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)
The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:
- I love Lois McMaster Bujold! I discovered her through her World of the Five Gods series;
- It is a Subterranean Press book and they do great work; and
- 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:
Lakewalker Barr Foxbrush returns from two years of patrolling the bitter wilds of Luthlia against the enigmatic, destructive entities called malices, only to find that the secret daughter he’d left behind in the hinterland of Oleana has disappeared from her home after a terrible accusation. The search for her will call on more of Barr’s mind and heart than just his mage powers, as he tries to balance his mistakes of the past and his most personal duties to the future.
A stand-alone story set in the world of The Sharing Knife.
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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)