After finishing The Curse of Chalion, I couldn’t wait to get back to this fabulous world Lois McMaster Bujold created. While I gave the first book five stars, this one only gets four, though I’d still highly recommend it.
Paladin of Souls takes up the story of Ista, a character we met in the first book, as she goes on a pilgrimage to holy sites. However, things quickly go wrong due to a sudden increase in the number of elemental demons roaming the world. Pretty soon Ista finds herself god-touched yet again and embroiled in events that could threaten not only all of Chalion, but the fate of the souls of all who live there.
What I love so much about these two books is the rich, vivid, detailed mythology of the five gods who oversee this world. Bujold has done a brilliant job in creating this theological backdrop. I’ve given this book four stars instead of five because, despite logical and theological explanations, it seems that sometimes things are just a little too easy for Ista. I never got the feeling that she was in any real danger.
Also, though this is really minor, there was just too much emphasis put on the eyebrow movements of the characters. Someone’s brows were always rising, arching, narrowing, etc. It got a little distracting in a funny kind of way, like a drinking game.
Still, it’s a wonderful book and I’ll gobble up the third one in this series very soon.