cover image Penric and the Shaman

Penric and the Shaman

Lois McMaster Bujold. Subterranean, $25 (216p) ISBN 978-1-59606-815-5

Bujold follows Penric’s Demon with another brief tale set in her World of the Five Gods, this time combining supernatural sleuthing with finely drawn characters and a panoply of emotions. Four years after the events of the previous novella, Penric is now a learned divine in addition to having previously become a temple sorcerer. Senior Locator Oswyl of the Father’s Order has come to Martensbridge in pursuit of Inglis kin Wolfcliffs, a murder suspect who is also one of the Wealdean royal shamans. Oswyl believes that Penric’s demon (and therefore Penric himself) will be immune to the magically persuasive powers of the shaman. Accompanied by some guardsmen, the pair set off into the hinterlands in pursuit of Inglis, only to find that catching him is the simplest part of their adventure. When Great Beasts, demons, and gods take part in the affairs of mortals, nothing is as it appears. Bujold makes Inglis’s grief and guilt palpable but lightens the mood with Penric’s droll humor. This is a wonderful expansion of her World of the Five Gods. (Mar.)