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Paladin of Souls (Chalion series) Mass Market Paperback – April 26, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Paladin of Souls is a sequel only in the sense that the events in the book take place after the previous book. Ista was the mother of two of the main characters in The Curse of Chalion, and she didn't figure that prominently in it. Bujold takes her, a relatively undeveloped character except where the curse was concerned, and gives her a living vibrancy. The reader can see why she went mad before, and why she is still seen as slightly insane. But we can also see the inner workings of her mind, and see why she is like this and how she can sometimes use it to her benefit. When one is touched by the gods, one is not unaffected, and Ista shows that effect. She's in her 40s, most of her family dead and her daughter off ruling the kingdom, and she's bored. She's also one of the only people who know the whole truth of what happened, and what lengths her family had taken to try and remove the curse. The entire book is told from her viewpoint, so the reader also gets to see her reaction to the events and the people around her.
Ista's not the only wonderful character, though. All of the characters in the book are three-dimensional, unless the book doesn't call them to be.Read more ›
On the straightforeward bit, this is the story of a woman who was a minor character from The Curse of Chalion. She's spent the past many years of her life in a deep despair, a depression and suicidal misery caused by a curse and exacerbated once the curse was lifted by the death of her son. She's watched over by kind, loving people who give her no freedom, no privacy and no trust. She has no love; even her daughter is far away and almost a stranger to her, and no prospects of friendship in her situation.
So she goes on a pilgramage, to get out and get away; an excuse but also an invocation of the Gods of Chalion. And as the Curse proved, the Gods of Chalion are listening... The Bastard God answers her with some very interesting problems.
So that's the straightforeward bit. It's how she does it that you have to see, because her writing is so amazing.
The story revolves around Royina Ista, now free from her gods induced madness, and her attempt to break free from the confining restrictions imposed by her high station. Into her orbit fall the dy Gura brothers Ferda and Foix (one of my favorite characters from the CURSE) and a courier girl turned lady in waiting, Liss. In fact the twist of focus away from the original characters in CURSE is so dramatic and totally fresh that it becomes a completely new story, admittedly set within the familial universe of Chalion.
A wonderful story that is a pleasure to read? Yes, absolutely! Without flaw? No. One of its major problems is the pacing, it is very slow to start, almost ponderous. But after the first hundred pages it starts to click and begins to flow quite nicely. Its second major flaw is the constant delving into the composition and intricacies of Chalion's religion, overly much I think.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms Bujold continually humbles my hubris with my dictionary in hand to seek meaning and nuances of her vocabulary, as she delves into a fascinating culture with fascinating... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Walter L Roach
This book is one of my favorites - Bujold's characters are so well developed and her portrayals of the gods are unique and thoughtful.Published 27 days ago by Megan Smith
A book of Ista's traveling court and Challion's next campaign - please. The humor and honesty to themselves as well as to others makes these characters as easy to care for as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karen Sullivan
This is not as exciting as the first book in the series, The Curse of Chalion, but it is still pretty good. The writing is good.Published 1 month ago by Joseph D.
A relatively minor character suddenly becomes the protagonist, with somewhat unexpected results. I was thoroughly hooked on this series by the end of the first book, and happy to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Martha F Krieg
It is a well built, exciting story. The characters are well written, consistent, and I ended up caring for them. Their successes, their failures, all mattered to me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by V. Bickford
Excellent science fantasy with a world that is full of life. A great mid-life romance in the broad sense of the word, both adventure and love are found by a forty year old woman... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer