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Name: Chalion series
Abbreviation(s): CoC, PoS, HH, 5GU
Creator: Lois McMaster Bujold
Date(s): 2001–16
Medium: novels
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt @ Wikipedia
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The Chalion series is a fantasy trilogy by Lois McMaster Bujold, set in a fictionalised version of medieval Spain. It has a small rarelit fandom.


There are three novels and six novellas:

  • The Curse of Chalion (2001) describes how Cazaril, a minor lord, lifts the curse on the Chalion royal family and forms an alliance between Chalion and the neighbouring kingdom of Ibra.
  • Paladin of Souls (2003) follows Ista, a minor character in Curse of Chalion who is the mother of the queen of Chalion, and her call to a religious life after the curse that has blighted her life is lifted.
  • The Hallowed Hunt (2005) is set in a different country, an unspecified period before Curse of Chalion, with only the gods in common with the earlier novels. It follows Ingrey, a dispossessed lord, and deals with animal & human inhabiting spirits.

The novellas are about Penric and his startling acquisition of a demon whom he names Desdemona.

  • "Penric's Demon" (2015)
  • "Penric and the Shaman" (2016)
  • "Penric's Mission" (2016)
  • "Mira's Last Dance" (2017)
  • "Penric's Fox" (2017) [comes between "Penric and the Shaman" and "Penric's Mission" in series-internal chronology]
  • "The Prisoner of Limnos" (2017)

Like the early novels in Bujold's popular Vorkosigan series, the protagonists in Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls are middle-aged and rather battered by life. The female characters are all strong. Unlike the Vorkosiverse, religion plays a major role in the Chalion universe, with five invented gods: Father, Mother, Son, Daughter and the Bastard. The Chalionverse is sometimes referred to by fans as the "Five Gods Universe", or "5GU",[1] and as of 2015, Bujold has started to refer to it as the "World of the Five Gods". Fate, free will and how gods might intervene in the mortal plane are key themes.

Fannish Perspective

One of the (many) things I love about the Chalion books is the worldbuilding and the theology: the way a different set of gods (and the theological assumptions that goes with them) shapes the world of the books in such an interesting way. Combined with the wonderful character-driven stories that Bujold always writes, it makes for a rich world. (Beatrice Otter)[2]


See also Timeline of Bujold Fandom

There is a small fandom, which mainly exists within the umbrella of the general Bujold fandom. The Chalion series is included in the Bujold Fest and is a perennial Yuletide fandom.

Fanfiction is probably the most common fannish activity, with around 110 works on Archive of Our Own & 30+ others elsewhere as of June 2018.

According to The Bujold Nexus, the first piece of fanfiction appeared in March 2003.[3] (there is still 1 story there not found elsewhere).

Stories on Fanfiction (not on AO3) 7 Chalion’

Stories on Chalion-Ibra (not on AO3) 24

Stories on Bujold-Fic (not on AO3) 3

Stories on Dendarii (not on AO3) 1

The first two books are by far the most popular. Canonical het pairings are the most common; slash & femslash are rare, though there is a little Cazaril/Palli, for example. Cazaril is the most popular character; topics frequently explored include his marriage to Betriz and his backstory, especially his role in the siege of Gotorget. Ista is another popular character, with stories exploring her work casting out demons after Paladin of Souls. As each Penric work comes out, relevant stories arrive. A very small amount of fan art and fan crafts has been created.

Discussion is another popular activity. Topics include the religious system and the series' connections with medieval Spanish history and geography.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • The Maul of the Weald by Parhelion. A rare work based on The Hallowed Hunt; Lewko/Edric. Beatrice Otter writes Parhelion takes that richness and runs with it, exploring the consequences of the Hallowed Hunt through the eyes of some of the secondary characters from the book. It's delightful, well-written, and lots of fun. And besides, how often do you see a well-written romance between two middle aged men?[2] (2009)
  • Life, stripped of all luxuries (link) by Keerawa. Caz at Gotorget; Caz/Palli. Espresso Addict writes The careful structure of this vignette counterpoints the increasing chaos of life during the siege of Gotorget, and Keerawa's affection for the characters helps to keep the grimness at bay[4] (2009)
  • Saint Miles dy Vorkosigan by tuval. Novel-length crossover with the Vorkosiverse, written for the 2010 Bujold Fest. Bracketyjack writes When I first saw this crossover I thought it ... almost incestuous, but it is made to work rather excellently. ... prime evidence for a pet theory of mine, that the best fanfic is de facto a form of literary criticism -- and this work will make any reader of both series think as well as laugh, groan, and wonder.[5] (2010)
  • A clear glass window, at a sea dawn by lionpyh. Novelette unusually focusing on Umegat, a secondary character in Curse of Chalion. Widely recommended story written for Yuletide 2011 that's the most popular non-crossover work on AO3. Kate Nepveu writes A stunning Umegat-POV post-canon story, excellent on all levels from its prose up through its worldbuilding.[6] (2011)
  • Communion of Saints by Rthstewart. Chaptered story focusing on minors, exploring the Chalionverse concept of sainthood. Espresso Addict writes In this triptych, Rthstewart creates rounded & engaging characters from minors & OCs to illustrate the travails & joys of being a saint[4] (2014)
  • All Disasters Out of Season by Keerawa. Popular crossover with Elementary (2014)


Chalion is covered by the general Bujold lmbujold, Lois McMaster Bujold Fanfic Community or bujold_fic (link) & lmb_challenge livejournal communities, as well as LOIS-BUJOLD, the general mailing list. Chalion-specific communities include:



  1. ^ The Bujold Nexus: Lois McMaster Bujold List FAQ (accessed 13 August 2014)
  2. ^ a b fancake: Chalion Saga: The Maul of the Weald, by Parhelion (accessed 3 July 2016)
  3. ^ The Bujold Nexus:
  4. ^ a b Espresso Recommendations: LM Bujold – Chalion series (accessed 4 September 2015)
  5. ^ Bracketyjack in AO3 bookmarks for Saint Miles dy Vorkosigan (accessed 13 August 2014)
  6. ^ kate-nepveu: Yuletide 2011 recs, part 1 (accessed 13 August 2014)