Friday, June 01, 2007

Books I read during May

I really didn't have time to read much during May, but I guess it's evidence of the amount of stress I was experiencing that I STILL read...

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers A+
One of the best books I’ve ever read. A retelling of the Hosea/Gomer story set during the California gold rush. Very powerful. Excellent characters. Gripping story. A lovely redemption tale.

Shards of Honor, Barrayar, The Warrior’s Apprentice, The Vor Game, Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, Borders of Infinity, Brothers in Arms all by Lois McMaster Bujold all are at least a B, several of these are A+’s
These stories follow Miles Vorkosigan, a brilliant young man with severe physical handicaps caused by a horrible accident/terrorist action thrust upon him before his birth. He’s the son of the regent for a world (Barrayar) whose general population despises mutations, and the results of the accident give the impression that he is a mutant. He has learned to live with his physical limitations by focusing on what he can do, and because of his birth into the higher classes of his world he’s had the opportunity to do quite a bit… I like reading how he gets himself into situations and then struggles to figure out how to get out of them. He invariably comes out on top, but often in rather surprising ways. The sense of humour spiced through these stories leavens the seriousness of the situations plus adds richness and flavour to Miles' character and prevents him from sinking into bitterness/overwhelming depression. My favorites are probably the two that focus on Miles' mom, Cordelia (Shards of Honor and Barrayar) and the accident that so strongly affects the rest of his life.

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold A+
One of my favorite Bujold books. A fantasy set in the same world as The Curse of Chalion- this book more fully develops one of the minor characters from that book, Ista (plus we get to see the brother guards again-Ferda & Froix- and see them in an expanded role) and gives her a new future full of hope. I thoroughly enjoy this middle-aged character and love the expansion of her story. Paladin follows the aftermath of the removal of the Curse of Chalion and how deeply it affected Ista and her family- Of course, there's more to it than that, but it takes time to figure out what her new life will become. (By the by, this book won the Hugo award… which is probably meaningless since I don’t always like the Hugo books, but this one’s so good it gives me hope that other winners may be worthy of the honor. :)

The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold B+
This fantasy is set in the same world as Curse and Paladin, but doesn’t have any connection to those stories except the theology and setting. It’s kind of a Were story without some of the complications. Two characters must figure out how to get rid of a curse… I enjoyed this one very much, but was disappointed it didn’t contain any of my favorite characters from Curse or Paladin.

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