Lois McMaster Bujold – Penric’s Demon
81. Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (2015)
Chalion, short story
Length: 109 pages
Started/Finished: 26 December 2016
Where did it come from? Bought the ebook from Amazon.
Why do I have it? New Lois McMaster Bujold!!
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 November 2015.
Hosting a demon
comes with some downsides, but more
pluses than you’d think.
Summary: Penric is riding to meet his bride-to-be when he comes across an old woman laying dying in the middle of the road. When he stops to help, he learns that she is a temple divine, in service to the Bastard – the god of all things out of season. As she dies, she gifts Penric with the source of her powers – a demon who “rides” its host, giving them unique powers and abilities – powers that Penric is decidedly not trained to deal with. But his new rider is not the only danger – he also must face those that fear or covet his newfound power.
Review: Penric’s Demon is set in Bujold’s world of Chalion, and like The Curse of Chalion, has to do with the responsibilities that come along with being touched by the supernatural. I really enjoyed this novella, although it was too short to be 100% satisfying. Specifically, I wanted more of Desdemona (as Pen names the demon), and her and Pen’s interactions. I also thought there was a lot more landscape description than is usual for Bujold’s books, which I could have done without. But I liked the idea, and the world, and there were a couple of really great moments, and a solid story — I just wanted more. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Fans of the Chalion series (or Bujold’s writing in general) should definitely enjoy this, as should those who like high fantasy that looks at various aspects of religion without necessarily being religious.
First Line: The morning light sloped across the meadows, breathing pale green into the interlaced branches of the woods beyond, pikcing out shy pink and white blossoms here and there among the new leaves.
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- Location 846: “Safely out of earshot on the steep street, Desdemona snappishly remarked, “Half! Tigney is a cheeseparing drudge.”” – pinchpenny economizing; stinginess; miserliness.
- Location 1485: “If there truly a god immanent, it wanted another mode of speech altogether.” – of or relating to the pantheistic conception of God, as being present throughout the universe.
- Location 1616: “Power without panoply, but was grateful for the informality when she gestured and her secretary brought two chairs for her guests.” – a complete or magnificent array
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