Lois McMaster Bujold handles marriages well. In this novel, we already have the marriage of Dag and Fawn, Lakewalker and farmgirl (nickname “Piglet??”), which we witnessed in the first book of this tetrology. Now, we find them returning back to Dag’s hometown, where among other things, he’s going to be presented with the illegality of of his marriage. Recall that Dag is a widower and the father of a dead son, and the Lakewalkers are a clan of strong ethnic ties and traditions, and especially the magical ties and bonds necessary to be part of this clan.
So we have the homecoming and return here, and the resumption of regular duties, a kind of now what kind of problem. Meeting the brother and the mom brings us even more drama. We’re front and center, and on the side of the marriage, while the strong traditions of this group fight against every imaginable argument for it. Good drama. And go ahead and fight a malice.
It’s interesting the ways in which this second book can really help to clarify the details of the first book. While it’s true that this book reveals more about the world we’re in here, it’s also true that I think I understand better what happened in the first book, now that I’ve read this second book. As a second book, that’s not ideal, but as the second part of a long book, perfectly ok.
“Because that’s what family was all about, in her experience. They pulled together in a crisis; it was just too bad about the rest of the time.”