Passage (Sharing Knife Series #3)

Passage (Sharing Knife Series #3)

by Lois McMaster Bujold


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061375330
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/22/2008
Series: Sharing Knife Series , #3
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.37(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

The Sharing Knife, Volume Three

Chapter One

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
. Copyright © by Lois Bujold. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Passage (Sharing Knife Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good captivating read
KimFL More than 1 year ago
I love this series though I am not a fan of the artwork. The characters are wonderfully developed though I would expect nothing less from Lois McMaster Bujold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read anything by this author before this series, now I am in the process of obtaining previous works. It's that good! I enjoyed the dialogue, storyline, characters, and even the unexpected bits that continued to surprise. Very much recommeded.
kayceel on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Fawn and Dag have left Dag's camp in a self-imposed exile, just ahead of his family forcing the camp counsel to rule his and Fawn's marriage illegal. They gain a traveling companion in Fawn's brother Wit after visitng her family's farm, and all three make their was to a river town, where they meet up with a young female riverboat captain searching for her father and betrothed.This third volume in the Sharing Knife trilogy is much darker. Dag is struggling with what it means for him to be in exile, and he's trying to find a way to help Lakewalkers and farmers get along better, to avoid the prejudice he and Fawn have faced in future.During their travels, they encounter a truly evil Lakewalker, who seems to embody everything Dag could become if he only makes a few ill decisions. He struggles constantly with his new found ground-skills and what they, too, may mean for his soul.Troubling, and exciting, mixed with the wonderful delight Dag and Fawn find in each other's company.Recommended.
Neale on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The third installment to a great story. The quality of the writing continues. The fantasy world is expanding and more insights are explained. If you liked for the first two this is more of the same. Looking forward to part 4.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
An excellent continuation of the story, as Dag and Fawn travel down a Mississippi-analogue. I eagerly await the fourth and final part.
mummimamma on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Now this is book number three in a series of quite possible four. I am very fond of Bujold's Miles-books, but the Sharing Knife-series is a bit too romance-y for my tastes. Also they are a bit too slow and taking a bit too many detours along the way. The frame story of Passage is Fawn and Dag taking a boat-trip down-river. Dag gets to get to know farmers better and fawn mainly hangs around. They also pick up a couple of strays, including Fawn's brother Whit, along the way. Now as I was reading the book I contemplated that this book was just like a trip on a slow boat floating down a slow river. Mosly it's calm, occasionally there are rougher parts, but mostly you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as it floats by.
shipofools999 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Just as savory as her other books. Yum
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Again, it was better when I read it the second time, after I'd read Horizon. Dag's fumbling badly throughout, and seriously confused (and scared) about his new abilities. And the ending is somewhat arbitrary - well, they did start out saying they were going to the sea and that's where it ended. But they're already planning the next thing - stopping at that point is mostly because it wouldn't all fit in one book! Dag uses his abilities a lot, in settings varying from controlled experiments to save-a-life desperate. His choice of action in the latter was interesting, too - paralysis rather than death. Hmmm, they'd found the knife by then - but a lot of people don't share - I don't know. Odd, is all. And - it being a Bujold - there are lots of lovely lines, especially people working past limits. Fun. And better than Legacy - they feel better together, not so dogged.
cajela on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I liked this one better than volume two, though I'm still yearning for a new Vorkosigan novel instead of this fantasy series. But I'll read anything of Bujold's. Has she published a laundry list yet?It's not quite the Montagues and Capulets, but newlyweds Fawn the farmer and Dag the Dunadan oops, I mean Lakewalker, have families that don't get on well. The Lakewalkers patrol the land for the Evil Blight. They have magical powers. They are distrusted and feared by the farmers who they protect, and in turn they hold the farmers in contempt. Will Dag and Fawn effect some reconciliation?In the main action here, our protagonists journey downriver with a motley crew of unhappy youngsters gathered along the way. The boat captain is in search of her lost father and betrothed. There's a nice rhythm of pranks, pie baking and peace, interspersed with some serious bandit fighting action. And it all ends with a day at the sea. Next volume: Horizon. I'll read it.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Summary: In the world of The Sharing Knife, Farmers think Lakewalkers are necromantic sorcerers and cannibals, while the Lakewalkers - who spend most of their time hunting and killing the evil life-sucking malices - think that Farmers are little more than dumb animals. That makes the marriage of Dag, a Lakewalker patroller, and Fawn Bluefield, an inquisitive Farmer girl, very unusual indeed. After they've been unceremoniously turned out of Dag's Lakewalker camp, the couple heads out on a mission of their own. Dag's convinced that the centuries-long rift between Lakewalkers and Farmers is causing nothing but problems for both sides, so he's determined that he and Fawn are going to be the ones to bridge the gap and start repairing the misunderstandings. They head south to the river, where they find themselves passage on a most unusual riverboat, with a decidedly motley crew. The boat is captained by a young woman named Berry, who is determined to find out what happened to her father and fiance, who disappeared on the river the year before... although whether by natural causes or something more sinister is yet to be determined...Review: While I've thoroughly fallen in love with both Fawn and Dag, and don't mind any excuse to read more about them, this book didn't quite live up to the earlier books in the series. I think it was because it lacked a single overarching plot and was more episodic in nature - hence my somewhat disjointed attempt at a summary, above. Each episode was certainly interesting, and added to the big picture of the series as a whole, but one didn't always flow smoothly into the next, and the lack of a single motivating story line meant that the whole book felt like "Dag and Fawn float downriver, doin' stuff along the way."But, like I said, at least it was interesting stuff. There are a couple of new turns in the story, and in the character development, that I wasn't expecting but which open up a lot of new possibilities. Bujold also spends a lot of time worldbuilding, as Dag figures out more about how Lakewalker magic really works, and y'all know how much I love a complex and internally consistent magical system. There are several new characters added to the mix in this volume, and I liked most of them almost as much as I like Fawn and Dag - Fawn's brother Whit, in particular, grew on me, as did the young Lakewalker Remo. I also thought that the riverboating aspect of this book was a cool (and very well-detailed) addition to the mix - it's not something you see often as a setting for fantasy novels, and it gave the book a unique flair. And, really, let's be honest: Bujold's got me well and hooked into these characters and this story, so I'll happily read about them doin' stuff for at least another book's worth. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: This one doesn't even come close to standing alone; all of its cool worldbuilding is building on top of what's come before without much recapitulation. But the series as a whole should definitely be of interest to anyone who likes well-developed non-traditional fantasy worlds, and doesn't mind a little romance (really not much at all, at least in this volume) stirred into the mix.
PallanDavid on LibraryThing 10 months ago
OK, if you read Book 1 and 2 of the Sharing knife series, all you need to do is skim the first half of this book, then read about a quarter of it, then skim the last quarter. Rehash, repetition, repeat.... no surprises, very little to expand the story. If you have not read Book 1 and 2, then you can probably pick this up and read it as a stand-alone. (Yawn). Maybe Book 4 will break out of this cycle and excite me. In case you have read my reviews of the three books in this series and wonder, "why is this person continuing with the series if it is so boring to her?" Well, call me OCD> I am one of those people who cannot NOT finish a book or a series if I can help it.
flemmily on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This one reminded me of a fantasy version of Huck Finn, if Jim was really a 55 year old white dude, and in love with Huck, who was an 18 year old white woman. But you know, still different cultures so there was still some prejudice issues.
suedutton on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I received a free copy of Primitive by Mark Nykanen through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. The book was a fast-paced page turner, and would appeal to people who like a good thriller. I t was easy to envision the movie version of this book. The biggest flaw of the book was the political vision, which was a little extreme. The eco-terrorists in the book were forced into violent activity to pursue a worthy agenda, and were compared to John Brown. The government, and everyone working for the government, were all violent and ruthless. This is fine within the context of a thriller where there are "good guys" and "bad guys", but I found it difficult to sympathize with the purported "good guys" in this context.
timepiece on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I enjoyed Passage as much as I did Beguilement, and even more than Legacy. Of course, I do like a good "road trip" story, even when the road trip is actually a river trip.Even though Passage is fantasy, I imagine that the account of pre-industrial river life to be fairly accurate - it was certainly fascinating to me. I also enjoyed the continued development of Dag's abilities, and experimentation with them (complete with bad ideas and consequences).It's also great that Bujold chose to bring back a minor character from an earlier book, Fawn's youngest brother, and make him into a fully-formed character. In the previous book, he didn't seem to have a lot of redeeming qualities, but that was seen though the eye of a younger (much-teased) sister; here, he's quite a valuable member of the team.The main conflict of this book was a little slow to get going, but to me it seemed to mesh with the leisurely life of the river being depicted. And it was certainly exciting once it got going.I'm really looking forward to the fourth and final book.
lalawe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have a total girl-crush on Lois McMaster Bujold. With every single one of her books, after finishing the last page, I always feel like, ¿yup! this was a book worth reading!¿ Why, however, was it a book worth reading? That¿s sometimes hard to describe with her books.This is the third in the ¿Sharing Knife¿ series, but with the way the plot is structured, a new reader should be able to come into it fairly easily. This time, the emphasis moves from the romance between Fawn and Dag and more into the general realm of relationships between Lakewalkers and farmers, set on a long trip on a barge down a large river. It sounds rather boring, and honestly, there¿s not much that sounds compelling in the way of plot. Bujold credits several books in a note at the back, including one by Mark Twain, and that¿s honestly what this reminds me of - the rustic dialog, the travelogue feel. And that¿s what makes Bujold¿s books wonderful - it felt a bit like someone¿s memoirs of a real place, and her characters - Dag, Fawn, Boss Berry - act and speak like real people.Except ¿Boss Berry¿ kinda sounds like a video game boss, and I kept trying to imagine what a giant evil berry would look like. A strawberry that shoots seeds at you?Anyway, this wasn¿t a can¿t-put-down book, but more of a leisurely read (though I still read it in one day).
GerreK More than 1 year ago
This whole series is fun and fulfilling. The book I return to again and again is this one which expands the Tent Family of Dag and Fawn. The first two books introduce the world (cultures) of the Farmers and the Lakewalkers. This book follows them as they begin their mission to build a future for both peoples to become allies as wll as kin. The new characters add to the world and all of them learn and grow during the course of their adventures. Once the "shake down cruise" in this volume has been completed, all of the characters are in place for a satifying and exciting finale in Horizon.
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