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by Lois McMaster Bujold
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Entertaining young adult fantasy adventure about Penric, a young man who becomes a host to a group of female demons. He names the group “Desdemona.” We follow his life as he gets used to demons residing within, leading to several humorous scenes. It is an enjoyable escapist-type book. It is obviously the initial set up for a series of adventures to come. There is a lot of expository and interrogatory writing to establish the relationship between the demon and the host. This is my first of Bujold’s books. I recommend gaining familiarity with the world Bujold has created. This probably was not the best place to start. The story itself is fine, but I felt like I was missing the context. ( )
I love the World of the Five Gods. It is my favorite fantasy series and I was very happy to see her release this novella in the world. It's not her best work but even Lois at her worst is better than many authors at their best.
Penric's Demon is, by necessity of its length, much less complicated than its predecessors. There aren't any great convoluted machinations of the gods going on here, just one guy who happened to accidentally acquire a demon and have his life turned upside down. There was some great additional worldbuilding to the universe, and I'm greatly heartened that is the start of a series.
I have enjoyed all the books in this series. They are slight and oddball at times and that can be a really good thing. Lois McMasters Bujold is a favorite.
Penric’s Demon is a novella set in the World of the Five Gods. Penric is the youngest child in his family. His older brother is the new Lord of Jurald. The story begins when Penric is on the way to his betrothal ceremony. Wearing hand-me-down clothes and wishing he could just keep following the road, he comes upon a group of people gathered around a woman who is having some sort of medical emergency. Being a kind-hearted person, Penric stops to see if he can help. He didn’t expect that that demon who was riding the woman would transfer itself to him when she died.
All of a sudden, Penric’s life takes a brand new path. He is sent from his home in Greenwell to Martensbridge which was the destination the lady was intending to reach. Along the way the demon awakens and Penric begins to get to know her (or them). Being almost completely ignorant of the way a relationship with a demon should go, Penric names the demon and begins to ask questions. He also begins to learn some of the things having a demon will allow him to do.
When he reaches Martensbridge, he is surrendered to the custody of Learned Tigney who was the lady’s boss. Tigney isn’t at all sure what to do with this untrained young man who suddenly has a very powerful demon. He isn’t the only one who might have a use for Penric and his demon. Penric has to survive a couple of plots before a resolution is reached.
This was an excellent novella filled with fascinating characters and lots of intriguing information about the world of the Five Gods.
This is a sweet story set in the world of Lois McMaster Bujold’s world of the Five Gods. Lord Penric of kin Jurald, a younger son of impoverished minor nobility, is on his way to his betrothal to the daughter of a wealthy cheese merchant, a match intended to mend the family fortunes. He’s less than happy about the arrangement, having met his intended only on three (strictly chaperoned) occasions previously, and he would much rather go fishing. But as the nice, sweet-tempered boy that he is, he falls in line with his family’s wishes:
How hard could husbanding be? Don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t bring hunting dogs to the table. Don’t be terrified of tooth-drawers. Don’t be stupid about money. Don’t go for a soldier. No hitting girls. He wasn’t drawn to violate any of these prohibitions. Assuming older sisters weren’t classified as girls. Maybe make that, No hitting girls first.
But then a chance encounter with a dying Divine of the Bastard’s Order turn Penric’s expectations upside down. For when Divines die, their Demons must find a new host nearby, and Penric is conveniently close.
This is a short novella with less depth than [The Curse of Chalion], but very enjoyable nonetheless.
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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.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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