Monday, July 29, 2019

The Orphans of Raspay, by Lois McMaster Bujold

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Fantasy Adventure; Five Gods) The pirates who captured Penric’s ship are probably going to regret it, but there are limits to how much destruction a conscientious sorcerer can do, particularly when he wants to help two young orphans. (43,146 words; Time: 2h:23m)

This story probably stands alone without the rest of the Penric and Desdemona stories, but you'll get more out of it if you start with Penric's Demon.

"The Orphans of Raspay," by , published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2019.414 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: As ever, Penric and Desdemona themselves are the big draw in this story, and they do not disappoint. It’s cute that Desdemona’s enormous destructive power isn’t all that useful, since Penric’s real goal is to escape from the island, and he can hardly do that with no ships.

It’s also amusing that he can’t even steal a ship because the sailors are so superstitious about sailing with a sorcerer on board that they keep running off and leaving him behind.

Con: The plot only has a single thread—Penric wants off the island, and he wants to take the girls with him. There’s no real suspense, owing to Desdemona’s matchless power. Nor does Penric do anything really clever to escape: he just gets rescued by his brother-in-law.

Ultimately, this story is fun but forgettable.

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