Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
Unlike several readers, I found it very easy to identify with the leading character in this book. Bujold brings into her best characters the confusing ambiguity of intention and conviction which is an inescapable part of what we find when we look deeply into our own inner workings. And she manages to do it without neglecting the human capacity for sacrifice and nobility which can lead us to transcend our weaknesses at times.
The action in LMB's writing is always as much interior as overt, but she gives it a momentum which keeps me, who cannot abide plots which plod, entirely engaged and fascinated. I think it is because all of the strengths in her characters seem to rise out of apparent weaknesses. As a result she can weave them more and more deeply into what seem to be inextricable situations and still have rescue or redemption appear inevitable and truthful when it arrives.
I had no problem with this narrator. As a matter of fact, I actually delighted in the unusual resonance of her voice and her excellent phrasing and subtle, but almost always clear, character delineation.
Was this as good as the two books in this world setting which preceded it? Perhaps not quite, but that is holding Ms. Bujold to a very high standard indeed.
This book although it is part of a Trilogy, it does not follow on from the last two. It could be read standalone. The story is quite slow to get going and a little boring. Once you get a third to half way through it starts getting quite exciting. It is worth reading for the 2nd half of the book.
I did not have any problems with the narrator she was quite good I thought.
It's always hard to figure out what went wrong when talking about the weakest book of a series, and more so with audiobooks as you are reviewing both reader and writer.
However, if I'm going to lay blame for the issues I had with this one, I'm laying it squarely at the feet of the author. The reason being, I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. The book starts with a weaker female character who has a male protector of limited skill/social-standing. This pairing has already been done, and better, in "The Curse of Chalion." Also, after such a powerful female character as Ista, connecting with Ijada's plight is difficult.
Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion books are always slow to get into gear, but normally there is something interesting along the way. However, Ingrey simply feels like a less interesting Caz.
The story isn't bad, it's just weaker in comparison and has a "Haven't we been here before?" feel.
I feel also the readings would have been better if there had been some consistency. Lloyd James or Kate Reading (narrators of the other two books) would have better choices.
I was a bit cautious after reading the poor reviews but I thought to myself it seemed very unlikely Lois could write a ho hum book. I really enjoyed it and had no problems with the narration. The Hallowed Hunt contains all the twists and turns I expect from this wonderful story teller.
I really enjoyed this story - as I have pretty much every book of Bujold's. It's not my favourite in this series (it has none of the same characters or locations, just the same world and its accompanying theology), but it had some awesome parts and I loved the characters.
The reading is, in my opinion, overdone. I think it's a matter of personal taste, some people might not dislike it and I still listened to the whole book and enjoyed it. However, the overly dramatic reading definitely got in the way sometimes - it would jar me out of the flow of the story.
Overall I think it's still worth a listen, but maybe test first to make sure it's not going to bother you.
I am a big fan of Lois McMaster Bujold's books, and this one has all the elements one has come to expect: a damaged and dangerous hero, an admirable heroine, a corrupt and unscrupulous antagonist, understated romance, and a complex and satisfying plot.
The theology in these three books (The Curse of Chalion) is wise, fascinating and consistent.
The Reader has a beautiful voice, but with a rather odd cadence that took a bit of getting used to, however it all seemed to smooth out in the final chapters.
First, the reader has one of the best voices I have ever heard.
The book is another matter. I have read everything the author has written. She has been one of my favorite authors. Her characters,plotting, action and dialog leaped from the page. I would go out in the middle of the night to get her next book.
With the author's switch from SF to Fantasy, each book has become a little more uninspiring than the one before. At times the dialog drones on and on. Until the final 2 hours of this one, it kept putting me to sleep. I struggled to continue with the book. I seriously believe that if Lois had written this book under a pseudonym, it would not have been published. It is my hope that she will seriously revisit what made her earlier work so exciting and re-energize her writting.
TECHNICAL: Invisible as it should be.
NARRATION: Pleasant voice, nice characterizations, both female and male characters were consistent and well tailored to the plot.
AUTHORCRAFT: Wonderful story, with a clever series of plot twists. Magnificent detail throughout the book that I’ve come to expect from Bujold. Well-developed characters that made me cheer and boo.
I guess the only thing I can say is that I'm glad this was the first book I have listened to by this author. I say this after reading the reviews that bad mouthed the book and the narrator. I really enjoyed this one and I thought Marguerite Gavin did an excellent job with all the characters in the book. I found the plot quite interesting and had not trouble keeping up with what was going on and did not find parts that were difficult to get through. Listen with an open mind, and you will find this one throughly enjoyable.
I adore most of Bujold's novels, be they Chalion, Vorkosigan or Sharing Knife. I have both read and listened to most of them multiple times, and intend to listen to them again. The stories are so good that I enjoy listening to them even though I am so familiar with them that sometimes I can recite along with the narrator in my mind.
But sadly, not this one. I don't know why. It's just flat, for some reason. Only the main character made a real impression, and I was let down by the ending. It's not a terrible book, but I can't really recommend it.