Fawn has run away from her farm home to seek a new life for herself and her unborn child. She is traveling to Glass Forge, a pretty young woman on her own. The road is dangerous but she refuses to turn back to the shame that would await her at home.
Dag is a Lakewalker. He and his people protect the country from Malices (the farmers call them blight boggles) which suck the life out of everything. Lakewalkers have special traditions and skills. The farmers believe they have magic. The two cultures do not mix.
Fawn is kidnapped off the road by a Malice's mudman. Mudmen are created by a Malice to be its limbs. Dag hears the commotion when she is first in trouble and is able to rescue her. But she is kidnapped again. Dag believes it is due to her pregnancy; the Malice could thrive on the baby's life even more than hers. He has to go to Fawn's rescue again, and between them, they are able to kill the Malice.
But a new chain of events has occurred with Fawn's killing blow. When the knife struck the Malice, the special Lakewalker magic or skill of it connects the knife to Fawn. This has never happened before in known history. Knives have always been bonded to Lakewalkers. Now they have to determine what to do next.
Dag, who is much older, takes Fawn to Glass Forge where they meet up with his kin. There he discusses the problem of the knife with his aunt, a leader in the family. He also fights his attraction to Fawn because Lakewalkers and farmers are bad matches. Fawn is innocent, though, and doesn't fight her attraction to him. Somehow, Dag has to get Fawn and the knife back to his main camp of people to decide how to handle the knife and its attachment to Fawn. Then he knows he must return her to her own people.
The Sharing Knives are crafted out of unusual materials and are created specifically to kill Malices. They are part of the seduction of the story. Combine the unusual knives and their history to a good take and you have a book to read. Beguilement is a terrific romance adventure novel.
Lois McMaster Bujold brings Fawn and Dag to a realistic life in this fantasy world. The characters are believably conflicted within themselves. It took me a chapter or two to get into the novel, but it wasn't long before I was hooked. Fawn and Dag are completely unsuited, yet Bujold makes their romance work.
The first half of Beguilement is about the land where they live as much as the people. The second half is character and culture clash driven. It's a good book that is romantic and not over the top.
Notice:Strong sexual content
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The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
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