A fantastic story and a solid narrating job. I felt the narrator had too wry of a tone in a few bits, but I found that did not detract from my pleasure of it.
This must be one of the best fantasy books I've ever read/listened to. The story is so perfectly told, clear with no unnecessary padding and yet with enough detail to paint beautiful pictures. The hero Caz is wonderfully human and far from the stereotypes, but yet a real hero. The plot is complex and deepens into something of a mystery/detective story in a fantasy setting, and then it evolves even further... I will say no more since that would be spoilers.
I haven't read anything like this before, and I've read a lot of fantasy over the years. However, if you're expecting classic sword'n'sorcery and dragonslaying adventures, don't bother. This one is for the advanced reader who wants something more than the standard formula.
This is really original fantasy. Lois Bujold writes great stories, characters you want to have for friends (except the enemies who, themselves, are drawn believably) and worlds of imagination.
Lois doesn't just rehash the same old ogres, elves, etc., that are the staples of so many fantasy writers - she creates something new and fascinating.
The Curse of Chalion won the Hugo Award for the the Best SF/Fantasy of its year as voted by the fans - and it was well deserved.
Lloyd James did a REALLY GOOD job of narrating this. He has developed greatly as a narrator and his voices, emotion, pacing, . . . everything, were really appropriate to the content of the story.
This is an excellent story made exceptional by Lloyd James' reading. For the first time ever, I am searching a narrator's catalogue rather than an author's to find more of the same. Similarly, this a very rare instance where I actually prefer the audio version of a book over the printed version. Well done, Mr. James.
Bujold writes the kind of fiction that I like, both her romantic fantasies and her science fiction. Her story lines are clear, her descriptions rich but concrete, her vocabulary precise.
Within the first hour, any fan of high fantasy knows roughly how this story will play out... and is eager to take part in the voyage. If we step back a few paces, the primary character is not even remotely credible -- much too perfect -- but Bujold makes us believe in him, gradually transmuting our perception of him from sympathy -- almost pity -- to respect.
The reading is not at all intrusive... which to my mind is a high compliment.
This was my kind of listen, the narration was wonderful. Voices fit the characters.The language was beautiful and poetic in its description the world of Chalion. The plot was unpredictable with a hint of fantasy. I definitely would pick this narrator and author again. The description of court dynamics and intrigue remained me a little of the Kushiel series
The usual reason for choosing audio books is probably more personal than practical. All of Bujold's work suffers from her playful need to turn the alphabet into a game of sudoko and then call the result names. I really need someone to translate the sound. This book moves like music with Lloyd James translation of impossible sound from my own effort. I have listened to the book at least four times and still have not run out of appetite for it.
This was the first of a three book series set in a fascinating universe that you hate to leave. The characters are well developed. The universe is coherent, consistent and intriguing. And the plot is well constructed. Others can summarize the latter.
The book marked a major change in Bujold???s work (which is widely regarded as some of the best writing in the SF/Fantasy genre.) CoC was released late in the year and received honorable mentions in 'Best of" competitions, but I suspect it was such a shift that readers were a little startled ... it wasn't the usual Bujold. The second book in the series, Paladin of Souls, swept the major honors the year it was released, but I have always felt CoC was the better of the two. It really should be read first, although PoS can stand alone.
The reader is competent. However, for me, the story evokes a sort of early-Renaissance Italy feel that is slightly at odds with the reader's contemporary metro-Texas accent. But once I got used to it, the distraction faded and the story is completely gripping. Be prepared for an ???all-nighter.???
It's surprisingly different from the Miles Vorkosigan series. You could even be forgiven for not realizing it was the same author, but it still has some of the humor & is a real page turner. I got so into the story that I didn't watch any TV while I was home or listen to anything else in the car all weekend & I finished an audio book that should have lasted all week in a couple of days.
An ok fantasy but how many times can medieval magic and love stories happen. I really like her Miles Vorkosigan and spinnoff novels better.