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Publisher Description

*Updated chronology! PENRIC’S MISSION is now Book 4  in the Penric & Desdemona series*

In his thirtieth year, Penric fell in love with light...

Learned Penric, a sorcerer and divine of the Bastard’s Order, travels across the sea to sunlit Cedonia on his first covert diplomatic mission, to attempt to secure the services of a disaffected Cedonian general for the Duke of Adria.  However, nothing is as it seems: Penric is betrayed and thrown into a dungeon, and worse follows for the general and his kin.  Penric’s narrow escapes and adventures — including his interest in a young widow — are told with Bujold’s remarkable energy, wit and humor.  Once again, Bujold has created unforgettable characters and a wondrous, often dangerous world of intrigue and sorcery.  Fourth novella in the Penric and Desdemona series.

Publishers Weekly:

“A novella filled with a satisfying blend of strong characters and wry humor.” (re Penric’s Demon)



“Bujold couldn't characterize badly if threatened with a firing squad, and what really keeps one turning the pages is the fascinating cast of characters” (re PALADIN OF SOULS)


Library Journal:

“Compelling characters and richly detailed world building” (re THE CURSE OF CHALION) 


“Bujold's reworking of a classic romantic situation is distinguished by its setting in a well-crafted world and masterly creation of characters whose fates will keep readers turning the pages.” (re THE HALLOWED HUNT)

Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction.  She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.  She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982.  She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies.  Her books have been translated into over twenty languages.  Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
November 3
Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Marina Ariadne ,

Penric, several years after we saw him last

Penric's on an exploratory mission from the Duke of Adria, to a general in Cedonia. Turns out the letter the duke was not from the general, and Penric, carrying it, is denounced as a spy by another passenger, and tossed in an oubliette known as a bottle dungeon. That's just the first chapter.

How he escapes, and falls into company with the general and his sister/twin-by-a-different-mother, and their mutual adventures thereafter is for you to read. Penric finds himself interested in her, and she in his demon collective, Desdemona. This is someone willing to see all of Penric, inside and out. One reader compares Penric to Lord Peter Wimsey, with regard to his interest in Harriet Vane. I tend to agree, as an HV myself.

There are some beautifully poetic descriptions of scenery which allowed me to see what the characters saw. Wish I'd been there to see them.

Please be aware that there is a serious next-story hook right at the end--surely The Author won't drop us there with no follow-through on a Major Development?

I really enjoyed this story, and hope there will be at least one contiguous one to follow.

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