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The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster…
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Recently added byprivate library, vroni, beekah, jmcarr2001, JudithProctor, Eurekas, LisCarey

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Penric stumbles into yet another contretemps. And begins to suspect the Bastard's hand deeply in the mess, after a while...A pirate attack throws him in with a couple young orphan girls, and he has to balance guarding them (and himself) and not rousing too many suspicions of his being a sorcerer. When he reveals himself, it only causes more problems (as he expected - that's why he didn't want to, but he wasn't given many options). The end is lovely - especially Adelis' reactions. He was the solution to an insoluble problem, though neither he nor Penric actually say so. And the aftermath is excellent - hope we see more of the girls later on. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Sep 13, 2019 |
Penric, now married to Nikys and attached to the Duke of Orbas when he's not needed for other duties, would much prefer to stay home in the Duke's capital with his wife. Instead, he continues to be sent off on missions that turn out to be more complicated and dangerous than they should have been. On their way home from the latest, the ship he and his demon, Desdemona, are on is captured by pirates, tossed into a hold on the pirates' own ship where they find two orphan sisters, and carried back to the pirates' island base.

The girls, Lencia and Seuka Corva, were attempting to travel to reach their father after the death of their mother when their ship was captured by these pirates. The obvious fate of all three, when they reach the island that has become a pirate company town, is to be sold as slaves. Penric presents himself as a scribe in service to the the Bastard's order, and the girls as his nieces, and says the Order will ransom them. The last thing he wants the pirates to know is that he's a Temple Sorcerer, because that will make him clearly too much trouble. Of course, this clever plan and the next couple of plans don't work out as smoothly as he hoped.

We continue to learn more about Penric, Desdemona, and Desdemona's previous riders, along with the world of the Five Gods. Lencia and Seuka are about ten and eight, but also smart and, when pushed, resourceful and tough. They also prove to have a more interesting backstory than Penric initially realized. Penric and the girls encounter both good people and bad on the pirates' island; before the two powers that normally take turns seizing control of it both got busy with other problems at the same time, it was a fairly normal community. Those people are mostly still there, making money providing all the same goods and services they've always produced to the pirates. One of the complications Penric encounters is that even the good people, though, don't want to anger the Pirates' Guild.

Then there's the complication that it is an island. No matter how good at stealth Penric is, there's no way they can walk away, and sailors consider sorcerers to be bad luck to have on board, a concern that certainly can't be dispelled by the fact that Penric's ship was captured by pirates.

It's another really enjoyable novella set in the world of the Five Gods. Highly recommended.

I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 2, 2019 |
This is set a year or so after The Prisoner of Limnos. Penric is travelling when the ship is captured by pirates and he is thrown in a hold with a couple of young girls from Raspay.

As always, I enjoyed Pen’s interactions with his demon, Desdemona. I would have enjoyed the story even more if there had been more significant character interactions -- the girls are not quite old enough to play a very active role in escape plans, and they’re old enough, and reserved enough, that, in terms of emotional support, they’re not very demanding. I’d like to see Pen challenged more.

But this is still a solid adventure, and I am very glad that Bujold hasn’t finished telling stories about Pen and Des.

It could not possibly be the case that he was -- they were -- already the most knowledgeable sorcerer-demon pair alive in the world today.
Someone must be, Des pointed out logically.
It can’t be me. I still have so many questions!
( )
  Herenya | Aug 10, 2019 |
This was a steadily moving adventure as Penric is captured by pirates when returning from mission he didn't want. He is placed with two captive sisters under 10 and the rest is attempts to stay together and find a way off the island where captives are held before ransoming or sale and get home safely. Not all of his efforts work as well as he would like.
I found this quite good and rather liked Penric worrying about something other than whether Nikys will have him. ( )
  quondame | Jul 24, 2019 |
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