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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Love this series!!

LMB never disappoints. This is the third time around for me on this series - second time listening to it and it is still one of my favorites!

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Great world building; snoozy romance

Fawn Bluefield spent the night in a barn and she’s a bit road weary for it. She had to leave her family’s farm and now she’s on her way to Glassforge, one of the larger cities, to find work. However, she’s soon swept up in an adventure she didn’t anticipate, one that takes much from her but holds the possibility of giving her much in return.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Fawn is in her late teens or early twenties and she has made this tough choice to head out on her own. We learn really early on that she’s pregnant and she doesn’t want to burden her family with the consequences, but she also doesn’t want to face their ridicule. As we learn about Fawn and her troubles, we also learn about this magical world around her. Plus, Fawn is short for her age and folks tend to underestimate her, or talk over her head and she has to correct them on that.

The Lakewalkers are little known to Fawn, other than she thinks it’s best to leave them alone. They patrol the area, often hunting malices and their mudmen. As a malice grows in size, it starts kidnapping more and more humans to do it’s bidding. The Lakewalkers do their best to put down these malices but with the constant suspicion from the settled folks, it can be a bit tough. Dag is an older Lakewalker with plenty of scars and losses to bear. Yet when Fawn needs his help, he doesn’t hesitate. The Lakewalker patrols are made up of both men and women and seem a but more open about several things, things that Fawn asks about later on, much to my amusement as it makes Dag blush!

I was definitely fascinated by the sharing knives and the groundsense the Lakewalkers have. This mystical element really drew me in and I found myself pondering all the ways one could make use of groundsense. I’m sure the Lakewalkers have some intricate social niceties when it comes to groundsense, just trying to be polite and not intrude on one another’s private thoughts and feelings. The sharing knives were intriguing but I found the rules for their making and use to be confusing. Perhaps that is better explained further along in the series.

The malices made me think of alien spores that were left here to terraform the planet to the aliens’s liking but were then abandoned because we have Lakewalkers who have sharing knives. Anyway, the malice in this story isn’t a straight up evil. It’s not something that Fawn can easily relate to or understand. But thankfully Dag has the experience and knows what to do! I think these malices are an interesting and worthy foe for the story.

Then we get to the second half of the book, which is just all romance. Now, I was already invested in Fawn and Dag, so I finished the book out. But I am not a romance genre person so I found the second half of the book slow and uneventful. There were some little nuggets here and there, such as meeting Fawn’s grandmother and learning about the bindings Lakewalkers use in their relationships, but the bulk of it was a snooze for me.

I really liked that the author put in common things that many women have to deal with that we typically don’t see in other fantasy fiction. There’s accidental pregnancy, miscarriage, talk of menstruation, and rape. Just an FYI – the rape is left incomplete because the bad guy is no longer able to continue on. I think authors shouldn’t be afraid to include such things in fiction because many of these things happen to many women and women make up a sizable part of the reading community. Kudos to the author for doing so!

I’m intrigued enough to want to continue the series but I probably won’t be dashing off to do so. Half a book of romance will last me quite some time.

The Narration: Bernadette Dunne was great for this book. She had a practical, if sometimes young, Fawn down to a tee. I also liked her gruff voice for Dag. She had a great older female voice for the practical Mari, Dag’s patrol captain.

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Not a Vorkosigan series

A nice fantacy novel with her usual social observations, nomad warrior/ agrarian differences in this case. An effort at explanatin of the magic, a good one i think. Plenty for the female reader.

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Wonderful story wonderfully read

Any additional comments?

This is the book that convinced me I did like audiobooks, despite a bad first experience with them. The story is fantastic, I love this series, and Bernadette Dunn brought it to life beautifully. It got me hooked, and I have listened to the whole series multiple times.

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  • Janet
  • BAY CITY, MI, United States
  • 11-25-13

Boring

Boring, slow paced. Tried to listen to it several times, but couldn't get through it. The Fawn character is immature and annoying. The age gap on the romance is creepy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate
  • Dedham, MA, United States
  • 09-16-12

Pulled me right out of a miserable few days.

If you could sum up The Sharing Knife, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

Coming of age story with romantic and fantastic elements.

Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to this book more than once and enjoyed Dunne's narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is a comforting book.

Any additional comments?

The first time I tried to listen to this book, I was unable to get into it so it sat in my library for a year or more. When I finally gave it a second shot, I was able to wrap my head around it and throughly enjoyed it. It is an odd, post-collapse tale with a richly conceived world and unique characters. Fawn and Dag make an unlikely couple who have adventures in a profoundly disturbed environment. At its core, it is a well written and optimistic coming of age story written by a master writer. I listened to it for the third time (start to finish) when I had to put my beloved 13 plus year old greyhound to sleep. I felt utterly miserable for days and was sliding into an emotional funk. On a hunch, I decide to listen to Beguilment on the off chance it could lift my spirits - which it did admirably so.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Wonderful Surprise

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! I recommend this audiobook and this series. Not only is the story engrossing, compelling and witty but the narration is excellent. Just coming from listening to the Richard K Morgan series, I thought this series might be lightweight but I was totally pleasantly surprised. I found the characters refreshing and almost innocent by comparison to the dark characters in the Morgan or Abercrombie books, but they were remarkably attractive and interesting and complex.

What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

Dunne's narration is remarkable. She is very versitile and able to clearly differentiate characters for the listener. She is also able to catch and hold the listener's attention and interest through her narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Terri
  • Colorado
  • 04-17-11

I was totally Beguiled

Lois McMaster Bujold develops a fascinating world and characters. On top of everything else, including the love story, the discovery of inner strength and talents, overcoming adversity, cooperation and more, it is a wonderful story of two groups of peoples slowly overcoming superstitious prejudice and the beginnings of true understanding and trust.

She provides just enough information about the events that occurred before the books for the reader to theorize about the probable history. I hope Bujold has plans for a future book(s) expanding on the history of this ‘world’ and possibly more development of the third group of ‘peoples’.

I bought the first book of this series through one of spend 2 credits get 3 book specials and it was one of my best buys thus far. I promptly bought the rest of the books of the series & enjoyed them all.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • cindy
  • ramona, CA, United States
  • 01-16-11

...eeeyyeeew.

The premise of this story is good.....the personal interactions are icky....very "cheap romance novel" interactions between the main characters. I really wanted them to stop talking and get to the plot of the book....sadly, I realized by the end of this book, that the action part of this series certainly wasn't happenin' in THIS book. Disappointing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joie
  • California
  • 10-26-07

great

What a wonderful imagination

2 of 5 people found this review helpful