Friday, December 5, 2008

The First Law: Book Two - Before They Are Hanged . . . and a few corrections

Before They Are Hanged is a great book in the second-book-in-a-trilogy genre. It takes all of the major characters' stories and moves them along in interesting ways, provides many of its own suprises both in character development and plot twists, and leaves you wanting that third book right now. Laura will finish it soon enough and then I'll get back to that.

In the meantime, I have some corrections to make. The Lois McMaster Bujold books are another trilogy, not a two-volume set as I originally thought. In addition, the title of the series is The Sharing Knife and the title of the first volume is Beguilement. Now that I have cleared up my own confusion, I can tell you a bit about the books. The two main characters, Dag Redwing Hickory, a Lakewalker on patrol, and Fawn Bluefield, a farmer girl running away from her family and an unintended pregnancy, meet on the road in perilous circumstances. Fawn saves Dag; Dag saves Fawn; Dag nurses Fawn back to health. Dag takes Fawn back to her family but not before falling in love with her. Once at her family's farm, it becomes clear to him that they will marry and they do. Beguilement ends with them leaving the farm after the wedding and heading for the Lakewalker encampment and an uncertain welcome and future.

Legacy, the second book in the trilogy, opens where Beguilement leaves off. I'm about a third of the way into it at the moment. The couple have arrived at the Lakewalker encampment and conflict ensues. Lakewalkers are forbidden to marry farmers and Dag has done just that. There will be a reckoning, but it has not yet happened. Bujold is a great writer; her characters are fully drawn and both their actions and there inner lives are portrayed with empathy and telling detail. The story is eminently readable. Good stuff.

When I went to Third Place Books the other night, they didn't have a copy of Worldwired, so I ordered it. I hope it will be in by the time I finish Legacy. In any case, I doubt that I'll be doing all that much reading this weekend as I need to get the incubator on line before Wednesday morning.

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.