Liz Bourke posts here , about the religious ‘feel’ of the Chalion books, and how the impact of the books depends on the reader’s perception of religion.
Numinous is a word sometimes misused. But the Chalion books have betimes been characterised as speculative theology, and it’s not a poor description in the least.
But that sense of divine presence only works if you have a background with divine possibility.
And so forth.
Plus, then Liz meanders on to discussing THE DAUGHTER STAR by Bigelow, which I haven’t read but is, I think, on my Kindle. Or maybe my wishlist. Somewhere on my radar, anyway.
3 thoughts on “Bujold and the numinous”
Oh thank you for pointing this article out, or I would have missed it. I very much need to pick up Paladin of Souls soon, as I really enjoyed Curse of Chalion so, so much, particularly the discussed sense of divinity. I also have read The Daughter Star and largely agree…it was a middle of the road kind of read for me, weak in points, but strong in others. Overall I’m not sure it was my thing (I enjoyed her Extrahumans series much more).
I’ve followed Liz Bourke’s blog ever since I came acrossthis review, which was hilarious. Am I a bad person if I like to read negative reviews?
Honestly, though, I can’t help it — check it out —
“Theft of Swords is the kind of book that is so bad that it infects other perfectly innocent books with its badness. It is a screaming black hole of the very worst influences of Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber, mixed with naïve stereotypes, Dept. of Redundancy Dept. levels of word repetition, and prose that doesn’t have much further to go before it plumbs the uttermost depths where the Eye of Argon dwells, down in the turgid, purple caverns of the deep. I finished it out of sheer disbelief at its badness, and my advice as a result is Don’t follow my example.”
Also, yes, you should definitely pick up PALADIN OF SOULS. I know, right? So many great books, so little time.
I had an interestingly split reaction to the two passages she cites. The first one had emotional impact, but it didn’t have a numinous dimension for me. The second one, on the other hand, definitely was numinous — and, for that matter, the most powerful scene(s) in any of the Chalion books (even though I thought PALADIN was generally lesser than CURSE as a book).