Penric and the Shaman
Once again Bujold immerses us in her world of the five gods. We begin in the distressed point of view of Inglis, whose history we discover throughout, as he interacts with humans, a demon, ghosts, enchanted beasts, and a god.
Inglis bears an ensorcelled blade to which he must pay his blood regularly. Nigh unto death, he’s rescued by rurals with scant grace, then confronted with a legal pursuer, Senior Locator Oswyl, who is accompanied by Penric, whom we met in Penric’s Demon. That young man and his demon have effectively partnered, though their relationship requires accommodation by both. He now addresses her as Desdemona, despite or perhaps because of the multiple layers of her identity.
Penric is now a Divine and a Sorcerer, his education and experience granting him more surety and fine status, even while his world is still evolving and gaining depth.
The nature of Inglis, his character, and the relation of his shamanic tradition vis-a-vis the five gods allow complex interaction.
L.M. Bujold is a master wordsmith, and there is sensory immediacy, mystery, and room for readers to exercise their imaginations. By all means, if you have not already done so, buy the earlier book when you purchase this one.
Lois McMaster Bujold