After the trip down the river, Dag and Fawn are determined to go back north so Dag be a medicine man for Farmers. He hopes to improve relations between Lakewalkers and Farmers. He knows that the two groups have to work together to save both group from the malices that still plague the north. He has some other ideas as well. It's possible he can take some of the special sensing abilities of the Lakewalkers and use it to protect Farmers when the malices come up from the ground.
Fawn knows her husband needs more training from Lakewalker medicine healers. But can they find a group of Lakewalkers that will accept them - most don't approve of Lakewalkers marrying Farmers. She asks around the southern Lakewalker camps and learns Arkady is probably the best person to teach him. After her brother Whit and the river boat woman Berry get married, Dag and Fawn head for the Lakewalker camp. The two Lakewalkers who joined them on the river, Barr and Remo, go with them.
When approached, Arkady accepts Dag. He wants Fawn to wait outside of the Lakewalker camp, but Dag refuses. Fawn is finally admitted if she stays at Arkady's home whenever Dag is gone. He learns more about medicine and the skill of "making" needed for the sharing knives that kill malices. As time goes on, the Lakewalkers at the southern camp start accepting Fawn. Their time at the camp is cut short, though, and they decide it is time to return to the north.
Once again Dag and Fawn are on the road with a new group of companions. From their old traveling companions only Barr is still with them. Their group is comprised of Farmers, Lakewalkers, and two who were half breeds - one parent was a Farmer and one was a Lakewalker. Now they're heading back north to Berry and Whit's area - the place Fawn now considers will be home.
Horizon is just as fresh and entertaining as the first three books in the Sharing Knife series. .Enough history is given that this book could stand on its own, but is stronger after having read the previous ones.
Lois McMaster Bujold takes firm hold on the problems of prejudice against different cultures and gives it a good shake. There is no question that Lakewalkers and Farmers are different. Lakewalkers have an extra "sense" that lets them reach out mentally to those around them. Farmers don't, but are the ones who work the land and the industry. Neither group trusts the other. It takes someone like Dag and Fawn to help shake up and start reforming old prejudices. No, they can't solve the problem throughout their land, but they can certainly affect their own little corner which in turn spreads out a little further, starting a domino effect.
Some of the new characters for this book are not as well defined or easy to grasp. The recurring characters get stronger, easier to picture and to see their growth. Bujold still had so much to finish in Horizon that at times the characters got short shrift. Even so, the novel is excellent and winds up Dag's and Fawn's story wonderfully. It is chilling, though, to wonder what is so bad that it scares off a malice...
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations
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The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
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