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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Book Review: The Paladin of Souls

The sequel to The Curse of Chalion, this book deals with the Dowager Ista, a minor character in that book who was deemed insane by her family and care-takers. Having decided that she'd had enough of being hemmed in, she decides to take off on a pilgrimmage, selecting a motley group of associates and followers. On the way, she encounters demons and an invading body of warriors. She then unravels the mystery of a border keep, finds her true love, and repels the invasion all in the space of days, while recovering her sanity and self confidence.

Ista isn't nearly as interesting a character as Cazaril, and none of the other major characters in the previous novel make an appearance here. The writing is good, but the book isn't nearly as tightly plotted. As a study in a character returning from depression and loss, Ista has too many Deus Ex Machina working in her favor for me to think her a particularly strong person. Nevertheless, the book was compelling and not a complete waste of time. It's not nearly as good as its predecessor, however.

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