“I got this book out of the library after hearing Ms. Bujold speak at a science fiction/fantasy con. She was on a Hard Fantasy panel, and as I am a fantasy author, I was very interested.
I had heard of her before but had never read anything she'd written. I got the impression from the con that she tends to write science fiction and I don't read that.
However, I wanted to read some of her fantasies to see what her writing is like.
One disclaimer about this review - I read like a writer and I tend to analyze technique and what I say may or may not make sense to you but here are my thoughts.
First, let me say I was pleasantly surprised to discover this is, at the heart of it, a romance. I come from a romance background and I loved that about this.
The world building is fabulous. I felt as though I could clearly picture Fawn's family and their farm. I love Dag's interest in the differing customs between Lakewalkers and Farmers. It was a good way to show us that the author has thought through all this. There's a whole world, possibly a whole "universe" behind these two characters and that makes the book feel as though it could really happen.
Fawn's family is well developed. In a story like this, it's easy to create a family and give the main character several siblings, then let those siblings stand as cardboard cut outs, placeholders.
Fawn's brothers are not that. They each have their own personalities and you can tell them apart. Her parents are well-developed, as well.
Dag's "family," while not exactly similar, is also a unique and fascinated culture. As you read, you feel as though you know these people and can feel the history Dag shares with them.
All in all, I can see now why Bujold has so many fans and I definitely will want to read more of her books.”