Penric's Fox (Penric and Desdemona, #3)
Some eight months after the events of Penric and the Shaman, Learned Penric, sorcerer and scholar, travels to Easthome, the capital of the Weald. There he again meets his friends Shaman Inglis and Locator Oswyl. When the body of a sorceress is found in the woods, Oswyl draws him into another investigation; they must all work together to uncover a mystery mixing magic, murder and the strange realities of Temple demons.

Penric's Fox (Penric and Desdemona, #3) Details

TitlePenric's Fox (Penric and Desdemona, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherSpectrum Literary Agency, Inc
Rating
GenreFantasy, Novella, Fiction

Penric's Fox (Penric and Desdemona, #3) Review

  • Contrarius
    January 1, 1970
    Anyone who has read many of my reviews knows that I'm a huge LMB fan. Nonetheless, I have to give this installment of Penric a big "ehh". This one takes place soon after Penric and the Shaman, which is my second favorite of the Penric tales so far. It's a murder mystery of sorts, complicated by a missing demon. While there are some patented LMB sweet moments and quirky characters, I was not enthralled. Not enough going on, and not enough point to the story.Also: this isn't out in audio yet, so I Anyone who has read many of my reviews knows that I'm a huge LMB fan. Nonetheless, I have to give this installment of Penric a big "ehh". This one takes place soon after Penric and the Shaman, which is my second favorite of the Penric tales so far. It's a murder mystery of sorts, complicated by a missing demon. While there are some patented LMB sweet moments and quirky characters, I was not enthralled. Not enough going on, and not enough point to the story.Also: this isn't out in audio yet, so I actually read the thing -- and yikes, it really needed a good copy edit. I would never have noticed the problems in audio, of course, but verrrry irritating to read. One of the hazards of publishing independently!I'll still be buying the audio version when it comes out, but this one goes at the bottom of my Penric pile.
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityWhen I saw the announcement earlier this week that there was a new Penric and Desdemona novella, I immediately ran (figuratively, of course) to Amazon to buy a copy, and dropped everything to read it immediately. This series of novellas, set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s World of the Five Gods, are absolutely marvelous treats, every single one. And Penric’s Fox is no exception.Penric’s Fox, while being the fifth book in the series in publication order, is actua Originally published at Reading RealityWhen I saw the announcement earlier this week that there was a new Penric and Desdemona novella, I immediately ran (figuratively, of course) to Amazon to buy a copy, and dropped everything to read it immediately. This series of novellas, set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s World of the Five Gods, are absolutely marvelous treats, every single one. And Penric’s Fox is no exception.Penric’s Fox, while being the fifth book in the series in publication order, is actually the third book in the series’ internal chronology, taking place, as the blurb says, about eight months after the events in Penric and the Shaman. And it feels like it takes place a few years before the events of Penric’s Mission.If the above paragraph is a bit confusing, there’s a surefire way to resolve your confusion. Read the series from its marvelous beginning in Penric's Demon, our first introduction to Penric, his demon Desdemona, and a terrific introduction or re-introduction as the case might be, to the World of the Five Gods.Penric, with Desdemona’s cooperation and assistance (and occasional snark from the sidelines) becomes a Learned Divine of the White God, Lord Bastard, the “Master of all disasters out of season”. As the series progresses we see Penric, who is a very young man at the beginning of his tale in Penric's Demon, grow into the change in his fortunes and the unexpected role that has been thrust upon him.While each of his adventures is a bit different, in this particular story Penric finds himself in the midst of a murder investigation. And for once, in spite of his somewhat infamous bad luck, he is the investigator and not the suspected perpetrator. Although, again because of his infamous bad luck, he very nearly becomes one of the victims.Penric and his friend, the shaman Inglis, are called to the scene of a murder, as is their friend Oswyl, one of the local investigators. This case needs all of them. The woman who was definitely murdered by the two arrows in her back, was, like Penric, a Learned Divine of the Lord Bastard. So not only is she dead, but her demon is either dispersed, meaning equally dead, or missing, having jumped into the nearest available host, quite possibly but hopefully not the killer.The demons in this universe carry the accumulated wisdom of all their previous hosts, somewhat like the Trill symbionts in Star Trek. The demon's death would be a great loss, equal in many ways to the murder of the human host, and just as tragic.Inglis the shaman turns out to be necessary to the puzzle because the evidence eventually begins to suggest that the demon jumped into the body of a vixen fox, which may have driven both the demon and the fox more than a bit mad. And of course the local investigator is there to figure out who shot the arrows, murdered the woman, and why.It’s a tangle, that only gets more tangled as the three investigate. What was the motive for the murder? Learned Divines have no property, and the woman’s jewelry and purse were still on her person. She might have been murdered in the hopes that her demon would jump to her killer, but not when death is delivered from that great a distance. Or the killer may have been after the demon’s death, and the woman was just collateral damage.Finding out just who, just why, and just how, will take the combined skills and talents of everyone involved – whatever their powers and whoever their protectors.Escape Rating A-: This is a quick and absolutely marvelous read. The only thing keeping this one from being an A instead of an A- is that it does require previous knowledge of the series. Also, while it is complete within itself, I just plain want more. So there.There’s a part of me that wants to simply squee at this point, but that’s not terribly useful to anyone else.One of the things I love about this series, and this is a bit meta, is that the author has created a religious system that is both well thought out and actually seems to work. Religion is usually glossed over in SF and Fantasy, and mostly seems to either incorporate or bash real-world religions and their adherents. The Five Gods in the World of the Five Gods are not myths, they really do real things in this world. It’s a theology that actually functions. And it’s different in some really neat ways, starting from the personification of the Lord Bastard himself.But the things that make this series work so very well are the characters of Penric and Desdemona themselves. Penric’s perspective is always interesting, frequently humorous, and occasionally more than a bit ass-backward. He’s often the fool who rushes in where those angels fear to tread, but at the same time, he cares so much and tries so hard. Desdemona, in spite of not having a body of her own, truly is a separate character. She acts as a combination of big sister, mother hen, conscience and confessor, in equal portions. Instead of treating the idea of a female demon in a man’s body as a joke, which could have happened and would have spoiled everything, they are truly partners, and it’s wonderful.It is not necessary to have read the Chalion books, from which the World of the Five Gods derives, to enjoy Penric. If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into epic fantasy, or see if the wonderful worlds of Lois McMaster Bujold are your cup of tea, Penric is a great place to start.
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  • Barb in Maryland
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars for this direct sequel to 'Penric and the Shaman'. A review that contains more than "Squeeee" may be forthcoming. Once I come out of my good book coma, that is.ETA: I am so happy the author went back in time to fill in some of the years between 'Penric and the Shaman' and 'Penric's Mission'. Our Penric is still young and optimistic in this one. The plot is a simple mystery--who killed a young Temple sorceress? and why?, with the added what happened to her demon?. Not a spoiler--all is re 5 stars for this direct sequel to 'Penric and the Shaman'. A review that contains more than "Squeeee" may be forthcoming. Once I come out of my good book coma, that is.ETA: I am so happy the author went back in time to fill in some of the years between 'Penric and the Shaman' and 'Penric's Mission'. Our Penric is still young and optimistic in this one. The plot is a simple mystery--who killed a young Temple sorceress? and why?, with the added what happened to her demon?. Not a spoiler--all is resolved and solved by the end. The joy comes from the author's handling of all the characters. A few parts had me in tears; other parts led to gentle laughter.Bujold is incapable of flat writing and it is obvious that she enjoyed writing this one. May she continue to enjoy writing about Penric, so that I can continue to enjoy reading about him.
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  • Ubiquitousbastard
    January 1, 1970
    I kind of love these novellas. They aren't amazing or anything, they're pretty cute and they're short and right now that's what I want from a book. The dialogue is funny enough, the characters are either pretty decent or legitimately good, and did I mention how she gets a whole story contained in less than 200 pages? I appreciate that. I think because she established the main characters well enough in the first two novellas, Bujold can sort of just think up random situations and pop out books ba I kind of love these novellas. They aren't amazing or anything, they're pretty cute and they're short and right now that's what I want from a book. The dialogue is funny enough, the characters are either pretty decent or legitimately good, and did I mention how she gets a whole story contained in less than 200 pages? I appreciate that. I think because she established the main characters well enough in the first two novellas, Bujold can sort of just think up random situations and pop out books based on them, no problem. There isn't any character development in this book, which is fine, because I absolutely didn't need any at this point. Also, there is a fox. More than one fox. I was sold.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Rounded up. 3.5-3.75 stars
  • Sidsel Pedersen
    January 1, 1970
    This was much less fun than the other novellas in this series. I'm guessing it's a matter of a less compelling plot and less rich characters.
  • Trice
    January 1, 1970
    too short! :/:)
  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    PENRIC'S FOX was an entertaining mystery set in the World of the Five Gods. Penric is a scholar and sorcerer who is getting used to being the carrier of a demon - Desdemona. When a temple sorcerer is murdered, Penric is called in to see if he can discover what happened to her demon. His friend Locator Oswyl is in charge of finding out who murdered the sorcerer but Penric gets involved in that part of the case too.This novella is filled with wonderful world building as it creates a world with dem PENRIC'S FOX was an entertaining mystery set in the World of the Five Gods. Penric is a scholar and sorcerer who is getting used to being the carrier of a demon - Desdemona. When a temple sorcerer is murdered, Penric is called in to see if he can discover what happened to her demon. His friend Locator Oswyl is in charge of finding out who murdered the sorcerer but Penric gets involved in that part of the case too.This novella is filled with wonderful world building as it creates a world with demons and animal spirits in a vaguely medieval setting. Penric is a great character. He is interested in learning everything and is madly inquisitive. I love his growing relationship with his demon which is not really the usual sort of relationship between sorcerers and their demons. Since Desdemona came to him in something of an accident, Penric is left to forge his own relationship. He didn't have any preconceived notions about "proper" relationships. This novella, while the most recently published, is actually the third in what is currently a five story series. It made me want to go back and read the rest of the stories because I very much enjoy Penric, Desdemona and their adventures.
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  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    I do like this series, but I thought this was a little thinner than most. I should probably go back and read the one(s) before it again, since I've forgotten some of the references in the text.OTOH, it had foxes, which is always a good thing.
  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful, as the Penric stories always are, although I think the mystery/adventure is slightly less compelling than the previous three. We don't really get to know any new characters in depth, so this is more a visit with old friends (Inglis and Oswyl show up again, in addition to Pen and Desdemona).
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  • Howard Brazee
    January 1, 1970
    If you've been reading Penric's stories, you have to get this. If you haven't started yet, you're missing a joy.
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't find this quite as compelling as the other stories in the series, primarily because I thought it was too clear too quickly who the killer was and Pen seemed too slow on the uptake -- but it's always enjoyable to spend time with him and Des. The addition of new shaman characters and Pen's experiments in shamanic magic continued to build out the world in an interesting way.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    Not "the next chapter" I was expecting, but this younger-Penric mystery was not a disappointment. 3.75 or so on Goodreads's scaleAs usual, Penric and Desdemona are both delightful. There's a murder to solve, with the help of old friends and new, plus interesting discussions comparing the powers and interactions of animal-imbued shamans vs. demon-riding sorcerers, and some ethical debate about how to resolve the unusual, maybe even unprecedented, fox/demon situation, mixed with Bujold's warm chuc Not "the next chapter" I was expecting, but this younger-Penric mystery was not a disappointment. 3.75 or so on Goodreads's scaleAs usual, Penric and Desdemona are both delightful. There's a murder to solve, with the help of old friends and new, plus interesting discussions comparing the powers and interactions of animal-imbued shamans vs. demon-riding sorcerers, and some ethical debate about how to resolve the unusual, maybe even unprecedented, fox/demon situation, mixed with Bujold's warm chuckla and exciting action.The course to the discovery of the murderer is fairly straightforward (if dramatic in climax) after a certain insight/ hypothesis is made, but the dénouement has its more serious moments, as Penric and a friend/colleague of the victim both must determine where they will draw the line between "could" (sorcerers can do a lot, forbidden or not) and "would" (given grave consequences internal and/or imposed), re. what the unrepentant killer deserves. Although Penric has not yet experienced the soul-crushing impossible-healing assignment we learn weighs him down by the time of the sequence starting with Penric's Mission, he does see here the grim and wasteful reality of selfish, irrational crime. His elderly, noble employer offers some pragmatic comfort.Clearly, I appreciated many aspects of the story, both light and thought-provoking, but I do need to mention a couple more elements that nearly made me mark it down to a Goodreads 3.5. One thing true of this novella, more than I recall occurring in the other Penric stories, was that at a number of points, I was forcefully reminded of LMB's other series'. Penric is very different from Miles Vorkosigan, but he shares a near-identical musing about how more responsibility/ authority surprisingly leads to LESS freedom. Penric is equally different from Dag Redwing, but there was a major controlled application of sorcerous power in the end that was perhaps too reminiscent of one "groundsetting". I'm not sure how I feel about that. Also, despite his charming reluctance to betray the stray demon or even the fox, Penric's academic curiosity is quite open to the possibility of experimentation on lower animals such as mice — and come to think of it, Dag experimented using mice, too, though I'm not sure he let any of his subjects actually die, as would be required for the procedure Penric considers.Anyway, I'll still leap just as quickly when I see the next Penric & Desdemona tale announced as I did this time, whether it's another fill-in of the years previously skipped over, or progress on his tentative romance. Even if they don't quite reach the "I LOOOVED it" level of the first, the characters and writing are still ahead of most the offerings out there in the Kindle-verse.
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  • Book Gannet
    January 1, 1970
    I make no secret of my love for this author, the World of the Five Gods in particular, and this delightful series in which new installments keep popping up without much warning like the best of happy bubbles. If you’re new to this series, this is a direct sequel to Penric and the Shaman and takes place almost a decade before Penric’s Mission. So if you like to read in chronological order then the series currently goes:#1 Penric’s Demon#2 Penric and the Shaman#3 Penric’s Fox#4 Penric’s Mission#5 I make no secret of my love for this author, the World of the Five Gods in particular, and this delightful series in which new installments keep popping up without much warning like the best of happy bubbles. If you’re new to this series, this is a direct sequel to Penric and the Shaman and takes place almost a decade before Penric’s Mission. So if you like to read in chronological order then the series currently goes:#1 Penric’s Demon#2 Penric and the Shaman#3 Penric’s Fox#4 Penric’s Mission#5 Mira’s Last DanceBut thanks to that long gap between 3 and 4, this is unlikely to be definitive.Regardless of that, this will work best if you have read Penric and the Shaman, simply because we get to revisit some old friends as Penric and his chaos demon stumble (or are more likely sent) into a new adventure. Once again it’s murder, but this time it’s a sorcerer like Penric – which means there’s a lost demon in the mix.I love this world and I adore Penric and Desdemona, so it’s always a treat getting to learn more about them. With them still relatively new in their life together, there’s still much for them both to learn about their abilities and powers, but I love how good a team they make. Penric seems full of boundless compassion for everything he encounters – human, animal, demon – while Desdemona’s wit and protectiveness helps balance out his slightly too caring side with a ruthless vicious streak. These two bring me so much joy.The plot itself this time around is perhaps a little too straightforward, with many clues standing out quite starkly and a few lucky coincidences here and there. However, I really enjoyed seeing more shamans and learning a bit more about their craft. It was also great to see more of Oswyl, Inglis and the Princess-Archdivine. There’s nothing too complicated or surprising here, but it still makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.If you’re an old fan of LMB or the Five Gods, you’ll probably have bought this already. If you’re new and it all sounds rather intriguing, do yourself a favour and start with Penric’s Demon. You don’t have to read in order to enjoy this series, but there’s a lot more to savour that way. Here’s hoping another surprise tale will pop up before too long.
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  • S.J. Higbee
    January 1, 1970
    The observant among you may have noticed that this latest addition to the Penric and Desdemona series does not follow on from the last book. However, it really didn’t make all that much difference to my enjoyment as there were no spoilers in the subsequent stories to compromise my reading experience.Penric is inhabited by an old and very powerful chaos demon, Desdemona, who can provide him with supernatural powers and regularly needs feeding with the souls of dead creatures. Penric normally obli The observant among you may have noticed that this latest addition to the Penric and Desdemona series does not follow on from the last book. However, it really didn’t make all that much difference to my enjoyment as there were no spoilers in the subsequent stories to compromise my reading experience.Penric is inhabited by an old and very powerful chaos demon, Desdemona, who can provide him with supernatural powers and regularly needs feeding with the souls of dead creatures. Penric normally obliges by ridding any dwelling where he resides of fleas, lice, mice and rats. So he is shocked when he comes across the body of a fellow sorceress alone in the woods. The question then has to be – what has happened to her demon? In addition to tracking down a clearly dangerous and inventive murderer, Penric needs to discover what has happened to a traumatised demon who may be hitching a ride on a woodland animal.Bujold is very good at packing a lot of story into a relatively short read. While I appreciate and draw on previous knowledge of the character, I believe that if anyone reads this book as a standalone, they won’t find themselves floundering. An extra twist to this tale is that Penric has the assistance of a couple of shape-shifting shamans who know the woods well. It was interesting to see how these differently talented characters fitted into this established world and worked alongside Penric.As ever, the pacing of the story is well judged as the tension rises. This isn’t a classic whodunnit as we have a fair idea who the culprit may be well before the end. But the manner in which the denouement occurs and the story wrapped up is skilfully handled. This is another well-written, thoroughly enjoyable addition to this quality series and is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys first-class fantasy with a difference.9/10
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    Did demons mourn? Oh, yes, breathed Des. It is not something we come into the world knowing, as elementals. But we learn. Oh, how we learn. [loc. 1662]This novella begins some eight months after the events of Penric and the Shaman : Penric has become friends with Inglis, and is visiting him -- and trying to learn shamanic magic -- when both are sought out by Senior Locator Oswyl. A local sorceress has been murdered, and he needs to find the murderer. Penric, though, is more interested in the fa Did demons mourn? Oh, yes, breathed Des. It is not something we come into the world knowing, as elementals. But we learn. Oh, how we learn. [loc. 1662]This novella begins some eight months after the events of Penric and the Shaman : Penric has become friends with Inglis, and is visiting him -- and trying to learn shamanic magic -- when both are sought out by Senior Locator Oswyl. A local sorceress has been murdered, and he needs to find the murderer. Penric, though, is more interested in the fate of the dead sorceress' demon ...Bujold explores the system of shamanic magic, which also features in The Hallowed Hunt (a novel I confess I didn't get along with) throughout this novella. Penric's fascination -- he's still ravenous for knowledge -- is infectious, and I think Inglis' explanations are rather clearer than in the earlier work. But what I found most interesting was the depiction of demon-host relationship(s) from the outside: not Penric and Desdemona (who would be the first to admit that they're not an exemplar of the phenomenon), but the murdered Learned Magal and her demon -- and that demon and their new host. We've previously only seen Desdemona as Penric sees her (as she allows herself to be seen), but the fate of Magal's demon makes her unusually forthcoming.It was actually the publication of this novella -- and a friend's anticipatory delight -- that prompted me to start reading the 'Penric and Desdemona' series. Thanks, V!
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed the return of Shaman Inglis and Locator Oswyl, who we met earlier in Penric and the Shaman, in the most recently released Penric & Desdemona novella Penric's Fox. That said, new readers can begin the Penric books with Penric's Fox, as it stands enough on its own, and then read Penric and the Shaman. Penric's Fox is the fifth Penric & Desdemona novella. Rather than being listed as number 5, I think that the author made the correct decision to list it as number 3 becau I very much enjoyed the return of Shaman Inglis and Locator Oswyl, who we met earlier in Penric and the Shaman, in the most recently released Penric & Desdemona novella Penric's Fox. That said, new readers can begin the Penric books with Penric's Fox, as it stands enough on its own, and then read Penric and the Shaman. Penric's Fox is the fifth Penric & Desdemona novella. Rather than being listed as number 5, I think that the author made the correct decision to list it as number 3 because the story continues characters from the second novella Penric and the Shaman. The World of the Five Gods is one of my favorite worlds. The Father, the Mother, the Daughter, the Son, and the Bastard sometimes decide to take a very personal interest indeed in their worshipers. As in making a personal appearance at times. And I like the fact that there is room for both sorcerers and shamans in this world. In Penric's Fox we get to meet several more shamans and appreciate what abilities shamans possess versus what abilities sorcerers have. Penric's sorcerer abilities, of course, come courtesy of Desdemona. I have also especially enjoyed the developing relationship between Penric and his chaos demon Desdemona. I highly recommend the Penric and Desdemona series to those, like me, who enjoy character-driven fantasy and well-crafted tales!
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    Another in the novella-length Penric series, which takes place in the same universe as Bujold's longer Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt books. Penric is a cleric of the Bastard god and a sorcerer (by virtue of the demon Desdemona, which shares his body). And gosh, I still just plain *like* Penric and Des. I would happily tag along and watch them do just about anything. Here, they investigate a murder. A divine has been killed, and the demon which shared her body is missi Another in the novella-length Penric series, which takes place in the same universe as Bujold's longer Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt books. Penric is a cleric of the Bastard god and a sorcerer (by virtue of the demon Desdemona, which shares his body). And gosh, I still just plain *like* Penric and Des. I would happily tag along and watch them do just about anything. Here, they investigate a murder. A divine has been killed, and the demon which shared her body is missing. Penric (along with some friends from earlier books) must investigate and try to find the demon before it is lost for good. Not much more to say. An easy read, though one that might well be confusing without a basic understanding of the five-fold religion that was set up in earlier stories. So go back, read the earlier books (which are SO good), and then enjoy this one.
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  • Fayley
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always happy to read something by Lois McMaster Bujold. Even in these "Penric and Des" novellas, she still drops little jewels from the lips of her characters, like this gem from the princess archdivine:“Think of this visit as an opportunity for a different kind of learning, then. Another day will put some other plate on your table, more to your taste, but do not waste the food in front of you.”If you are new to LMB then this isn't the place to start, but established fans will enjoy this tas I'm always happy to read something by Lois McMaster Bujold. Even in these "Penric and Des" novellas, she still drops little jewels from the lips of her characters, like this gem from the princess archdivine:“Think of this visit as an opportunity for a different kind of learning, then. Another day will put some other plate on your table, more to your taste, but do not waste the food in front of you.”If you are new to LMB then this isn't the place to start, but established fans will enjoy this taste of her writing. In this series, I prefer the stories that have more of Desdemona in them than this did, but for me anything written by LMB is a comfort read.
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  • Wynand Schoonbee
    January 1, 1970
    I was a little bit disappointed. This novella reminded me somewhat of LMB's 'Mountains of mourning' short from the Miles Vorkosigan series, but with much less emotional impact and a more predictable outcome. And do go and read 'Mountains of mourning' if you haven't yet, it's wonderful!While I did enjoy this step back in the chronological order I perhaps would prefer a proper novel length installment moving our protagonist forward instead.Nonetheless, I'll probably read all the novellas and short I was a little bit disappointed. This novella reminded me somewhat of LMB's 'Mountains of mourning' short from the Miles Vorkosigan series, but with much less emotional impact and a more predictable outcome. And do go and read 'Mountains of mourning' if you haven't yet, it's wonderful!While I did enjoy this step back in the chronological order I perhaps would prefer a proper novel length installment moving our protagonist forward instead.Nonetheless, I'll probably read all the novellas and short stories in the Penric series in proper chronological order in the future and thoroughly enjoy them all!
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  • Regina
    January 1, 1970
    In my opinion not quite on par with the other stories, though that may be related to the fact that it's been a while since I read Penric #2, so I wasn't as familiar with some of the characters as I might have been if I'd read them back to back. Still, it's always good to spend more time with Pen and Des, seeing how they develop and grow together over time. I also enjoyed seeing more of Inglis and Oswyl as well as meeting new characters. Overall there were enough moments that had me grinning out In my opinion not quite on par with the other stories, though that may be related to the fact that it's been a while since I read Penric #2, so I wasn't as familiar with some of the characters as I might have been if I'd read them back to back. Still, it's always good to spend more time with Pen and Des, seeing how they develop and grow together over time. I also enjoyed seeing more of Inglis and Oswyl as well as meeting new characters. Overall there were enough moments that had me grinning out loud. :)
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  • Sha
    January 1, 1970
    Penric the Sorcerer and Inglis the Shaman are recruited by Locator (think Police Inspector) Oswyl to help him out with a murder investigation. A temple sorceress has been found dead, and the demon who gave her powers is missing. Sorcerers being notoriously hard to kill and demons being agents of chaos let loose into the world, these are worrying events. Chronologically the third novella in Bujold's Penric and Desdemona series, Penric's Fox focuses more on the World of the Five Gods than it does Penric the Sorcerer and Inglis the Shaman are recruited by Locator (think Police Inspector) Oswyl to help him out with a murder investigation. A temple sorceress has been found dead, and the demon who gave her powers is missing. Sorcerers being notoriously hard to kill and demons being agents of chaos let loose into the world, these are worrying events. Chronologically the third novella in Bujold's Penric and Desdemona series, Penric's Fox focuses more on the World of the Five Gods than it does on the characters, and I think a person who's read the rest of the Chalion books will have a better idea of the significance of what's happening here than one who doesn't. It's interesting to note how the world has gone from having barely any shamans in The Hallowed Hunt to establishing a Shaman training academy, and Bujold handles the story of murder and revenge with her customary inclination towards justice and compassion.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    This was good!Mostly my thought about this book is: I read #5 in this series several months ago, but this book (#3) was released two weeks ago. How did she only release #3 now? Did she renumber the ordering on the books in my library without telling me? Or did this series always have a hole between #2 and #4?Answer: when I read Mira's Last Dance it was #4 in the series, but now it is #5 in the series. Trickery!
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful! I think the Penric and Desdemona novellas are easiest to understand if one has read the first in the series. That said, I think the rest could be read out of order. The pacing in this one reminded me of outdoor work in summer..enforced steadiness. I love how kind Pen is, the flashes of humor in many characters, the villain's comeuppance, and the open ending.Bujold is always a treat, and this is a refreshing burst of sunshine.
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  • Jonathan
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting mystery in an earlier part of Penric's lifeThis is a murder mystery. Oswin, the Inquirer from Penric's second story, is investigating a sorceress found dead with two arrows in her body. Penric assists.I liked it because it shows some new things about demons and shamans in this world. I also liked the relationship between Penric and the princess he works for. And spending time with Penric and Desdemona is always good.
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  • William
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was an entertaining murder mystery, although not the best of the Penric stories. As ever, Bujold's characterisation is good with some interesting supporting characters and it's also good to see Penric in the middle of the series (since the third and fourth of the previously-published stories are set a few years after this), although knowing how some things end up for him does add a bit of extra depth to the ending of the story.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Penric's Fox is a nice continuation to Penric and the Shaman, my favorite of the Penric tales because it echoes The Hallowed Hunt.What strikes me is Bujold's villain because his motivation is similar to Wencel kin Horseriver's in The Hallowed Hunt: the man who loses his family/power/people and responds with deep, bitter revenge. Part of this doomed character is that he is driven to destroy all that has happened since his tragedy, although he knows that he can never regain what he has lost.
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  • Cat M
    January 1, 1970
    Probably my favourite of the Penric stories so far. Nominally a murder mystery, but there is only ever one obvious suspect. What this is ultimately about is the costs - both physical and spiritual - of violence. Along with some very-Lois-like musings on parenthood and the burden of responsibility.It was nice to see the return of some characters from earlier in the series, and the new information about the shamanic practices was fascinating.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    Oh! There are fox cubs and they are adorable!There's also a murder mystery, but it almost takes second place to all the world building as Bujold develops the different types of magics in her Pen and Des universe and digs in to the consequences of different actions paired with different people and magics.This isn't the most exciting in the series, but there are a lot of lovely details, and I loved seeing more of the Princess-Archdivine.
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  • Karen Knitig
    January 1, 1970
    Another good Penric story!Lois McMaster Bujold always delivers! Another great story in the the saga of Penric, the sorcerer, and Desdemona, his chaos demon. The only downside was that it wasn't available on Audible, as I prefer audiobooks, forcing me to listen to it from the Kindle app and less than satisfactory electronic voice.
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