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Knife Children

(The Sharing Knife #4.5)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  912 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Lakewalker Barr Foxbrush returns from two years of patrolling the bitter wilds of Luthlia against the enigmatic, destructive entities called malices, only to find that the secret daughter he'd left behind in the hinterland of Oleana has disappeared from her home after a terrible accusation. The search for her will call on more of Barr's mind and heart than just his mage ...more
Kindle Edition, 148 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services
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Heather “It's much too soon to know yet if an offer will be made for print or audio. Should such deals come along, I will certainly report them here on the…more“It's much too soon to know yet if an offer will be made for print or audio. Should such deals come along, I will certainly report them here on the blog.

Ta, L.”
Bujold adresses that question in the comments section of this post:

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Howard Brazee
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shorter work in the Sharing Knife universe.

If you've read anything else in that universe, you will want to read this. If you've read Bujold at all, I expect you've read everything she has written. She's that good.
Barb in Maryland
What a treat! Thank you, Ms Bujold, for revisiting your 'Sharing Knife' world in this lovely novella.

The blurb gives a good idea of the action but fails to mention that this is really a story centered around family dynamics. 14 year-old Lily has run away from home for Reasons; Barr is searching for Lily for Reasons. Once he finds her he's faced with either bringing her into his Lakewalker family or sending her back 'home'--no easy outcome in either direction!
All is resolved nicely by the end, of
Olga Godim
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This novella belongs to The Sharing Knife universe. It’s about a Lakewalker Barr and his teenage daughter Lily. The Sharing Knife books have always been my least favorite of all Bujold’s stories, and her characters from those books never touched my heart. This novella was no exception. Neither Barr nor Lily attracted me as persons, and their developing relationship left me unmoved.
I love many of the author’s other heroes. Miles is a delight. I absolutely adore Cordelia. Penric is one of my
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
A standalone entry in the Sharing Knife series. Barr Foxbrush was mentioned in the main series, making his appearance as a trouble-prone youth in Passage ; here, he gets his own story as some years later, one of those youthful troubles spawns more trouble.

This is not an exciting story of death-defying escapes and high adventure; it's a story of people and character. You can read it without having read the main series - there will probably be details you don't understand, but they're not
Titus Fortner
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another exceptional novella from one of my favorite authors. The characters are interesting and relatable, and this book focuses much more on their fears and insecurities and responsibilities than on action sequences and is so much better for it.
Kaje Harper
The Sharing Knife is not my favorite of this author's series, which still means it is above average fantasy reading - this is best for those who have read the series, since there's very minimal explanation of mud-men and malices and other world-building components. In this story, Barr has grown up from the feckless young patroller we met with Dag and Fern, and is checking up on the secret 14-year-old child he once had with a farmer woman, only to find Lily is missing. Suddenly Barr is not the ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I had to reread the whole 4 previous books before, just in case ;).

Then yesterday, half spread on the couch, with one cat on my tummy and the she-dog lounging on my legs (and sometimes copiously licking the cat ear - no comment on their pastime), I plunged.

It was everything I love about LMB writing. Beautifully-shaped sentences, complex characters that ring true and humor in the midst of darkness.

To read & reread
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
As is true of practically everything Bujold writes this is satisfying!! It was nice to be in this world again. A little visit with Dag and Fawn would have been nice, but I enjoyed spending time with Barr’s family. It was nice to see Barr grown up finally.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Though my hopes to know more about Dag and Fawn were dashed, I still enjoyed the story )
As usual, Bujold talks about responsibilities towards one’s children - some of her message comes in a rather direct form and some is more metaphorical, but both are very clear.
Jacqueline J
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
How lovely to revisit the Sharing Knife world. A good sold enjoyable read.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A nice entrée into the sharing knife universe and bujold’s work.

It’s exactly what you’d expect from this writer. Ie a wonderful novella that I know I will be rereading. It was lovely to revisit the sharing knife world. I hope she writes more set in this universe.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so pleased Lois McMaster Bujold decided to write a new novella in the Sharing Knife series. While not about the main characters in her novels, I easily fell in with the characters and was sad when I finished it. I hope there are more stories up her sleeve.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. A thoughtful tale of what it means to be a parent. Barr has grown up a lot since first met.

The story starts with worry about what may have happened to 14yo runaway Lily, but even once Barr finds her, the problems are far from resolved. It's a very minor (early) spoiler to say that half-blood Lily is developing Lakewalker abilities and, being completely ignorant of Lakewalkers, much less her own secret heritage, had no idea what's happening to her, on top of which she's been accused
Kathy Martin
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Patroller Barr Foxbrush stops at what he knows as Lily's farm to discover that it has burned down. Fourteen years earlier, when he was a new patroller, he had an encounter with Lily's mother that resulted in Lily. He didn't know about her until she was about 2 and since has been keeping an eye on her. Odds are that she'll take after her farmer mother, but if she started developing Lakewalker powers, he'd have to do something.

Barr tracks down the family and learns that Lily has run off. She's
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The introductory part wasn't as good as I expected, perhaps because I read the four books so long ago that I was concentrating more on remembering than on the writing. Then a few pages in, when he (view spoiler), well, I was hooked. And I didn't need to remember the four books anyway because Bujold did her usual magnificent job of introducing you to the world in dribs and drabs just when you need the details.

One thing that
MB (What she read)
Okay, that was super! I hesitated to spend $4 on 150 pages, but I'm glad I did.

I'd love to see more novellas set in this world. And it was a true pleasure to see Barr older and wiser and the wise way he handled this sticky situation.

Now, I need to go re-read Beguilement. Heading off to do that now...
Feb 10, 2019 added it
Fans like me of Lois McMasterBujold will be thrilled with a new book, especially in this world which we never got to revisit. New readers might want to start somewhere else, like the original Sharing Knife stories (actually 1 book split into 4).

Personally, I didn’t find the thoughts and insights of Barr believable for his character, and there were too many repetitions from the Sharing Knife, but as always I enjoyed reading her style of writing.

Dan Ferguson
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been waiting for this book for a long time, Loved the first series of the Sharing Knife.
Was hoping for more of the Original characters but I really liked these new ones as well. set some time after the end of the first series. I hope there is more to follow in the world.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A little low on action, but typically rich in feeling, nuances of character, and world building.
Chuck Gatlin
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent codicil to THE.SHARING KNIFE

Since Lois McMaster Bujold has been writing novellas over the last few years, there hasn't been one that wasn't a good read. However, with KNIFE CHILDREN the author has continued the story of one of the original characters from THE SHARING KNIFE with a tale that stands on its own while further developing that world a decade later.
Rohan Macdougall
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t love McMaster Bujold too much. Complaints? It was too short. I want more real books in this world. In all her worlds. Lots of them.
S.J. Higbee
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bujold’s claim that this novella can be read as a stand-alone is correct. While I suddenly recalled exactly who Barr was about a quarter of the way in, it really didn’t matter. As ever, Bujold absolutely nails the story. She has written a series of successful novellas, getting the story progression, characterisation and pacing spot on – something the majority of authors who attempt this writing form don’t often achieve in my experience.

I have always had a soft spot for this particular world,
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic-users
I sat down and devoured this sliver from the Sharing Knives world. I wish I didn't read so fast. Fingers crossed there are more. I've just started re-reading the series, this story took me back so much.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fantasy genre normally concerns itself with grand events. The scrappy band of heroes must defeat the Evil Lord who is trying to take over the world; the anti-hero must defeat the even worse villain before said villain destroys the city; the Chosen One must destroy the MacGuffin before the Dark Lord destroys all freedom. That sort of thing. What is often left out are the small domestic matters that would naturally take up the majority of the characters’ lives. Few authors take up these ...more
Harrison Schweiloch
Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

[content warning - spoilers and discussion of sexual assault]

I have loved everything else I have previously read by Lois McMaster Bujold. I wanted to love this book. But I just could not. The entire plot is predicated on a rape that not only goes unpunished, but only barely acknowledged as rape by the rapist or any of the other characters.

Let me go back a step or two.

I had somehow missed Lois McMaster Bujold’s entire of body of work until recently.
John Mead
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not wanting to provide spoilers, I can't provide many details.

But, that said, it really is best to have read The Sharing Knife "single novel published as a quadrology" first, as the entire story deals with certain "loose ends" from that work concerning Barr. It's set some 12 years after the epilogue of that work. And... that should be enough for anyone who has read The Sharing Knife to have a good idea what might be the central focus of this story.

While it would be possible to read it and enjoy
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this short story.

Lakewalker Patroller Barr, who we may have read about in the Sharing Knife series, stops by a Farmer village on his way home after a couple of years in a frozen wasteland. What he discovers sets him on an unexpected path, as he searches for a young girl who has run away from home.

This short story isn’t about adventure, or danger, or good fighting evil. There’s a bit of that, because Lakewalkers are a people who fight
Pete Mack
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very few writers can pull off a shaggy dog story and still write an enjoyable book. Bujold does this and much more. This story (and the associated quadrilogy) makes a great subject for literary criticism. The "teacher's guide" questions almost write themselves. It is the product of a master wordcrafter on her A game.
Yet it is also a fine story without analysis. The story gives closure to a lose string at the end of "The Sharing Knife", where Barr confesses an illigitimate daughter. "Children of
Kathryn Baron
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-ebook, 2019
A Wonderful Coda:

Bujold has always been wonderful, but the very best of Bujold comes when she gathers previously established threads and weaves them into a new unexpected whole. Generally coming round a corner and cutting my heart out before I even knew the knife was in my chest.

I can remember being disappointed after reading the beginning volume of the Sharing Knife for the first time. It wasn't bad, but I'd expected amazing. As I read the following books and the whole thematic backbone became
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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

Other books in the series

The Sharing Knife (4 books)
  • Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, #1)
  • Legacy (The Sharing Knife, #2)
  • Passage (The Sharing Knife, #3)
  • Horizon (The Sharing Knife, #4)
“Same jobs over and over, all have to be done again tomorrow or something dies? Despite the weather or the hurting, or, or whatever. Yeah, I guess there are some parallels.” While he was weighing this, his mouth kept moving without him. “Or maybe it’s just called being a grownup.” 1 likes
“Same jobs over and over, all have to be done again tomorrow or something dies?  Despite the weather or the hurting, or, or whatever.  Yeah, I guess there are some parallels.”  While he was weighing this, his mouth kept moving without him.  “Or maybe it’s just called being a grownup.” 0 likes
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