The Hallowed Hunt
(Eos, 2005. U.S. $24.95 / Canada $32.95 hardback, 470 pages. ISBN:
Ingrey kin Wolfcliff finds himself stuck cleaning up a political mess.
Prince Boleso, long rumored as a man of many vices, has gotten himself
killed by a woman. It's no surprise that he was trying to rape her at
the time, nor that his guards did nothing to intervene. But Ingrey was
not expecting to find a dead leopard and other evidence of the prince
dabbling in dark magic.
Ingrey himself knows more about dark magic than he'd like. He carries
inside him the spirit of a wolf, as a result of his father's misguided
dabblings. This is neither comfortable nor wholly legal, and Ingrey
has survived by stubbornness and special dispensation. Now he finds
that Prince Boleso had possessed not one but many animal spirits --
and the prince's intended victim, Lady Ijada, now carries the leopard's
As Ingrey attempts to convey Prince Boleso's body, along with Ijada,
back to the capitol, even more magical entanglements come to light.
The kingdom itself hangs in the balance, as the old Hallow King nears
death and ancient spells pursue new victims. What is just and what is
right are not always clear...
Though better known for her science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold
is developing an equally impressive gift for fantasy. Like The Curse
of Chalion this novel deals with a set of five deities watching
over a world which they can enter only through the actions of saints
-- humans who willingly aid them and convey their power. The characters
are compelling and far from perfect, and the joy of watching them is
the joy of seeing people overcome tremendous obstacles. They are valiant
personalities who have been generally shafted by life but who refuse
to give up. They are intensely concerned about honor and duty and the
importance of not making a mess of the world.
The Hallowed Hunt holds the most appeal for Bujold fans. Fantasy
readers will love it, especially those into court intrigue. There's
enough of a romance thread to carry over into fans of that genre too.
Most highly recommended.
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