Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novella (2016)
Young Lord Penric is a good man from a small village, curious about the world but happy to settle down in a marriage for his family. When he finds a riding accident on the road and stops to help the elderly lady within, she transfers her divine demon to Penric. Upon waking, Penric’s betrothed and his family are happy to see him leave their village to seek the Temple, because his life is no longer his own.
This classic fantasy novella is based in a world from a much larger body of work, including the Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt, and because this is my first foray into the World of the Five Gods, I am not sure I appreciate the story within the grander context. However, I love the twist on the common possession story, as Penric and his demon form a symbiotic link, which gives Penric (and other human symbiotes) the power of magic.
Other than the unusual take on the definition of demon, this novella is a tried-and-true good fun fantasy story. Amiable Penric is honorable, thinks about others before himself, and is easily embarrassed. Together with his snarky, aged, rambunctious female demon, they form a unlikely duo as they learn to work together before those who fear or envy Penric take action against him.
Recommended as a funny and sweet read for fans of traditional high fantasy!
“Pen wanted to ask if becoming a sorcerer made a man more, or less, attractive as a husband, but he had an uneasy feeling that he could guess.”