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Mira's Last Dance, written by Lois McMaster Bujold and self-published on February 27, 2017 as an e-book is a novella in the World of Five Gods set immediately after Penric's Mission.


Publisher's Summary[]

In this sequel to the novella “Penric’s Mission”, the injured Penric, a Temple sorcerer and learned divine, tries to guide the betrayed General Arisaydia and his widowed sister Nikys across the last hundred miles of hostile Cedonia to safety in the Duchy of Orbas. In the town of Sosie the fugitive party encounters unexpected delays, and even more unexpected opportunities and hazards, as the courtesan Mira of Adria, one of the ten dead women whose imprints make up the personality of the chaos demon Desdemona, comes to the fore with her own special expertise.

Plot Summary[]

The tale begins with Penric, Nikys, and Arisaydia continuing their flight from Cedonia. Having reached the northern parts of the country, they rested a few days, then got a ride to the town of Sosie. There, they found the temple was already in use over the night - they would not be able to spend the night there, nor would Penric be able to replenish their money by stealing from it.

However, while searching for another place for the night, Penric discovered that the local brothel had a problem with crab lice, and he was willing to trade help for help - if Madame Zihre would take him and his companions in, he would rid the home of the lice. Once inside, he saw she had a tumor in her left breast, and offered to treat her for it - no charge because he could not promise the treatment would be a cure. She agreed to help him disguise himself and Nikys and Arisaydia; he was to tranform into a female courtesan (with aid from Mira within Desdemona), and they would wear matching tabards and masquerade masks to conceal the fact that they were concealing Arisaydia's injuries.

Penric's first experiment with his new looks and the name Sora Mira of Lodi worked to fool Arisaydia for five minutes; encouraged, Nikys and Penric spent the rest of the day sewing matching tabards for herself and Arisaydia. Penric then spent the early portion of the night delousing Madame Zihre's customers, to help reduce future problems for the brothel. After, he decided to practice as Mira for a time in the brothel's central garden; this resulted in him attracting the attention of General Egin Chadro, head of the local brigade and somebody who would definitely recognize Arisaydia on sight.

Mira decided to trap him in a room with herself - when he asked for her company for the evening, she agreed, subject to the requirement that he would place himself entirely in her hands. They spent the evening alone in one of Madame Zihre's rooms; Nikys and Arisaydia worried in their own room.

Penric returned two hours later, having succeeded in giving Chadro a very good time. Chadro delivered to them a large sum of money in payment for the night's activities. They left the following day and headed north for the border with Orbas; Chadro chased after. He caught up to them shortly before the border; he tried to persuade Sora Mira to marry him. Penric/Mira gently turned him down, and he provided an escort to the border. Once across, they found their way to the Duke of Orbas and were accepted into his service.

Major Characters[]

Supporting Characters[]

  • Madame Zihre
  • General Egin Chadro

The Gods[]

Behind the scenes[]