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Review: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

>>Monday, April 5, 2010

Title: Beguilement
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Series: The Sharing Knife #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 361
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: April 24th, 2007
Publisher: Eos
Rating: 6

From Goodreads: The Hugo Award-winning author of "Paladin of Souls" and "The Hallowed Hunt" returns with an enthralling new romantic fantasy--the first volume in an epic two-volume saga.

Source: Bought

My Review
This book is the start of a series about the relationship of the main characters, Fawn Bluefield, a young, Farmer girl, and Dag, an old patroller of the Lakewalker people. They are separated by culture and come together through the fight against an evil blight bogle, or malice, and find themselves on what I suppose will be a long journey together.

I wanted to read this book because I was looking for a good fantasy romance. I had heard this book was a little lighter on the plot and heavier on the romance and it's true, but I didn't have a problem with that. The book follows Fawn and Dag through an adventure early in the book and from there it tappers down in action but continues with strong character development.

I thought the world Bujold created was interesting: two main cultures, the normal Farmers and the Lakewalker people who hold some kind of magical abilities. There are hints of a long and interesting history of these people but it is very brief in description and I had only wished we heard more of it. Her writing is also great; I had no problem with it and enjoyed the author's voice immensely.

So why does it only get a 6? I had some issues in the beginning of the book. I thought some romantic elements were very cliched, such as the fact that Fawn is young, naive and ignorant of the world and then Dag enters the picture and opens her eyes, treats her like a princess, and Fawn becomes a better woman at his guidance and encouragement. I don't like this particular trope because it's just really old fashioned. I would have liked to have seen a stronger female character in Fawn. Things get better by the second half when we are passed that stage in their relationship and the plot moves on. I think in the end I enjoyed it overall; it had me laughing a lot (in a good way) and by the end I really felt like I would like to read the next installment, Legacy.

Rating: 6
I recommend this for anyone looking for a good fantasy romance, as long as you don't mind a lot of damsel-in-distress moments.


  1. It's a defensible storyline- the main difference is that it risks being perceived as sexist if it's not handled well. Then again, some people like it regardless, so meh.

  2. I enjoyed your review, and thanks for the damsel-in-distress warning.

  3. Thanks for the review

    Shelleyrae @ book'd Out



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