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Paladin of Souls (Chalion Series #2)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    In a Shadow

    Despite winning the Hugo and Nebula awards I'm not sure that this is better than the Curse of Chalion, which did not win the awards. I would say Paladin of Souls is on par with its prequel, but the similarities in plot resolution and philosophical/theological underpinnings reduces its novelty. If the chronology was reversed I would probably have the opposite opinion. Paladin of Souls is more action packed, which may draw favor from some readers. Either way, both books are of high quality and worth the read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2003

    Another Wonderful Story!

    PALADIN OF SOULS is not really a sequel to Ms. Bujold's masterpiece THE CURSE OF CHALION, instead it should be considered a companion piece, another part of the Chalion anthology. Why not a sequel? After all it does pick up just three years after the end of CURSE, many of the same characters are found in both, even the story line from CURSE is the basis for PALADIN'S. Sounds like a sequel doesn't it? Amazingly enough it really isn't. To begin with the story center has shifted away from Iselle, Bergon and of course Cazaril to the now curse free Dowager Royina Ista, the mother of the ruling queen. If fact the principal characters from CURSE are rarely mentioned in PALADIN, it is the secondary characters who now become the main protagonists. The story revolves around Royina Ista, now free from her gods induced madness, and her attempt to break free from the confining restrictions imposed by her high station. Into her orbit fall the dy Gura brothers Ferda and Foix (one of my favorite characters from the CURSE) and a courier girl turned lady in waiting, Liss. In fact the twist of focus away from the original characters in CURSE is so dramatic and totally fresh that it becomes a completely new story, admittedly set within the familial universe of Chalion. A wonderful story that is a pleasure to read? Yes, absolutely! Without flaw? No. One of its major problems is the pacing, it is very slow to start, almost ponderous. But after the first hundred pages it starts to click and begins to flow quite nicely. Its second major flaw is the constant delving into the composition and intricacies of Chalion's religion, overly much I think. In CURSE it was touched on just enough to ensure the free and unhindered flow of the story line, in PALADIN it is debated and pontificated enough to where it becomes a trifle bit dull. All in all PALADIN OF SOULS is a wonderful story with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. While not quite as overwhelming as CURSE OF CHALION it is an exceptionally good piece of work that should be a 'must read' for fans of fantasy. You don't have to read CURSE first to appreciate this work but it would help, besides if you haven't read CURSE you have missed one of the best fantasy books published in the last ten years. This one I would rate as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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