In the second half of Bujold's Sharing Knife novel, she picks up where she left off in Beguilement and takes the reader deeper. As always, her worldbuilding is superb, as is her use of language and dialect to convey different shades of meaning. Fawn and Dag's relationship remains at the fore and Bujold raises interesting moral and ethical questions in what appears to be a simple love story, but isn't.

Newly married, Fawn and Dag set off for Dag's home in Lakewalker country. They expect to meet some opposition to their marriage, but the prejudice, suspicion and outright hostility they encounter tests their new relationship in ways they couldn't have anticipated.

Then Dag is called away to help deal with an exceptionally nasty malice, a magical creature that grows by way of consuming the spirit of Farmers and Lakewalkers alike. What Dag discovers while fighting the malice has the potential to shift the balance between their societies forever. (Eos, Jul., 384 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs