Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bujold, Lois McMaster (The Curse of Chalion)

It's surprising to me that I've never read anything by Bujold. She's won four Hugos and two Nebulas so I should have read her long ago, but I think I expected fantasy on the level of Anne McCaffrey. Those books make me cringe, but Bujold's books are much more well-rounded, a lot less silly and have characters that you can actually like.

Chalion is a cursed kingdom because of some bad mojo that happened several generations back. The hero (very) inadvertently becomes part of the solution, and the tale continues from there. The world feels much like 19th century England or thereabouts, so it has the Arthur-legend feel to it, which doesn't hurt.

The only thing about the book that rubbed me a bit wrong is the need for Bujold to push her "females can rule too" agenda a bit too forcefully, moreso as the book nears its end. I am all for feminist agendas, but hers became too obvious too quickly and ruined the effect for me.

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