The story and the reading are both absolutely riveting. The reader adds character to the people in this book, so much so as a matter of fact that one cannot help but wonder if he worked closely with the author. Bujold, of course, is at the top of her field, and this story is no different. When I read SPIRIT RING years ago, I was tremendously disappointed because it was so uninteresting. Because of that I waited an extra year before paying attention to this tome. I should not have. This story is rich beyond imagining in tragedy and triumph, and the reader just makes it better. I have already decided to snarf up PALADIN OF SOULS when my next allotment of books becomes available.
I enjoyed this story, although the hero Caz took some getting used to. At some points he seemed a little to perfect and 'too good to be true.' Also, didn't really care for the romance between Caz and the teenage handmaiden. Because Caz was her tutor it sort of skeeved me out. Not a big fan of older man/young woman relationships. Other than that, loved this story. 5 stars.
About 5 mins ago I finished this audio book. Overall, I truly enjoyed the listen with a few complaints. Lord Caz, the protagonist, is well read but his stammering, and sometimes limp, personality is a bit overdone at times to the point of annoyance. Also, the sound engineering of the voice actor could have used some work. I was terribly annoyed by the wet swallowing sounds that were made by the actor, and the sentences were broken in inappropriate places enough to distract me from the story at times. Being patient, however, I got used to most of this and eventually my ear smoothed over these imperfections. I will say of McMaster Bujolds story that, after making the journey with her, I am smiling and filled with a fantastic feeling of completion and happiness. I am left desiring more story, but not needing it to finish my experience. I am going to download her next novel directly, and I am excited to do so. If I have any other negative issues with the tale, it would be that it feels like it finishes too quickly. The "end game" of the story is extremely short. The inevitable defeat of the evil forces happens all of a sudden, where it might have been expounded on a bit, and suspended us a bit more, before resolution. Perhaps that is a personal function of my enjoyment of the tale though. Maybe it just finished too quickly for me...
In summary, if you enjoy fantasy and feeling good...have a listen.
It's rare for me to give out a five-star rating, but The Curse of Chalion has earned it and deserves it. This is the first book I've ever heard by Bujold and it makes me want to check out her other novels. The Curse of Chalion features one of the most well-developed plots I've come across in a long while. More like a medieval historical novel with a dash of fantasy -- mostly in the form of a mythological religion -- the novel is a slow burn that keeps building until the finale is finally reached. Along the way we're treated to exceptionally well-developed characters, an interesting world, and one of the most original high fantasy novels to come along in some time. No one who enjoys intelligently written fantasy or historical fiction will be disappointed in The Curse of Chalion.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- long and engrossing and quite action-packed. Although the book was complete in itself, the characters mentioned some long-term goals that aren't yet wrapped up, so I'm sure there will be a sequel. Can't wait!
First this is not Science Fiction, it is Fantasy. And even here in the truest tradition of Harlequin Romance Series.
Young heroine of good family is helped by attractive slightly older matron and returning war hero through series of intrigues (so very much of the book is sheltered conversations in dark rooms and corners) until she eventually prevails and marries prince charming (truly a prince and if not charming, at least prepubescent affable). Guiding matron and hero then marry. End of story. Nothing more to accomplish or tell. About time.
Although not a romance per se, it really is in so many ways -- most especially the outlook coloring the storyline. Bujold is MUCH better at including atmospheric details, etc. than in the one (Bujold) Miles V. sci-fi book I read earlier (in a buy 2 get 3 deal). This story? An interesting premise that never really develops past the 'pleasant' stage.