Sometimes you read a book and while reading have all kinds of ideas for what to say in your review but then you're finished and find yourself staring at the blank review space with no clue how to begin. Curse of Chalion is different from other fantasy novels. We don't have the young, orphaned hero being thrust into the middle of events but Caz instead, an old (not really but for medieval times ancient xD ), broken man who seems to grow "younger" over the course of the story. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't grow younger physically but mentally. Before he came back to Chalion he had given up on everything. On himself, on life, and all he was hoping for was a warm spot by the fire in the kitchen to spend the rest of his days. Thankfully, Bujold doesn't let him. He kicks him through the door so he can take his first steps towards a new life, and it was absolutely wonderful to watch his transformation to a witty, wise and strong man, who with the love and care of and for others overcomes his past experiences that had left him broken. Curse of Chalion is a wonderful change of pace from your regular fantasy novel. Characters you have come to love don't just die. Loose ends actually get tied up in the end. And yes, the ending is happy. Very refreshing.