Penric’s Demon – Lois McMaster Bujold

54b99025fc39419596948506b67434f414f4141This novella is set in the world of The Curse of Chalion, where there are five gods. The fifth god – the Bastard – rules over the demons, who can ride along (and sometimes overtake) people. If those people can control the demon, they’re considered sorcerers.

Young Penric is on his way to his betrothal when he happens upon the party of temple divine. The old lady is dying, and when Penric offers to help, he does not realize that that is an offer for her demon to jump to him.

He wakes up in the temple, his betrothal on hold while everyone figures out what to do with him, and the demon. They begin to talk, and Penric finds her sympathetic. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees, and he’s quickly thrown into the interesting world faced by sorcerers.

It’s a great story, but far too short – I need to seek out more.


Closer to the Heart – Mercedes Lackey

9328b6ba7bfa38d596f32656b77434f414f4141Mags and Amily are both settling into their new roles, and the King has decided to use their wedding as the kind of party where they can have a lot of diplomatic goings on behind the scenes. Mags and Amily don’t really care – so long as the people that are important to them show up, they’ll go along with whatever the court throws at them.

Amily has come up with the idea to give some of the impoverished young woman of the court an opportunity to learn some spycraft and keep an eye on the nobles by being the best handmaids in the kingdom. She’s gotten her first recruit just in time for a diplomatic crisis – someone in the neighboring kingdom of Menmellith is trying to make it look like Valdemar is trying to overthrown their child king. Mags and several others are off into the country to figure out why.

This book is a lot of fun, with Mags and Amily really coming into their own, and with some fun spycraft.

Closer to Home – Mercedes Lackey

075640990x-01-_sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_Mags is now officially a Herald, which means he can truly begin his work becoming a Herald-Spy. He’s got some ideas around that, which includes rescuing a troop of boys that have been coerced into being thieves and putting them to better use as his eyes and ears around Haven.

Where things get a little interesting, and which is actually blurbed on the back cover, so I’m not spoiling anything, is that the King’s Own Herald Nikolas, Mags’ boss, and his sweetheart Amily’s father, nearly dies. In fact, he’s dead long enough that his Companion Rolan is forced to chose a new King’s Own Herald, which ends up being Amily. (Nikolas gets a new Companion – Evory.) Now, in a lot of ways, this makes sense. But it’s just so quickly done in the book, and so matter of fact, is comes off as a bit rushed. Don’t get me wrong, once it gets going, it’s great. But something so momentous just seems like it needed a more momentous treatment.

Garden Notes

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My bigger eggplant is finally setting fruit, and it’s been warm enough I’ll hopefully be able to harvest them.      The kale’s looking amazing.

I pulled out a good chunk of the tomato plants today- they’re just looking ratty.    I also pulled out the khuri squash.    There had been one fruit set that I was giving a chance.    Something took a bite of it over the last couple days.

Bloodhound – Tamora Pierce

547830b09aaf15d592f4f765741434f414f4141It’s funny – the author notes in the acknowledgements that she wasn’t sure a book about counterfeiting was going to be that interesting, but I have not read a book that had me quite on the edge of my seat as this one did in a while.

Beka Cooper’s no longer a trainee in the Provost’s Guard, but she’s been having trouble holding onto a permanent partner. After losing yet another one, she’s back with Goodwin and Tunstall, who were her training partners. She also accidently acquires a scent hound named Achoo. All this just in time for altered silver coins to start showing up in Corus. She and Goodwin are sent to Port Caynn to investigate.

This is in many ways a growing story for Beka – she’s on her own to a degree in a strange town, with new responsibilities. And the counterfeiting plot works really well – it’s actually incredibly action packed. I really enjoyed this book – read it as quickly as I could so I could see what was going to happen next.