...

Thanks for your great review! I've heard about this series, but wasn't sure if there would be romance enough for me.... Now I'll look for the books!

Amy C said...

Hi Donna, I hope you do like it when you get around to reading it!

Hi Leontine, that's awesome! And yes, we do share some similar tastes in books.

The one thing I really enjoy about reading a fantasy that has romance in it, is the fact that the heroes and heroines are just ordinary people. You know? The guys are not like dream gods. They have physical flaws. Not that I mind reading heroes that are buff, macho, and physically flawless minus a few battle scars, but sometimes it's nice to just have two people that are drawn together first by their personalities, rather than by their outer appearance, and the lack of focus on the physical appearance :).

Amy C said...

Hey E.H.
Nice to see you :). I hope you like it! I do worry sometimes that my opinion might not be so worthwhile. But I did very much love this book. So much so that after work today I had the bookstore order me the next two books!

Hey Cybercliper,
So you already have this one? You should read it if you love fantasy! As I said in my review, the fantasy aspect was fairly easy to follow since the main focus was on the characters. Much different from her other two books I read. I had it for sometime also, and kept putting it off, not knowing what the level of romance would be. Sometimes, I just have to have alot in it to hold my attention. I was very pleased with this one!

Hi Eva,
I think you will really enjoy this one :). Definitely is high on the romance. I was a bit surprised that there was actually sex scenes, not just a kissing scene and the rest left to the imagination :). Sometimes I want it all!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

I have books two of the four (?) books in this series and Harper Collins had book 1 as a free read, but I only read the first part of the book. I keep meaning to go back to see if they're offering it again, I loved Dag and Fawn's story! Now that you've reminded me of it again, I'll have to see if I can locate the first two books and read the series!

Thanks for the recommendation!!

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

I just realized you said there were four books in the series, lol. I'm having one of those ditzy days.

Dottie :)

Amy C said...

We all have those 'ditzy' days! But I do hope you finish reading Dag and Fawn. They're two just average ordinary people. Although there was something at the end that caused my jaw to drop to the floor! And then shortly after that, had me laughing out loud!

I did just look and the fourth one doesn't actually release in paperback until the end of January.

Maija P. said...

I just loved this series. Dag and Fawn both have a special place in my heart! Every once in a while I think about their love story. Especially when I hear the song "God Bless the Broken Road" I remember Dag's journey and I'm so glad he found Fawn :) Ah, I really should read the series again!

Amy C said...

Hi Maija,
I had to order the next two books from my Borders and I was hoping they would be in on Friday, but they weren't. I really want to read the next one, Legacy, since it directly coincides with the first one. I want to know how the two fair on their journey to Dag's people and the tribulations they'll face.

I'm glad to hear that you loved this series!

Oh, and I listened to The Broken Road, and you are so right, it is a very fitting song for Dag and Fawn! Thank you for sharing that bit of information!