Penric and the Bandit (Penric & Desdemona) de Bujold, Lois McMaster

de Bujold, Lois McMaster - Género: English
libro gratis Penric and the Bandit (Penric & Desdemona)


Bujold, Lois McMaster Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc, Year: 2024

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Om nom nom, get in my belly.

Another belter of P&D

Quite pleased that I was off sick today and could read all this in one go inbetweem feeling awful. Made for a much nicer day that it would have otherwise been. 20246 s Jill Vassilakos-long13 3

Roz has left his old life a number of times:
* first sent by his village into the military,
* then deserted from the military, and
* finally (maybe finally) run away from his life as part of a gang of bandits.
When he left the bandits, he took a string of mules to sell to fund a new life. The bandits want the mules back, and are looking to make Roz's death a memorable example to anyone else who considers crossing them.

Roz meets an odd blond man, who says he is hunting for treasure. With enough coins, maybe Roz could buy off the bandits trailing him, or at least distract them while he escapes...

I loved this, it's always a treat to see Pen and Des in action, and the befuddlement and astonishment of those who meet them is so much fun. This story had several passages that reminded me of A Civil Campaign - so I think I'm going to re-read that next. I'm already looking forward to it. 5 s1 comment Mother Winter16

Bujold does it again

What can I say other than Bujold is an amazing author. Pen and Dez have an old map searching for a treasure. Pen gambles for an unexpected prize. The white gods gifts are as always ambiguous. 3 s Emily45

Such a delight!

So happy to spend more time with Desdemona and Pen! A great adventure with the best kind of treasure, and an uplifting and redemptive ending! 3 s Emily114 3

Wholesome wholesome. A breath of fresh air.

Repentance and atonement and choosing a new path (with some help, of course).2 s Olga GodimAuthor 12 books80

That was one of the simplest of Penric stories. No philosophy, no soul-searching, just a straightforward fantasy adventure crafted by a master. A quick and absorbing read. fantasy-scifi2 s Aleksandra JanuszAuthor 17 books76 Read

Siedziałam sobie przedwczoraj nieco zdołowana ostatnimi wydarzeniami w świecie literackim, postanowiłam się odtruć. Idę na mojego Kindla, sprawdzić, czy mam może ochotę przeczytać to dołujące urban fantasy, które ostatnio kupiłam.
A tu nagle!
Nowy Penric!
No i wieczór z głowy.
Chciałabym was trochę zarazić moim entuzjazmem do nowelek (i jednej powieści) o sympatycznym uczonym, czarodzieju, uzdrowicielu, detektywie, tricksterze i dosłownym wcieleniu chaosu z demonem w głowie (raczej - grecki daimon, niż chrześcijanskiego typu demon) w świecie mniej więcej wczesnego średniowiecza/późnej starożytności. Warto.

The new Pernic novella is a welcome comeback to the wacky shenanigans of the titular pair - a sorcerer and his demon. I'm glad that Pernic has adventures even when his life is happy and somewhat stable. He is more decisive at using his abilities now - this is a subtle personality shift that comes from his need to defend his family, his occasional ward (in this case, the hapless and initially unaware bandit), and his own life because he can't just die on them yet. By doing this, he is still the same mix of awesome and vunerable.1 Snonono76 1 follower

Very happy with the most recent addition to the Pen & Des novella series - Pen collecting strays is a joy to read about, as always.

Favorite moments:

* Des offering a prayer on Pen's behalf
* Pen gambling away olive pits in consideration to their household budget and sensible wife
* Pen finding the ultimate treasure in scrolls while Roz found despair
* this coming in the middle of my Vorkosigan re-read, Pen saying "Just so." made me smile
* Des chiding Pen on being too ambitious in his soul-saving efforts, in exasperation as well as fondness

I am beyond grateful that LMB is still writing in her semi-retired state, and thrilled that we got two novellas in one year.
And yet, I'm greedy for more and hope we get to see more of Pen's home life soon, hopefully with some mention of Roz doing accounting for the Bastard's order.

Two thumb taps to the lips for that.This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.Show full review1 Amanda165 20

This is less a review of the this novella and more a long rambling essay about generation approaches, systemic issues, and theology.

First, let me say that I love LMB. She's a grande dame of genre fiction for a good reason. The Vorkosigan books are probably the best space opera of the era and I love the meditation on the numinous and on morality that are the Penric books (and Curse of Chalion). The Pen-Des books are some of my comfort reading and I reread them this week because it's been a rough week (you, in the future, may know how the 2024 election turns out. On the side of humanity, I hope. I, right now, a week from Biden's disastrous debate, am deeply uncertain.) I didn't happen to know that there was a new Penric book coming out, so that was a serendipidous surprise at the end.

Another of my comfort reads in the Temple of the White Rat books by T Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon. I reread those right before the Pen/Des reread because they work well together -- you can cosplay a devotee of The Bastard AND The Temple of the White Rat at the same time!

However, I feel the proximity shone a light on some flaws in LMB's writing that I'd noticed before, but never in such stark relief. Trying to put my understanding of those flaws into words is this rambling essay.

(First: a disclaimer: I hate redemption stories. Hate them a flat tire. They irk me. This was a pretty crappy redemption story at that. But I was thinking of this essay before I knew this novella existed.)

First, her characters are rarely just folks. Pen is a lord (youngest son of a minor lord but still). His wife is the twin of a genius general. The general is engaged to a brilliant, beautiful, incredibly wealthy heiress. Miles and Ivan are second and third in line for the throne of a planet. Aral is a brilliant general. Cordelia is a survey captain and of course brilliant. Even Des is the oldest, bestest, most amazingest demon in the world.

Money and resources are only ever temporary problems until you can access the Mothership (family, the Imperial treasury, the Duke of Orban, the temple) and get more. Everyone lives remarkably comfortable lives when they aren't having adventures.

I mean, I get it -- that's part of the mid-century tradition from which she comes. Stories were supposed to focus on extraordinary individuals and her worlds you can't really be extraordinary without starting from a very elevated position.

Because her worlds are unrelentingly capitalist. I find it exhausting how capitalist her worlds are. And how little anyone gaf about that. , in the Pen books, he makes those two wharf rat friends who are living on the very ragged edge of poverty -- in fact, they are part of a whole class of people, she implies, who are just know to be living on the ragged edge of poverty. And Penric, this amazingly powerful man, he... feed them when he needs information.

Roz, in this book, was essentially sold to an army as a tax for his town and abused by work gangs and army units a. Until he deserted and became a bandit. And she gestures at this as a backstory but there's no acknowledgement of the larger, systemic issues at play here. Just, , welp, hard cheese for you, look to your gods and become a better person. Bootstraps, lad.

, the temple "does what it can" but what it can do is apparently very very limited and no one seems to care?

I guess the Elder Vorkosigans do try to make the world better but ... they aren't the main characters? Miles is. And he's mostly trying to protect the power systems that just happen to benefit him and his. Aral are Cordelia are out to save the Rightful Heir.

So, for that matter, is Penric. I mean, it *just so happens* that his little missions for the White God wind up keeps a Celdonian imperial family in power (Assassin) and restoring the general to power. He just happens to wipe out a troublesome pirate nest while trying to save two orphan girls. Caz just happens to save an imperial family while trying to undo the Curse of Chalion. (I dis Hallowed Hunt and Paladin and I haven't read those recently enough to remember.)

The plots are mostly very invested in keeping the status quo and not terribly interested in doing big systemic changes that would help folks. That is kinda icky from a theological pov, when you think about it.

Also, her world is very... European. I mean, the Penric world is clearly last empire Rome --flipping the cardinal directions doesn't hide that we're talking about the Med here. And I'm pretty sure everyone in the Vorkosigan novels is pretty damned white.

Which, in the case of the Vorkosigan books, is def a product of the time and place she wrote them. I mean, SFF in the 80s and 90s wasn't, you know, known for its multiracial equality. (Though the Chalion books were much later and they are still remarkably white and I feel she thought she was being exotic by setting her stories in Spain, Italy, Switzerland instead of England and France.)

But that gets a little... icky when you consider the Roknari. Look they are from the archipelago (not Europe!). They wear oiled ringlets, have bronze skin, and they reject the Bastard. Given the entire focus of the series on the numinous, that feels a choice that's very Othering and I am uncomfortable with the way she's drawn them. I should have better words for why but I'm failing.

There's also a trajectory to her stories that I find disconcerting. Everyone. Winds. Up. Coupled (or Throupled). Up. Preferably with kids.

Miles & Ekatarine, sure. Even Pen & Nikys. Even I guess Cordelia and Aral. But when she write Gentleman Jolie and the Red Queen to give Cordelia more babies and a partner (who has his own babies), when she engineers a demon baby for Des, when Caz married a teenager 20 years his junior.... it feels relentless?

, sure, Aral may have stepped out on Cordelia (without her consent, which is glossed over uncomfortably) but don't worry they pair up in the end. she was playing with Arisaydia marrying the heiress with also has a boyfriend/servant (who is much older than she is again... icky) but he's castrated so it's OK, it's still a couple.

And the wives are so often very powerful but *in their sphere*. These brilliant men go off into the world and these brilliant women do brilliant things *at home* while raising kids and supporting these brilliant men. Watching Cordelia give up so much to raise Gregor and Miles was wincing painful. And sure Pen and Aral are involved dads but they're involved dads the way Boomer men were involved dads -- it never dawns on either to be the primary caregiver.

But but these are patriarchal worlds! I know. And that's... fundamentally what I'm getting at I think. She's created worlds that are very much echoes of the mid-20th-century Midwest where she grew up. She's spent a lot of time reimagining things but the fundamentals don't change -- Eurocentric, capitalism, patriarchy, nuclear family and heteronormativity. She's fiddling at the edges with stuff, sure but her changes, which seemed radical in my 20s, seem in sufficient right now.

This is at least in part because of the moment in history we're in. The idea of fighting for the status quo seems evil in a time when fascism is rising, economic inequality is at a literal all time extreme, there are mass shootings in the US every day, and climate change is running rampant.

It's also because of the comparison to the Ursula Vernon books. In her world, mousey housekeepers, forgers, perfumers are the heroes. The Paladins are all broken, usually farmhands. There is deep inequality but it's acknowledged. Sure, our heroes wind up paired up -- they are explicitly romances after all, where LMB's books are not -- but Stephen and Grace are living very separate lives after all. None of the women give up their jobs (except maybe Halva? But she'll keep the house and have to do the same housekeeping.)

The Temple of the White Rat seems more effective at dealing with things than the Five Gods temples. The gods in Vernon's world are more limited but they are more ... caring. I really dis that LMB handwaves a lot of horrors b/c her gods "don't care about the material world." Really? That seems a shitty ass cop out and I gotta ask -- then why the hell does the material world exist?

And most of the main characters don't have much power but when they get some -- I'm thinking Marguerite her but also Slate -- they are overturning empires and upending power structures, not preserving them.

I still love (most of) the Penric books. But they are feeling more more a product of a time and place that isn't relevant anymore. 3 s2 comments ~♥*Marianna*♥~841 51

Somehow, despite being on goodreads almost everyday I sometimes miss to anticipate releases from my favourite authors! I was so surprised to see this book published and ready to buy when I browsed through my “Recently Released” section. I very happily bought it and read it quickly today. I actually don’t think I’ve bought any book before by this author despite the fact she’s one of my ult faves.

It just so happened that I found her only a few years ago and most of her works are available through Libby in my local libraries. So this might’ve been my first buy from her but I’m so deep in love now I didn’t worry about it at all. I did give this book just four stars, not for any disappointment but because my favorites in this series are the ones that have the hero go through some character growth whereas this one is more of a ‘side quest’ kind of story focusing on the growth of a new character through Penric’s help. I still enjoyed it and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it again in the future.

I am so surprised by how this has become one of my favourite series. The almost underwhelming nature of the first book disguises how good this series gets. I don’t even remember how I decided to continue reading it after giving the first book just an average 3 star rating. Now, I reread even that book with a lot of enjoyment almost every year. This series really shouldn’t be missed especially what with the author adding to it now almost every year, sometimes twice a year! Thank you Mrs. Bujold! <3 Jonathan Palfrey532 17

This story is similar in some ways to The Orphans of Raspay, in that Penric and Desdemona are travelling abroad without other company; they meet someone in need of help; and they also meet people who are armed and hostile. However, the two stories differ in many details.

This one makes a good story, I enjoy it. But it’s rather lacking in congenial characters, apart from Penric and Desdemona. There are none of the characters we know from previous stories, and most of the new characters that appear in it are either unpleasant or unmemorable.

Penric is glad to get home after his travels. I wonder what adventure awaits him next. KaraAuthor 25 books87

I gobbled this up in one sitting, no regrets.

A treasure hunt goes disastrously wrong - or does it? A delightful Penric and Desdemona adventure - with the added bonus of getting an outsider's point-of-view, showing just how crazy Penric looks to someone who doesn't know about Desdemona. It also shows just how powerful Penric is and how much he holds himself back - a truly good soul not to have been corrupted by that much power. fantasy1 Kathryn M101

Actual rating: 4.25-4.5

I always enjoy Bujold's Penric novellas, and this one was no exception. I d it better in fact than the one before (Demon Daughter) - I thought the plot was stronger, there was more genuine tension and real stakes, and I thought (not for the first time) that these stories are more interesting when they are Penric-out-the-world rather than Penric-the-family-man-at home. Overall, no complaints from me, a great read.fantasy Paula Lawson10 1 follower

Penric never disappoints

Another wonderful Penric and Desdemona story. I love these. If you've never read them start with Penric and the Demon and keep going. There is so much of what is good in humanity in these stories, with a sly sense of humor and a lot of adventure. Pure gold. William Howe1,562 68

damn that’s good

Just a novella, but it’s such high quality…on the one hand it’s a palate cleanser. On the other hand, it makes a *lot* of the full novels I am reading weaker by comparison. The prose is so tight and meaningful, words chosen to purpose and not just because.

I pretty much buy everything she releases. Howard Brazee772 10 Read

I have to read these as soon as they come out. (And order them as soon as they're announced).

Wonderful novelettes in a fantasy world of 5 gods. But start with the first one, and read them in order. There are also some novels that take place in the same world that were written before this series, but you can't go wrong starting with Penric's Demon and going on from there. Kathleen144

Pending & Desdemona out adventuring

Following lost treasure encounter bandits . Peptic dons his ecclesiastical hat and attempts to Dave a soul. Pen and Des ate such intriguing and able characters! Demon ridden sorcerer that he is Pen has more compassion than entire religions. These books are always well crafted and highly entertaining. Liz1,641 44

Any opportunity for a new Penric is fun, even if it is very obvious that Bujold is continuing her "what is the worst thing that I can do to this character" approach to stories.
Also "how bad of a situation can I put the sorcerer who can't kill into and still get him out?"
Could you imagine if Aish had Penric's skill with kiruv, though?21st-century fantasy novella-ette Jean Kipper17

Best SF Fantasy Writer of All

Lois McMaster Bujold is reliably one of the best storytellers I've found. And her work is impeccable. No strange homonyms, no dangling dead ends, no weird spelling. You are always guaranteed a rollicking fun time with excellent protagonists, strong bright women, and ideas that go beyond the books! Go Lois! Jill Carroll336 1 follower

Aaaaaahhh. Okay, I know it’s only a novella BUT it’s Pen and Des, just taking a little break, away on the tiniest not-actually-a-quest, noodling along (moisturized, happy, in their lane…), possibly making things a wee bit better for some poor sod. Aaaaahhhh, I needed this.fantasy John T.7

Learned Penric Saves a Bandit

This is another heartwarming tale of how Penric and Desdemona step into a mess and work their way out, helping a repentant bandit out as well. I have enjoyed the entire series. Mark Reynolds5

Maybe the best yet!

I’ve been reading and rereading the Penric novellas since the start. Penric does it again! You’ll get no spoilers from me, but you really should be reading the Penric series. I especially enjoyed this book. Buy it. You’ll love it. igorama80 1 follower

Another great addition to the series. Penric is looking for treasure and the bandits are looking for Penric. More action oriented and less philosophical than the previous two entries, it nevertheless concerns life choices and the value of education, while gleefully dealing demonic retribution.1 David Harriss447 7

Odd and fun

As usual, Penric and Desdemona get into some trouble while finding a secret and helping a stranger. The stranger is interesting and different, the trouble gets messy, and the solution gets chaotic.
I really enjoyed this one. Recommended. A Matera1 review

Short but always sweet.

Another delightful romp for Penric and Desdemona. My only complaint is having to leave them behind too soon (though all Peptic novelas make me feel this way)! Elorin Achiad108

A bandit meets up with Penric and decides to sell the gull for his own freedom from his bandit gang. Penric is searching for a lost treasure and decides to save a soul on the way. Hijinx ensue.
I d meeting Roz and seeing Penric at work. I hope there's a follow up story. V Louise22 1 follower

Another wonderful book

This new adventure of Peptic and Desdemona is just a good as the last ones. Penric takes a vacation searching for a lost temple in the hope of finding a treasure of books. And he and Desdemona encounter some bandits

encounters bandits. E.M. Farmer98

Ms. Build just keeps going and going.

The golden goose ends up being the sly fox. I felt so sorry for the bandit. He thought he had a fat victim and ended up, as usual with Penric, a bewildered follower.
Exciting adventure and funny comedy. Sharon L. Parker4

Another great Penric story

Such a treat to get these fun short stories from a great author. Bujold could rest on her well earned laurels, but seems to have fun keeping her talent producing little gems Willuknight Stewart87 3

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