Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Book Review: The Assassins of Thasalon by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Assassins of Thasalon

Lois McMaster Bujold
Series: Penric and Desdemona (Book 10)
Publication: Self-Published (May 10, 2021)

Description: An unholy attack upon his brother-in-law General Arisaydia pitches sorcerer Learned Penric and his Temple demon Desdemona headlong into the snake-pit of Cedonian imperial politics. But they will not travel alone. The mission from his god brings Penric some of his strangest new allies yet, and the return of some of his most valued old ones.

My Thoughts: Penric would be perfectly content to stay in Vilnoc translating texts and spending time with his daughter and pregnant wife. But when an assassination attempt targets his brother-in-law and the method is unique, Pen's god sends him and Desdemona to Thasalon to solve the problem.

Pen is traveling with a Saint of his order and the would-be assassin who was spared by his god. The saint is Blessed Iroki who would rather be fishing and the assassin is a young woman named Alixtra who was forced into her new career because of threats against her five-year-old son. Alixtra was given a demon by a Learned in the Bastard's order at the urging of Minister Methani who is one of the minor Emperor's regents. She is completely ignorant about demons and what her responsibilities toward them are. As they travel back to Thasalon, Pen gives her a quick course in the theology of demon handling.

Upon arrival, they seek the assistance of Lady Tanar Xarre and her mother. Tanar is the fiancĂ© of Pen's brother-in-law Adelis. She is wealthy and politically connected but not part of Minister Methani's party. She is also excited to pave the way for her fiancĂ© to return to Thasalon. While Pen is more interested in the theological part of his mission and needs to bring the Saint in contact with the rogue Learned Tronio, he realizes that he is neck deep in the political implications too. 

This was another engaging episode in the further adventures of Pen and his demon Desdemona. I really like the relationship between the two of them. I also like Pen as a teacher setting Alixtra on her path of demon-tending. 

The plot was engaging and fast-paced. The world building was excellent and the characters all well-written. 

Favorite Quote:
"Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding. I have a profound need to understand. Everything."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I recently reread all the Penrics, and then did it all again on audio (but this time in internal chronological order). I was delighted when Bujold released this one just as I finished!

    Of course, I celebrated by going on to the audios of Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.


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