The Curse of Chalion

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The Curse of Chalion

Post by Peregrine »

I picked up The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold from a second-hand store the other day, almost on a whim. Actually I got both it and Paladin of Souls, which conveniently happened to be the first two of three books in the Chalion series. I'm about halfway through The Curse of Chalion now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

It was a good read right from the beginning: the characters are engaging, the writing is a pleasure, and the world-building is handled neatly and without intrusive exposition. And then I hit chapter 12...!
That is, Dondo's death, and the aftermath thereof
There's just something I really enjoy about this sort of plot development—I suppose you could call it a twist, but the word hardly seems adequate—that neatly and surprisingly resolves the intractable conflict that went before, and at the same time sets up a whole new set of complications. I've been thinking a lot about it since I read that part of the book last night, and have taken to calling it the "aha! oh crap!" moment. I'll need to be alert for similar things in other books in future, because I'm sure I've seen and enjoyed such moments before, but I can't for the life of me think of any now.

After that, Chapter 13 was a bit surprising, I even dare say a bit disappointing, in how it tidily laid out a lot of exposition—not just confirming or refuting guesses as to what just happened in the aha! oh crap! moment, but also explaining much of what had been left mysterious before. But I've enjoyed the book so much so far that I'm making myself withhold judgement, and am willing to trust the author's decision and see where the story goes next.

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