I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately and I thought it would be a good idea to take a break and sink my teeth into some good old fantasy. When I saw that Beguilement, the first installment in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Sharing Knife series was available in Fully Booked for P320, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not a fan of sci-fi but I made an exception when I read Young Miles, which contains the two books in Bujold’s famous Vorkosigan Saga. I loved Miles Vorkosigan and while I haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of the books in the series, I do have copies of all of them. I wanted to see how Bujold writes fantasy as compared to sci-fi.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
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 alike.
It 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.
Lakewalkers are soldiers who have a special kind of magic and are tasked to get rid of the evil beings called malices. Non-Lakewalker people are usually called farmers even if they don’t necessarily farm for a living. The two kinds of people don’t mix because farmers don’t understand the Lakewalker kind of life and the magic that they use. Dag is a Lakewalker patroller. Fawn is a young farmer girl who ran away from her family, hoping to find a better life in the city. These two are unexpectedly thrown together when they’re forced to confront a malice. At its core, Beguilement is a love story set in a fantasy world. There’s a lot of tension between the two of them as they try to fight their attraction. There are several reasons why they shouldn’t be together, not the least of which is their age difference, but as they get to know each other more, they realize that they’re fighting a losing battle. There’s a lot of action in the first few chapters of the book and the latter ones are dedicated to the blossoming relationship between Dag and Fawn.
Can I just say that I was really excited when I found out that Dag had one hand missing and he’s still more than capable of being an excellent patroller? I have this thing for one-handed characters with amazing fighting skills. I don’t what to say why because it might give away spoilers but I’m sure several of you will understand why this is interesting for me. I also like Fawn and her vivacious and inquisitive nature. She’s the perfect balance for an old, weary patroller who’s given up hope of being happy in life.
I like the world created by Ms. Bujold in this one and while I am curious as to what happens next to both Dag and Fawn, I think I can wait until I’ve brought down my TBR to a more decent number. Still, I applaud Ms. Bujold for being an amazing writer in whatever genre she tackles – be it romantic fantasy or science fiction. I look forward to reading more of her work. Recommended for fans of fantasy with romantic elements. If you’ve read this and the other books in the series, please let me know what you think of them!