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Penric and the Shaman, written by Lois McMaster Bujold and self-published on June 23, 2016 as an e-book is a novella in the World of Five Gods set three to four years after Penric's Demon.


It was nominated for a Hugo in 2017.

Publisher's Summary[]

In this novella set in The World of the Five Gods and four years after the events in “Penric’s Demon”, Penric is a divine of the Bastard’s Order as well as a sorcerer and scholar, living in the palace where the Princess-Archdivine holds court. His scholarly work is interrupted when the Archdivine agrees to send Penric, in his role as sorcerer, to accompany a “Locator" of the Father’s Order, assigned to capture Inglis, a runaway shaman charged with the murder of his best friend. However, the situation they discover in the mountains is far more complex than expected. Penric’s roles as sorcerer, strategist, and counselor are all called upon before the end.

Plot Summary[]

Inglis kin Wolfcliffe, a young shaman-in-training, fled his home in the Weald after an attempt at bestowing a boar's spirit within a friend, Tollin kin Boarford. Just as the effort succeeded, the boar gored Tollin, leaving him dead and his spirit unable to go to the gods. Inglis attached his friend's spirit to his ritual knife and headed north to the Cantons, where he'd heard there were people who bred Great animals who might be able to help save his friend.

By the time he reached the region, he'd lost his horse and collapsed on the mountain pass on the way up. He was collected by some locals with the aid of a Great Dog. He spent the next few days in a grazing/hunting camp, recovering and attempting to learn where the breeder of the Dog could be found.

Meanwhile, Senior Locator Oswyl of the Father's Order was assigned to investigate Tollin's death. He discovered that the death was not accidental; his investigations soon led him to suspect Inglis. Oswyl took off after him, arriving eventually in the Cantons at Martensbridge with no support soldiers or sorcerers. His decision to seek aid from the Princess-Archdivine Llewyn kin Stagthorne led to him receiving a small troop and Penric kin Jurald, a very young sorcerer. Oswyl was openly dubious, but set out to continue seeking Inglis.

The group of them traveled north along Martensbridge's lake, arriving at the town of Whippoorwill. There they found evidence that Inglis had been around and might have traveled north to Chillbeck Vale. Arriving there, they met up with the local temple acolyte, Gallin. He had not seen their charge, but he told them about the recent death of a local hedge shaman, Scuolla, and asked for their help in getting him taken up by the gods - no replacement shaman was present to cleanse his spirit, and the funeral service showed him as sundered.

Inglis then arrived at the temple; Penric took him into custody. The following day, Penric and Gallin took Inglis to the rockfall where Scuolla had been killed. Inglis tried to flee, but Scuolla's dogs redirected his horse and he ended up at the top of the rockfall, and tumbled partway down it.

Penric climbed up to him; Scuolla's ghost came over as well. With help from Penric, Inglis regained his ability to enter the shamanic plane, and cleansed both his friend Tollin and Scuolla for the Son of Autumn, who collected both their souls as His.

They all returned home, where Inglis was put on probation and allowed to remain among the shamans.

Major Characters[]

Supporting Characters[]

Minor Characters[]

Great Animals[]

The Gods[]