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The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
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3,8771332,021 (4.27)469
A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril has returned to the noble household he once served as page, and is named, to his great surprise, secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is as assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions. but it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion and all who stand in their circle. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge -- an act that will mark the loyal, damaged servant as a tool of the miraculous ... and trap him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death.… (more)
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» See also 469 mentions

English (132)  Spanish (1)  All languages (133)
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
A majestic tale, sweeping across several stages in the protagonist's life. I appreciated the adroit twining of all the threads in the story, especially as the saga moved towards the end. The dénouement was very satisfying.
Bujold's story telling is excellent ~ as I read Curse, it was marvellous how well she wove the plot and stayed true to her theme. I think the book was a very complex construction and a lesser writer would have had the threads muddled and lost me. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jul 29, 2019 |
Cazaril returns from working as a slave on a galley ship to find respite with his old friend, the Provincara, thinking he can live out his days in quiet on her estate. Her granddaughter, a royesse and relative of the ruler of Chalion, is in need of a secretary-tutor and the Provincara neatly puts Cazaril into that role. He attempts to keep his head down and avoid the men who were out to kill him, but forces outside of his control seem to be pulling him into politics and the ultimate outcome of the ruling family of Chalion.

Oh, this fantasy hit all the right spots for me as a reader. It was complex, throwing you right into Cazaril's situation and ever so slowly opening up to reveal the religion, political intrigue, and titular curse of Chalion. It's intricate worldbuilding at its best, bringing you to an intense finale. If you love high fantasy, good characters trying their best to make tough decisions, and a smattering of humor, definitely give this a try. ( )
  bell7 | Jul 23, 2019 |
Davvero un bel libro, per chi adora gli intrighi a corte con un po' di magia e mistero è l'ideale!
Ben scritto, il protagonista è intelligente e si fa subito adorare!
Ve lo consiglio davvero!
ps. Anche se esiste un seguito, questo libro è autoconclusivo.
Buona lettura! ( )
  elerwen | May 29, 2019 |
What I liked:
- a crippled hero, with lots of life experience under his belt
- the building of the worlds, of the characters (none of the latter seemed two dimensional)
- the religious system, totally subversive compared with more "traditional" views (how a saint is defined for example)

What I liked less:
- the ending felt drawn out then the book abruptly stopped (my feeling)
- not much else besides that ( )
  Sept | May 21, 2019 |
From the moment that Cazaril trudges up the road to Valenda, fate seems to take a hand. Or perhaps the gods were gently guiding Cazaril long before. Who knows? His first task is to find some form of employment in this town where years earlier he had been a Page. And once he has managed to sustain mind and body, he can look to reclaiming some of his honour. Yet each step brings him closer to events which will transform both himself and the land from which his honour springs.

In this rollicking work of high fantasy, Bujold masterfully moves the chairs about in order to set up the ordering for the momentous events that will follow. And although plot is of necessity to the fore, she paints a bold portrait of her protagonist, Cazaril, and the two young women he is employed to serve, Iselle and Betrix. The political manoeuvrings of this medieval-like world might have been sufficient to hold any reader’s attention, but this is also a world in which the gods have a palpable presence. They lie behind the curse that enfolds Chalion and its eventual cure through the bravery and self-sacrifice of Cazaril.

I especially enjoyed Bujold’s pacing throughout. She provides just enough explanation to keep us riveted while continually pressing the larger plot forward. It gave the effect of brisk leisureliness, unexpectedly. In so doing, Bujold manages to encompass an epic story — what might have taken volumes for another writer - in one tome. Nicely done!

Gently recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Nov 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Ultimately, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It drags very slightly in the middle, but that’s almost unnoticeable -- and the only flaw I can pick out in this book. If you’re a fantasy fan, pick this one up. If you’re a Vorkosigan fan but have been reluctant to try a Bujold that’s not a Vorkosigan book, don’t be. Take the plunge and pick this one up. You won’t regret it. Bujold’s hit another home run.
I really enjoy the way religion is portrayed in this book; I like the way its effect on the details of daily life have been thought through, including what being a saint might actually be like, and I also find the religion itself quite appealing. The problem, if you consider it a problem, is that theology ends up tying the plot into a very neat circle—too neat from some people, and I confess it bothered me somewhat as well, though I can see how it follows from the world's internal logic. If you're the kind of person that this sort of thing really bothers, don't read Chalion. Otherwise, I strongly recommend it.
added by tcgardner | editSteelypips, Kate Nepveu (Apr 18, 2002)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beekman, DougCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowers, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Cazaril heard the mounted horsemen on the road before he saw them.
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Originally published by Eos, (c2001), ISBN: 0380979012
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