This post is by Liz Bourke from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content
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Due to the vagaries of e-publishing (and my personal preferences), I continue to only read Lois McMaster Bujold’s self-published novellas after Subterranean Press has picked them up and published them in gorgeous hardcover. The latest of these is Mira’s Last Dance, the fifth Penric and Desdemona novella to be published, and a direct sequel to Penric’s Mission.
Penric, scholar, healer, and temple sorcerer, was injured at the conclusion of Penric’s Mission. He and the betrayed general Adelis Arisaydia, and Adelis’s widowed sister Nikys, are still on the run, trying to get across the mountains from Cedonia into the (presumed) safety of the duchy of Orbas. Fate (or the Bastard, the god under whose auspices Penric and his resident demon Desdemona fall) takes them to a brothel in a small town whose inhabitants are currently suffering from a plague of bedbugs. Penric’s skills at removing such insects ...