Review: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (World of the Five Gods #2)


Hopeful and pretty damn enjoyable.

Foolish beyond hope to send a middle-aged former madwoman running down the roads of Chalion to fetch up here, and for what? Failed saint, failed sorceress, failed royina, wife, mother, daughter, failed … well, lover was not a role she’d ever attempted.

First of all: there is no Caz in this book. Which is criminal. Still, Ista is likable, relatable, and dammit, bitter middle-aged (and older) women deserve to be heroes too. She starts as a former saint, angry at the gods, their medding and the hurt she’s been through as a consequence, unwilling to do anything for them again. But, well, life of course seems to have other plans and the journey she takes to get away from the court and her cocooned treatment there there lands her in quite a mess.

The plot meanders somewhat at several points, other characters were a bit bland, and overall I liked The Curse of Chalion more, but it’s still a solid read. Also, features one of the rare romantic subplots I, usually not much for romance, actively liked, even found adorable.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

Recommended to: those tired of young protagonists, people looking for books with religious themes
Not recommended to: those who want fast-paced books

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