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The Sharing Knife (Passage, Book 3) Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 22, 2008

69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nebula and Hugo–winner Bujold explores culture clashes in this compelling third segment of the Sharing Knife series (after 2007's Legacy). Former Lakewalker captain Dag has been exiled from his family for marrying an outsider, farmer's daughter Fawn. Farmers and riverfolk need the secretive Lakewalkers for their ability to manipulate ground energy and battle the deadly blight-causing creatures called malices, but few trust them completely, and the Lakewalkers haven't helped the situation by remaining aloof from the rest of the world. Dag longs to build a bridge of understanding and respect between Lakewalkers and those who depend on their protection. The old ways have worked for better 'n a thousand years, another Lakewalker captain warns, but as farmers settle dangerous territory and Dag's own groundsense abilities develop in dangerous directions, big changes are inevitable. Bujold excels at creating interesting and sympathetic characters, and this story will satisfy readers who enjoy romance as much as adventure. (May)
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From Booklist

The third volume of Bujold’s increasingly popular Sharing Knife series opens with young farmer Fawn Bluefield and her lakewalker husband, Dag, leaving her family’s home to take a trip downriver. After their disagreeable reception from Dag’s family (in Legacy, 2007), Fawn’s family, though nervous and not quite sure how to deal with the new family member, extends a welcome. Dag even agrees to take Fawn’s brother, Whit, along on what is the couple’s working honeymoon. Since meeting Fawn, Dag has realized that farmers and lakewalkers need better working relationships; otherwise, both groups will suffer from habitat disruption. One reason for the trip is for Dag to try talking to farm folk to discover what proposals they will listen to. Heading downriver, Fawn and Dag find plenty of chances to practice diplomacy and healing in both communities and to recover themselves from battle injuries (see Legacy). Bujold extends the series’ portrayal of a pastoral world haunted by ancient ills. The characters are so superbly realized that the reader feels like a fellow passenger on their voyage. In the end, the question of cooperation between communities is still vexedly present, and Fawn and Dag’s journey will continue. --Frieda Murray

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 1 edition (April 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061375330
  • ASIN: B001RTS9AQ
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,557,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By An Amazon Customer on April 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you liked the first two books in the series, then you will like this one. However, for those new to the series, don't start here! Although there is enough backstory to make this book stand alone, it reads much better if you have the full history of Fawn and Dag. (And there are many spoilers for the first two books in this one).

This book is essentially Dag's story - his search for his new identity, atonement for his past, his ambivalence in dealing with his new abilities. The romance/relationship issues that drove the first two novels are not central to this book. Fawn's viewpoint is here, but mainly acts as another lens for Dag's story. The secondary characters and subplots are well-rounded and interesting, and the setting is rich.

This series is very different from LMB's Vorkosigan or Chalion series, and personally I prefer her other books as more fast-paced and (at least on the surface) more complex. However, I am glad that the author continues to stretch herself, and try new things, because I wouldn't want her to start writing the same book over and over again (a trap too many authors fall in).

I gave this book four stars instead of five both because of that personal preference, and because of a minor flaw - Dag's motivation for starting some very strange experiments and pushing the limits with his new abilities didn't seem clear to me, although it is important to the plot. This book is an improvement over the first two, though, because it stands alone much better.

All in all, highly recommended for LMB fans, but not the starting place for those new to her work.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By V. Williams on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dag and Fawn begin a long journey to the sea, which even well-travelled Dag has seen only once. Dag struggles to explain Lakewalker secrets to Farmers, though even his farmer bride doesn't reassure some stubborn, superstitious Farmers. Along their journey, Dag and Fawn collect company -- Fawn's pesky brother Whit, a dimwitted farmer boy, a couple of young Lakewalker patrollers, and a flatboat captain searching for her missing father. As Dag slowly heals from malice-inflicted injuries, he begins experimenting with new forms of groundwork, even though the Farmers fear his "magic" and the Lakewalkers disapprove of his revealing their secrets to Farmers. Dag and Fawn also hear rumors of disappearances along the river, leading their party into a dangerous adventure. Dag and Fawn make several passages -- a passage to the sea, a passage between cultures, a passage from patroller to maker -- as they try to open communication between Lakewalkers and Farmers.
As usual in a Bujold book, even the minor charactes are well-drawn. The scene where Fawn explains sharing knives to White is not to be missed; I loved Whit's comparison of sharing knives to a Farmer practice. The story was satisfying, but it also left me eager to see what's on the horizon for Dag, Fawn, and their travelling companions.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W Jordin on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Passage (2008) is the third fantasy novel of The Sharing Knife series, following Legacy. In the previous volume, Dag and Fawn were called before the camp council on charges pressed by his brother Dar. The council split on the decision, but Dag and Fawn left Hickory Lake Camp anyway. After the Malice incident in Greenspring, Dag wanted to find another way for the Lakewalkers to relate with the Farmers. Besides, their marriage has caused enough trouble with both Lakewalkers and Farmers.

In this novel, Dag and Fawn go first to her family farm. The twins have moved off to stake their own claims and Whit has -- mostly -- quit his teasing of Fawn, so the visit goes well. At least until shortly before they leave, when Whit decides to go with them.

They leave Fawn's pregnant mare at the farm and take two draft horses that Whit has trained. Naturally, Dag continues to ride Copperhead to protect the Farmers; no telling what that horse will do! The three ride off toward the Grace River.

On the way, Dag and Fawn acquaint Whit with previously unshared knowledge about the Lakewalkers and Malices. Since Fawn knows Whit much better than Dag, she does more of the talking. Yet his confirmations make the discussion more real to Whit.

Reaching Glassforge, Whit learns that his sister and brother-in-law are very well known in the town. They stay at the inn where the wounded had been treated and everybody knows Fawn. They even know that she has killed a Malice. Whit is quite amazed at his sister's fame.

When it comes time to leave Glassforge, Whit changes his mind again. Instead to returning home, he decides to travel further with them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Holly on May 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have said- this is not the place to start the series. Which I feel is unfortunate, because I was largely uninterested in the drippy romance that was the focal point of the first two volumes. However, Bujold did an excellent job of worldbuilding, and the underlying mystery of the world's history and magic kept me reading in the hope of finding out more.

And in this book, we start to explore the capabilities of Dag's magic, the complex social problems that helped enliven the prior books are attacked (and prove to be *complex*, and not trivial), and we get to see more of Dag and Fawn's world. The 'main' plot's resolution is more or less obvious at the point it is introduced, but the problems of the lively set of secondary characters were more than sufficient to keep me entertained for the journey.

If you were underwhelmed by the first two books, don't stop now. It just got better.
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