Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Hallowed Hunt; L.M. Bujold

The Hallowed Hunt written by Lois McMaster Bujold and published by Eos in 2005 is available in both paperback and hardcover. Again, as in the last two books in the Chalion series, the cover for this title is gorgeous and seems consistent with descriptions in the text. I was overtaken by life events (see FIL posts) which interfered with my ability to concentrate despite being very much in need of a good story and b) being fascinated with this little corner of Bujold's world. THH is not directly linked to the first two titles The Curse of Chalion & Paladin of Souls other than being set in a coniguous country.

The novel is based in a country where the inhabitants were organized into family clans and whose society was based on a shamanistic totem religion. These clans then chose a king etc. A neighboring country, apparently more advanced than the clans, invades, massacres the king and his spirit warriors (the totems) and imposes a new religion- the same one as found in the other 2 Chalion books. I found much of this story similar to the invasion histories of several American countries and the subsequent decimation of their first peoples.

Anyhow- Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff is sent off to investigate the death of Prince Boleso and return his murderess, Lady Ijada dy Castos, to the capitol for trial. Except, there is more to the murder than meets the eye. It has been over four hundred years since the country's original religion was almost totally wiped out. What forbidden ritual was Boleso attempting?

The currents in the story are deep: political, religious, romantic, inheritance, the weight of history. The question is- will the polar bear, named Fafa, kill anyone before Ingrey can return him to the Vikings who brought him? Why won't the wound on his arm heal? Is there a way Ingrey can finesse Ijada's trial so she won't be hanged or burned or worse?

THis is a library edition, but I plan to buy my own copy. Keeper.


Holly said...

This sounds really good. I'm adding it to my wishlist. Good review.

Bookwormom said...

Hi Holly~ I really liked it, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Cara King said...

I loved all three of these books (as indeed I do all Bujold!) I've only read this one once (the other two twice) and perhaps that's why I didn't like it as well as Chalion and Paladin -- or perhaps I just don't like it as well. But it's still a fab book. :-)


Bookwormom said...

Cara- Perhaps because it's not linked to tightly to the first two? Just an idea.