The Sharing Knife: Passage, Book 3
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Review by Gayle Surrette
Eos Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061375330
Date: 01 May 2008 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The third volume of The Sharing Knife series, Passage takes up with Fawn and Dag visiting with her family. Dag's people, the Lakewalkers, have not declared their marriage void but they haven't accepted it either. And even among Fawn's farmer family and neighbors there is resistance to accepting this Lakewalker husband of hers. So they set off to see the world and to learn more about Dag's new gifts and each other. However, their first setback comes when Fawn's brother, Whit, joins them for the first leg of the journey south. Next thing they know they're gathering followers and becoming the center of something that is a mix of Lakewalker, Farmer and Riverworker as the adventure continues.
Bujold is widely known for her ability to create worlds and societies that work. Not only are her stories filled with people who have personalities, quirks, depth, humor, all the variation you'd expect in any group, but they live daily lives. When reading a novel written by Bujold, you are immersed in the background because people could live in these worlds. There's trade, barter, travel, support industries for all the above and much more. These are not cardboard constructs, a stage for the story to take place upon. Well, yes, they are but they're more than that, for the reader, they are real.
Since the reader has the belief that this world exists and thus these people are real, there's a vested interest in finding out what happens to them. These books are a bit like reading the yearly Christmas letter but with a lot more detail and not all of it over the top boasting. Maybe it's more like a here's what happened video, but it's in your mind rather than on TV.
So, when reading about Dag and Fawn, you're concerned. Dag has fought Malices all his life and now he's worried that his new powers just might make him grab for power. Fawn keeps him on an even keel with her good sense. She may not have the abilities of a Lakewalker but she listens and learns and doesn't shy away from the questions that need to be asked. So, as they work their way down the river, they're on a voyage of discovery.
It may seem like a simple story with smooth narrative, a few exciting adventurous moments but it's the questions asked and the many possible answers that stay with you after you close the pages. Will Dag and Fawn make a difference in their world? Will they find a way for Lakewalker and Farmers to co-exist in a manner beneficial to both with neither having power over the other. They've learned a lot about themselves and the people around them but there's bound to be more chapters to their adventures and I eagerly look forward to the next one.