Legacy - Lois McMaster Bujold This series probably isn't for everyone, but I really dug it. It's definitely the characters that do it for me and also the way Bujold writes. I think she can write about Dag and Fawn doing any number of boring mundane things and I'll probably still enjoy reading it. Even so, I was glad for the action in this book, which made up for the slower pace of the first book.

Legacy picks up immediately where Beguilement left off, with newlyweds Dag and Fawn heading up north to Lakewalker country to meet his family -- and boy, are Dag's brother and mother real pieces of work. Needless to say, Fawn's arrival is met with suspicion and open hostility. While Dag tries to settle her in, a malice outbreak happens at the worst possible time, forcing him to leave his farmer bride at home while he heads up a patrol to handle the problem.

This novel is more interesting than its predecessor for a couple reasons. First of all, there's a lot more conflict in this novel -- aside from the protagonists having to deal with Dag's bitchy mother and asshole brother, the book also turns its focus back on the Lakewalker vs. malice war, which is good news for those disappointed by the first book because of its lack of progress on that front.

Second, we also get a lot more lore and background of the world, as well as more details about Lakewalker magic. The magic system here involving "grounds" can get pretty convoluted, but is admittedly quite interesting and unique. I also love the world building, especially when it comes to Lakewalker culture. Consider how in many fantasy worlds, magic-users are usually the lords, the masters, and the upper class who live in castles and mansions holding power over the common magic-less folk. In contrast, Bujold's Lakewalker sorcerer-soldiers in this series live lives of sacrifice. Their existence is spartan, rustic and they dedicate their lives to protect the land and the farmers living on it.

I want to note, Beguilement and Legacy should be read back-to-back, since both were apparently written together. Whatever the reasons (I really don't feel like opening up that can of worms right now), the publisher decision to split them up was a pretty stupid one, since in my opinion the story would have been so much more cohesive as one big book, and it's not like 600 pages these days is considered too long for a fantasy novel.