Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold audiobook

Penric’s Demon: A Fantasy Novella in the World of the Five Gods

By Lois McMaster Bujold
Read by Grover Gardner

Blackstone Publishing

The Penric & Desdemona Series: Book 4

4.03 Hours 1
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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. Set in the fantasy world of the author’s acclaimed novels The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt, this novella has the depth of characterization and emotional complexity that distinguishes Bujold’s work.

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Summary

Summary

A BookRiot Pick of Must-Read Audiobooks

Finalist for the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novella

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.

Set in the fantasy world of the author’s acclaimed novels The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt, this novella has the depth of characterization and emotional complexity that distinguishes Bujold’s work.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Bujold again captivates with rich characterizations, fascinating world-building, and tense conflict. This story is novella length, and the greatest disappointment a reader may have in it is that it is too short and ends a bit abruptly; this by no means detracts from the worthiness of the story. Fans of the Chalion tales will again be drawn in by the intrigue of the religious dynamics, the fantasy aspects of the ‘magic,’ and the complexity of character that Bujold is so masterful at creating.” RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“Bujold returns to her World of the Five Gods universe with a novella filled with a satisfying blend of strong characters and wry humor…Bujold creates a goodhearted, if somewhat naïve, fellow in Penric and a fascinating, multivoiced character in Desdemona. The banter between the two and the bizarre situation that Penric finds himself in add levity to this fantasy road story.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

by Kat @ FanLit 3/4/2021
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Penric’s Demon: A new Five Gods story!

It's been ten years since Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite authors, published a story set in her FIVE GODS fantasy world. This is the award-wining series that consists of The Curse of Chalion (2001, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award), The Paladin of Souls (2003, Hugo, Nebula, Locus Award) and The Hallowed Hunt (2005). I read these when they were first released, and I loved them, so maybe you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Bujold has written a new novella set in the same world.

I listened to the audio version of Penric’s Demon, read by Grover Gardner. He has become one of my favorite narrators since I listened to him read most of Bujold’s VORKOSIGAN series. As expected, he does a great job with the narration of this four-hour long novella, and I am pleased to recommend this version to you. You don’t need to be familiar with the FIVE GODS world at all since Penric’s Demon stands alone. In fact, it’s a really good introduction to the three novels in the series. The novels, by the way, can be read in any order.

Penric is a young nobleman whose family has lost its fortune. Penric would love to go to the academy to get an education, but instead his poor family has arranged for him to marry the daughter of a rich cheese maker. As he is on the way to secure the betrothal, he comes upon the caravan of an elderly woman who has had a heart attack. When he stops to help her, she dies and Penric falls unconscious.

A day later he wakes up to learn that the old woman was a temple sorceress for the god who is also called “The Bastard.” She was hosting a powerful demon who jumped ship at her death and now resides inside Penric. Humans who host a demon may be able to use its powers to do magic, but a host who isn’t strong enough is likely to be overpowered by the demon. Now everyone is worried that Penric’s body will be taken over by the demon and none of his family or friends wants to touch him. This is bad enough but, in addition, there are other people who have evil plans for Penric and hope to use his misfortune for their gain.

Penric’s Demon is short, so it doesn’t succeed on as many levels as the previous FIVE GODS novels do. The plot is simple and straightforward and, due to time constraints, the characters aren’t explored quite as deeply as we’d expect from Bujold. Still, though, the story is recognizably Bujold’s, with her imaginative world, interesting characters, exciting plot, lovely but succinct prose, and wry sense of humor. I enjoyed the story and was thrilled to be back in Bujold’s fantasy world.

Author

Author Bio: Lois McMaster Bujold

Author Bio: Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold is one of the most honored writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. In 2019 she was named a Damon Knight Grand Master by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, one of science fiction’s highest honors. She has won seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. In 2011 she was awarded the Skylark Award for her significant contribution to science fiction. Hugo awards for Best Series were received by the Vorkosigan Saga in 2017, and the World of the Five Gods in 2018.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Fantasy
Runtime: 4.03
Audience: Adult
Language: English