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27 December 2007 @ 12:59 pm
The Curse of Chalion Discussion #1: First Impressions  
Hello and welcome to booklog_sff's first discussion! I hope everyone had a wonderful time reading (or in some cases rereading) Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion.

Let's begin with some basics.

What were your first impressions of the book?

Were there things that you liked immediately? Disliked?

Did the main character, Lupe dy Cazaril, interest you from the start?

This post may be edited after some input.
Current Mood: excitedexcited
mnemosyne_1 on December 30th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
*staggers in to the party, extremely and unfashionably late*

But I'm here! Finally!

I really enjoyed the book overall - I stayed up until 2am on Christmas Eve reading it. The beginning was definitely slower than the ending... I get the feeling that events just kept speeding up as the book went along. It made it feel fairly realistic, to me - in real life, things are slow a lot of the time with bursts of action.

I liked Caz very much... he is terribly broken at first, but I like that we don't really know why; we just know that something terrible has happened to him. I thought the slow repair/build of himself over time was very well done.

Iselle I liked as well, with her slow development into a woman of leadership. Caz forcing her to think about her actions and decisions was an excellent scene, and I think he did a great job guiding rather than forcing.

Ista was amazing, and I'd love to read more of her. I love how, through the book, you slowly begin to understand why she is the way she is in her spells of madness and mourning. I love that the final scene was with her and Caz.

There were a few things that I really didn't like, mostly because they felt contrived. First, I didn't like that Bergon was the one that Caz saved, which meant that Bergon, of course, trusted him immediately... it felt very Deus ex Machina to me, and it was irritating.

I also felt that the relationship between Betriz and Caz was not developed well - he kisses her because he thinks he's going to die and suddenly she loves him/wants him? He feels as though he's not worthy of her and then she's insisting that they get married and he's pulling her onto his lap for a snog? Huh? Maybe others saw that relationship develop, but I certainly didn't. It was distracting to the plot, I felt, and would have been better left out.

As others said, I felt the villains of the book were underwhelming, and some of the things they did were pointless and circular. They do this because they are villains, and they are villains because they do this! Um. No. I like my villains three-dimensional, thanks.

The religion was definitely interesting, and I liked what was revealed over time, particularly with the Death Magic.

For individual scenes: I was very amused by Palli pointing out which man was Bergon for Iselle. I really liked Sara sitting for a day with Orico's body in order to secure the succession - it demonstrates her strength of mind, I think, and shows what kind of a woman she was before Dondo and others broke her.

Like I said, overall I really enjoyed the book, and will probably dig up the sequels somewhere. :)