Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Sharing Knife Trilogy

The Sharing Knife Volume One: Beguilement (Sharing Knife) The Sharing Knife Volume One: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

[This review is of the entire trilogy] This series was recommended to me by a friend, who had previously recommended books that I liked (including others by this author). He told me about the fantasy part of it, which sounded really, really good. Not your typical "fantasy" with elves, wizards, etc. Almost science-fiction, really - some of the humans(?) who live on this world have the ability to sense and use "ground" - much like 'the force' in the Star Wars universe. (It is basically a life-force.) They are the Lakewalkers. Think of them as half Native American and half Jedi knight (tho without the light sabers! :) They use their groundsense to heal and to hunt.

The non-lakewalkers are all referred to as 'farmers', tho not all of them actually farm. The level of technology is about 1700's earth - no power driven machines, other than water mills.

The really interesting thing about the Lakewalkers is WHAT they hunt: malices (called "blight-bogles" by the farmers). Malices consume 'ground' becoming more and more powerful, sucking the life out of everything around them. If they get too powerful, they can't be killed, and they will consume all the ground of the whole world and destroy the planet. (There's some interesting backstory about how they malices may have come into being).

The two societies are leery of each other, mingling hardly at all. The author does a very good job of portraying both societies, and the characters in each.

The main plot is a sort of "Romeo and Juliet" thing: a farm girl and a Lakewalker meet and fall in love. While the romance is a big part of the story, it's not overwhelming, and not what I would think of as your typical "romance" book plot. While I did enjoy the romance aspect, I really enjoyed the societies and characters. Our main characters are very interesting and well-drawn.

Once I started the first book, I didn't stop until I had read all 3 (over a 5 day period). They were that fun and compelling! A very good story!

No comments: