Nebula and Hugo-winner Bujold explores culture clashes in this compelling third segment of the Sharing Knife series (after 2007's Legacy ). Former Lakewalker captain Dag has been exiled from his family for marrying an outsider, farmer's daughter Fawn. Farmers and riverfolk need the secretive Lakewalkers for their ability to manipulate "ground energy" and battle the deadly blight-causing creatures called malices, but few trust them completely, and the Lakewalkers haven't helped the situation by remaining aloof from the rest of the world. Dag longs to build a bridge of understanding and respect between Lakewalkers and those who depend on their protection. "The old ways have worked for better 'n a thousand years," another Lakewalker captain warns, but as farmers settle dangerous territory and Dag's own groundsense abilities develop in dangerous directions, big changes are inevitable. Bujold excels at creating interesting and sympathetic characters, and this story will satisfy readers who enjoy romance as much as adventure. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Passage (Sharing Knife Series #3)by Lois McMaster Bujold
“A thoughtful and skillful author.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold has won numerous accolades and awards, including the Nebula and Locus Awards as well as the fantasy and science fiction genre’s most prestigious honor, the Hugo Award for Best/b>
“A thoughtful and skillful author.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold has won numerous accolades and awards, including the Nebula and Locus Awards as well as the fantasy and science fiction genre’s most prestigious honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, four times (most recently for Paladin of Souls). With The Sharing Knife series, Bujold creates a brand new world fraught with peril, and spins an extraordinary romance between a young farm girl and the brave sorcerer-soldier entrusted with the defense of the land against a plague of vicious malevolent beings. In Passage, volume three in Bujold’s breathtaking saga of love, loyalty, and courage in the face of bigotry and dark magic, the devoted wedded lovers Fawn Bluefield and Dag Redwing Hickory are joined by new companions in their quest to find peace, acceptance, and a place in a most dangerous world.
Fawn Bluefield and her Lakewalker husband, Dag Redwing Hickory, travel to see Fawn's family and receive a reception only slightly less hostile than that given by Dag's family. Deciding to set out on their own, the couple begin a long riverboat journey, accompanied by Dag's seemingly hopeless brother, Whit, and are soon joined by others drawn to the couple's vision and to Dag's growing magical powers. The third installment (after The Sharing Knife: Beguilement and The Sharing Knife: Legacy) in Bujold's latest multivolume saga takes her characters into uncharted lands that test both their talents and their loyalty. The creator of the popular Miles Vorkosigan series writes with skill and insight, making her foray into fantasy a good selection for most libraries, particularly those in which she has a following.
Read an Excerpt
The Sharing Knife, Volume Three
Dag was riding up the lane thinking only of the chances of a Bluefield farm lunch, and his likelihood of needing a nap afterwards, when the arrow hissed past his face.
Panic washing through him, he reached out his right arm and snatched his wife from her saddle. He fell left, dragging them both off and behind the shield of their horses, snapping his sputtering groundsense open wide—range still barely a hundred paces, blight it—torn between thoughts of Fawn, of the knife at his belt, of the unstrung bow at his back, of how many, where? All of it was blotted out in the lightning flash of pain as he landed with both their weights on his healing left leg. His cry of "Spark, get behind me!" transmuted to "Agh! Blight it!" as his leg folded under him. Fawn's mare bolted. His horse Copperhead shied and jerked at the reins still wrapped around the hook that served in place of Dag's left hand; only that, and Fawn's support under his arm as she found her feet, kept him upright.
"Dag!" Fawn yelped as his weight bent her.
Dag straightened, abandoning his twisting reach for his bow, as he at last identified the source of the attack—not with his groundsense, but with his eyes and ears. His brother-in-law Whit Bluefield came running across the yard below the old barn, waving a bow in the air and calling, "Oh, sorry! Sorry!"
Only then did Dag's eye take in the rag target tacked to a red oak tree on the other side of the lane. Well . . . he assumed it was a target, though the only arrow nearby was stuck in the bark about two feet below it. Other spentarrows lay loose on the ground well beyond. The one that had nearly clipped off his nose had plowed into the soil a good twenty paces downslope. Dag let out his pent breath in exasperation, then inhaled deeply, willing his hammering heart to slow.
"Whit, you ham-fisted fool!" cried Fawn, rising on tiptoe to peer over her restive horse-fort. "You nearly shot my husband!"
Whit arrived breathless, repeating, "Sorry! I was so surprised to see you, my hand slipped."
Fawn's mare Grace, who had skittered only a few steps before getting over her alarm at this unusual dismount, put her head down and began tearing at the grass clumps. Whit, familiar with Copperhead's unsociable character, made a wide circle around the horse to his sister's side. Dag let the reins unwrap from his hook and allowed Copperhead to go join Grace, which the chestnut gelding did after a few desultory bucks and cow-kicks, just to register his opinion of the proceedings. Dag sympathized.
"I wasn't aiming at you!" Whit declared anxiously.
"I'm right glad to hear that," drawled Dag. "I know I annoyed a few people around here when I married your sister, but I didn't think you were one of 'em." His lips compressed in a grimmer line. Whit might well have hit Fawn.
Whit flushed. A head shorter than Dag, he was still a head taller than Fawn, whom, after an awkward hesitation, he now embraced. Fawn grimaced, but hugged him back. Both Bluefield heads were crowned with loosely curling black hair, both faces fair-skinned, but while Fawn was nicely rounded, with a captivating sometimes-dimple when she smirked, Whit was skinny and angular, his hands and feet a trifle too big for his body. Still growing into himself even past age twenty, as the length of wrist sticking from the sleeve of his homespun shirt testified. Or perhaps, with no younger brother to hand them down to, he was just condemned to wear out his older clothes.
Dag took a step forward, then hissed, hook-hand clapping to his buckling left thigh. He straightened again with an effort. "Maybe I want my stick after all, Spark."
"Of course," said Fawn, and darted across the lane to retrieve the hickory staff from under Copperhead's saddle flap.
"Are you all right? I know I didn't hit you," Whit protested. His mouth bent down. "I don't hit anything, much."
Dag smiled tightly. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
"He is not fine," Fawn amended sternly, returning with the stick. "He got knocked around something fearsome last month when his company rode to put down that awful malice over in Raintree. He hasn't nearly healed up yet."
"Oh, was that your folks, Dag? Was it really a blight bogle—malice," Whit corrected himself to the Lakewalker term, with a duck of his head at Dag. "We heard some pretty wild rumors about a ruckus up by Farmer's Flats—"
Fawn overrode this in concern. "That scar didn't break open when you landed so hard, did it, Dag?"
Dag glanced down at the tan fabric of his riding trousers. No blood leaked through, and the flashes of pain were fading out. "No." He took the stick and leaned on it gratefully. "It'll be fine," he added to allay Whit's wide-eyed look. He squinted in new curiosity at the bow still clutched in Whit's left hand. "What's this? I didn't think you were an archer."
Whit shrugged. "I'm not, yet. But you said you would teach me when—if—you came back. So I was getting ready, getting in some practice and all. Just in case." He held out his bow as if in evidence.
Dag blinked. He had quite forgotten that casual comment from his first visit to West Blue, and was astonished that the boy had apparently taken it so to heart. Dag stared closely, but not a trace of Whit's usual annoying foolery appeared in his face. Huh. Guess I made more of an impression on him than I'd thought.
Whit shook off his embarrassment over his straying shaft, and asked cheerfully, "So, why are you two back so soon? Is your patrol nearby? They could all come up too, you know. Papa wouldn't mind. Or are you on a mission for your Lakewalkers, like that courier fellow who brought your letters and the horses and presents?"The Sharing Knife, Volume Three
Passage. Copyright © by Lois Bujold. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold burst onto the scene in 1986 with Shards of Honor, the first of her tremendously popular Vorkosigan Saga novels. She has received numerous accolades and prizes, including two Nebula Awards for best novel (Falling Free and Paladin of Souls), four Hugo Awards for Best Novel (Paladin of Souls, The Vor Game, Barrayar, and Mirror Dance), as well as the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her novella The Mountains of Mourning. Her work has been translated into twenty-one languages. The mother of two, Bujold lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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