This is the fifth novella written in the Penric series, but is chronologically # 3 - it takes place after Penric and the Shaman and before Penric's Mission. I was glad to see Bujold go back in time to a less-experienced Penric and Desdemona, and it was a very enjoyable entry in a very enjoyable series. In this story, Penric, Inglis, and Oswyl investigate a murder which involves a demon; both shamans and sorcerers get involved.

Bujold's magic systems continue to be cool, and if you like seeing magic treated with an analytical, scientific approach, this is the series for you. Unusually, it balances that with a type of magic which is more numinous and magical-feeling, which is the Gods themselves. This is one of my very favorite series for benevolent fictional Gods - I love the visits by the Gods, which are consistently long enough to be satisfying and brief/occasional enough to carry weight and not overstay their welcome.

Penric's Fox: Penric and Desdemona Book 3
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