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Legacy (The Sharing Knife, Book 2) Hardcover – June 26, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Sharing Knife Series

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Editorial Reviews


''[A] saga of daring deeds and unlikely romance. Bujold quickly develops unforgettable characters as she crafts a world filled with unique monsters and an original approach to magic.'' --Library Journal

''Bujold develops the characters and their relationship skillfully enough to please romance as well as fantasy fans.'' --Booklist --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

Fawn Bluefield, the clever young farmer girl, and Dag Redwing Hickory, the seasoned Lakewalker soldier-sorcerer, have been married all of two hours when they depart her family's farm for Dag's home at Hickory Lake Camp. Having gained a hesitant acceptance from Fawn's family for their unlikely marriage, the couple hopes to find a similar reception among Dag's Lakewalker kin. But their arrival is met with prejudice and suspicion, setting many in the camp against them, including Dag's own mother and brother. A faction of Hickory Lake Camp, denying the literal bond between Dag and Fawn, woven in blood in the Lakewalker magical way, even goes so far as to threaten permanent exile for Dag.

Before their fate as a couple is decided, however, Dag is called away by an unexpected—and viciously magical—malice attack on a neighboring hinterland threatening Lakewalkers and farmers both. What his patrol discovers there will not only change Dag and his new bride, but will call into question the uneasy relationship between their peoples—and may even offer a glimmer of hope for a less divided future.

Filled with heroic deeds, wondrous magic, and rich, all-too-human characters, The Sharing Knife: Legacy is at once a gripping adventure and a poignant romance from one of the most imaginative and thoughtful writers in fantasy today.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006113905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061139055
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
[This book is not a stand-alone novel. It is part two of a two-part work, and can not be read by itself. In this review, I will discuss "The Sharing Knife" as a whole.]

The Sharing Knife is a dramatic change of pace for Lois Bujold. She became known for her series of science fiction stories centering on the character of Miles Vorkosigan. Then she tried her hand at fantasy works in medieval settings (The Spirit Ring, Curse Of Chalion, etc.). But in each case, the stories featured extremely well-drawn and fascinating characters experiencing and resolving a plot crisis.

What's different in this work is the "plot crisis" element. It really doesn't exist in the same way as her other books. Instead, we are dropped into a situation that is something of a stalemate between the forces of chaos, the forces of order, and the forces of growth. The chaos is represented by "malices", creatures of magic that literally erupt from the ground to suck the life force from the world. The order is supplied by the Lakewalkers, descendants of the mage-lords who created the malice plague in the first place. And the growth is supplied by the Farmers, ordinary people who live in uneasy symbiosis with the Lakewalkers. The Farmers can not protect themselves from the malices, but the Lakewalkers rely on the Farmers for tools and goods that can not be produced in nomadic camps.

Into this three-part dynamic, Bujold drops a love affair between a burnt-out Lakewalker patroller and a young Farmer girl who is too bright and restless to really fit into her society. The two accidentally join together to kill a malice and end up falling in love.

The first book details the initial relationship, the reaction to it from Farmer society, and the marriage between Fawn and Dag.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I reviewed "Beguiled" and my advice to myself and others at that time was basically "wait and read part II before passing final judgment." I was pretty irate that the book had been split into two parts, and I'm still not crazy about it. And if you haven't read Beguiled, you really must do that before reading Legacy. I just don't think Legacy can stand by itself...

So, what to say? Lois McMaster Bujold is a beautiful writer. Her ability to tell a story is stellar. And I really can't think of any still living, still writing writer who I have read in the last decade who is a better writer than Bujold. And her superior writing skills shine forth from every page in The Sharing Knife. And the "reading is easy", at least it was for me. I read Legacy in one sitting and didn't notice the passing of time at all.

My problem (not hers) is that I really didn't *enjoy* reading the book. Does that make sense? Reading a story where the primary external conflict for the two protagonists are their disfunctional families and incompatible cultures is not a fun read. I adore Bujold's Miles' books (SciFi is my genre of choice and I have been a "Trekkie" since 1968) and I really like her more recent fantasy series set in the Chalion universe but this particular story was too ... well, not to my taste. I've read Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, all the really great American novelists and maybe Bujold is heading down that path. She's that good. But I read those novels because I took a LOT of literature classes when I was in college... Back in those days, in my own free time, I watched Star Trek reruns, read the "Dune" books, Tolkien, Zelazny's Amber series, and ... well, I won't go on. You get the point. I do read "seriously" but non-fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a real fan of Lois McMaster Bujold's work - she was initially known for her Miles Vorkosigan series of nearly 20 books but I actually preferred her foray into fantasy, "The Curse Of Chalion" and "Paladin Of Souls" particularly. "The Sharing Knife" duology (the first book called "Beguilement" and then this one, "Legacy") is set in a different time and world than that of the Chalion/Hallowed Hunt books - this world is more like an agrarian early America.

My first comment is that if you haven't read "The Sharing Knife: Beguilement" yet then you need to buy that book before you even consider this one. These two books are a duology but, unlike pretty much all Bujold's other books, I felt this one would have been rather a struggle if read on its own. So if you haven't read "Beguilement" then get it first and don't read on as this review of "Legacy" has spoilers for the first book.

This book starts off where "Beguilement" left off - Dag and Fawn are married and are making their way to Dag's home. We have gone through the difficulties Fawn faced with her family's dubious acceptance of her new husband - now we get the same from Dag's people's point of view. Only worse.

A lot of this book seems to be about cross-cultural clashes. The Lakewalkers and Farmers are different groups of people and it seems that neither can accept the other. Dag's marriage with Fawn has actually broken some Lakewalker rules and despite him being a semi-hero it seems his friends and relatives don't cut him a lot of slack.

The first half of the book is about Fawn and Dag trying to settle down in Lakewalker territory - and struggling.
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