This is volume two in The Sharing Knife series. I suggest you read volume one (excerpt is quite long) before this review if you want to avoid spoilers!
I enjoyed volume one, Beguilement, which saw the union of our two protagonists. Here, Fawn and Dag must go to Dag's home and confront the Lakewalkers with their controversial union. Legacy is taken up a great deal by this. In essence, Dag and Fawn are having a honeymoon whereby he shows her his Lakewalker world, his self and his family. Although there was some considerable action later in the book, it was little compared to the constant movement and danger in Beguilement. Each person concerned was given the space to react to Dag's pronouncement at their leisure, revealing miles about their character meanwhile. Dag's identity is dramatically and has dramatically changed; this book explores this.
I didn't feel it too badly, because of Bujold's beautiful writing: spiffy & charged dialogue, gorgeous imagery and sparkling* characters. The escalating tension between Dag, Fawn and certain individuals in the Lakewalker camp could sometimes be as real -- if more agnosingly drawn out -- then strategising against a malice (the dark monster the Lakewalkers make it their quest to slay). It's amazing the helplesness this inspires as contrasted to facing great evil. You wish that the problems with your mother-in-law could be stabbed with a knife and then simply go poof, but that ain't happening, sister.
When the action heated up, Bujold brought out the big guns with a threat that was bigger than ever. However, things ended up a little too neatly in some ways but that's fine in this case because it would've been too depressing otherwise. Fawn was suffering from a case of terminal uselesness in this book so I'm glad she had a role. I breathed a sigh of relief at the ending -- which I'm not sure I could've predicted actually -- and there was a lot of uncertainty about it that I'm anxious to read the next book to resolve. This gets 4 marriage cords out of 5 from me.
*(pardon the pun)
You can buy it on Amazon here (US) and here (UK).