There are moderate spoilers within. Read at your peril.
I generally like Bujold’s books, the Vorkosigan ones in particular of course, so it was inevitable I’d read this series. She’s also an author I will definitely buy the books of, despite the ready availability at the library. Annoyingly, Borders had book 1 available, but not book 2. So I don’t yet have that in my hand. I did borrow 3 and 4 from the library. The fourth because it’s just out in hardcover, the third because I happened to see it. Hey, it boosts the circulation stats. I do intend to buy them all at some point.
But enough about that, how about about the book itself? The premise is, simply: Farmer girl gets into a bit a trouble, runs away, comes across a patrol of demon-hunters. Love ensues.
The story started off all right, from the girl’s point of view, though it was hard to know how old she was, which was annoying. I wouldn’t have cared, except she seemed to mind. But then we jump to the patrollers and there was a boring scene about tracking down a demony thing and arrows and whatnot. Action scenes don’t do it for me unless I already have something invested. I did not at that point. I didn’t care to learn how neat it was that a one-armed man could fire a bow. Did I mention “snooze”? No, I didn’t. Snoozzzzze.
Then we get to the eye-rolling bit, as one-armed heroic patroller dude saves farmer girl from a rape. Gee, thanks. That’s original. And after that, it’s sort of downhill, or at least not uphill. She’s all innocent and naive and near-as-to-virginal-as-to-not-matter-except-we-get-a-gory-miscarriage. So the kindly, older, angst-ridden, widowed, worldwise, awesome lover patroller gets to show her what sex is like and junk.
But! Once the inevitable sex scene is eye-rollingly over, the story does get better. Now the farmer girl’s smartened up a bit, I can see it as a more even relationship. Though when he breaks his other arm, to give her an excuse to be more dominant…
Then we get some supposedly comical scenes that I could picture very well. But that wasn’t a good thing, because I was picturing bad comedy movies. Someone hoisted out the door and thrown in the dirt with his hindquarters in the air just being one example. The other examples are in pretty much the climax of this part of the story (as this novel is only part of a story), and I’ve already spoiled enough. But they’re even sillier.
And yea, well.. if it wasn’t Bujold, I would probably stop at this point. But I did recall that the first book or two of the Vorkosigan Saga weren’t my cup of tea really either. So maybe she’s just warming up. Maybe they’ll have kids and their kids will be interesting?
Well, one can hope.