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The Orphans of Raspay, written by Lois McMaster Bujold and self-published on July 18, 2019 as an e-book is a novella in the World of Five Gods set approximately a year after The Prisoner of Limnos.


Publisher's Summary[]

When the ship in which they are traveling is captured by Carpagamon island raiders, Temple sorcerer Penric and his resident demon Desdemona find their life complicated by two young orphans, Lencia and Seuka Corva, far from home and searching for their missing father. Pen and Des will need all their combined talents of mind and magic to unravel the mysteries of the sisters and escape from the pirate stronghold.

This novella follows about a year after the events of “The Prisoner of Limnos”.

Plot Summary[]

Penric kin Jurald was returning by cargo carrier from Trigonie to his home in Vilnoc, Orbas when a storm hit. In the night after the storm ended, pirates captured the ship and collected the passengers and crew for slaves or ransom. Penric chose not to fight; instead he tossed all evidence of his sorcerous calling overboard in his personal chest and surrendered immediately.

He was bundled onto the pirates' own ship, where he was dropped into a hold that already contained two small girls, Lencia and Seuka Corva. They'd been traveling in search of their father ever since their mother had died, but their caretaker had abandoned them after a short time and then their ship had been captured by pirates.

"Just once, Pen thought glumly, he’d like to get an answer to prayers, instead of being delivered as one."
―Penric's thoughts regarding a lazy Bastard[src]

Penric took them in tow, with the plan of delivering them to Lodi, where their merchant father had apparently gone. His first idea was to get ransomed with the two girls - a nice, simple course of action.

Within a few days, they were delivered to a Carpagamon island, Lantihera, about midway up the archipelago. There, a ransomer and a slaver made bids for the group. Penric and Lencia were chosen by the slaver; Seuka was chosen by the ransomer. Rather than allow them to be split up, Penric chose the following night to escape with them. Another ship and crew had recently been captured and brought to the island, so Penric snuck over to their building and released them, expecting to be permitted to travel with them to escape. However, the crew made it quite clear they did not want a sorcerer on their boat, and fled without him. Thus his second attempt failed.

So he took the girls with him to the local temple. There, they met the local temple servant, Brother Godino; the man was unwilling to take risks on their behalf, but he did manage, after a few days, to find a fisherman willing to take them to Vilnoc. However, when Pen and the girls met with the fisherman and his crew, they discovered that some of the crewmen had turned them in to the Pirate's Guild, and a group of tough men were prepared to arrest the three of them.

Pen and Des cut loose: they took down all the toughs in a matter of moments, then left a wake of fires, released captives, and destroyed ships on their way to a rowboat and from there to Captain Falun's pirate ship with the idea of rescuing captives there and getting them to take him to Vilnoc. As it turned out, Falun hadn't loaded on any human cargo yet, so his fourth attempt failed.

At this point, Falun found him and attacked. Penric crippled him and dropped his crew, then climbed to the crow's nest to look for some other path to escape. Return to the island was plainly out. A bit of peering around showed him a war fleet from Orbas - rescue had come looking for him.

Pen and the girls rowed over, where General Arisaydia collected them; Arisaydia extracted promises from the pirates to leave ships with Orbas flags alone, and they took the ship home.

Later the girls' father arrived, having finally heard of their adventures. He arranged for them to become dedicats to the Bastard and promised to visit from time to time.

Major Characters[]

Minor/Supporting Characters[]