When the ship in which they are traveling is captured by Carpagamon island raiders, Temple sorcerer Penric and his resident demon Desdemona find their life complicated by two young orphans, Lencia and Seuka Corva, far from home and searching for their missing father. Pen and Des will need all their combined talents of mind and magic to unravel the mysteries of the sisters and escape from the pirate stronghold.
This novella follows about a year after the events of “The Prisoner of Limnos”.
“Bujold’s delightful latest tale of Penric … is another winner in Bujold’s already strong series.”
- Publisher’s Weekly *Starred Review* on “The Prisoner of Limnos”
“Series fans and fantasy readers who seek well-drawn characters will love this tale.”
- Publisher’s Weekly on “Mira’s Last Dance”
“Best-selling author Bujold follows her Hugo-nominated “Penric and the Shaman” (2017) with another adventure featuring the sorcerer Penric and his resident 200-year-old chaos demon, Desdemona. ... Series fans will be delighted with this tale, which begs for continuation.”
- Booklist on “Penric's Mission”
“Set in the ‘World of The Five Gods’ (The Curse of Chalion; Paladin of Souls; The Hallowed Hunt), Bujold’s novella takes series fans back to a well-known realm in an exciting new adventure. The varied voices, especially between Pen and Desdemona, add a fun slant to a serious tale."
- Library Journal on “Penric and the Shaman”
“Bujold follows ‘Penric’s Demon’ with another brief tale set in her World of the Five Gods, this time combining supernatural sleuthing with finely drawn characters and a panoply of emotions... This is a wonderful expansion of her World of the Five Gods."
- Publisher’s Weekly *Starred Review* on “Penric and the Shaman”
“Fans of the Chalion tales will again be drawn in by the intrigue of the religious dynamics, the fantasy aspects of the "magic" and the complexity of character that Bujold is so masterful at creating.”
- RT Book Reviews on “Penric’s Demon”
“Bujold is not just a master of plot, she is a master of emotion.”
- SF Site
Bujold's "work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary fiction.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Bujold couldn't characterize badly if threatened with a firing squad.”
“A superb craftsman and stylist, Ms. Bujold is well on her way to becoming one of the great voices of speculative fiction.”
- Rave Reviews
“Bujold has a gift.”
- Chicago Sun Times
Bujold's seventh addition to her fantasy World of the Five Gods series (after The Prisoner of Limnos) offers a pleasant little side quest for Penric, a Temple sorcerer, and Desdemona, the chaos demon living inside him. Sent overseas on a problem-solving mission by the archdivine of Orbas, Pen is captured by pirates and hurled into their noxious brig, where he finds two young sisters from Raspay, Lencia and Seuka Corva. The girls were kidnapped while searching for their absentee father and are to be ransomed or sold at the pirates' port. Their mother's dead and their father's in the wind, so Pen and Desdemona take responsibility for their safety. Bujold creates a series of amusing misadventures as Pen, Desdemona, and the girls try to escape the pirates and the slave brokers with the girls, interspersed with reflections on his marital situation, and inherited memories from Des's previous human hosts. Pen's knack for "borrowing trouble" (as Desdemona puts it) and the respect he has for those less fortunate are both as endearing as ever. Series fans will be gratified by this gentle but diverting episode.
There are revelations that would be spoilers to tell.
Penric shows, via his care for the two orphans, the sort of father he’ll become.
Adventures and chaos abound.
Desdemona is more snarky and eager for destruction than in most of the novels, which is fun to read.
The two orphaned and abandoned sisters aren’t afraid of Pen’s sorcery or of Desdemona, which is lovely to see. After all, he’s *their* “evil sorcerer”.
I used money I should have saved for the rest of the week. It was well-spent. You’ll have fun, too.
Okay, so Penric & his possessed demon Desdemona get captured by pirates, assume responsibility for a couple of orphans, hatch a plan to get them all escaped from the slavers who want to sell them, and after a number of... *happenings*, Penric finally has no more effs to give and it is MARVELOUS.