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The Curse of Chalion | [Lois McMaster Bujold]

The Curse of Chalion

Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.
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Publisher's Summary

Lord Cazaril has been, in turn, courtier, castle-warder, and captain; now he is but a crippled ex-galley slave seeking nothing more than a menial job in the kitchens of the Dowager Provincara, the noble patroness of his youth. But Cazaril finds himself promoted to the exalted and dangerous position of tutor to Iselle, the beautiful, fiery sister of the heir to Chalion's throne.

Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

©2004 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Bujold weaves a convincing and captivating fantasy world, well researched, with magic that works and gods that live without destroying the balance of this medieval society....A finely balanced mixture of adventure, swordplay, court intrigue, romance, magic, and religion makes this book a delightful read." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2351 )
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Overall
4.3 (1150 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Marcelo Sao Paulo, Brazil 05-26-10
    Marcelo Sao Paulo, Brazil 05-26-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    9
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excelent!"

    Simply perfect narration! Very good story and a most rare and atypical hero! I recommend it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Falls Church, VA, USA 03-24-10
    Kimberly Falls Church, VA, USA 03-24-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "If I was on a deserted island!!"

    This is the top ranking for books in my library. This one makes the top five. I like a books that I can read multiple times and it doesn't matter that I know what is going to happen. The characters are old friends that I get to spend time with. I feel blessed that I have so many incredible books filled with friends and adventures, and they always let me come along.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan McAdams Sunnyvale, CA 02-20-08
    Brendan McAdams Sunnyvale, CA 02-20-08 Listener Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    "Superb Book, Superb Reading"

    I should clarify that "Curse of Chalion" is easily one of my favorite books. The story is compelling, it rises and falls in ways that make it tough to put down and weaves compelling tales and characters that you can't help but feel for.

    The reader for this is excellent - he conveys the depth of the turmoil in Cazaril's mind with such an evocative power that is unsurpassed.

    Not to be missed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabine Milford, NJ, USA 01-20-08
    Sabine Milford, NJ, USA 01-20-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    340
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator was great and brought life to all characters. It contained just the right amount of magic. Would recommend this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irfon-Kim Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-22-07
    Irfon-Kim Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-22-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Thoroughly Engaging"

    The strength of this story is in is characters, who are incredibly well fleshed-out, strikingly human, very believable, and more often than not quite likeable. Also a huge plus are that despite a standard patriarchal fantasy world, the novel contains a number of intelligent, active, well-portrayed female characters who exist and work of their own right rather than acting as props or foils for the male characters.

    The story itself is interesting and has good momentum and a few interesting twists, but the novel is ultimately mostly character-driven. This works well, given that you're handed a cast that you generally actually care about.

    The reading was very well-done, transparent but with excellent voicing of the characters. You could easily tell which character was speaking from the voices alone, without them ever becoming cartoonish or overdone. The voices of the main characters fit their descriptions and tone very well.

    My only complains is that the book contains a rather lengthy denoument with a lot of descriptive language long after the story is concluded. My attention really wandered toward the end. But it's a very minor detail compared to the rest of the work, which is top-notch.

    I don't know that years from now I'll think to put this on my "great books" list, and it wasn't really life-changing or philosophically challenging. However, it was good, solid entertainment of the best quality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Sacramento, CA, USA 05-21-07
    Mark Sacramento, CA, USA 05-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    222
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I found this book a tight story, and while not easy to follow, it was very enjoyable. I have listened to this narrator when he read other stories, and I had no issues with his work on this book. His narration, while not the best I've listened to, was well within my personal standards of taste.
    As for the story, Bujold weaves an enjoyable story which kept me interested until the very end. Her characters were unique and compelling, and they were the aspect I enjoyed most about the book. I have gone on to purchase the next book in the series, Paladin of Souls, which I found to be an even better "read." I was not disappointed in this book in any way. I intend to revisit this book, for a second time, as I believe that would allow for a deeper understanding of the characters, background and situations. All in all, I feel it was worth my money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 03-29-07
    Andrew 03-29-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    461
    28
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    1
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    Overall
    "I liked it"

    I'm a sci-fi fantasy reader/listener and I usually do NOT like stand alone books. But this was pretty well done. The lead character was well developed and the contributing characters were given enough life to seem real.

    the usual problem with stand alone novels is that any odd happening tends to be important, thus the book is somewhat easy to figure out. If the writer doesn't use the "in the past this crazy thing happend" trick then he has to pull something out of left field that makes you think "what just happend there".

    This was well done on both respects and very enjoyable.

    Id recommend it as a listen

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coral Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-18-07
    Coral Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-18-07 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    171
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Keep you glued to your earphones"

    This is a very enjoyable Fantasy/Action novel. It's got well written and developing characters who really interact with each other and are not purely good or evil. This is one of those rare stories where you can really believe in the rules of the world and the people within in it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark LITLLE COMPTON, RI, USA 12-25-06
    Mark LITLLE COMPTON, RI, USA 12-25-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    110
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    411
    25
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    1
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    Overall
    "Sci Fi/Fantacy? Good listen, Yes"

    The Curse of Chalion is a well written book with very well defined characters, plots and story lines. This story can of course be classified as fantasy with it's few instances of magic, but I found it to be more a description of mediaeval life with the typical superstitions of the time. Weather it's fantasy or history you will enjoy if you like a well written story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marty New York, NY, USA 12-18-06
    Marty New York, NY, USA 12-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Great listen!"

    A captivating story that takes a lot of traditional fantasy archetypes (curses, gods, and unwilling protagonists) and makes them new. The reader is also a superb voice actor.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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