I liked *Paladin of Souls* better even than *Curse of Chalion* and I liked
that first one very much indeed. I thought the plotline was subtle,
nuanced, and intriguing; the slow parts were there to vary pacing and to
show forth some of the cultural differences. Also, it was refreshing to
have a story take place within the context of a pilgrimage (even if the
five / four gods are in place). As a monotheist, I wouldn't like any
polytheistic system, but this one is very well worked out. I also liked
the various twists and turns; the attractive fellow being "undead" and the
way that the two brothers were linked. Clever military ploys going on,
Refreshing to have an older heroine, one w/ a good dollop of common sense,
and the gift she had was very unusual, seeing souls. (Helped to have it;
she couldn't have solved the problem otherwise.) I liked the fact that it
troubled her to have this gift. So often the gifts are wonderful and too
easily accepted. I'd think that an older heroine would be a good thing in
I may not persuade you, but at least consider looking at it in a different
From: ftl_publications Joan.Marie.Verba@...
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 22:52:06 -0000
Subject: [mythsoc] Paladin of Souls
I finally reached the end of this novel. Lois McMaster Bujold is a
nice person and a wonderful warm human being. I really, really,
wanted to enjoy this book. It did sound promising when she read the
first chapter at a Rivendell meeting discussing The Curse of Chalion.
And it did have some exciting parts. But the parts in between were
very difficult to read through (i.e boring).
I also can't stand her gods. They aren't quite as bad as the bunch
from Mt. Olympus (who are at least entertaining), but this (un)holy
family makes me glad I'm a monotheist.
I noted that this title won a Hugo award. I guess that means that a
whole lot of readers enjoyed it, but I was not one of them. (I'm
happy for Lois, but bewildered at the same time.)
I also noted that Lois said this was a "chick" book, and I overheard
Eleanor Arnason tell someone that it was great for the way it
portrayed women. I therefore had high expectations. But I found it
really didn't appeal that much to my feminist sensibilities, either.
Overall, somewhat of a disappointment. Your reaction may differ (and
I'd be happy to hear from someone who did enjoy it, explaining why).
Joan Marie Verba
The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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