Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold

This short novella takes Penric on a manhunt, having been sent on this mission with a lawman chasing after a presumed murderer. The path leads to a remote mountain area and, as usual in these type of stories, things are not as simple as they originally appeared.

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Typical of Bujold novels the story by itself is not super interesting and the enjoyment comes from the way it is carried out and how the characters interact. Even having not read the earlier story about Penric, I found both him and his “pet” demon Desdemona fascinating. The story starts without preamble and there is not much exposition for new readers but this did not bother me at all.

Writing is, as typical to Bujold’s books, excellent. If you enjoy a well-written, perhaps a bit slower pace story then this one is definitely worth checking out, even if you have not familiar with Bujold’s other works. If you are a fan already, then this should be a no brainer (in fact, this novella reminded me a lot of the “Mountains of Mourning” novella from the Vorkosigan saga.

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