Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Prisoner of Limnos (Penric & Desdemona #6), by Lois McMaster Bujold

Spectrum Literary Agency, October 2017

Penric and Nikys escaped Patos and made their way successfully to the court of the Duke of Orbas. Penric is reluctant to return to his duties elsewhere, hoping to be reassigned to Orbas so he can continue courting Nikys.

Or trying to. It's not the Nikys isn't interested. She is. But now that she knows that Penric is not just a Temple Divine but a sorcerer, she's very uncomfortable about sharing him with Desdemona, his demon, and Desdemona, of course, can't leave while Penric is alive.

When she gets word that her mother, Idrene, has been arrested by Imperial order and imprisoned in the Daughter's retreat and temple on the island of Limnos, though, there's no one she trusts as much as Penric. The purpose of Idrene's arrest is to put pressure on Nikys' brother Adelis, now the Duke's general. The Duke isn't going to send troops to attack a temple of the Daughter, but he's reasonably happy to generously fund a more surreptitious retrieval effort by Nikys and Penric.

This means going back into Cedonia, from which they have recently escaped, and only by the skin of their teeth.

This is on the one hand the story of a very tricky rescue, and on the other hand, the story of some very tricky relationships. Nikys, Penric, and Desdemona. Nikys and her old friend, Tanar, whom her brother Adelis has been courting. Tanar and her eunuch secretary, Bosha, who may have critical knowledge for this rescue, and whose first, or rather only, priority is keeping Tanar safe. Bosha may also be a factor in Tanar and Adelis' courtship. Nikys, Penric, and Nikys' other brother, Ikos, from before Idrene married Adelis and Nikys' father.

Did I mention that no men are allowed on the island of Limnos? And it's going to need both Nikys and Penric to get Idrene out? And that there are dogs trained to sniff out men in disguise?

It's a very well-done tale, both in terms of the rescue effort, and in the human relationships and the progress of Nikys and Penric's relationship.


I bought this book.

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