The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This third book is much the same and significantly different than the others, so much so that they're all about the same amount of difference between them while in the same world, but all of them have so much of the same gentleness and levels of extreme intensity. It's very odd to describe, and I'm sorry for making a hash of it, but it's still valid.
The gods are always making a mess of things, and sometimes it's so much worse than we think. Here's to the wolf! And here's to the Horse! Can we rely on the gods to help us in the mortal realm, or do they just wanna deal with the souls? Well, that's a big and important question across all the novels, and rather than just making a saint or creating a Paladin, I actually get to feel really sorry for Ingrey, our resident werewolf and god-ridden hero and the love of his life, the spirit-touched geas-ridden Ijada.
Such a fascinating and torturous tale, from how both of them are plagued by gods, how their world distrusts them, to the geas they both must fulfill, separately, even as they learn to love each other in such a serious, serious affair.
I can say, honestly, that the climax was all sorts of awesome and scary and quite unusual for a fantasy tale. The mythos that Bujold describes has been consistently borrowing from common symbolism but it's very deep and powerful all on its own and quite amazing. :) Just thinking about all those animals, iterations of animals, gives me the chills.
Very good novel and worth a lot more praise and close reading than I think it has gotten by the general public, perhaps. :)
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