- Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (April 26 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380818612
- ISBN-13: 978-0380818617
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #222,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Paladin of Souls Mass Market Paperback – Apr 26 2005
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“A well-paced and exciting book, PALADIN [OF SOULS] is a perfect blend of might, magic, and character development.” (Library Journal)
From the Back Cover
Follow Lois McMaster Bujold, one of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, to a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons -- as a royal dowager, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.See all Product description
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Ista soon finds herself in Porifors, a fortress on the border of Chalion that has long kept the enemy Roknari at bay. Ista cannot be comfortable there, however, as it is the home of the dy Lutez family, the family that Ista and her husband had so grievously wronged years ago. But comfortable or not, Ista finds herself embroiled in the dy Lutez family's problems and finds herself strongly attracted to both Arhys dy Lutez, the dashing young commander, and Illvin dy Lutez, Arhys' half-brother, who lies still and cold on his bed, stricken with some unknown malady. Seeing her chance to assist the dy Lutez family, as they had tried to assist her while she was the Royina, Ista reluctantly begins using her god-given gifts and finds that there are many sinister plans afoot in this forgotten corner of the Chalion empire...
Although Paladin of Souls is a sequel to The Curse of Chalion, it is not a traditional sequel in that the stars of The Curse of Chalion are mentioned only briefly here and the peripheral characters are given a chance to shine. Ista was a wonderful character to get to know and I felt that I understood the choice she made in The Curse of Chalion much better now that I have learned more about her personality. It was also fun to see Ferda and Foix, seen in the first book, pop up again and have a more prominent role. I also loved the fact that Bujold chose to write this story to help give closure to those who were wronged from the curse in the first book, specifically Ista and the dy Lutez family. It does a great job at wrapping up those little loose ends that otherwise would just be left alone. Although I still rated it at 5 stars, The Paladin of Souls is not as good as The Curse of Chalion, but Bujold is such a wonderful author that I loved this book anyway. For whatever reason, I did not connect to the characters as strongly and the story dragged in a few places, but it was still a wonderful fantasy adventure!
Paladin of Souls is the story of the Dowager Royina Ista of Chalion, mother of the new Royina Iselle, and widow of the late, cursed Roya Ias. The Curse of Chalion covered the events leading to the lifting of a terrible curse on the royal family of Chalion. Ista, who bore bravely years of living under the curse, with a terrible load of guilt and fear, as well as the burden of a loveless marriage and possession by a god which made her essentially insane, is now free of that. But her family and retainers are very protective of her -- her regained sanity remains in doubt, and she has lived a very circumscribed life. As the book opens she is chafing under what is in essence imprisonment, and she conceives the notion of a pilgrimage, ostensibly to pray for the birth of a grandson, but in reality simply to get out of her household for some time. She recruits, partly by accident, a new attendant who is actually a not very wellborn young woman named Liss,distinguished mainly by her horsemanship (she is a courier); and a priest of the Bastard to guide her pilgrimage: a young, fat, irreverent, and rather lusty fellow. She also accepts the protection of a group of soldiers led by two brothers, Ferda and Foix.
What she had hoped would be an interesting journey rather quickly turns dangerous. There are rumors of a great outbreak of demons, and disastrously one soon possesses Ferda. Then they run into a raiding party from the neighboring princedom of Jokona, who are adherents to a (mutually) heretical form of the Chalionese religion. They are rescued by a local nobleman, a great fighter and very handsome man named Arhys. At Arhys's castle, Ista finds a very jealous wife, and a severely ill half-brother, and, worse, indications of more aggression from the Jokonans. All this is surely tied to the infestations of demons ...
I thought it quite well done. Ista is an affecting character. The magic system/religion that Bujold has worked out remains interesting and a good source of plot conflicts. Perhaps Ista's powers seem to scale just a little conveniently to match the needs of the plot -- ever a problem with fantasies. But I enjoyed reading the novel, and I was surprised at several turns (if at other times things worked out a bit routinely). It is another fine story from Bujold.
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