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Paladin of Souls (World of the Five Gods, #2)
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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > Paladin of Souls—Finished Reading -- **SPOILERS LIKELY!!**

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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 971 comments If you've finished reading Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, this is the place to share your thoughts with the group.

Caution: There will likely be **SPOILERS** in this thread.


Amanda | 69 comments I enjoyed this one more than Curse of Chalion.


message 3: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3219 comments Mod
These were my comments from April when I I read this book after Curse of Chalion.

I finished this book tonight and I happy to say that I really liked it. Several times Bujold managed to surprise me with the direction of the plot as it took a few sharp turns. Ista must be a special soul indeed, to have met three of the five gods face to face. I really liked the way Bujold kept peeling back the layers of who this woman really was. We also got to see quite a bit of the gods, especially the Bastard. And swallowing demons after carving out the soul stuff from the demon stuff? Ingenious!


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I really enjoyed The Curse of Chalion when I read it last year. Loved it, in fact. I'd recently finished all but one of the Vorkosigan novels and had tried the Sharing Knife series, which I liked, but didn't love. But in The Curse of Chalion had everything I was looking for in a book from Lois McMaster Bujold: rich world-building--with a genuine history that extended back before the beginning of time--a fascinating plot and characters I wanted to cheer for. I adored Cazaril and though he'd nothing like Miles, the way he was voiced often reminded me of miles. He's a complicated character and sometimes not particularly likable. But when the fate of others is at stake, he'll always do the right thing because he's inherently GOOD.

So I was looking forward to Paladin of Souls. It started slow and I had trouble paying attention. I really liked the choice of Ista as a main character and looked forward to seeing her get past her past. As the story deepened, I got more involved. I started hoping for things. As the story got more complicated I sat experienced my usual awe regarding just how talented Bujold is. By 60% I couldn't put this down. By 80% I had booked a morning on the couch to finish. By the time I was done, I thought this could possibly be the best book she's ever written. Then I saw that nearly every purveyor of literary awards agreed with me.

Ditto on Kathi's comments: the layers of Ista, the scenes with the gods (especially the Bastard) and the demon swallowing. All fantastic stuff.

Among the most touching scenes, for me, were those concerning Goram, particularly toward the end. I also loved the resolution of Arhys plot. I had wondered if they could find a way to save him but I'm glad they didn't. That Ista managed to save his soul instead.

I even had respect for Catti at the end because she managed to step up and act like an adult.

What pleased my romantic heart the most, though, was that final scene between Ista and Illvin and knowing that both of them had won the love and the partner they deserved.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 225 comments I admit I liked Curse of Chalion a tiny bit better, but this book was excellent. Ista became a cooler and cooler character as the book progresses. The gods are very mysterious and unusual from any other fantasy I have picked up.


Silvana (silvaubrey) I am giving this four stars for now since I found it not as page-turning as COC = too many travelogue and expositions for my taste - but I still enjoyed it a LOT.

Great twists and turns, great characters, great magics (and gods) and there were really nice quotable passages.


Silvana (silvaubrey) By the way, do you guys read the third book? I am actually interesting in trying Penric and Desdemona series, set in the same world.


message 8: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3219 comments Mod
Silvana wrote: "By the way, do you guys read the third book? I am actually interesting in trying Penric and Desdemona series, set in the same world."

I read the third book. I admit I don’t recall a lot about it, but I rated it 7/10, so I apparently liked it less than Curse of Chalion or Paladin of Souls.

I was not aware of the Penric and Desdemona books, all novellas, so I can’t comment on them.


message 9: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) Silvana wrote: "By the way, do you guys read the third book? I am actually interesting in trying Penric and Desdemona series, set in the same world."

I'm planning to read the third book, then move on to the Penric and Desdemona novellas because I've heard very good things about that series. :)


Silvana (silvaubrey) You know what, actually I have decided to read The Hallowed Hunt too.


message 11: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 545 comments Mod
I read this last year after we read Curse of Chalion. At first I was disappointed that our POV changed, but I got to really enjoy Issa. I like her sense of humor.

I have also read the Penric novellas. They're ok but, perhaps because they are shorter, I find them less well developed.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 225 comments I warmed up to this book after my initial disappointment. At first, I was like, “Nuts, it is about different people from the first novel - darn”, then after awhile I was like, “YAY, ISTA!”

I was satisfied we got to learn more about the gods, too.


Silvana (silvaubrey) And don't you just love it that again we got a main character who's not in her/his teens? I love mature characters who still could grow but more stable.


message 14: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathi | 3219 comments Mod
Silvana wrote: "And don't you just love it that again we got a main character who's not in her/his teens? I love mature characters who still could grow but more stable."

Yes, yes, yes!


Amanda | 69 comments Yes!


Silvana (silvaubrey) I wonder about other fantasy series with similar traits. I know Juliet Marilier's Dreamer's Pool is one. And Daniel Abraham's The Dagger and the Coin series has a main POV who's a mature woman.


message 17: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Catelli | 470 comments A lot of sword & sorcery does, but then, it tends to feature characters who LOVE adventure and will go on adventuring by choice when they have the chance to settle down. They also tend to not have character arcs.

OTOH, The Wizard's Tale by Kurt Busiek is a comic high fantasy with a hero who's positively old.

Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder is an urban fantasy about women of a certain age. (Yes, despite the cover.)

In Calabria and A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle are both contemporary fantasies with older men as main characters.


message 18: by mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 114 comments Silvana wrote: "And don't you just love it that again we got a main character who's not in her/his teens? I love mature characters who still could grow but more stable."

that was my favorite thing about this book. well, one of many favorite things.

it was interesting comparing this book to the more spare and less emotional books I've read in her Vorkosigan Saga novels. I'm not sure which style I prefer, but I really enjoyed the more immersive feeling of Chalion & Paladin.

overall I really loved Chalion, but for me Paladin is slightly superior. the unusual (for me) protagonist really sets it apart in my mind. I also feel like I understood Ista's need to break free a bit more than I understood Cazaril's need to be keep his head down. of course both have suffered incredible traumas and people deal with trauma in different ways. comparing the two characters is interesting.

I was quite pleased to think that I'd be finished with trilogy after reading Hallowed Hunt, but then learned about the half-dozen or so novellas that followed! not that that is upsetting news, but there's something satisfying about completing a self-contained trilogy. although I suppose the three are more self-contained individually than most trilogies. I wonder if Hallowed Hunt has overlapping characters as well.

and now I'm just rambling! anyway, excellent book and I'm so glad that BR reminded me that I needed to read this one.


message 19: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) mark wrote: "I really loved Chalion, but for me Paladin is slightly superior."

This was how I felt too. I didn't expect to like this book more than Chalion because I'd enjoyed Cazaril's character so much. Coming from the Vorkosigan side of things, Cazaril's voice was more familiar. But I really, really enjoyed Ista's story and by the time I got to the end of the book I was thinking it was perhaps the best thing Bujold had ever written and was not at all surprised to learn it had won multiple awards.

This is a very rich world. I think the fact it's more condensed than the Vorkosigan saga worlds makes it feel deeper? And the focus is might tighter here as well.


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