Yes for Lois McMaster Bujold, but not because of this one. I would not try another by the same narrator, Marguerite Gavin.
No, but it would have if I had read it first
See my comments.
Not up to McMaster Bujold's usual standards.
First, I very much enjoy Lois McMaster Bujold’s novels. Except for this one.
My wife and I listened to "The Curse of Chalion" on a road trip some time ago. Since then we also listened to "Paladin of Souls", and lately "The Hallowed Hunt". Each of these three novels will stand on its own. The lead character in "Paladin of Souls" is introduced to us in "The Curse of Chalion", but, except for that one, "Paladin of Souls" has only passing references to some of the characters in "The Curse of Chalion".
The only link between "The Hallowed Hunt" and the earlier books is the religion. None of the earlier books’ characters are even mentioned in "The Hallowed Hunt". As nearly as a listener can tell, the events don’t even happen in Chalion, although they do refer to one or two other nations that are mentioned in the earlier books.
I didn’t find the story particularly interesting. It had little action and consisted mostly of dialog between the characters as they discussed the predicaments they were in, all from the view of the peculiar religion in the series. I don’t dislike the fantasy religion; it was great and easily grasped in "The Curse of Chalion". Listening to this novel though, it seemed all I heard about were the oddities of the belief system.
About 90% of the dialog was among men, so the woman narrator was at a disadvantage. It showed. She had a difficult time separating her masculine voices so the listener could tell them apart. Also, with McMaster Bujold’s style of writing, there are often written thoughts of the characters followed by actual spoken words. The narrator was unable to make it clear when the character was thinking or speaking.
Editing of the recording is something that you should never notice, and you don’t, unless it’s bad. We noticed the editing with this recording. Mostly it was the announcement of the next chapter number immediately following the last syllable of the preceding chapter, but there was at least one occasion where an entire sentence was repeated, back to back.
All in all, I will never listen to this book again, although I most certainly will listen to the other two in the Chalion series. There was nothing here that grasped me.
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 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.
Book and the writing were fine as far as I heard but I couldn't finish it due to the news-person-like cadence to the reader's voice. Her tone doesn't feel natural or engaging. I keep trying to push past it though.