The Hallowed Hunt

The Hallowed Hunt - Lois McMaster Bujold This is the third book set in the Chalion universe, but it's a standalone with no common characters or thread, just a related culture with the same dominant religion. If the land of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, can be identified with Renaissance Spain, then the Weald of The Hallowed Hunt could be seen as Medieval Germany--the Weald being a land barely mentioned in the other books that's far away and this a tale in the past of the other books. I loved The Curse of Chalion, which was my first Bujold book, and I loved Paladin of Souls even more--probably my single favorite Bujold book, and I've read 19 of her 21 novels published thus far, and expect to be grabbing a copy of her latest when it's published tomorrow. Of all those books, I think The Hallowed Hunt her weakest--certainly her least memorable. Bujold is a more than competent writer, with great world-building skills, although she doesn't set herself apart as a literary writer with the kind of stylistic brilliance of say an Ursula LeGuin. Nor are her ideas as mind-boggling as an Issac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke. Where she does usually shine is her rich and distinctive characters. I fell madly in love with her Miles Vorkosigan, the star of her 14 book space opera Vorkosigan Saga. I loved Lupe dy Cazaril of The Curse of Chalion and adore Ista of the sequel Paladin of Souls more than I can express. I'm mighty fond of Fawn and Dag of her Sharing Knife books. In comparison the hero and heroine of The Hallowed Hunt, Ingrey and Ijada, struck me as flat. And while this starts and ends well, the middle was a slog--unusual in a Bujold book which are usually page-turners throughout. Now, that's in comparison with her other books. I can't say this book isn't worth reading at all. If you liked the other Chalion books, I wouldn't discourage you from trying it. But I think if you expect something like the other two books, you might be disappointed. And this isn't in my opinion a great introduction to Bujold--whose next book, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, I can't wait to read!