This was a nice interlude – we go back in time to when Pen had recently been forced to leave Martinsbridge. He’s at his first assignment after his disastrous try at the healing arts, and is currently serving as a court sorcerer. It’s in this capacity that he’s called to the local healing center, for an odd case.
What he finds is a young man taken over by a demon, but a very strange demon, one whose prior two rides were in dolphins, and was maddened by that. Pen needs to seek out the local saint of his god, because they are the only ones that can rid people of corrupted demons. The local saint turns out to be a young woman, fairly new to her role, which is interesting for Pen, who has now been a sorcerer for a while.
So this turns into a bit of a detective tale, when the demon ridden young man escapes into a city that sounds a lot like Venice, on the Eve of the Bastard’s festival. It’s good fun, and I also really enjoy when the author touches on the theology of this world – it’s different, and interesting.