The Sharing Knife: Legacy
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Review by Gayle Surrette
Eos Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061139055
Date: 01 July 2007 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Bujold has the capacity to write novels that you can get lost in. The characters and the world are so real it's like visiting without leaving the comfort of your favorite reading spot. In The Sharing Knife: Beguilement, we became beguiled with the world and the characters in this new series. I'm really looking forward to find out what happens next.
Sharing Knife: Legacy takes up where The Sharing Knife: Beguilement left off. Fawn Bluefield and Dag Redwing Hickory have married according to the rites of her family and with the marriage cords of Dag's people. Now it's time for Dag to report back to his company and family and set up a tent with his new wife. Fawn quickly realizes that Dag is reluctant to return home. Once they arrive at the Lakewalker camp, Fawn realizes that it will take more than the marriage cords to get some of the people to accept their marriage. Then, news comes of a malice outbreak that started in a large farmer settlement, Dag is chosen to lead the patrol to kill it. They may have to put their problems aside to protect the world they live in.
This isn't a stand-a-lone story. You really need to read The Sharing Knife: Beguilement first. Having told you that, stop wasting time and go get these books. If you've read any of Bujold's previous books and enjoyed them, you're going to love these ones too. The story is rich in detail and characters. The society of farmers, townspeople, and Lakewalkers work. You can believe this world. People live, die, marry, raise children, produce goods, work, trade, hate and love. Bujold takes you from the first page and pulls you into this world. The story builds slowly in book one and you become friends with Fawn and Dag -- laugh and cry at their trials and misunderstandings and then wait patiently for the next installment.
Which brings us to Legacy. We meet Dag's people and learn more of their beliefs and customs. Of course, people are people and Bujold is a genius in getting you to care and then telling a story that makes you want that "happily ever after" ending for them. But, even when she doesn't give us the ending we want, she gives us the ending that the story requires. After spending a lot of non-stop hours reading this book, I closed the covers wondering what happens next? She can't leave it like this, can she?
My next thought was -- darn she did it again. I spent the next several days just thinking about bigotry, intolerance, family, and community. The problem is that Bujold never gives the reader the answers, she sets forth the characters, the world, the society, and lets the story unfold. Then you finish and you realize that you've also been given some insights to the world we live in and now it's up to you, the reader, to either ignore what you've read, or to think about the what if... What would I do? Would I care? Would I do what they did? What if?
Science fiction and fantasy are the stories of ideas and what if... and for some writers they still are but the what if isn't some great technological marvel or quest but the quiet changes that come from the heart that looks at what is and wonders what if...