Was not too impressed the first time round it was sufficiently out of time from the first two books that I had trouble relating to the time and setting. On the second listen, being more aware of the story line I found it quite intriguing and quite cleverly written. Be prepared for it to be different and enjoy.
The Hallowed Hunt isn't quite on par with Curse of Chalion or Paladin of Souls, but still a very nice book. I would happily give it another "overall" star, if it wasn't for the narrator.
The narrator does a poor job. Many times her reading doesn't match the description, like if the book reads "Good morning, she said happily" the narrator might read "good morning" so that it doesn't sound happy. Also she puts the emphasis and pauses wrong or splits up sentences, garbling them up. One or two little mistakes in a book I could live with, but these were too frequent to be acceptable from a professional narrator.
I had read the reviews on this site before listening to this book, so my expectations were low. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was just as gripping as the first two books in the series. In fact, in some ways it was better, as the plot was more complex and the depth of magic and history was meatier and more interesting.
I found the story quite gripping and engaging. There were enough original ideas in it to keep me thinking. The love story was deep enough to engage my heart. As a lead character, Ingrey was definitely not as likeable as Cazaril and Ista were in the previous novels, yet I still cared about him and I also cared about the other central character - Ijada, whose fate is interwoven with his. And I also found myself getting quite drawn in my the central "evil" character in the book, whose motivations were complex enough to evoke my compassion and empathy. Some of the side characters were wonderful too like the learned Holina. In the first few chapters I was sad that there were no links with the characters in the previous two books and that it is set in a completely different land, but I soon realised that the thread that ties these three books together is not characters or history but theology. Indeed the ideas of gods and saints and spirits are taken much further in this book than in the others.
The narrator didn't bother me, although I do tend to prefer it when the gender of the reader matches the gender of the main characters. The only thing that irked me was that all 3 narrators in this series pronounced key words differently, like place names and character names. Don't they listen to each other?
All told, it was an engaging book to listen to and helped me get all my dishes done each night!
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 really enjoy this author. The fickle gods are fantastic. This particular book is disconnected from the previous two, but you are dealing with your strongest protagonist of the three. In a way, this is very enjoyable. The story ambles a bit, but don't worry, it finishes with a flourish.
Top notch Bujold
Ingrey is one of my favorite Bujold characters. I love the ice bear side story.
I missed some fine nuances. Side characters were more real and interesting this way.
When Ingrey considers denying the influence of the Gods, and when Ingrey and Ijada connect on the steps (it's not what you think).
I don't think it's possible to be dissatisfied with a Bujold story, even if you don't agree with some of the characterization by the reader.
This book was number 3 in the series. I found it to be an interesting read. However, it did not really follow the story line of the 2 previous books, The thread it picked up on was not really an important part of either of the 2 previous books. Have to say was disappointed in that because the first 2 book were good and the 2nd book was my favorite. Over all 3.5 rating.
Bujold once again excels herself ina great story that has well developed characters in a fantastic cultural setting.
Set in the same world as Curse of Chalion, this book takes a different angle from previous books in this world by looking at a country that has been 'invaded' by the five god religion. It develops the hidden costs of using religion in perverted ways, and the reader soon finds themselves in the depths of a fictional theology. Bujold is excellent at developing this side of a story that other authors fail at, and it is a skill worth reading.
The narration is reasonable, and does not distract from the story. As in past Bujold books her use of long and unusual English words sometimes means the narrator mispronounces one or two, but this once again is not distracting to any degree.
This is a definate listen.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of Lois McMaster Bujold's novels....until now. Apart from the terrible narration, the story was forced and stilted. Descriptive language was repetitive to the point of becoming an irritant. The plot line was so convoluted, it became an unrewarding challenge to try to follow.
This book is a waste of a credit or a waste of money....
I hope McMaster Bujold is able to regain her former excellence as her previous works were engaging and entertaining.