Return to Chalion
Penric’s Demon (Penric & Desdemona, volume 1)
By Lois McMaster Bujold
Bujold returns to the world of Curse of Chalion in the 2015 novella, Penric’s Demon.
Penric is a lesser son of impoverished bluebloods, a harmless fellow whose greatest value to his family is marital: he can score some much-needed dosh by marrying Prieta, the daughter of a wealthy cheese merchant. This is a pleasant enough prospect. Not only will the marriage restore a measure of financial stability to the House of Jurald, but Prieta is herself a charming armful, someone with whom Penric can easily see himself spending a happy life.
Alas, there will be no curvaceous cheese merchant’s daughter for Penric and no financial windfall for the House of Jurald — Penric is sabotaged by his own good nature.
It begins with a dying woman by the side of the road.