fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Paladin of Souls Lois McMaster BujoldPaladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Paladin of Souls takes place just after the events of The Curse of Chalion and focuses on Ista, one of the minor middle-aged female characters from that book. Paladin of Souls can stand alone, but you’ll get a lot more out of it if you read The Curse of Chalion first.

Bujold’s world of Chalion is believable and complex, the magic is deep, fascinating, and just plain scary. Bujold is particularly good at developing multi-faceted characters who have beautiful relationships with each other. Ista is an intelligent widow with a tragic past who wants to change her circumstances and make the world better for herself and others. She’s utterly charming and she’s surrounded by a group of equally charming secondary characters. Together they go on a pilgrimage just so Ista can get away from her life for a while. They get caught up in a war involving sorcerers and demons and, as they try to save the world, they discover spiritual truths that are both wonderful and terrible.

Paladin of Souls won several prestigious awards, including a Hugo and a Nebula. The audio version is beautifully read by Kate Reading. This is a great story that I highly recommend.

The World of the Five Gods — (2001-2016) Publisher: On the eve of the Daughter’s Day — the grand celebration that will honor the Lady of Spring, one of the five reigning deities — a man broken in body and spirit makes his way slowly down the road to Valenda. A former courtier and soldier, Cazaril has survived indignity and horrific torture as a slave aboard an enemy galley. Now he seeks nothing more than a menial job in the kitchens of the Dowager Provincara, in the noble household where he served as page in his youth. But the gods have greater plans for this humbled man. Welcomed warmly, clothed and fed, he is named, to his great surprise, secretary tutor to the Royesse Iselle — the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is destined to be the next ruler of the land. But the assignment must ultimately carry Cazaril to the one place he fears even more than the sea: to the royal court of Cardegoss, rife with intrigues and lethal treacheries. In Cardegoss, the powerful enemies who once placed Cazaril in chains and bound him to a Roknori oar now occupy the most lofty positions in the realm, beneath only the Roya himself. Yet something for more sinister than their scheming hangs like a sword over the royal family: a curse of the blood that taints not only those who would rule, but those who stand in their circle. The life and future of both Iselle and her entire blighted House of Chalion lie in dire peril. The only recourse left to her loyal, damaged servant is the employment of the darkest and most forbidden of magics — a choice that will indelibly mark Cazaril as a tool of the miraculous… and trap him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt

Related: Penric & Desdemona (2015- )

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic book reviewsPenric's Fox: Penric and Desdemona Book 3 Kindle Edition by Lois McMaster Bujold (Author) Penric's Mission (Penric & Desdemona Book 3) Kindle Edition by Lois McMaster Bujold (Author) Mira's Last Dance (Penric & Desdemona Book 4) Kindle Edition by Lois McMaster Bujold (Author) The Orphans of Raspay: A Penric and Desdemona novella in the World of the Five Gods (Penric & Desdemona Book 7) Kindle Edition


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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