The Sharing Knife: Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold

As much as he values his position as patroller, Dag sees another purpose for his future.  His people are not willing to accept Fawn as his wife and that is only part of the problem—they also refuse to accept that a more trusting, cooperative relationship is needed between farmers and Lakewalkers.  He decides to leave his people, find a place where his marriage to Fawn will be accepted, and do his best to improve relations between farmers and Lakewalkers.  He also hopes to gain understanding of his growing powers.

As Dag and Fawn make their journey toward the sea, they collect an assortment of companions, giving us hope that his desire to unite farmers and Lakewalkers may be possible.  There are setbacks however and Dag will wonder if a truly equal relationship can ever exist between the two peoples.

I’m still drawn to the story because I want to see the two peoples put aside their prejudices and learn to trust each other.  I also want to discover the ancient history of this world and the true nature of the malices.  That said, there’s really not much drama in the series: one always has a sense that there will be a happy ending.  I also have to admit that Fawn is annoying me.  When the series begins, she runs away from a loving if exasperating family without leaving even a note—she also resists returning to that family to reassure them that she is safe.  Suddenly, she switches from that role to become this mature character with insight that surpasses everyone else’s, including Dag’s (he’s 56 and has traveled the world—she’s 19 and has only recently begun to expand her horizons).  All of the other characters experience moments of doubt, uncertainty—she does not—she’s always right and she always knows what’s best.  There’s no gradual growth with her—she simply does not ring true.  *I’m also slightly annoyed by the ‘How-de’s’ and other folksy speech patterns—they take me out of the story.

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