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Publisher's Summary

Lord Cazaril has been, in turn, courtier, castle-warder, and captain; now he is but a crippled ex-galley slave seeking nothing more than a menial job in the kitchens of the Dowager Provincara, the noble patroness of his youth. But Cazaril finds himself promoted to the exalted and dangerous position of tutor to Iselle, the beautiful, fiery sister of the heir to Chalion's throne. Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.
©2004 Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Bujold weaves a convincing and captivating fantasy world, well researched, with magic that works and gods that live without destroying the balance of this medieval society....A finely balanced mixture of adventure, swordplay, court intrigue, romance, magic, and religion makes this book a delightful read." (School Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Terri on 04-12-12

What makes a hero... LMB knows

I have yet to read any of LMB's work that does not play the full range of my emotions. She has an incredible knack of turning a person cursed with seemingly unconquerable disabilities of the mind, body or/and heart, giving them an impossible set of tasks and turning them into a hero that takes the reader on a wonderful adventure.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world she has spun with the Chalion series. It does a brilliant job at showing the multi layers that make up each true humans.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Pete on 08-17-04

Excellent Fantasy... Epic in feel, finite in pace

Although "Paladin of Souls" ties to this book and thereby engenders the label "series", the satisfaction of completing this well told tale with an actual ending cannot be denied. In the genre of Epic Fantasy with it's continuing storylines and characters, "The Curse of Chalion" encapsulates that flowing grandness into a single volume and deservedly leaves us wanting more. Not needing it, wanting it. That being said, Bujold's mastery of her craft is evident here with an intruiging deep portrayal of her protagonist, Caz. His journey is profound and heartfelt as it winds it's way along it's surprising path. The reading is excellent and kept me immersed throughout.

Well done by all.

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55 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By James on 11-29-10

Consider this an investment in pleasure

For brevity:

Very cleverly constructed, balanced and interesting plot, enlivened by complex, humorous, often humane characters and pleasant dialogue.

The reader is a pleasant surprise and the pace of the book is well done.

In greater depth:

It is always a pleasure to see such tightly plotted stories working so finely as a composition of ideas, characters and narrative. There were several moments where I was able to delight in the pleasure of an event subtly foreshadowed, the soft click of apparently random puzzle pieces clicking together. While the story is not as convoluted as an epic, or as meticulously involved as a character study, it certainly is witty and intelligent writing amongst the best in fantasy.

A charming and sympathetic male protagonist written with great panache is also a rare present to cherish and here, as with other works by talented novelists, is another to join the stable of memorable characters in fantasy literature.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Deborah on 04-05-10

A wonderful, absorbing book...

Well - now what do I do? I've been captivated by this for the past few weeks, rationing myself to only listening while I'm at the gym to make the tedium of the treadmill bearable, and boy, did this book help!
I thought this was beautifully read, and I didn't find any of the problems mentioned by other reviewers. The narrator deals with several principal characters well, coping with males and females, and I loved the way he allowed the principal character Caz to develop slowly through the book.
Problems? The names are all slightly Italian'ish, and didn't sit well in my head, so I spent a fair bit of time unsure as to who was who, but I did get there!
This is a lovely, slow measured build of a book, that holds the attention, never drags, and totally absorbs. Well worth the listen!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By K on 10-21-15

Terrible reader

What disappointed you about The Curse of Chalion?

The reading was poorly done. It was if the reader had not read it through before reading and failed to anticipate how much breath he would need for the next sentence. He was also terrible at placing emphasis.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 08-24-15

Not even close to as enjoyable as the first two

I disliked that it wasn't Ms Reading narrating this book. I found the story to be far less engaging than the first two Chalion books. It did not feel connected to its predecessors.

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