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Preview — The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Spirit Ring
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Overall, Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorite authors, & whose books I have no hesitation buying in hardback the day they come out. She is talented and her books are uniformly superb.
With this one exception.
In fairness, this was her first fantasy novel, and I don't think she had a full handle on the genre yet. The bulk of her work was Science Fiction in her early years, and has been mostly Fantasy the last 7 or 8 years.
It sets up a decently imaginative world, featuring artisans that create art but also imbue their art with useful magic such as an ornate saltcellar that will purify poisoned food or drink. The semi-historical setting gave the story context but I don't know that it added a whole lot. It fe ...more
Lois Bujold gets tons of raves from the SF community (she's certainly won quite the handful of awards) and for some reason I've only read one of her Vorkosigan books, something I'll probably rectify soon. This, on the o ...more
The plot is original, and while the characters never spring to life, they aren't obnoxious. In the end, though, I just didn't ...more
Una historia en la que la magia da un giro a las más o menos habituales i ...more
Set in Renaissance Italy, this novel is an elegant combination of Machiavellian politics and church-sanctioned magic. White magic is monitored by the church officials, and is an accepted part of every day life, even for people who do not have any magical ability. Fiametta Benneforte is the daughter of a master mage and goldsmith. In secret, she has been teaching herself magic, but when her father is murdered and their city falls victim to black magic, Fiametta must choose between lawful magic an ...more
I'd read an interv ...more
I like the ending climactic battle, but got bored ...more
The story is set in Italy of 1300s, presumably. The two main characters are teenagers. With personal effort and persistence they free the fiefdom they live in from occupation by a black magician. They too use a little magic, but strictly the white kind, allowed by church.
Children and teenagers will find this book enchanting. Even older people ...more
A historical fantasy set in Renaissance Italy with necromancy, kobolds, and metal-working. Includes a sweet romance. Very action-packed and a good creative plot, but the tone is more muted than in her other books. Enjoyable and well worth your time....
Btw, it helped me to have some knowledge of Renaissance art. That way I was able to picture the salt-cellar (google Cellini, saltcellar), and the statue to be cast (google Cellini, Perseus & Medusa), and even Fiametta's hairstyle and ...more
I found this book while trying to read more about Benvenuto Cellini after reading his autobiography. Some but not all of the book draws from Cellini, including the gold saltcellar and the statue of Perseus. The main character is a fictional daughter of a character somewhat based on Cellini. So while this book was a typical fantasy, I very much enjoyed that I was able ...more
It's one of Bujold's earlier books, a stand alone. While it does not feature some of my favourite characters, it already shows her talent and skill in writing. I liked the renaissance setting and the strength of the main charachters (fiery and flamboyant for Fiammetta, calmed but solid for Thur).
Though I much prefer the setting of the Chalionverse, it is ...more
But do go read the Miles Vorkosigan books! Those are worth reading! Over and over...
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