Another very romantic Lois McMaster Bujold book. The hero of this book is the senile, depressive, shut-in aunt character from the previous book, which along with the title had me completely unexcited about starting this novel. However, within 30 pages or so LMMB has, like one her demons, sunk her plot hooks into my spirit and started dragging me along on a memorable journey. In some ways the book is generic fantasy, but LMMB's great writing and characterization raises it to another level. For instance, there will be a scene where a brave knight rescues a princess who is being stolen away by raiding northern barbarians. And it will be moving and romantic! It's like why are these "awww's" spilling out of me, and the best reason I can come up with is just that LMMB is very, very good at her particular dramatic style. She cares a lot about her characters and gives them challenges and complexity, but still tries to make sure that they all come to good ends. She generally manages to stay on the right side of being too sweet. Her magic/religious systems are also surprisingly complex and interesting.