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【书评】查里昂的诅咒

wwlcj1982 于2009-11-14 16:25:04发布 l 已有人浏览
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【书评】查里昂的诅咒...

The Curse of Chalion is Lois McMaster Bujold's second fantasy novel. Known mostly for her science fiction Miles Vorkosigan series, she has rarely dabbled in fantasy. I haven't read her first one, The Spirit Ring, but if this is any indication, I should run out and buy it immediately. The Curse of Chalion is a beautiful tale told with flair and style.

《查里昂的诅咒(The Curse of Chalion)》是洛伊斯·麦克马斯特·布约德(Lois McMaster Bujold)的第二部奇幻小说。人们大多通过科幻小说《麦尔斯·弗克斯根(Miles Vorkosigan)》系列而了解她,而她业已涉足奇幻。我没有看过她的第一部奇幻小说《灵戒(The Spirit Ring)》,但如果这本《查里昂的诅咒》代表了它的质量,我会立刻跑出去买。《查里昂的诅咒》是一个优美的故事,叙述中充满了独到的才能与风格。

 

Cazaril is a broken man. A former courtier and soldier for Chalion, Cazaril was betrayed years ago and made a slave on an enemy galley. He endured horrific torture, but he is finally free. He wants nothing more than to return to the household of the Dowager Provincara, where he served as a page in his youth. He'll take anything, even a menial kitchen job.

卡萨瑞(Cazaril)是一个饱受摧残的人。作为查里昂的前朝廷官员和战士,卡萨瑞在数年前遭到背叛,成为了敌人战舰上的奴隶。他忍受了可怕的折磨,但最终获得自由。他但求能够回到公爵夫人的家族人员中,年轻时他曾在那里担任侍从。他愿意做任何事,甚至是厨房里的杂役。

 

The gods, however, will not allow him to fade into obscurity. He's welcomed warmly, fed and clothed, and named as secretary to the Royesse Iselle, the Provincara's daughter and the sister of the next ruler of Chalion. This job will take him where he doesn't want to go: the court of Chalion in the city of Cardegoss. The people who betrayed him are now in positions of power, with the current ruler in their pocket. Cazaril does not look forward to having to deal with these people.

然而诸神却不让他淡然退出。他受到了热情的欢迎,获得了食物与衣服,并被指派为伊赛拉(Iselle)公主的秘书,伊塞拉公主是查里昂下一任统治者的姐姐。这一任务将把他带到他不想去的地方:卡德高斯(Cardegoss)城中的查里昂朝廷。出卖他的人现在位居强权,操纵着现任统治者。卡萨瑞不希望被迫与这些人打交道。

 

What Cazaril doesn't know is that an even greater evil hangs over the royal family. A shadow surrounds not just the family, but anybody who enters their circle. Cazaril is left to try and figure out what he can do to remove this blight. He finds himself forced to resort to some of the most vile and forbidden magic to try and solve the problem. While it works in the short term, Cazril finds that this puts him on a path of destiny, a tool of the Five Gods with a fate unknown but not looking very pleasant.

卡萨瑞不知道的是,还有更加邪恶的东西笼罩着王室家族。这个阴影不但包围着王室,而且也包括任何加入这一家族的人。卡萨瑞需要试着找出如何消除这一孽障的方法。他发现自己不得不采用最卑鄙的禁忌魔法,以求解决问题。虽然这个方法暂时起了作用,但卡萨瑞发现这让他自己踏上了一条宿命的道路,成为了"五神"的工具,其命运不得而知,但似乎不太令人愉快。

 

I'm a huge fan of the Vorkosigan series, and I think Bujold is one of the best writers out there. It still took me a little bit of time to decide to try this book. Am I glad I finally did, though. In The Curse of Chalion, Bujold shows her masterful characterization ability with a cast of unique and interesting people. Cazaril is the ultimate reluctant hero. He just wants to be left alone. He wants to join the Provincara's household, stay under the radar of his enemies and live out his life in peace. When it becomes apparent that destiny won't allow him this luxury, he tackles his job with resigned dedication. He has a gentle sense of humour, and he has a very sweet romance with Betriz, the Royesse Iselle's lady-in-waiting. When the three of them are together, conspiring or trying to decide what to do as events go from bad to worse, the dialogue is snappy; each of them brings his or her own point of view to the proceedings. These are not cardboard characters. The romance slowly grows, appearing one-sided at first, but Bujold slowly reveals that the feelings are mutual. By this time, of course, Cazaril thinks he's going to be dead soon, so he tries hard to push Betriz away. The whole thing is tragic.

我是弗克斯根系列的极力拥护者,我认为布约德是最好的作家之一。但我还是花了点时间才决定试着读这本书。但我很高兴最后我还是读了。在《查里昂的诅咒》中,布约德展示了她娴熟的塑造角色的能力,创造了一群独特而有趣的人物。卡萨瑞是一个不情不愿的终极英雄。他只是想要别人忘记他。他想要加入女公爵的家族,在他敌人的探测范围之外,平静地度过余生。命运显然不允许他如此奢侈,他听天由命地着手投入工作。他有一丝幽默感,跟伊赛拉公主的侍女蓓蒂兹(Betriz)有一段甜蜜的浪漫。随着事情越来越糟,他们三个一起策划,在试图作出决定时,他们的对话巧妙鲜活;每个人都给出自己对于情势的看法。这些不是呆板的人物。罗曼史缓缓发展,起初似乎是单向的,但布约德慢慢地揭示出,这种感觉是相互的。当然,这时卡萨瑞认为自己很快就会死去,因此他努力将蓓蒂兹推开。整件事是个悲剧。

 

There are far too many characters to go into great detail with each individual, but let me talk about the villain for a minute. In dy Jironal, Bujold creates a truly three-dimensional villain -- he has a lust for power, but he is also practical. He works with Cazaril when he has to, and his plans are thought out well. Cazaril and his compatriots are forced to actually outthink him rather than winning due to the villain's stupidity. There aren't any "moustache-twirling moments," though several times in battle come close. However, those can be attributed to the stress of the situation. I am really impressed with dy Jironal and the true tension he brings to the story. Will Cazaril be able to defeat him? Probably, but only because it doesn't seem like it will be a book with a downbeat  ending. But the doubt is always there, as dy Jironal maneuvers Cazaril into one desperate move after another.

书里有太多人物,不可能具细讲述每一个,但让我稍微来说说反派吧。在创造迪·吉罗纳(dy Jironal)这个人物时,布约德创造了一个三维立体的反派--他贪求权势,但亦很务实。当有需要时,他会跟卡萨瑞合作,他的计划深思熟虑。卡萨瑞和他的同伴必须比他棋高一招,而不是因反派的愚蠢而获胜。除了几处迫在眉睫的战斗,没有太过激烈的场面。然而那些也是归功于于紧张的形势。我真的很慨叹于迪·吉罗纳以及他给故事带来的真正张力。卡萨瑞能够战胜他吗?也许,但仅仅是因为这不像一本结局黯淡的书。但这样的怀疑始终存在着,因为迪·吉罗纳一次又一次将卡萨瑞推向绝望的行动。

 

Cazaril is fighting a war on two fronts. He's trying to prevent dy Jironal from taking power by getting the Royesse's brother under his power for the inevitable time when the current ruler dies. But this is only peripheral to the curse hanging over the Royesse's family. Cazaril must figure out a way to end the curse and still deprive dy Jironal of his ambitions. The plot has a sort of epic feel, in that Cazaril ends up journeying all over the land, but it is also a very intimate plot. What it boils down to is that Cazaril must save a young woman for whom he has great respect and affection, as well as having romantic feelings for her assistant. This sort of plot would not be very interesting if it wasn't for the characters, so it's imperative  that Bujold populate her story with interesting people. Thankfully, she does.

卡萨瑞陷入了两线作战。他要试图防止迪·吉罗纳在现任统治者无可避免地死去后,将其弟弟控制在自己的势力之下,以夺取权力。但这只是笼罩着王室家族诅咒的表象。卡萨瑞必须找到方法来终结这一诅咒,并且阻止迪·吉罗纳的野心。情节有种史诗意味,这其中,卡萨瑞最后穿越了整个大陆,然而,这同时也是非常个人化的情节。总之,卡萨瑞必须拯救一位他极其尊敬与关心的年轻女性,同时与她的助手发展浪漫感觉。如果不是因为那些角色,这样的情节不会很有趣,因此布约德必须让他的故事中充满有趣的人物。值得欣慰的是,她做到了。

 

Bujold is to be complimented on her world-building. It shouldn't surprise any readers of the Vorkosigan series that she creates a vivid, detailed world full of intriguing complication s, people, lands and realistic politics, with some break-away provinces, neighbors who have to deal with their own insurrections and a nice combination of allies and enemies to Chalion. The line of succession in Chalion is managed well and the whole thing tied together nicely.

布约德构建世界的能力值得称道。弗克斯根系列的任何一个读者都不会惊异于她创建了一个生动细致的世界,充满了各种有趣的因素,人物,土地以及真实的政治,包括分裂的省份,需要解救本身叛乱的邻国,查里昂的一系列微妙盟友与敌人。查里昂的继承人顺位组织得很好,与小说整体融洽地结合起来。

 

Where Bujold should really be lauded, though, is in her use of religion. The world has five gods: The Mother, The Father, The Sister and the Brother, along with the Bastard, although some countries do not believe in the Bastard. When someone dies, part of the funeral is to have a representative from each god come to the funeral, release its sacred animal, and see which animal will go to the deceased. Whichever god's animal does this is the god who has taken the spirit of the deceased. If no animals go to the corpse, then the spirit is doomed to wander the land, or something else has happened. This mythology becomes integral to the story, and is the first indication that Cazaril is going to have a lot more to deal with than he planned. Bujold creates an intriguing religious system that is central to the plot.

布约德真正值得称赞的地方是她对宗教的使用。这个世界有五位神:圣母,圣父,圣女和圣子,还有圣母的私生子,而有些国家不信仰私生子。当某个人死时,葬礼上的一个仪式是由每一位神的代表放出圣兽,看哪个圣兽会去到死者身边。哪个神的圣兽过去了,就表示这一位神带走了死者的灵魂。如果没有一只圣兽过去尸体那里,那么这个灵魂就是被遗弃了,在世界上游荡,或者发生了什么意外。这一神话构成了故事的一部分,首先暗示了卡萨瑞将要处理许多他计划之外的事情。布约德创造了一个有趣的宗教系统,并且成为情节的中心。

 

Ultimately, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It drags very slightly in the middle, but that's almost unnoticeable -- and the only flaw I can pick out in this book. If you're a fantasy fan, pick this one up. If you're a Vorkosigan fan but have been reluctant to try a Bujold that's not a Vorkosigan book, don't be. Take the plunge and pick this one up. You won't regret it. Bujold's hit another home run.

最后,我极力推荐此书。中间部分有很细微的拖沓,但这几乎无法察觉--而且是这本书中我唯一可以挑出来的瑕疵。如果你是奇幻爱好者,拿起这本书吧。如果你是弗克斯根系列的爱好者,但又不情愿尝试布约德的弗克斯根以外的书,那么别这样。抓起书投入进去吧。你不会后悔。这是布约德的又一次成功

 

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