July 8, 2011

The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold

Title:  The Spirit Ring
Author:  Lois McMaster Bujold
Format:  PB
Pages:  369
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Baen, 2000
ISBN-13:  978-0671578701
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  She blinked, rapidly, and rubbed her eyes with a soot-smudged hand.  "I'd be a bad wife.  My tongue is too sharp.  Everybody says so.  You'd get henpecked."

Synopsis (Amazon):  Fiametta Beneforte dreamed of making beautiful and enchanted objets d'art, but alas her magician-goldsmith father was more likely to have her scrub the kiln than study magic. After all, it was a waste to train a mere daughter beyond the needs of the moment.

Thur Ochs dreamed of escaping the icy mines of Bruinwald. But the letter from his brother Uri arranging his apprenticeship to Master Beneforte was not the only force that drew him over the mountains to the Duchy of Montefoglia...

A betrayal at a banquet plunges Thur and Fiametta into a struggle against men who would use vile magic for vile ends. Needs of this desperate moment will require all their wits, all their talents, and all their courage, if they are to rescue both Montefoglia and the souls of those they most love.

Review:  This book is really wonderful.  Thur Ochs, the Swiss miner, and Fiametta Beneforte, the daughter of a master magician, sculptor and goldsmith, are a unique couple who are faced with fighting against an enemy who threatens an entire city.

There is quite a bit of religious dogma associated with the magic and the lives of the people in the story.  It is not over the top, though, and fits in well with the time frame and story line.  I never felt the book was preachy.

There are so many laugh-out-loud funny lines in this book.  There is also plenty of magic.  There are fantastical creatures.  It's the perfect blend of romance, humor and fantasy.  I've been wanting to read this book for quite some time, but I kept putting it off.  I'm so glad I finally read it.  I really loved it.

Rating:  9.5 / 10

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