Paladin of Souls : World of the Five Gods: Chalion

  • by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by Kate Reading
  • Series: World of the Five Gods: Chalion
  • 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Three years have passed since the widowed Dowager Royina Ista found release from the curse of madness that kept her imprisoned in her family's castle of Valenda. Her newfound freedom is costly, bittersweet with memories, regrets, and guilty secrets, for she knows the truth of what brought her land to the brink of destruction. And now the road, escape, beckons...A simple pilgrimage, perhaps. Quite fitting for the Dowager Royina of Chalion.Yet something else is free, too, something beyond deadly. To the north lies the vital border fortress of Porifors. Memories linger there as well, of wars and invasions and the mighty Golden General of Jokona. And someone, something, watches from across that border: humans, demons, gods.
Ista thinks her little party of pilgrims wanders at will, but whose? When Ista's retinue is unexpectedly set upon not long into its travels, a mysterious ally appears, a warrior nobleman who fights like a berserker. The temporary safety of her enigmatic champion's castle cannot ease Ista's mounting dread, however, when she finds his dark secrets are entangled with hers in a net of the gods' own weaving.
In her dreams, the threads are already drawing her to unforseen chances, fateful meetings, fearsome choices. What the inscrutable gods commanded of her in the past brought her land to the brink of devastation. Now, once again, they have chosen Ista as their instrument. And again, for good or for ill, she must comply.


What the Critics Say

Romantic Times Award Winner - Best Fantasy Novel, 2003
Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2004
Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 2004
" "Rich in sumptuous detail and speculative theology....This engaging installment of Chalion's mythical history whets the appetite for new marvels yet to come." (Publishers Weekly)
"Bujold couldn't characterize badly if threatened with a firing squad, and what really keeps one turning the pages is the fascinating cast of characters, not that the plot is anything to sneeze at." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent Sequel

This is a first class sequel to a first class story (The Curse of Chalion). One could listen to them out of order but would miss a lot, because the author spends a lot of words in the first book creating a unique theology that provides the fantastic aspects of the story.

The plot is a standard "quest", set in a preindustrial world organized along feudal lines, but the characters are likable, and this writer is as good at involving the reader in the story as any writer I've encountered (check out her Miles Vorkosigan adventures). The main character (like the author) is female, and to my (male) mind, she is a believable heroine who succeeds in her quest in a way that would not make you think of Sir Galahad (or Gandalf for that matter.

If you like fantasy, you'll love this
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- Dave S


I had never read any other books by this author, but this one drove me to find her others.

Paladin of Souls was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The characters are extremely well-crafted, the dialogue is written with a very deft hand and the plotting is truly satisfying. It was delightful to stumble across a quick-witted, sharp-tongued and vibrant middle-aged woman as the heroine of a fantasy novel where so often the genre presents the reader with hopeful young warriors or plucky young maidens.

I truly enjoyed it from start to finish and the reader was excellently suited to the story.
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- Madeleine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.