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The Hallowed Hunt (World of the Five Gods #3)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  5,929 ratings  ·  356 reviews
A magnificent epic tale of devotion, possession, obsession, and strange destiny from the author of the Hugo Award-winning

Paladin of Souls

Lois McMaster Bujold

The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile -- and Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff must transport the body to its burial place and the accused killer, the Lady Ijada, to judgment. With
ebook, 448 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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The general consensus regarding The Hallowed Hunt seems to be "good, but not as good as the first two." I disagree.

My twee summary would be "greater than the sum of it's parts." The Hallowed Hunt is a complex beast (excuse the pun) and leans more heavily on expositional dialogue than is Bujold's usual practice, but I found this theosophical adventure both engaging and rewarding.

Due to the aura of disappointment palpable in the cumulative body of Goodreads reviews, I was reluctant to start this o
Third in her Five Gods universe, dealing with the son. I liked this better a year and a reread later. It is very much a Bujold book, by which I mean that the main character, while operating within the inner circles of power, has some affliction (curse and blessing) which makes him an outsider to the society he works to serve. In this case the affliction is the possession of an animal spirit. Which is why, I think, I enjoyed this book but it did not grab me by the heart and gut like Curse of Chal ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
We have been discussing on a different thread how a person's mood, frame of mind, surroundings etc. might effect their outlook on a book. I'm forced to say, maybe that's so here. I really liked the first in this series of books, it is exceptional as is the second. Each (especially the first The Curse of Chalion) snagged me and dragged me into the story. They held my interest from the first.

Now we come to the third. I could not get into it. The author seeks here to expand further the details of t
I screwed up & listened to this as the 2d book in the trilogy, not last. I don't think it's that big of a deal since it takes place way before the first two & has nothing but the world in common. I read the first of this trilogy when it came out & then the second, but never got around to this one. The gal that read this was quite a good reader, but different from the other two books.

The first half of the book dragged for me. I almost quit. Way too much description & thinking (exp
**4.5 stars**

What a wonderfully complex book! Lois McMaster Bujold is a master storyteller, waving such intricate plots which she doles out little by little but still leaves some questions to the imagination. I feel like I must read this book again because I'm sure I missed a lot of the subtlety.

I can't go much into details about this story because a) I'm bound to get something wrong and b) I will give spoilers and I think this story is best enjoyed when it's uncovered by the reader. I will say
Eric Moreno
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Cato
I was blown away by the first two books in the Chalion series. Perhaps my expectations here were too high. The Hallowed Hunt is not a bad book by any means, but it suffers from a slow start, less developed characters, and sometimes confusing theological plot twists.[return][return]Prince Boleso has been murdered. Lord Ingrey has been dispatched to bring his murderer to justice, and finds things are not at all what he expects. The murderer is a young woman, defending herself from rape. To make th ...more
When I stepped into the world of Chalion, I was introduced to its five gods—Father, Son, Mother, Daughter and the Bastard—and some of the rituals surrounding them, but I mistakenly assumed these gods were much like ours: believed in by some, but with little proof of their existence. But as with everything else in The Curse of Chalion, Bujold politely allowed me my assumptions, then gently pulled the rug out from under me and moved on before I even had time to catch my breath. Subsequently, I lea ...more
Kat  Hooper
I think Lois McMaster Bujold has exactly the right idea with the Chalion series. Each book stands alone, but if you have read the first one (Curse of Chalion), you get all the background material you need to understand the geographical, political, and religious systems of her world. This means that later books (Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt) can have fresh new characters and plots, but we don't have to endure many info dumps. The magic system, meanwhile, gets more and more complex, as w ...more
I could be underestimating this one. I started out listening to it as an audiobook and got through about two-thirds of it that way. Avoid the audiobook at all cost. Why they chose a woman reader who wasn't particularly good at men's voices to read a book narrated by a man with mostly male characters is beyond me. To make matters worse, the reader used a lofty tone, which I guess was supposed to indicate "fantasy," but it just made everything sound corny.

When I finally switched to just reading t
Genre: High Fantasy

This audio book was read by Marguerite Gavin, unlike the other two in the series which were read by Lloyd James. I had a lot of trouble getting over Marguerite Gavin's reading style. I found it very distracting. I think it worked well in her reading of _Dead Witch Walking_ - but the snotty psudo-hard biten sound did not work for me as the narrator of Ingrey & Ijada's story. He may be a "realist" but neither of them are snotty. :-S I'm sure it didn't help that this isn't on
I LOVED the first two books in this series. Like, five stars, MUST READ, loved. I had extremely high hopes for this one, but it just didn't feel very connected to the other two. The plot was pretty stand alone from the previous, and seemed really exposition-y with the animals spirits, taking place in a different region, different characters etc. It started off well but just led to me skipping a lot to the end. I'm not sure what happened, I love this author but would probably recommend sticking t ...more
ms bookjunkie
Story: (Possibly easier to take in in audio form—or would be if the production values were top notch. And if "geas" wasn't constantly mispronounced.) This is my least favorite of the Chalion books, but if taken as a standalone, away from the awesomeness that are The Curse of Chalion and The Paladin of Souls, it has an epicness of its own. Convoluted story, in any case. 3 stars

Narration: Basic narrative is good but somewhat ponderous in places. (The unevenness of the production choices did it no

The third book in the trilogy changes course dramatically, giving us a whole new setting, cast of characters, and religions. While the first two books take place in a fantasy version of Spain, this is more like a fantasy version of Scotland, complete with royals dabbling in magic and an ancient history of human sacrifice.

The book starts off dramatically with “The prince was dead.” And we go on to learn absolutely no one misses him, because he was a jerk, and his murder was a clear case of self-
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
Not recommended for animal-lovers: Lots of spirits (mostly of animals) being pulled into the souls of people (mostly through throat-slitting), causing various powers to manifest. Complex world-building, but it just didn't engage me the way I'd hoped. I read to 75% and skimmed the rest.

For whatever reason I tend to like Bujold's SciFi better than her fantasies. Two and a half stars.
I wanted something more at the end!
I hadn't read this book for a few years, but love the previous two in the series. Of course, this book takes place at a different time, in a different country, and little in common with the others other than sharing the same world. Maybe I've forgotten, but Ijada is quite an amazing woman. I found myself wishing to spend some time in her head, as the book is told exclusively from Ingrey's perspective.

Having read the previous two books helps a lot with understanding the world and its religious a
John Strohm
"Does this make any sense?" "No, not really."
Thus speaks Ingrey about 85% of the way through the book (I listened to the audiobook so I may not have the quote exactly right). Unfortunately, I agree with him.

Where the previous Chalion books worked within a specified framework, this one sets up new rules every few chapters. The end result is that literally anything can happen, and sadly, it kind of does.

The book starts off slow, builds into an interesting second act, and then it's like Bujold ran
Lois McMaster Bujold, an accomplished and expert writer of science fictions, applies her enviable skills to this, the third in her Chalion novels, self-contained fantasy tales that are tightly-plotted, character-driven dramas set in a carefully constructed world where the quasi-medieval politics and the supernatural mix to deadly effect. In The Hallowed Hunt, an exiled prince is murdered, and a young lord sent to bring his killer to justice. Except the prince was dabbling int forbidden rites and ...more
Jesse Whitehead
There are books that are fun and exciting to read. There are also books that explore ideas in depth, providing commentary on some of the passions of human existence. Sometimes a book can be both of those things. The frequency with which Lois MacMaster Bujold is able to accomplish that with her books is astounding.

The Hallowed Hunt appears to be equal parts fantasy thriller and romance story but that is just a cover for what it really is: an exploration of forgiveness, redemption and mercy.

Sadly, this book just did not work for me at all - and I loved the first two Chalion books.

I think the problem, for me, boils down to the fact that all the shamanic religious stuff that the plot revolves around is just too inaccessible. The novel is trying to impart too much information and background on spirit animals, history and culture all at once, not to mention politics. I can grasp the idea of having a spirit animal fine, but once the story started meandering into who has what animal and
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 05, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bujold Completists; Fans of the Chalionverse
This is the third book set in the Chalion universe, but it's a standalone with no common characters or thread, just a related culture with the same dominant religion. If the land of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, can be identified with Renaissance Spain, then the Weald of The Hallowed Hunt could be seen as Medieval Germany--the Weald being a land barely mentioned in the other books that's far away and this a tale in the past of the other books. I loved The Curse of Chalion, which was ...more
Althea Ann
I have to agree with others who have said "good, but not as good as the first two." However - it's still squeaking into the 4-star range.

I also feel that in this case, marketing this as "Chalion #3" is doing the book a disservice - though set in the same world as 'Curse of Chalion' and 'Paladin of Souls,' this is a fully self-contained, stand-alone novel.

Ingrey, a bad-ass but good-hearted soldier, who just happens to have been saddled with a forbidden spirit-animal as a young man, is sent to dea
Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes

The prince, the heir to the kingdom has been murdered by the young and beautiful lady Ijada. The question is why and what should be done to avenge the prince's death. Ingrey, has been sent to investigate and bring Ijada back to court. During their journey we learn who these two people are and how their stories are intertwined. The Gods also make an appearance, especially The Son who has a vested interest and concern at how everything plays out and influences both Ija
Recently, I noticed Lois McMaster Bujold was going to be coming to a local bookstore, so I picked up a copy of her latest work so I may be more abreast of what she has been doing. The last time I read one of her books was Spirit Ring, and I found the book to be interesting and different from most of the other fantasy I was reading at the time. From those pleasant memories, I forged ahead with Hallowed Hunt.

The book draws the reader in from the very beginning. "The Prince was dead," it reads, and
Andreea Daia
I must be the exception from the rule because I thought that this novel was more enthralling than the previous installment, Paladin of Souls. I won't go again over the exceptional writing technique of Ms. Bujold, which I discussed at length in my reviews of The Curse of Chalion (link) and Paladin of Souls (link). Enough to say that the author's style continues to be consistently impressive and gripping.

Quite a few readers complained that they didn't find the religious twist from The Hallowed Hu
When Lady Ijada kills a prince in self-defense, Ingrey comes to deal with the corpse and arrest the murderer. But he discovers that Ijada, like Ingrey, bears a powerful animal spirit which possessed her in an ancient and forbidden religious rite. What Bujold does best, here, is character motivation. Characters themselves are strong but unremarkable (the protagonists especially); their journey becomes a god-touched web of politics with powerful twists and climax but a surprisingly lack of emotion ...more
I loved this. Of course, I generally love Bujold's work and give her a good amount of leeway, but she didn't disappoint. I've heard some people say they didn't like this one as much as The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. It was a bit different (in a very different part of this universe for one thing and a couple of centuries for another), but I really enjoyed it.

About half way through it took an unexpected right angle and went in a different direction from what I had expected. I thought
Mar 06, 2013 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kate Willshaw
Shelves: 2013, fantasy
This is set in the same world as the previous two books but has no real links to them, a fact that some might find off putting. We have moved from Spanish-ish Chalion to Anglo-Saxon/Germanic-ish Weald but the Five are the same and there are similar dilemmas. This is the book of the Son, and I hope that LMB gets around to writing the stories of the interactions of the last two gods.

The main story is satisfactorily wrapped up by the end of the book (and how refreshing it is to read standalones of
The Hallowed Hunt is set in the same world as the other two Chalion books, but in a different country: the Weald, conquered by the Darthacans years ago and still affected by the conquest even after throwing off the invaders. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff is sent to arrest Lady Ijada, who killed the dying Hallow King's younger son under mysterious circumstances. Soon Ingrey and Ijada are tangled up in a scheme involving animal spirits, warrior ghosts, and the Weald's hallow kingship.

I wasn't quite a
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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

World of the Five Gods (3 books)
  • The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1)
  • Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2)
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)

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“Signs of the Bastard's holy presence tend to be unmistakable, to those who know Him. The screaming, the altercations, the people running in circles - all that was lacking was something bursting into flame, and I was not entirely sure for a moment you weren't going to provide that as well.” 21 likes
“But have you ever overheard two women discussing men? Men are crude liars, comparing their drabs, but women - I'd rather have [an] anatomist dissect me alive than to listen to the things the ladies say about us when they think they are alone.” 8 likes
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