The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy book reviewsThe Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy novella reviewThe Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Prisoner of Limnos (2017 print, 2018 audio) is another of Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA novellas. It is a direct sequel to Mira’s Last Dance, so I’d recommend reading that (and its prequels) first.

Penric and Nikys, the widow Penric is in love with, are safe at court in Orbas when Nikys gets an encrypted letter stating that her mother has been taken prisoner by political enemies in Cedonia.

To his delight, Nikys comes to Penric for help, and the two set off for Cedonia to bust mom out of jail. This will involve Penric dressing up like a woman (again), using his chaos magic, working with some of Nikys’ family and retainers, and confronting Desdemona’s fear of heights. Also, there’s some gorgeous scenery, as you can tell from the book cover shown here.

Penric & DesdemonaSimilar to the other PENRIC AND DESDEMONA novellas, The Prisoner of Limnos is one chapter in Penric’s story. It’s uncomplicated, linear, and tightly focused. There’s not much here to surprise or intrigue the reader, there are no grand battles or mind-blowing ideas.

However, there are Bujold’s intelligent and witty characters, and it’s always pleasant to simply watch them try to get through their difficult lives and listen to them interact with each other. If that’s what you enjoy about this series, I feel certain that you’ll be satisfied with The Prisoner of Limnos.

I’ve mentioned many times that the audiobooks, narrated by Grover Gardner and produced by Blackstone Audio, are fabulous. These stories are simple and unchallenging, but they are so pleasant to listen to. I look forward to each one. The Prisoner of Limnos is 5.5 hours long.

Published in 2017. In this sequel novella to Mira’s Last Dance, Temple sorcerer Penric and the widow Nikys have finally reached safety in the duchy of Orbas when a secret letter from a friend brings frightening news: Nikys’s mother has been taken hostage by her brother’s enemies at the Cedonian imperial court, and confined in a precarious island sanctuary. Their own romance still unresolved, Nikys, Penric, and of course Desdemona must infiltrate the hostile country once more, finding along the way that family relationships can be as unexpectedly challenging as any rescue scheme.


  • 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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