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The Hallowed Hunt (Chalion series) Mass Market Paperback – May 30, 2006

117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The absorbing third installment in Bujold's epic fantasy series (after The Curse of Chalion and the Hugo-winning Paladin of Souls) links a disinherited swordsman hero with a beguiling damsel accused of murdering a royal prince in a land worshiping five gods, menaced by encroaching neighbors and swarming with ancient magic and lethal political intrigue. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff, sent by the kingdom's sealmaster to fetch orphaned Lady Ijada to trial, soon learns they both unwillingly bear animal spirits received in forbidden power rites stretching centuries back into the primeval Weald. With the aged Hallow King now dying, Ingrey and Ijada journey toward the king's hall at Easthome, falling into a love that appears doomed, while Ingrey's powerful fey cousin, Lord Wencel, spins a cunning web of bloodthirsty ambition that binds them to him in an unholy trinity. Though the book's complicated magical-religious structure requires considerable suspension of disbelief, Bujold brings to life a multitude of convincing secondary characters, especially skaldic warrior-poet Prince Jokol and his ice bear, Fafa. Bujold's ability to sustain a breathless pace of action while preserving a heady sense of verisimilitude in a world of malignant wonders makes this big novel occasionally brilliant—and not a word too long.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Here Bujold returns to the world of The Curse of Chalion (2001) and Paladin of Souls (2003) to show us intrigue and mystery in yet another land. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff has been sent to the estate of Prince Bolesco, the half-mad son of the king of the Weald. The prince has been murdered, and Ingrey is to investigate. The accused is an orphaned young noblewoman. But the prince had been dabbling in forbidden sorcery, it seems, and the young woman lies under an ill-cast spell. Despite his ostensible duty to the royal family, Ingrey is drawn toward protecting the accused from those who want to hang her as the quickest way of hushing things up, as well as from the church, which might kill in an attempt to cure her. Bujold's reworking of a classic romantic situation is distinguished by its setting in a well-crafted world and masterly creation of characters whose fates will keep readers turning the pages. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Chalion series (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060574747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060574741
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 103 people found the following review helpful By bookstealth on June 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I got addicted to LMB way back with "Shards of Honor", so I'm a fairly die-hard fan. She never writes the same book twice, but still produces fresh, thoughtful, great reads. She's a rare author I measure only against herself. Okay, that said...

It took me a bit to adjust to her fantasies but they're well worth it; different from her Vor series, but just as good in their own way. The worldbuilding has LMB's trademark vividness, and she spins great stories from it. Chalion/Ibra and the world of the the Five Gods lost some of its internal cohesiveness in this one, though. I couldn't place it in time or location, and some basic underpinnings became confusing with the introduction of an ancient form of magic. Many themes in this series explore how individuals respond to supernatural/divine challenges. Even after rereading Hallowed Hunt, I'm still a bit foggy about how the ancient forest magic fits in with the rest.

The main characters are also weirdly flat for LMB; 'weirdly' because her characterizations usually are so vivid they jump off the page. Several supporting characters--a roistering sailor/prince, a divine who vents chaos as an adaptation to pregnancy--spring to life immediately. The hero's history and travails are well limned but he still remained muted for me. The heroine, who comes late to spirit-invasion--and during a near rape at that--remains almost an outline of a character. Why and how she came by her extraodinary acceptance of threatening, bizarre things that happen to her are never really explained.

These caveats really are fairly minor. A less-than-great Bujold is still excellent reading. Her gorgeous use of language is still intact, as is her sly, wry, sideways humor. I bought the book and don't regret the purchase.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mike Garrison on June 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Hallowed Hunt is not at all a sequel to The Curse Of Chalion or Paladin Of Souls ... and yet the new reader would almost certainly be missing quite a bit without having read those two books. The world of these books is something similar to but not quite like medieval Europe. But the religion is based upon a theology of five gods. And so is the series of books (the first one for the Daughter, the second for the Bastard, and this one for the Son).

There are no common characters or even settings, as Chalion is a far-off land, barely known by the people of this novel. (So calling this the third "Chalion Book" is something of a misnomer.) But in a sense The Hallowed Hunt is a direct descendent of the other books. The first one introduced the five gods and the concept that they can only work in this world when people give up their free will and let the gods use them. The second introduced something called "demon sorcery," in which a demon (an entity of concentrated chaos) is controlled by (or controls) a human being. And this book uses those two ideas and adds another kind of theology (magic is not quite the right word to use in these novels).

What really sets Hallowed Hunt apart from the other two is the scope of the tale. The others involved a story of human politics interwoven with the divine, while the current book focuses nearly the entire plot on the supernatural -- the political machinations of the court and the temple are somewhat of a minor complication if not a complete red herring.

Instead, the book is partially a ghost story and partially an examination of medieval philosophy. What really was the "divine right of kings"?
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Cleveland on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is one author whose books I buy immediately, in whatever format is available, and her name is Lois McMaster Bujold. If I could afford it, I would have a person stationed outside her house with instructions to ship me the galleys as soon as corrected. Right after I had finished my third or fourth re-reading of the superb Paladin of Souls, the second book in this series, The Hallowed Hunt arrived, and I think it the equal of any Bujold book, but differently shaped. Bujold's great theme, in both the Vorkosigan and Chalion series, is the exploration of what exactly it takes to do great deeds: what personal qualities are required, what beliefs the hero or heroine may hold, how society may strengthen or impede the protagonist in accomplishing the near-miraculous. The Hallowed Hunt is typical of Bujold's immensely fruitful exploration of how prudent people get pressed into the service of things much larger than they, and how they survive.

The plots are always fiendishly entangled, the characters always worthy and entertainingly flawed, the dialogue always crisp or eloquent, the descriptive passages vivid and painterly. There is usually a long slow buildup to an impossibly stressful and dangerous climax late in the book. The Hallowed Hunt differs from other Bujold novels in that the stress starts early, attains a convincingly glass-shattering pitch of tension, and holds it until the pitch actually lessens slightly at the end. There is no writer I know of who can equal Bujold in involving the reader in her heroes' frantic thoughts as they try to figure out what's happening to them in time to prevent any of the various disasters they can all imagine.

Bujold's great generosity always gives us plots as full of moral struggle as of physical adventure.
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