Review Blog

May 13 2020

World of the Five Gods: Penric & Desdemona series by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Penric's Travels. Baen, 2020. ISBN: 9781982124571.
Penric's Progress. Baen Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781982124298.
The Physicians of Vilnoc. Spectrum Literary Agency, 2020. ASIN B088D695MK.
(Age 15+) Highly recommended. I am a fan of any work by Lois McMaster Bujold who writes with wit, warmth and always has a unique world. In this series of novellas the reader follows the adventures of young Lord Penric who when stopping to help at an accident of a Temple divine, is overtaken by the five demons that reside within her. These strange powers change the course of his life. He finds himself studying to become a Divine and a scholar and is called upon to solve mysteries and problems in his world with the aid of his demon Desdemona.
First published as e-books, the first three novellas have been published in hardback as Penric's Travels, and include the Hugo nominations Penric's Demon and Penric and the Shaman. The next three have been published in Penric's Progress, and the latest two, The orphans of Raspray and The Physicians of Vilnoc as e-books. The Physicians of Vilnoc has Penric called to solve the reason that an epidemic has struck the army fort of Vilnoc, and with the help of dedicated colleagues, he must root out the origins of the deadly plague. Readers who are familiar with the series can read this comfortably in difficult times, as Penric although facing severe trials, is usually triumphant.
All the novellas feature Penric and Desdemona and their witty interactions often bring a smile to the face as they face adversity and adventure. They are easy to read, well written novellas and for readers who like a hard copy the collections will be a boon. The novellas are set in the world of the Hugo winning fantasy series, Chalion, and readers may want to pursue The curse of Chalion and Paladin of souls.
Pat Pledger

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