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Lois McMaster Bujold continues to raise the bar on what kind of material is considered worthy of a Hugo. If you haven't yet read The Sharing Knife: Beguilement and you trust my taste in fantasy novels, go out and get it. If that's not in the cards, then beg a friend to borrow their copy.

I'd read it for the fantasy even without the love story; I'd read it for the love story even without the fantasy.

I'm a bit too bouncy to avoid spoilers, and anyway it needs a second read-through before it'll sit tight in my head enough to stay put. I bought it the other night on errands and then completely evaded reading it until I knew I'd have a good solid chance to sit down with it. I managed to put it down long enough to drive from the plasma place to the store, read it while wheeling around the cart getting groceries, put it down again to drive home, and just now finished it.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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