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Beguilement (The Sharing Knife #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,872 Ratings  ·  629 Reviews
Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family's farm. But en route to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier-sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret, ongoing war against the scourge of the "malices," immortal entities that draw the life out of th ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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David Tate It's not so much "a series" as a single long novel in 4 volumes, always planned as such. Rather like The Lord of the Rings in that regard.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 thefourthvine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, sff
Note: I believe I am the only person on the face of the earth who hated this book. If you liked it, this review will annoy you. Also, be advised that there will be spoilers for what we might loosely term the plot in what follows.

This book suffers from three main problems:

1. A fascinating world that gets built in the first few pages and then utterly abandoned in favor of

2. An amazingly unengaging, unbelievable romance between a typical Bujold guy and

3.Mary Sue

The thing is, this is actually a so
Feb 22, 2012 Carol. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Bujold fans
I cry foul! I thought Bujold wrote sophisticated fantasies in interesting worlds (Hugo winner? Hello? ), but this one is strictly pedestrian, and I don't mean in an alternative transportation, heart-healthy way.

We follow a pregnant farm girl who has left home with the half-formed intention of seeking a new life in the city, when she's captured by a 'malice' (really??), a sinister force that is converting animals and people into frightening biddable mud-men (David Edding's snake powered mud-men,
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
Several years ago I stumbled on Bujold's Vorkosigan series when I randomly checked out A Civil Campaign from the library. As one of the later books in that series, it was definitely the wrong place to start and left me rather puzzled and at sea. But then I discovered Cordelia's Honor and fell in love with both Cordelia and Aral, and dove into all the Miles books afterwards--one of the great SF series, seriously--and then I finished and thought, what next?

So it turned out that Bujold has written
Jul 28, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Sharing Knife is about Fawn Bluefield, a young woman, pregnant but unwed, and scorned by the father of her baby. Fearing the shame and outrage that will fall on her when news of her pregnancy gets around, she decides to run away from home and make a new life for herself in the city of Glassforge, where she will pretend to be a widow. On her way, she encounters a group of Lakewalkers, a mysterious race of people who patrol the land, searching for and destroying malices, also known as blight b ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...first let us make no mistake. This is a romance, a love story. The synopsis may make it sound like an adventure, it may talk about the Lake Walkers, the Patrolers in mysterious terms...but it amounts to a love story. The inexperienced young farm girl meets the mysterious, older and more knowledgeable Lake Walker, shows herself more competent and able than expected. Then their love must overcome various and sundry obstacles (I'd mention a couple but that might be considered giving spoilers ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Marijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bujoldica je po običaju izvrsna. Fantasy s ljudskim likom, moglo bi se reći. Taman kad pomisliš da bi moglo postati dosadnjikavo ili se razvući, ona te zaskoči iza ugla.
Beanbag Love
Aug 17, 2010 Beanbag Love rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a 4.75. Mainly because I felt the book changed so much from beginning to end.

When we first meet Fawn and Dag the story seems like one of action and war. It's brutal and they both have to fight for their lives, saving each other in the process. It evolves into a rather simple, but very nice, romance, however. Since the over-riding arc of the story is completed over the course of several books, the change of tone makes this book itself feel unfinished. Since I plan to read on, it w
Feb 20, 2008 Felicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book was...not good. This author is great. This book...Harlequin-y
This is the first book of a duology, a fantasy/romance with the emphasis on the romance. Our couple consists of Fawn Bluefield – farmer girl, eighteen, pregnant, running away from home – and Dag Redwing – one-handed, widower, fiftyish, from the militaristic Lakewalker culture. Dag and his patrol are tracking a malice, an immortal life-leeching menace which can only be dispatched with a sharing knife (a nice little conceit that is not worth ruining). The malice captures Fawn for nefarious purpose ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Reading the reviews, the detractors seem to fall into certain categories. Those who were expecting something like her Vorkosigan series and are disappointed it's fantasy. (Hello, it's pretty explicitly marked as fantasy from the description to the cover.) Those who were expecting something like her Chalion series and are disappointed the emphasis on this first book is on romance. (Yes, it is. I think it's tons better than the usual book on the romance aisle, but if you sneer at books built aroun ...more
Lisa Butterworth
Apr 05, 2009 Lisa Butterworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Bujold's imagination. Her fantasy ideas are never like anything I've ever seen before and her worlds are so rich and complex and utterly believable. And she is so good at letting them unfold slowly and naturally and at making characters that I totally fall in love with.

This is actually the second time I read this book, I don't usually read books twice, but I bought it for a quarter at my mom's library last week because I didn't have anything to read and I was desperate.

I had bee
Sherwood Smith
I waited a year because someone had warned me that The Sharing Knife: Beguilement was actually the first half of a book summarily chopped in half. So I waited until the second came out.

The story appears to be a fantasy set in some pastoral world near water (I later found out the setting was a parallel world Great Lakes region, an area I'd never seen, and so did not recognize), where we are introduced to two cultures living in uneasy coexistence: the Farmers and the Lakewakers, who patrol everyw
May 25, 2011 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
I would never have picked up this book based on any description of it I've ever read, but it's Bujold, so I thought, how bad could it be?

It turns out that even Bujold can't make me enjoy a sappy romance between a young, naive farm girl named Fawn and the much older supernatural warrior named Dag who comes to her rescue. She's perky and her family doesn't appreciate her. He's suffered a tragedy and thought he'd never love again. The characterization is nothing special, and the setting is a bland
Jul 17, 2010 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, fantasy
Beautifully written, surprisingly romantic, and thoroughly enjoyable. Bujold's world-building is superb, complex yet easy to imagine and follow. I look forward to the next installment.
I really enjoyed this story. The audio book was very well done, nothing was missing in the delivery . The story flowed smoothly not just due to a talented narrator but because it's well written prose. Ms. Bujold has legit skills.

Dag and Fawn are the main characters and the primary focus of this installment. I was so invested in these two that I missed the fact that the evil inhuman creatures being hunted were dropped for most of the book. I am surprised that wasn't a deal breaker for me but what
Apr 23, 2009 M— rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This series had been repeatedly recommended to me, starting nearly a year ago, by a friend of mine. This friend had also advised that I avoid beginning the books too close to bedtime and that I obtain, at the very least, the first two books of this quad so that I could read them back to back. I really need to start taking her word at greater weight.

I waited for a long time before bothering to track down a copy of this first book this series because at the time I had only just read the appallingl
Aug 04, 2008 Hirondelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What has happened to Lois Bujold? I was reading this and kept mentally comparing it to Shards of Honor, published 1986, also a sort of romance and also the start of a series. Maybe the fact that Bujold is now starting a fantasy series says something for the state of sf as compared to fantasy. Maybe I am biased pro-sf but this book was just so flimsy compared to SoH.

I better put some spoiler warnings, just in case,
(view spoiler)
This book had a really solid start, with plenty of danger and magical action. It seemed like it was going to be an enjoyable fantasy read. Then after a while, I realized that the "resting up" from this initial action was not just an interlude, but the rest of the book. Seriously two thirds of the story focus exclusively on the romance and the couple's relationship-type challenges like meeting and dealing with in-laws, and dealing with cross-cultural relationships and taboos, and age differences. ...more
Dec 25, 2008 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Like most Bujold, this was a fast interesting read. She grabbed my attention with the viewpoint character, Fawn, who was likable and quickly made me care what happened to her. The world/society/setting seems underdeveloped, but that probably comes clearer in the rest of the series. Also, when it comes to fantasy, I really like Tolkien, and everyone else seems to fall short in the world development area, naturally. In other words, she didn't invent 14 languages yet for this universe.

Bujold is al
Jul 20, 2007 Slither rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: incurable romantics.
Okay, I am a Bujold fan, honest I am. However, I am afraid this review will cause be to be exiled from the International Order of Bujold-lovers. This fantasy book reminds me of a cross between Anne Rice and Mercedes Lackey.

Brief plot description: A grizzled soldier meets a young girl. The soldier is fifty-five years old, and has a broken heart. The girl is eighteen and has run away from home after her one and only experience of sex turned out badly.

During the next three days, the two save either
Apr 29, 2012 Chip rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Review applies for all two/four of the Sharing Knife series. I appreciate that Bujold is trying something new here, as I hate to see good writers fall into the trap of retreading the same ground again and again. E.g., Terry Brooks. Well, except for the "good" part. He was never good.

Unfortunately, her new twist was apparently to write a romance novel. Allowing me to discover that I do not care for romance novels. It isn't 100% romance novel - maybe 10-15%. But that bit was awkward, annoying and
Brenda Audiobooks Only
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne - narration 5+*s

The Sharing Knife series of 4 books has an excellent narrator in Bernadette Dunne, she is one of the very best I've ever listened to.

Jul 14, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this. I know some people felt let down or disappointed when comparing this to other books by the same author but because this was the first book of hers that I've read I didn't have the same bias.

I do agree that the romance takes center stage. I too would have liked it if there was a bit more action other than that which was at the start, however, I don't mind the romance, especially if it's done well and I really think it was.

Dag and Fawn both have their share of emotional baggage but
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2013 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
I recently read Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion which teased me with the romance between Cazaril and the young Beatriz. Beguilement, part one of the Sharing Knife series, served almost as a sequel to that romance for me, giving me all the sexual tension and adoration that were only hinted at in Chalion. The romance spawns from the unfortunate adventures of Fawn when she becomes entangled with a deadly Malice and works with the Lakewalker, Dag, to save the world from the blight of evil.

I love the
MsMiz (Tina)
Feb 14, 2009 MsMiz (Tina) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have found this series and Bujold's story telling to be a warm blanket that keeps me warm without making me too hot! She weaves a tale of innocence, love, trust, power in learning and just down right good ole fashioned good triumphing over evil. She speaks the story of how ignorance causes most of the worlds problems, if only the farmers and the Lakewalkers would open up and learn from each other, lives would be saved.

The first book in the series sets a nice stage of forbidden love in a time o
My first real Fantasy book. It drew me straight in and I enjoyed it thoroughly. A romance to keep me happy, very likable characters, an adventurous and different storyline.

I listened to the audio version after seeing the narrator raved about more than once. The excellent narration captivated me fast and has brought me much more enjoyment in the book than I might have gotten otherwise.
Aug 27, 2010 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audio
It was all right. For a while I thought it was a cross between YA and romance, but then there was entirely too much sex for YA! I found the characterization pretty naive, the age difference between the man and woman to be a little off putting - he's 55 to her 18??? Yikes. It all seems like an excuse to write about prejudicial segregation of societies with a little magic thrown in. :\
I don't know. I'm interested in the premise of demon-hunting, waaaay less interested in the romance which was the main plot of this first book. Also, I'm less than impressed by the way every male character Bujold writes is pretty damn lecherous. It's starting to creep me out. Possibly I'm being harsh because I lovelovelove the Vorkosigan and Chalion books and am much more meh about this one. I would probably keep going with the series if I came across it in the library, but I wouldn't seek it ou ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Olgalijo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sword and sorcerer at its best. The only reason why I gave it four stars instead of five, is that the author's sic-fi series is even better, and their characters have much more charisma.
But back to Beguilement, although the story is in some ways not really new, the plot is weaved in such a way that you keep wanting to read. The underdog characters also make you feel that they deserve to have a happy ending, and one really cares about them. Add to this the underlying social criticism characterist
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Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...

Other Books in the Series

The Sharing Knife (4 books)
  • Legacy (The Sharing Knife, #2)
  • Passage (The Sharing Knife, #3)
  • Horizon (The Sharing Knife, #4)

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“Lakewalker legends say the gods abandoned the world when the first malice came. And that they will return when the earth is entirely cleansed of its spawn. If you believe in gods."

"Do you?"

"I believe they are not here, yes. It's a faith of sorts.”
“But though you’d never starve your body to wasting and still expect to go on, you starve your heart, yet act as though you can still draw on it forever without the debt ever coming due. If you fall—when you fall, you’re going to fall like a starving man.” 3 likes
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