On the Horizon – knife children (Lois McMaster Bujold) – a standalone novella in the Sharing Knife world!

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received a copy of this fantasy novella eArc from the publisher in exchange for me honest musings . . .

knife children (Lois McMaster Bujold)

Title: knife children

Author: Lois McMaster Bujold

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Publication Date: Available Now!! (hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1596069541

Source: NetGalley

Knife Children

The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:

  1. I love Lois McMaster Bujold!  I discovered her through her World of the Five Gods series;
  2. It is a Subterranean Press book and they do great work; and
  3. This story is set in the Sharing Knife world.

Ye see at some point in the past I read the first book of the Sharing Knife series.  I remember enjoying it but literally nothing else (eek!).  While this novella is technically #4.5 in the series, it is a standalone.  I thought I would read this book to be reintroduced to the world and see if I should go back and read the whole series.

I ended up really liking this novella.  The basic premise is that Barr has a secret daughter who he watches over from afar.  After coming back from a longer than usual patrol, he finds his daughter missing and sets out to discover where she went.

The highlight of this book is Barr.  Ye meet him as a mature man on his way home from a long journey.  He was an impulsive youth who made bad decisions and has basically been paying for them ever since.  It was so nice to see a male character reflect on his immaturity and past mistakes.  Above all he didn’t let those mistakes derail his entire future.  He was just so thoughtful and wonderful and always trying to do the right thing.  Ye get to watch his perceptions of the people around him grow and change as he gets to know his daughter.

I also enjoyed how the plot around the daughter was handled.  The politics of the family relations were messy and realistic-feeling.  One mistake really can impact generations and lots of people.  It was nice to watch the side characters also grow and change.  I did enjoy the unfolding of the father-daughter relationship.  I also rather loved the epilogue.

The characters and the relationships were the strength of this one.  The world building didn’t thrill me that much when compared to the World of the Five Gods.  It just seemed kinda cheesy and too simplistic.  It surprised me that this series was written after the Five Gods books.  I don’t think I feel the need to go back and read the rest of series.  I am, however, very glad to have read about Barr.  Barr reminds me of Cazaril in a lot of ways and I rather loved him.  So I do recommend this novella as a starting place to see if ye want to explore more of the world.  Arrr!

Side note:  I still plan on trying the author’s sci-fi Vorkosigan Saga.

Goodreads has this to say about the novella:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Lois McMaster Bujold – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

knife children – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the curse of the chalion – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

paladin of souls – book 2 (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

the hallowed hunt – book 3 (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

penric’s progress (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)

24 thoughts on “On the Horizon – knife children (Lois McMaster Bujold) – a standalone novella in the Sharing Knife world!

  1. I read Kim @ Traveling in Books’s review of this novella recently and it definitely sparked my interest. I’m glad that you shared links to your other reviews! I am looking for a new fantasy series I can get completely lost in. I need some time to just sit, read, and fall in love with a new universe– that is a great recharge for me. 🙂

    I look forward to reading your eventual reviews of Bujold’s science fiction!


      1. Yes – we’ve read the rest of the series, and once again, loved the worldbuilding and characters. As for the Vorkosigan series – it’s just a joy… I wish I could start at the beginning and have that fabulous journey all over again:))


    1. I be glad her work is on yer list to try. I do enjoy Subterranean Press. I like that they publish fun collections and novellas. I don’t tend to collect books so I am always happy to get an eArc from them.
      x The Captain


      1. I have been hesitant to start it due to size but a couple bloggers have been praising it. Plus the author wrote a list of what she thinks is the proper reading order. Maybe it will be me 2021 project cause this year is out of whack so far.
        x The Captain


  2. Everyone talks so much about the Vorksogian saga, I didn’t even realize she had a fantasy series out there. This does sound great though so maybe I’ll add it. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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