cover image The Prisoner of Limnos

The Prisoner of Limnos

Lois McMaster Bujold. Subterranean, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59606-884-1

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.)