My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Beguilement, Book 1 of The Sharing Knife, Fawn and Dag successfully overcame farmer opposition and Fawn's lack of groundsense to become both married (in the farmer tradition) and string-bound (in the Lakewalker tradition). But more than simple newlywed bliss awaits them, as Dag takes his new bride to his Lakewalker home and has to deal with opposition to his union. It turns out to be much more intense than what he faced from Fawn's family. His family, arguably the more dysfunctional of the two, decides to challenge the validity of the string-binding in counsel. To complicate matters further, another malice has appeared, this one much larger and more powerful. Dag and Fawn must separate for a time, so that he can go fight the malice. But Fawn is no passive female, and in this book, as in the previous one, her unasked-for, unrespected farmer interference in Lakewalker business turns out to be essential. Not that anyone other than Dag appreciates it, and their marriage is none the less challenged in counsel.
While Book 1 was devoted largely to Dag and Fawn's relationship, this book fills in more of the backstory of this world. We are given at least a sketchy idea of how malices came to be in the first place, and we learn that Lakewalker/farmer relations used to be very different—which is not to say better.
While I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1, I loved Book 2. I am eagerly anticipating my dive into Book 3: Passage.