The Curse of Chalion

Lois McMaster Bujold
The Curse of Chalion Cover

The Curse of Chalion


Synopsis - Lupe dy Cazaril, a castillar (a knight or minor baron), returns home to the Royacy (Kingdom) of Chalion a broken man, though he is only in his mid-thirties. "Caz", as he is known to his friends, had defended a castle during a long siege, only to be ordered to surrender it. Afterward, a jealous enemy had seen to it that he was not ransomed (as were the rest of his men), but sold into slavery, spending 19 months as a galley slave before finally escaping.

His old noble patroness finds a use for him as a tutor for her granddaughter, the Royesse (Princess) Iselle, half-sister to the king, and her companion, Lady Betriz. Despite his ardent desire to live a safely low-profile, peaceful life, Caz finds himself drawn into a strange journey of dangers both spiritual and temporal as he seeks to dispel the debilitating curse that hangs over the royal family of Chalion.

Not usually into fantasy,but this was a great read,with delightful characters,as is standard with LMB,and with interesting world building,including an odd but believable religion. A bit different from most mediaeval style fantasy,and with a wonderful hero,whose modesty,integrity and kindness make him beloved by his friends,and a thorn in the side of his enemies. He could have been a prig as he is so good,kind,honest etc,but he is so full of self doubt and fear at times,and has suffered so much that we fully engage with him .

This was a worthy winner of the Mythopoeic Award and a nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy award.

Though I am not so much into fantasy I have got to say the books listed on the Mythopoeic Award havent let me down in my quick forays into fantasy.