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The Sharing Knife, Volume Three: Passage (The Wide Green World Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B0010SKSWQ
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Illustrated edition (October 13, 2009)
- Publication date : October 13, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 864 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 435 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #139,463 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Bujold is most famous for her science fiction books starring Miles Vorkosigan and his family, and for her "Five Gods" fantasy series (Curse of Chalion etc.). Her Sharing Knife series gets a lot less publicity which I think is unfortunate.
There are numerous online commentors which liken the series to Lord Of The Rings - but as someone who had trouble getting into LOTR, I can state that you will NOT have this problem with the Sharing Knife books. They're set in a very real landscape (along what we know as the Ohio and MIssissippi rivers, though not called that in the book) with civilization for the most part at early 19th century levels - and Bujold's prose is, as always, welcoming and easy to read. You get the sense that there are hidden depths to Lakewalker society, by the frequent reference to "maker's secrets" and a long-departed civilization's cities and bridges, but you're not choked with it the way Tolkein could sometimes do. As well, the "vanquish the ancient evil" here is a long-standing chore that is still ongoing as the series concludes, and the "change society forever" is shown as one person seeing a need, and gradually, in his own small (or not-so-small) way, beginning to effect that change to the benefit of everyone.
It too would qualify as fantasy, though in many ways it's much more accessible than the Five Gods books because there is not the constant dealing-with-deities undercurrent there. In many ways, you could consider this to be a historical adventure series, except there's this thing called "groundsense" and there are these awful creatures called "malices".
The downside of any individual book in this series is that while you could in theory read just one, really you need to read them in order as later events really don't make sense without the background from the earlier books. In fact, Beguilement and Legacy were originally a single book (split into two for length) as were Passage and Horizon.
Passage (the first book) deals with a Lakewalker (Dag) encountering a Farmer (Fawn), and starting the very beginnings of getting the two groups to interact more than they had in the past. It ends with the unthinkable: a Lakewalker and a Farmer marrying. Legacy dealt with Fawn's culture shock being plunged into Lakewalker society, the Lakewalkers' refusal to accept her, and Dag's beginning realization that a) his people don't know it all, b) are unwilling to learn, c) things have to change for everyone to survive in the long run, and d) he's the only one to realize that so he must learn how to change the world.
About this book (Passage):
In Passage, you see Dag beginning his mission of educating Farmers as to what Lakewalkers can do. It's the first time he or any Lakewalker has tried to bring down the veil of secrecy and teach Farmers what Lakewalkers are really all about, it's the first time most Farmers have ever seen Lakewalkers as allies versus terrifying, mysterious sorcerors, and it's the first time Lakewalkers (admittedly, just two of them) are taught to see Farmers as people worthy of respect. Dag also manages to solve one critical problem that has plagued the two groups (beguilement), opening the door for allowing Lakewalkers to provide healing to Farmers - and thereby opening the door for greater interaction between the two groups and greater protection against the malices in the future.
There is some violence in the climactic scene but nothing too bad. There is some blood-and-guts there (literally) but nothing too graphic. The only sex in the book is referred to obliquely - not even remotely graphic. It is by no means a children's book but I'd have no hesitation in letting a 12 year old read it.
Then came quarantine, and I couldn't afford not to read EVERYTHING I could find by a proven author! The first book felt a little simple and silly, and the second was sad and lonely. This book and the one that follows are where the series starts to get fun and grow into more than just the story of a single romance, and I think I started to recognize a kind of theme... like maybe everything just comes down to family, and the root of a family is two people... or something like that, I don't really know. It's still not my favorite Bujold, it's just way better than I originally thought!
Top reviews from other countries
I don't know what has got into her with this series. Still excellently written with engaging interesting characters. And a convincing world, and everything following its own internal logic. But this series is soooo long and drawn out. Having read the first three books I'm thinking that all of this would have fitted into the first half of one of her earlier Miles vokosigan and Chalion works. The plot crawls backwards and forwards at snails pace. Bujold has never been afraid of writing about romance but it usually results from the plot, rather than driving it. This time the romantic story seems to be driving the plot, and so far nothing much has happened in the first books that I couldnt have guessed from the first few chapters of volume 1.
I half suspect that her publisher suggested she drag a single book out into a series - after all, now the consumer has to pay for 4 books to find out what happens to these engaging and intersting characters.
Having said all of that, if this book had been written by anyone else I'd be very impressed by the standard of writing, the great characters and the totally belivable dialogue.
Essentially this book of the series has a riverboat theme, with in my opinion a slightly derivative flavor (cf. Huckleberry Finn etc.) - the plot vehicle is the boat moving downstream, and on the way the protagonists meet lots of varied characters of the kind you'd expect to meet in a book about rural America in riverboat days - good folks, suspicious folks, bandits, and so on. There are various relatively minor problems and then a major confrontation. Fen and Dag attract a number of followers as they pursue the difficult job of carving out a middle ground between wary farmers and itinerant patrollers who protect the world from the dangerous malices.
The big strength of the series is that it has a very well-developed concept: all matter has "ground" (essence) and malices are dangerous because they consume the ground of the living and make them into mindless slaves. Patrollers are expert in killing malices and have their own abilities in the manipulation of ground, and the hero Dag is worried that his strength in this area brings him dangerously close to what malices do.
This isn't just a plot artifice: the author is clearly interested in the theme, and the action halts from time to time as the characters debate the issues and speculate about exactly how 'groundwork' can and should be done. I'd assume that volume 4 (which is out, though currently more expensdive than the others) will bring the theme to a conclusion.
So the novel has a lot of the Bujold strengths - sympathetic characters with depth and variety, careful plot, and shades of ambiguity between good and evil. But it's fairly downbeat and slow. I'd read volume 1 first - if you get drawn into the theme, you'll enjoy the others too.
But. The first volume of the sharing knife series (Beguilement) was enjoyable; but I kind of lost interest, for a while. Maybe I overdosed. But I never bought the second one.
And then I read the third one (this one being reviewed, Passage) and it is great; five stars, again, so I will be buying part two, and at the moment I am re-reading part one.
Passage sees our heroes, Dag and Fawn, take a long river trip, as if floating down the Mississippi. Dag is developing his thoughts about his future, and his abilities at the same time. There are plenty of interesting people (Lakewalkers, farmers, boatmen/women) they meet on the way, and some serious evil, too. It is difficult to tell you more without giving the story away! But this is a master storyteller at her peak again, and apart from the twee cover it is a seriously enjoyable book. Recommended for Bujold fans. If you are new to Bujold, you might start somewhere else; say, the Curse of Chalion, or Shards of Honour. I'm sure you'll get to this one, too - not many people read Bujold and are not swept along!
Seit ich mir einen Kindle zugelegt habe, gehe ich mehr und mehr dazu über englischsprachige Bücher im Original zu lesen – falls man mal auf unbekannte Vokabeln stößt, helfen die integrierten Wörterbücher schnell weiter.
Da diese Reihe leider nicht den Erfolg wie die Vorkosigan Saga in Deutschland erreicht hatte, sind dann Band 3 und 4 in Englisch auf meinem Kindle gelandet und ich war wieder nach kurzer Zeit an der Seite des Seenläufers Dag und des Bauernmädchens Fawn unterwegs.
Bujold hat die Fähigkeit ihre Figuren und Welten mit Leben zu erfüllen, die Balance zwischen Drama, Humor und auch Romantik zu halten und das Ganze zu einer abwechslungsreichen Story zu verweben.
Band 3 enthält neben vielen kleinen Geschichten, als roten Faden eine Flussfahrt mit einem Lastkahn, wie er vor 150-200 Jahren auf dem Mississippi unterwegs war und dies mit großer Fachkenntnis. Wie Bujold die Details korrekt beschreiben konnte, erklärt sie im Anhang.