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The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement | [Lois McMaster Bujold]

The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement

Young, pregnant Fawn Bluefield has just fled her family's farm to the city of Glassforge, where she encounters a patrol of the enigmatic soldier-sorcerers known as Lakewalkers. Fawn has heard stories about the Lakewalkers, who are wandering necromancers with no permanent homes and no possessions except the clothes they wear and the mysterious knives they carry. What she does not know is that the Lakewalkers are engaged in a perilous campaign against inhuman and immortal magical entities known as "malices".
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Publisher's Summary

Young, pregnant Fawn Bluefield has just fled her family's farm to the city of Glassforge, where she encounters a patrol of the enigmatic soldier-sorcerers known as Lakewalkers. Fawn has heard stories about the Lakewalkers, who are wandering necromancers with no permanent homes and no possessions except the clothes they wear and the mysterious knives they carry. What she does not know is that the Lakewalkers are engaged in a perilous campaign against inhuman and immortal magical entities known as "malices".

When Fawn is kidnapped by one of these creatures, it is up to Dag, an older Lakewalker, heavy with sorrows and responsibilities, to rescue her. But in the ensuing struggle, it is not Dag but Fawn who kills the creature, at dire cost. And an uncanny accident befalls Dag's sharing knife, which unexpectedly binds their two fates together.

Don't miss the second volume, Legacy.

©2007 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Bujold develops the characters and their relationship skillfully enough to please romance as well as fantasy fans." (Booklist)
"[A] saga of daring deeds and unlikely romance. Bujold quickly develops unforgettable characters as she crafts a world filled with unique monsters and an original approach to magic." (Library Journal)
"Compelling characters lift this first of a two-book romantic fantasy from Hugo-winner Bujold....Bujold hints at an epic past of mighty kingdoms and ancient sorceries, a past that will hopefully be fully detailed in the sequel." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (924 )
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4.1 (325 )
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4.3 (316 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric C. Zawadzki Minneapolis, MN, United States 08-27-09
    Eric C. Zawadzki Minneapolis, MN, United States 08-27-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    "Not really my thing"

    I really enjoyed Curse of Chalion and wanted to try out more Bujold, but this one didn't work out the way I had hoped. Perhaps I am not the target audience. I finished the book, but I'm afraid I walked away disappointed.

    It's not that this book is badly written, but all the action and heavy world-building are in the first few chapters. After that the world-building is told entirely through dialogue, and the plot turns into a straightforward love story with decent character building but little dramatic tension.

    I'm not a big fan of the unnecessary age gap, but it's the substantial power differential (from "I'll teach you how the world works" to "I'll teach you how to make love") that makes the relationship creepy in my eyes.

    Clearly a lot of other reviewers enjoyed this book a lot more than I did, but for my part I think I'll go back to Chalion or pick up one of Bujold's books about this Miles character I've heard so much about.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark LITLLE COMPTON, RI, USA 09-10-07
    Mark LITLLE COMPTON, RI, USA 09-10-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not your average McMaster Bujold"

    I found this story line to be a little different than what I had come to expect from 5 of her previous titles I have read. Though it started out in a similar fashion with danger and life and limb in peril it shifted away from that format and unlike her other books didn't return. If I had known that was how the story would run it's course I would have stayed clear of this novel. If I had I would have made a big mistake.

    This was a wonderful story of a warrior and a commoner/farmers daughter and their adventure in a land of a pre industrial society. Ms Bujold’s writing style is once again top notch and her story telling is captivating. If she can keep someone that usually reads Asimov, Bova, Card, Herbert and Richard Morgan with a novel like this then it has to be extremely well written, and it was. Highly recommended. Don't miss this one it's very very good.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Kennedy 03-20-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Romance Novel Than Fantasy, But I Like It"

    I waited to read Parts 1 through 3 before sharing my opinion of "The Sharing Knife" series. While it was more romance novel than my usual liking, I found the characters engaging. The descriptive narrative in that regard was very good (you could cast the movie in your head by reading/listening to the book). The premise of the sharing knife was well thought out, as were the stark differences (and newfound similarities) between the farmers and the lake walkers. The present-day relative class/race/religion struggles are more than subtly entwined in the chasm that separates farmers and lake walkers. I like a story with a moral, and this series has several: we all do better when we work together; don't judge a book by its cover; and try to see the world through another's eyes if you wonder what you have been overlooking...and that's just a few of them.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sackinger 07-10-08 Member Since 2008

    CEO 42 Software, FNC 0 Consultant

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Twice Told"

    I started reading this book before my eyes started to go, so I was full aware of the text before listening. It is a wonderful tale written by a master story-teller. The characters are immediately recognizable and easy to identify with. The story line is complex, coming to a climax at least three different times in the telling of the story.

    All that is what I alread knew. What I didn't know was that the reader was a master at her craft. Each voice was distinctly different and identifiable as if it were really another person speaking the lines. The male protagonist, Dag, is hard for a soprano voice to manage but she does a reasonable job.

    Even if you've read this book, you'll enjoy hearing it again as a Twice Told Tale.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Elburn, IL, USA 12-30-08
    Beth Elburn, IL, USA 12-30-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Truly enjoyable"

    I wasn't too sure about the narrator at first. After I got used to her voices for the different characters I was totally engrosed. Fawn and Dag are wonderful. They seem to be an odd couple for many reasons. Fawn is young and seeming immature, but she soon starts showing a wisdom beyond her years. Dag is patient and brave. They encounter and overcome many obsticles while beginning their romance. Ms Bujold is a very talented writer, she's able to build multidimensional characters and describle worlds beautifully. This is one of my favorite series, I have listened to all of the volumes and I cannot wait for more.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neale Blackwood PERTH, WA Australia 08-02-09
    Neale Blackwood PERTH, WA Australia 08-02-09

    Neale

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great fantasy"

    I like the author's fantasy novels as they are good fantasy without being a LOTR try hard. The characters are interesting and well developed. The fantasy world's laws are easy to understand and plausible. A great listen well worth the effort. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Narrator did a great job. Recommend

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-01-09
    01-01-09 Listener Since 2008
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    I loved the first book so much that I went out and got the second and third volumes which I equally enjoyed. I found the story lines good and really enjoyed the narration as well. I found that the plot and background and characters clear enough to follow and make the audio book all that more enjoyable.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank White Lake, MI, USA 03-03-08
    Frank White Lake, MI, USA 03-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not bad for a Romance Novel, but not her best work"

    While I enjoyed the story it wasn’t what I was expecting.
    I was expecting more of an in depth story line with action and some romance (like the Challion series). Instead this is a romance novel with a sprinkling of magic and some action.

    Book 1 & 2 are both good stories but again they are not fantasy/action novels – they are love stories.

    If I had purchased these as romance novels I would have given them a 4 but I was expecting more out of Bujold.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jode Bode Foster, OR, US 10-12-07
    Jode Bode Foster, OR, US 10-12-07 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful Book"

    This is my first book experience of anything written by Bujold. I'm not a big Romance novel fan, but I truly enjoyed how the book began with a shy, misguided, under appreciated farm girl who ran away from home to hide her poor judgement and shame. During her traveling adventure, she quickly came across fearful situations that brought forth fearless strengths and determination that quickly caught the interest of a living legend lake walker and malice slayer, named Dag. Absolutely lovely book, and I'm downloading Book 2 now, as I want to know what happens when Spark meets Dags' (the lakewalker) family and kin, and how their lives together will grow. Great book with just the right amount of romance, adventure, and peril, etc.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David LANCASTER, CA, United States 10-02-07
    David LANCASTER, CA, United States 10-02-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Another fantasy"

    Another new universe from Bujold. Half the fun is figuring out the laws of magic. But people are people regardless of the universe they are in, and Bujold writes well about people, the way they act and interact.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 41 results PREVIOUS125NEXT
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  • Kelly
    Aldershot, Hampshire, United Kingdom
    9/2/07
    Overall
    "Fantastic listen"

    I found this to be an enthralling and addictive listen - it's amazing how many times in a day I managed to find a few minutes to listen to just a little bit more... The story is compelling, and the narration is good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amree
    London UK
    2/27/10
    Overall
    "Listen to all 4 volumes together"

    I have just had the delight of downloading all 4 volumes of the sharing knife, read beautifully by Bernadette Dunn, and listening to them all in one go. It really is a single story, and listened to in this way I began to see the emerging themes in a way I had not from reading individual volumes in the past. A glorious, gentle, uplifting read. Not quite the same brilliance as some of Lois Bujold's other works, but with a mature sweetness that makes them just as good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sophia
    Stanhope, United Kingdom
    12/29/09
    Overall
    "Disgruntled"

    An engaging book but read by someone who often sounds like she is reading a shopping list (or doing a terrible audio description for a film). The narrator is good at voices but abysmal at description. Sometimes I think she is reading the book for the first time as there are inappropriate pauses and inflections. Enjoying the story though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Camborne, UK
    7/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A different side to Bujold"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sharing Knife, Volume 1 the most enjoyable?

    It was good to hear a different type of tale (for me) from this author. I love her Miles Vorkosigan novels for their wit and pace. This is the first of her fantasy novels I have listened to and although it whiled away the time as I painted the spare room, I wasn't hooked. It was a pleasant tale, but I need to listen again I think.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Lois McMaster Bujold? Why or why not?

    Yes, I will always go for her sci-fi novels for the great characters and the subtle humour along with believable tech and decent storyline. I will try another of her fantasy novels sometime, as I'm aware first-of-a-series novels are often scene-setters and the story really takes off from there. I would have liked the lead female to be a bit stronger; maybe that will come as the series unfolds.


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    There seemed an element of 'hillbilly' for the village folk and the main male character reminded me of Clint Eastwood! I had to remind myself sometimes this wasn't a western. Not bad, for all that though.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    I will certainly try another of her fantasy novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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