by Lois McMaster Bujold
Review by Gayle Surrette
Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc. Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B01MRF794N
Date: 02 November 2016 List Price $3.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Learned Penric of the Bastard's Order is traveling on a secret mission to deliver a letter to a Cedonian general who is rumored to be unhappy, and perhaps willing to accept a position with the Duke of Adria. Penric has never traveled to Cedonia, though one of his demon Desdemona's previous host lived there. On arrival, they barely manage to get out off the ship and begin to explore the city when they are arrested. Somehow someone knows of his mission.
Meanwhile, General Adelis Arisaydai has been accused of treason and is under arrest. His twin sister Nikys is desperate to free her brother and flee. Her brother refuses her helps as he feels the truth will out and he'll be exonerated. He was spectacularly wrong.
Now Penric must get himself out of prison and Nikys must somehow save her stubborn brother. Eventually the two threads of the story combine for a thrilling chase, lots of misunderstandings, explanations, flirting, the settling of a few scores, some instructions, and a few possibly surprising decisions.
Another fascinating tale of Penric and his demon Desdemona, this novella takes place years after Penric and the Shaman. Penric and Desdemona have developed a comfortable relationship that is even more interesting. The dynamics haven't changed between the two, but the working relationship has grown and become much more as they have come to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. For me the humor and observations of the world around them and their interactions with others add to the tightly plotted story line. I've come to really love this series and hope that there will continue to be more additions to the Penric and Desdemona saga.