Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I always enjoy Bujold, who writes smoothly and fluently and gives us wonderful characters. I enjoy some of her books more than others, and this was one of the others, but even Bujold not at her best is still good.
My main issues were pacing and length. There were a lot of skimmable passages of description, and, as this is a novella, it is a bit linear, and only has so much complexity. It would make a great first third of a novel; as a novella, it leaves me underfed.
Two of my favourite Bujolds, The Curse of Chalion and the wonderful Paladin of Souls, are in this setting. One of my least favourite, The Hallowed Hunt, is in another part of it. For me, Penric's Demon falls somewhere in the middle, but towards the good end. I would love to see it expanded into a full novel, though.
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