Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy book reviewsPenric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy book reviewsPenric’s Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold

Penric’s Fox is the third (according to internal chronology) novella in Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA series, a spin-off from her well-decorated FIVE GODS trilogy. Each of these novellas is essentially a chapter in Penric’s story and I assume that someday they’ll be combined together in one volume.

This particular story takes place after the events of Penric and the Shaman, so I would recommend reading it after that story and before Penric’s Mission. While visiting the capital city, Penric gets involved in helping his friend Inglis investigate the murder of a temple sorceress (yes, another murder mystery!). The two men must discover who killed the sorceress and find out what happened to her demon.Penric & Desdemona

Bujold’s FIVE GODS world is so rich and compelling. It’s always a treat to read a new story set in this world because each time we learn a little more of its expansive and interesting history, geography, culture, and theology. As for the murder mystery in Penric’s Fox, it’s really not too clever or exciting but, as the title and cover art suggests, it does involve a fox and her cubs, which is a lovely little touch. And it’s always a pleasure to spend time with Bujold’s delightful characters.

This is not Bujold’s best work but she is such a great writer and character developer that anything she writes is worth reading. I especially enjoy listening to her stories on audio because they’re narrated by the wonderful Grover Gardner who always seems to “get” Bujold’s sense of humor and what she is trying to do with her characters. Penric’s Fox was produced by Blackstone audio and it’s 4.5 hours long. I listened to this one on a flight to Mexico and it was a nice diversion.

Published in 2017. With Penric’s Fox, multiple-award-winner and bestselling author Lois McMaster Bujold returns to her World of the Five Gods, the setting of her acclaimed novels The Curse of ChalionPaladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt. Continuing the tale begun in the novellas Penric’s DemonPenric and the Shaman, and Penric’s Mission, Bujold’s newest installment of Penric and Desdemona’s tale is another must-read novella for her legion of fans. Some eight months after the events of Penric and the Shaman, Learned Penric, sorcerer and scholar, travels to Easthome, the capital of the Weald. There he again meets his friends Shaman Inglis and Locator Oswyl. When the body of a sorceress is found in the woods, Oswyl draws him into another investigation; they must all work together to uncover a mystery mixing magic, murder and the strange realities of Temple demons.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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