Series fans will be eager for the newest Pen and Des adventure. At the end of Mira's Last Dance (2018), the sorcerer Penric's proposal of marriage was rejected by Nikys, widowed sister of Adelis, a general he was trying to lure into service with his employer. She is grateful to Penric (he did help her brother escape blindness, imprisonment, and death at the hands of his political opponents), and she is even attracted to him. But she is hesitant about spending her life with someone possessed by a 200-year-old chaos demon called Desdemona. However, when Nikys and Adelis' mother is imprisoned as a hostage on the inaccessible island of Limnos, she turns to Pen and Des for help, providing Penric with a chance to continue his romantic pursuit. Nikys is determined to accompany them, but can she overcome her objections to his demon? Will Pen and Des succeed in the dangerous rescue mission, and will this bring the pair closer together or push them further apart? The fast pace and humor will draw readers into Bujold's fantasy world. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.Review by Library Journal Reviews
In Bujold's sixth adventure (after Mira's Last Dance) featuring temple sorcerer Learned Penric and his chaos demon Desdemona, Penric and the widow Nikys have reached safety in the duchy of Orbas. The temple has requested Penric's return, but he's struggling to resolve a few issues with Nikys, who is refusing his advances. When a secret letter brings news that Nikys's mother has been taken hostage by her brother's enemies, Nikys, Penric, and Desdemona find themselves heading back into hostile territory to rescue her. Against overwhelming odds and a few surprises revolving around family and relationships, Penric and Nikys confront their strengthening ties and finally resolve their budding romance. Changing points of view make earlier chapters a little challenging, but strong secondary characters and Bujold's amazing worldbuilding will please readers of this swift-paced series. VERDICT Fast action and dialog create a humorous and satisfying story that shows the intriguing connection between sorcerer and demon.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton Copyright 2018 Library Journal.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Bujold's delightful latest tale of Penric (after Mira's Last Dance) finds Learned Penric, Temple sorcerer, drawn away from the safety of the Duchy of Orbas in order to rescue the mother of the woman he loves, Nikys Khatai. In previous novellas, Penric and Nikys successfully escaped Cedonia with Nikys's half-brother, Gen. Adelis Arisaydia, who fell afoul of politics in the empire. Now those political foes have imprisoned Nikys's mother in an island sanctuary of the Daughter, one of the Five Gods. Nikys and Penric sneak back into Cedonia and seek out Lady Tanar Xarre, once courted by Adelis, who is both the source of the news and their best hope for an ally. Together with Surakos Bosha, Tanar's bodyguard/secretary, they orchestrate a rescue, which inevitably does not go quite to plan. While the rescue lives up to Bujold's high standards of action and has its own droll comedy as well, the real highlight here is the romance between Penric and Nikys as the two explore their growing love and how that can coexist with Desdemona, the demon who lives in Penric's mind. This is another winner in Bujold's already strong series. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary. (Feb.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.
Frightening news sends Nikys, Penric, and Desdemona back into the hostile country of Cedonia to rescue Nikys's mother, who was taken hostage by her brother's enemies.