Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
Series: Penric and Desdemona #1
Published by Subterranean Press on May 2016
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On his way to his betrothal, young Lord Penric comes upon a riding accident with an elderly lady on the ground, her maidservant and guardsmen distraught. As he approaches to help, he discovers that the lady is a Temple divine, servant to the five gods of this world. Her avowed god is The Bastard, "master of all disasters out of season", and with her dying breath she bequeaths her mysterious powers to Penric. From that moment on, Penric's life is irreversibly changed, and his life is in danger from those who envy or fear him.
Set in the fantasy world of the author's acclaimed novels THE CURSE OF CHALION, PALADIN OF SOULS and THE HALLOWED HUNT, this novella has the depth of characterization and emotional complexity that distinguishes all Bujold's work.
So. I have a handful of Bujold books but I’ve never finished one before Penric’s Demon. I actually started reading Penric’s Demon because Subterranean Press had a sale. Penric and the Shaman (Penric and Desdemona #2) was one of the books on sale so I decided to read the first book to see if I’d like it.
OMG. I became so obsessed with this little novella. Penric’s Demon is 100% what my friend Ala terms a “slice of life” story: there are life changing events happening in Penric’s Demon but they are very, very localized: Penric (and his family) are the only ones who’s lives are truly altered.
Penric is on his way to his [not particularly wanted] betrothal when he comes across an elderly, sick woman in the road. She happens to be a sorceress (a person who shares their body with a demon) on the edge of death. When she dies, her demon decides to take up residence in Penric, changing his life forever. Penric wakes up to learn that HE is now a (feared) sorcerer and that he’s no longer getting married. Instead he is to go to learn more about what has happened to him – and if it can be reversed.
Penric’s Demon is a slow but moving novella. It’s just something about the way this tale was written – something about Penric and his earnestness. I also felt connected to Desdemona: for some strange reason the way she speaks – and her attitude – reminded me of my great-great grandmother. In fact, that’s who I picture in my head when Desdemona is speaking. It’s just all…so lovely though very little actually occurs. At the end of the story, I just threw a bunch of money at Bujold like Here! Just take it. LOL! But seriously, that’s basically what I did. O_O I’m NOT going to say how much money I’ve now spent on this series…but y’all could probably figure it out, lol.
I’ve been suffering from a bit of book slumpiness this year but there was no problem at all in reading Penric’s Demon. I’ve already purchased Penric and the Shaman, pre-ordered Penric’s Mission and have plans on reading the entire series.