Some scenes are like a song: Their pacing builds and sings. They’re a pleasure to read, and all the more if they’re about a character I love.
Lupe dy Cazaril (Caz, for convenience and by his preference) arrives home in the first book of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion series, The Curse of Chalion, under inauspicious circumstances. He’s nobility (a “castillar”—a knight), but penniless. He’s a war hero, but one betrayed and sold into servitude. He has powerful enemies waiting for him at home, and a tortured past haunting his steps. He just wants to lie low for a while and recover.
Naturally, it’s not long before he finds himself the primary advisor to the rightful Royina of Chalion, seeking to cut through a web of treachery to restore her to the throne and at the same time end the curse upon her house through intellect, strength of character, and the somewhat dubious assistance of two separate gods.