The Hallowed Hunt
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
480 pages; ISBN: 0060574623
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Hallowed Hunt
Lois McMaster Bujold
EOS, Jun 2005, $24.95, 480 pp.
Lord Ingrey Kin Wolfcliff is dispatched by his employer to bring back the body of the murdered Prince Boleso to the capital city of Easthome for the funeral. He is also to bring back the royal’s killer Lady Ijada who claims self-defense as he tried to rape her and was prepared to sacrifice her in a black magical rite. Instead, she conked him on the head and the spirit of the leopard he killed entered her body when she touched the dying prince.
Ingrey knows all about animal spirits inhabiting humans as he is possessed by a wolf in a rite that was conducted by his father. On the way back to the capital where the hallows king is dying, Ingrey is attracted to his prisoner but finds himself compelled to kill her. The geas is broken by a powerful sorcerer and they make it safely to Easthome. Ingrey spies on Earl Wencil because the people in power are afraid that he will try to usurp the rightful heir, Prince Biast. Little do any of them know that Wencil’s plan for Ingrey involves the old magics outlawed when the Weald was invaded by the Darthacan Quintarians who worshipped five gods and forced their religion on the conquered people.
Ingrey grows into his acceptance of his wolf spirit and he is helped by Lady Ijada who accepts the spirit leopard that was thrust into her. She has a role to play in the final working of the weald magic one that could cost her life or that of Ingrey if she falters in her convictions. Brilliant characterizations, a fast paced and exciting storyline and a villain it is hard to hate make THE HALLOWED HUNT a fantastic epic fantasy worthy of a Hugo or a Nebula Award nomination.
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