Young, pregnant Fawn Bluefield has just fled her family's farm to the city of Glassforge, where she encounters a patrol of the enigmatic soldier-sorcerers known as Lakewalkers. Fawn has heard stories about the Lakewalkers, who are wandering necromancers with no permanent homes and no possessions except the clothes they wear and the mysterious knives they carry. What she does not know is that the Lakewalkers are engaged in a perilous campaign against inhuman and immortal magical entities known as "malices".
When Fawn is kidnapped by one of these creatures, it is up to Dag, an older Lakewalker, heavy with sorrows and responsibilities, to rescue her. But in the ensuing struggle, it is not Dag but Fawn who kills the creature, at dire cost. And an uncanny accident befalls Dag's sharing knife, which unexpectedly binds their two fates together.
"Bujold develops the characters and their relationship skillfully enough to please romance as well as fantasy fans." (
"[A] saga of daring deeds and unlikely romance. Bujold quickly develops unforgettable characters as she crafts a world filled with unique monsters and an original approach to magic." ( Library Journal)
"Compelling characters lift this first of a two-book romantic fantasy from Hugo-winner Bujold....Bujold hints at an epic past of mighty kingdoms and ancient sorceries, a past that will hopefully be fully detailed in the sequel." ( Publishers Weekly)
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