Beguilement➷ Beguilement Free ➭ Author Lois McMaster Bujold – Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family's farm But en route to the city she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers nomadic soldier sorcerers from the northern woodlands Feared necroma Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family's farm But en route to the city she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers nomadic soldier sorcerers from the northern woodlands Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone they wage a secret ongoing war against the scourge of the malices immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims enslaving human and animal alikeIt is Dag a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and onerous present responsibilities who must come to Fawn's aid when she is taken captive by a malice They prevail at a devastating cost unexpectedly binding their fates as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight prejudice and partnership and perhaps even love. Note I believe I am the only person on the face of the earth who hated this book If you liked it this review will annoy you Also be advised that there will be spoilers for what we might loosely term the plot in what follows This book suffers from three main problems 1 A fascinating world that gets built in the first few pages and then utterly abandoned in favor of2 An amazingly unengaging unbelievable romance between a typical Bujold guy and3Mary SueThe thing is this is actually a solid fantasy world; it had the potential to be as interesting as the one Bujold created in The Curse of Chalion and maybe in future books it will be But here the world gets shunted aside so that 85% of the book can be about the Great Romance Which is not all that great in my opinion or even tolerableLook I love romance FF But I'm not a good romance reader; I tend to choke on emotion and an author has to be good to get me seriously invested in a relationship But But Even if I loved romances I think I'd choke on this one Our heroine Fawn a hideously naive and very young farmgirl meets and falls intensely world endingly OMG GREATEST PASSION OF ALL TIME in love with the hero during a week in which she is jilted leaves home and everything she has ever known is violently abducted is nearly raped and is made to miscarry by a creature she'd believed was just a myth Among you know other notable events Most people would be too distracted by these events to breathe never mind fall in love And our hero Dag intelligent highly talented much older and knowledgeable and talented than Fawn with a Tragic Past and a Great Lost Love meets and falls in love with Fawn despite a having steadfastly refused all romance since the Great Lost Love b being emotionally distant and embittered c having absolutely nothing in common with Fawn and d being old enough and smart enough to know better For a person like Dag to fall in love well I could buy it but it would have to take months or years not days There'd need to be some build is my point and not just a shortcut to heat coiling in his belly at her touch And Fawn she's adorable cheerful industrious sweet resilient essentially flawless and utterly uninteresting In other words hello Mary Sue I think I first suspected that she was a Mary Sue when in the first couple of pages I was told that she has long lovely bouncing curls even though she has been living rough I have curly hair Trust me when I tell you that after a few nights of sleeping in haystacks and a few days of hard travel it would be a giant matted mess attractive only to birds seeking a nesting spot Only Mary Sues have hair that stays gorgeous under such circumstances But look I'm not just judging her on the hair Fawn has so many other traits Industry despite major illness Open mindedness despite being raised in an utterly closed minded culture Cheerful acceptance of everything Adored by all who meet her that make her Mary Sue that I'm saddened that Bujold who has created fabulous characters wrote herThis book does display Bujold's very competent writing And I have a vague distant hope that a future volume of the series will explain the weird romance maybe it's unnatural or magical in origin? But basically reading this I found myself wishing Bujold would just write some terrible AU Spockoriginal female character and post it on fanfictionnet so she could get this out of her systemIf you can buy into the romance you'll love this book If you can't you'll want to stab something while you read this because the romance is all this book is I can't in good conscience recommend this for anyone but I will say that many people seem to love it Just oh my god so very much not for me I cry foul I thought Bujold wrote sophisticated fantasies in interesting worlds Hugo winner? Hello? but this one is strictly pedestrian and I don't mean in an alternative transportation heart healthy way We follow a pregnant farm girl who has left home with the half formed intention of seeking a new life in the city when she's captured by a 'malice' really?? a sinister force that is converting animals and people into frightening biddable mud men David Edding's snake powered mud men anyone? for Evil Purposes Thankfully a member of the Native American Lakewalker tribe patrol is on the track of said mud men and the malice He saves her they take refuge she's stolen again when he leaves they kill the malice together and then fall in love in a farmhouse interlude Believe me I'm spoiling nothing as this takes place in the first 60 pages and is utterly predictable The rest of the story is about discovering their love and commitment Against Outside Forces to the Dismay of their Families Ah the timelessness of Romeo and Juliet The fantasy world setting and the Evil Forces are forgotten as we zero in on their burgeoning relationship In fact it's a vaguely creepy as it takes place between a worldly widowed 55 year old man and a naive 18 year old farm girl and of course involves teaching her about The Joys of Sex titillating any eleven year olds reading But don't worry about the age difference his people are long lived calling Edward The one positive he's differently abled as he has only one hand Oh and he's tall and thin; she's short and round forgive me oh Librarian but I heard jack sprat echo in the background once I heard their descriptions Normally I wouldn't even rate a book like this except it was so dismally envisioned and written that I can only surmise an evil Doppelganger has taken Bujold's place and is endeavoring to destroy her reputation As a public service I'm sharing my thoughts in hopes of steering you towards oh I don't know Go pick something from your TBR pileIf you are truly in the mood for some fantasy world naive female romance skip this and read a original fantasy version Winds of Fate At least the characters are sophisticated in their development and the world building deeper and better integrated Several years ago I stumbled on Bujold's Vorkosigan series when I randomly checked out A Civil Campaign from the library As one of the later books in that series it was definitely the wrong place to start and left me rather puzzled and at sea But then I discovered Cordelia's Honor and fell in love with both Cordelia and Aral and dove into all the Miles books afterwards one of the great SF series seriously and then I finished and thought what next?So it turned out that Bujold has written several fantasy books along the way Frankly those have been a lot hit and miss for me than the Vorkosigan books which are mostly hits I bought Beguilement several years ago and read it a couple of times and thought it was one of Bujold's better non Vorkosigan books But there are a few things in it that give me pause for thought and I have to admit this book eventually ended up in the give away pile so it wasn't an unmitigated success This is the first in a series of four books set in kind of a frontier era America with magic what seems to be either an alternate version of our history or a post apocalyptic world that has reverted back to a 19th century level of technology There's a major social division between the farmers and the Lakewalkers who for better or worse seem to be an analog of Native Americans and who hold all of the human magical powers in this society The Lakewalkers are charged with the duty of killing malices which are really horrible sort of zombie like monsters with serious magical and mental control powers and which periodically rise out of the earth and cause mass death and destruction before the Lakewalkers kill them off with the eponymous sharing knives magical knives made of Lakewalker thigh bones eww? Fawn is a young farmer girl about 18 years old pregnant and running away from home when she has the extreme bad luck of running into a malice and its army of brain controlled servants At the last minute she's saved by Dag a Lakewalker in his 50's who is missing one of his hands from a run in with a malice controlled wolf several years ago He takes care of her injuries and takes her to the nearest large town and despite the really serious age difference between them and a major taboo on both sides against farmerLakewalker relationships an attraction growsThis is an interesting fantasy world with some uniue and intriguing magical twists but this first book in the series does focus heavily on the development of the romantic relationship which some people will enjoy and others not at all I'm not a fan of MayDecember relationships but to give it some credit at least the book doesn't gloss overthe problem There's also some talk about how Lakewalkers are much longer lived than farmers but whatever She's still 18 he's 55 Also for what it's worth the remaining books in the series are less about Dag and Fawn's relationship and about trying to solve some of the problems in their world I enjoyed this book even though it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and it took me about 8 years to work up the motivation to read the rest of the series I kind of skimmed through the second book too much drahmah but just finished the third pretty good and the fourth surprisingly significantly better this last week As a series they're worth reading if you like fantasy and aren't put off by the strong romance component in the first book or two35 starsContent advisory one or two fairly explicit sex scenes The characters in this book are lovable Every thing else seem typical for a love story but the tone of the writing was incredibly inviting and almost soothing Fawn and Dag were an unlikely pair; Dag with a military persona and Fawn a lowly naive farm girl albeit witty clever and resourceful Fawn was a damsel in distress rescued by Dag that was how their paths crossed They pushed old boundary lines to be together against all oddsThe story was not all romance there was magic action and adventure that gave they story a bit depth Overall it was not too bad I had a great time Okayfirst let us make no mistake This is a romance a love story The synopsis may make it sound like an adventure it may talk about the Lake Walkers the Patrolers in mysterious termsbut it amounts to a love story The inexperienced young farm girl meets the mysterious older and knowledgeable Lake Walker shows herself competent and able than expected Then their love must overcome various and sundry obstacles I'd mention a couple but that might be considered giving spoilers etc etc and so on and so on The book opens with a bit of action and we get an explanation of the title some background on the world and then we launch off into the romance I knew I was in trouble when it took 2 chapters to travel from the farm where they'd been staying to the place they were going and all that actually happened along the way was adolescent conversationSo if you're looking for a romance novel and I know some of you will be glad of this this is your book If you're looking for a fantasy that concerns the subject of the book's synopsis other than the romance of course you're out of luck On the plus side for many and I'm not dissing the book or those who like romances If you're looking for a romance this seems like it might be one you'll find satisfying Good reading to you who like this type story As for myselfI don't plan to follow up with the rest of the series Reading the reviews the detractors seem to fall into certain categories Those who were expecting something like her Vorkosigan series and are disappointed it's fantasy Hello it's pretty explicitly marked as fantasy from the description to the cover Those who were expecting something like her Chalion series and are disappointed the emphasis on this first book is on romance Yes it is I think it's tons better than the usual book on the romance aisle but if you sneer at books built around a love story by all means you'll want to pass this by Finally several seemed disturbed that this is a MayDecember romance about a teenager and a man over fifty And one that unlike Angel or Edward gasp doesn't look young apparently the only thing that matters The age difference doesn't bother me That Fawn is so young might have but it does help this is a frontier society They grow up fast and marry early there and given Fawn is already pregnant when Dag meets her it's not as if I feel he corrupts an innocent waifFor me that this isn't anything like Chalion or Vorkosigan is a good thing I like versatile authors who don't write the same book a gazillion times This is a very different world than either of her other series Not faux European high fantasy nor futuristic Space Opera Instead this has the feel of the American frontier perhaps a transformed world from our own far future I found the entire world Bujold created with the malices intriguing And as with her other books I love her characters I liked spending time with them And as this is only the first part of a four volume series that can be seen as one novel that's important I waited a year because someone had warned me that The Sharing Knife Beguilement was actually the first half of a book summarily chopped in half So I waited until the second came out The story appears to be a fantasy set in some pastoral world near water I later found out the setting was a parallel world Great Lakes region an area I'd never seen and so did not recognize where we are introduced to two cultures living in uneasy coexistence the Farmers and the Lakewakers who patrol everywhere looking for malices bogles to the Farm people that suck all the life and energy out of people animals land The resultant blight can last a century or and affected are not just the living but the environment such as rocks and soil The Lakewalkers aren't particularly trusted by the Farm folk who own and farm land but are protected by them the Farm folk are unable to fight the boglesThe story begins when a Farm girl Fawn just barely eighteen runs away from home gets grabbed by a malice is rescued by a Lakewalker and ends up spending enough time with the man for reasons having to do with the eponymous Sharing Knives that she begins to fall for him Even though she's eighteen and he's fifty fiveBujold has given us middle aged battle weary heroes before in Aral of the Miles books and Caz of the Chalion books and she makes them fascinating and distinct Dag is tired and missing a hand though anyone who assumes he can't hold his own in battle is in for a nasty surprise He's grief driven so tight wired that he's got no emotional edge on an eighteen year old one could say that he's emotionally retarded by his long shock filled life Everyone in both cultures disapproves of these two as a pair; she a blithe spirit becomes stubborn and he sheepish begins to wake up to the possibilities of life again instead of the close focus on methods of delivering efficient death Together they are an anomaly and not just because of the age and cultural divide but because something happened when they killed that malice together to make it clear that there's a lot of mystery still buried in their historyThis is a new world at least initially uieter in tone and drive than the Miles books Many fans have grumped about anything Bujold does that is not Miles But the over arcing Miles story itself has become not Miles at least the powerful emotional overdrive and desperate death threatening political situation all fuel injected by Mile's high octane personal problems are not the same rocket or rather that rocket has achieved high orbit Very much present in these two books are the signature Bujoldian gracenotes everyday humor thoroughly grounding flights of heroism angst that never whines grief that does not overwhelm the story with scenes meant to drench the reader in pity What Bujold does in the first book as she carefully develops every character never settling for stereotypes or single motive actions is remind the reader that outside the firelight and the merry dancing dark things do prowl This book wasnot good This author is great This bookHarleuin y This was a lovely fantasy romance by one of my new favorite authors I wonder why people complain so much if there is a romance in a sci fi or fantasy novel? Are all the people complaining single and uninterested in love or do they just insist that people in fiction be unrealistically asexual? Anyway this book sucked me right in This author has such a fluid clear style that I just love her stories and her people The world building was great and I love the way there are no info dumps but the world is revealed a bit at a time The characterizations are wonderful and the romance was very natural and sweet The Sharing Knife is about Fawn Bluefield a young woman pregnant but unwed and scorned by the father of her baby Fearing the shame and outrage that will fall on her when news of her pregnancy gets around she decides to run away from home and make a new life for herself in the city of Glassforge where she will pretend to be a widow On her way she encounters a group of Lakewalkers a mysterious race of people who patrol the land searching for and destroying malices also known as blight bogles to the farmers Fawn hides from them and soon after continues on her way Unfortunately she walks right into a fierce battle between the Lakewalkers and a malice of unusual strength Two of the malice's slaves kidnap her meaning to drain her and her unborn baby of life so that it will gain power She is rescued by Dag a Lakewalker who was tracking the two slaves but not before the malice steals the life of Fawn's baby and she miscarries Actually during the fight to free her Fawn is the one who kills the malice by stabbing it with Dag's sharing knife which is the only way to kill a malice Sharing knives are made of human bone but only bone from a willing adult donor The knives are primed or enchanted when a Lakewalker gives his or her death to it that is they stab themselves through the heart usually on the battlefield to avoid being taken by a malice or in the face of incurable illness Dag was carrying two sharing knives one that was primed to kill the malice and one that wasn't The one that wasn't primed is made from his wife's bone who died twenty years ago Unfortunately Fawn didn't know which to use and so used both The second knife is now primed and Dag doesn't know how or why although he puts that thought behind him in the immediate need to take care of FawnExhausted from the fight and the Malice's lingering influence Dag and Fawn ride to a nearby abandoned farm where Dag does what he can to help her Eventually she is well enough that they can travel on to Glassforge there to meet up with Dag's patrol of Lakewalkers Not surpisingly Fawn begins to develope feelings for Dag who saved her life and so does Dag; Fawn is pretty spirited and intelligent Dag keeps his distance though knowing that Lakewalkers and farmers do not mix and Fawn does as well still stung by her previous lover's rejection When they arrive at Glassforge Dag asks permission to leave and consult with a maker to find out what must be done with the knife His patrol leader and aunt Mari agrees although they must complete their current patrol first The Lakewalkers all treat Fawn with respect for her role in killing the malice and kindly allow her to stay with them since she is still too weak from her miscarriage to find work Eventually though Dag and Fawn cannot hide their feelings for each other any and against all better judgement and the advice of Mari they become a couple Not long after Dag finishes his patrol and he and Fawn set off for Dag's homeland in the North First however Dag feels that Fawn needs to make an appearance at her family home to let them know that she is well since she ran away without leaving wordWhile at Fawn's home Dag proposes to her causing an uproar Fawn of course agrees and they make plans to stay in Bluefield long enough to have a proper marriage before leaving for Dag's homeOn a scale of 1 10 this rates 5 I think Bujold had some really great ideas Groundsensemagic? Awesome A one handed protagonist? Awesome A polyandrous society? Awesome ButFawn really annoyed me Bujold tried to make her engaging and strong but it didn't feel right to me Sure having Fawn kill the malice ought to have made her strong But she only managed to kill it through a combination of luck and accident And she just has no back bone at all She seems completely dependent on Dag Not a good start to winning me overHowever I was or less okay with that and up until 23 through the book I would have given it a 7 But then they go on that stupid detour to Fawn's home Right around page 250 I think is where my logic circuit sent a BS alert to my consciousness and my disbelief slipped a few notches All of a sudden they go from being on a journey to find out what happened to the sharing knife to being in the middle of a family dramaromance Which is not what I signed up forThe main number one problem I have is the relationship itself between Dag and Fawn It just feels wrong Disturbing almost First of all there is the age difference of thirty seven years Yes 37 years On top of that Fawn lied about her age telling Dag she was twenty when in fact she was eighteen Two years difference might not make much difference to someone Dag's age which is fifty five but there can be a pretty big difference between eighteen and twenty There was for me and I was a pretty mature eighteen year old There is an even bigger difference between the eighteen year old me and the twenty two year old me And Dag wasn't even upset to find out she had been lying to him And she wasn't upset to find out his actual age which he had been hiding from her Now Dag does come from a long lived people; barring death in battle or from illness he can expect to live to 120 That's not the issue so much as the fact that Fawn is still a teenager Technically physically she is an adult but mentally and emotionally? She still has some growing to do; she is not his eual Take the reason she got pregnant in the first place She didn't think she would really be grown up until she had slept with a man which is a very juvenile and ungrown up idea And she confesses this to Dag the second day after they've met Granted they'd both been through a lot but I can see how he would be real attracted to her at that point If she had exhibited any kind of real growth over the course of the story then that would change the lanscape a bit but she didn't not from what I can see One thing Where is the angst? Dag has been shutting himself off from romantic companionship for twenty years because of the death of his wife Then he meets a new girl I just can't think of Fawn as a woman and falls in love again just like that Not to mention the fact that the sharing knife made from his first wife's bone that he meant to one day plunge into his heart is in the posession of this new girl who has possibly rendered it useless and therefore made his wife's sacrifice in vain WHY ISN'T HE ANGSTING? He should not be asking her to marry him what three weeks after they first met? If there is any situation in fantasy fiction that calls for angst this is it Not that I have a particular fondness for angst; it can wear thin pretty uickly But it is a natural part of human emotion I expect just a hint of it from Dag but there really isn't any Alright this is fantasy and I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief But the things I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief for groundsense malices etc do not have any real world counterparts People however are both real life and fictional And just because I've decided to go along with whatever you concoct doesn't mean that if the people in the story do something like well this that I can just accept it no uestions asked If anyone had asked me what I thought was going to happen in the story I would have said that Fawn definately developes feelings for Dag He saved her life after all it's a natural enough thing to happen Dag might start feeling a little attracted to her but he just has too much emotional baggage to simply say here I am I'm yours Not to mention the guilt he should have felt over being attracted toin love with someone that much younger than him Over time in which Fawn grows and matures Dag gets over his issues and then they get together

Ebook  Ù Beguilement MOBI ¼
  • ebook
  • 384 pages
  • Beguilement
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • English
  • 21 August 2015
  • 9780061208669