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The Orphans of Raspay

(Penric and Desdemona (Publication order) #7)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,619 ratings  ·  247 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 127 pages
Published July 17th 2019 by Spectrum Literary Agency
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Nirkatze Subterranean Press has been printing copies of all the novellas in the past few years by Mrs. Bujold. Orphans of Raspay is currently available.

Subterranean Press has been printing copies of all the novellas in the past few years by Mrs. Bujold. Orphans of Raspay is currently available.

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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  2,619 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Ben Aaronovitch
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-f
These novellas continue to brighten my life. My only regret being that they are so brief - but I am the last person who is allowed to complain about that :)
THE ORPHANS OF RASPAY by Lois McMaster Bujold is the seventh book in the Penric and Desdemona series and takes place in the same setting as her World of the Five Gods series. While this fantasy book worked for me as a standalone, it would likely be even better if the series had been read in order. Penric is a temple sorcerer and has a resident demon named Desdemona. When the ship they are traveling in is captured by pirates, they are tossed into the hold of the pirate ship that already holds two ...more
Barb in Maryland
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a delight--a new Penric novella!! 4.5 stars

Poor Penric is on the business trip from Hell. All he wants to do is get home to his dear wife Nikys and rest.
However, nothing goes as planned. The ship Penric is on is hijacked by pirates, he finds himself as protector of two young girls (the orphans of the title) and then all of his various escape schemes come to nothing. It was almost as if his god wanted him to be just a little bit more patient.

The girls are a delight, Penric (and Desdemona) a
David Holmes
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very standard Bujold adventure. This one doesn't innovate much, and the most interesting character is the orphans' mother, who doesn't even appear in the book. But it was lots of fun and a reliable page-turner, which turns out to be exactly what I wanted! ...more
The Captain
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  This be another delightful novella that takes place in the World of the Five Gods from the trilogy of that name.  That said, ye do NOT have to have read the trilogy first, though I did.  Book one of the trilogy, curse of the chalion, is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read and I really enjoyed the remaining two.

Last year, the Penric and Desdemona novellas were republished in a two-book omnibus set.  The first omnibus contained novellas 1 - 3 in the internal chron
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
It’s hard not to like Penric stories! I didn’t find this quite as compelling as the other stories, however Desdemona’s glee was fun
Di Maitland
This was a fun book for seeing Penric and Desdemona let loose. The first three-quarters is enjoyable but the last quarter is a real hoot. I didn't expect the ending either, though I wasn't far off.

'"So you think the demon-god will answer your prayers, Sea-eyes?" Sadly, no. I think the demon-god employs me to answer them for Him. Lazy Bastard.'

The Bastard has a plan. This plan includes Penric being captured by pirates. Needless to say, Penric's not having a good day. Soon enough, the pirates aren
Lis Carey
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Penric, now married to Nikys and attached to the Duke of Orbas when he's not needed for other duties, would much prefer to stay home in the Duke's capital with his wife. Instead, he continues to be sent off on missions that turn out to be more complicated and dangerous than they should have been. On their way home from the latest, the ship he and his demon, Desdemona, are on is captured by pirates, tossed into a hold on the pirates' own ship where they find two orphan sisters, and carried back t ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Any and all Bujold books are buy on sight, but I almost missed this one as it seemed to come out without much fanfare, which is a pity because it's an excellent addition to the list of Penric novellas, set in Bujold's world of the Five Gods, though before Curse of Chalion (still my favourite book!). Following the events in The Prisoner of Limnos, Penric and his resident demon, Desdemona, are now married to Nickys, but in this outing are on their own. They've been sent on some mission (it's not i ...more
Olga Godim
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
So far, it is my least favorite of the Penric and Desdemona series, although I haven’t read the latest one, The Physicians of Vilnoc, yet. It is not a bad story – Bujold doesn’t write bad – but it has a profound flaw. Penric and Desdemona finally face a problem they can’t fix. They fight. They try hard. They persevere. But they can’t win in this situation. It is simply not possible. The author backed her hero into a corner from which there is no exit. He is trapped, and she didn’t have a choice ...more
Jack Kuhn
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bujold-non-vor
This is the seventh novel in the Penric/Desdemona series and in many ways my favorite - largely due to the rambunctious way in which Penric and Desdemona demolish the pirate’s port on the island of Lantihera.

Taking a step back for those new to the series, these books detail the adventures of the young (and eventually not-so-young) dedicant and scholar Penric kin Jurald. Penric was “blessed” at age 19 with a chaos demon (Desdemona or Des) who incorporates the prior-life memories of ten women (twe
Book Gannet
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Poor Pen. I'm surprised he didn't spontaneously combust at some point during this misadventure. So many mishaps, so many annoying people, and all he wants to do is get back home.

However, annoyed Pen is usually when he and Des are at their best, so this was a quick, fun and thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Pen and Des tales. The orphans are cute but smart, without descending into moppishness, Pen and Des get a chance to shine with magic and trickery, and it's clear the White God has his misch
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-read-2019
As far as I'm concerned LMB can keep writing Penric and Desdemona novellas for as long as she likes and I'll enjoy them all. I can get through one in a lunch break and they are an extremely lovely lunch break. ...more
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have been consuming my backlog of unread Penric and Desdemona novellas like popcorn get to the full length novel that as just released.

This one was the most recent one I just finished and I loved it. Maybe outside of the first one which was such a delightful surprise, this one is my favorite.

I loved seeing Penric trapped on a pirate Island trying to get off the damned island with two little girls before they are sold into a brothel. At each thwarted attempt his frustration grows (the results
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
3.5 stars
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
This is the seventh Penric and Desdemona novella; the ship on which Penric and Desdemona are travelling is captured by pirates, and complications ensue.

It's a nice little story - just the sort of thing you want to read at the end of a long day. The characters are familiar, and we get a little hint of the progress of Pen's life (this takes place about a year after The Prisoner of Limnos), which will make followers of the series happy. It's not wildly exciting or suspenseful, but Bujold is such a
Laura Estelle
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Penric is on his way home from a mission for the Duke when his ship is captured by pirates and he is taken prisoner. Thrown in with two young girls, he takes them under his protection as they try to avoid a future as slaves and escape the pirate-controlled town.

I always enjoy spending time with Penric and Desdemona, but this isn't the strongest of their stories. I'm feeling the itch to re-read because I have to have missed something; there's no way a Bujold novella should leave me wanting to de
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A new Bujold is always cause for celebration!
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
The first Penric story I didn't outright love. I mean, it's still very well written - after all, it's Bujold. I'm just not that into pirates, apparently. ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Great narration by Grover Gardner.

I enjoyed the story but it did not add as much to the overall world or Penric. I do like the new kiddos.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Some hilarious and adorable moments, but overall, despite the greater (I think?) length, this one was a little more slight, compared to previous Penric novellas. The protagonist is off having an adventure with pirates and orphans away from his family, and the orphans don't get that much of a story. Still a pleasure to read, but not as special as Bujold can do. ...more
Peter Tillman
Liz Bourke's review:
"Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric novellas are pretty much guaranteed to bring me joy. The latest one is called The Orphans of Raspay, and it’s set about a year after the events of The Prisoner of Limnos. . . .

A deeply engaging, enjoyable novella, The Orphans of Raspay makes for a fine continuation to Penric and Desdemona’s adventures, replete with humour and excitement. And setting things on fire. Penric is quite good at setting things o
Stephen Richter
Penric fall into the hands of pirates, which also means Desdemona come along in the mishap. Not so good for the pirates, but two orphan found a new hero. If you have not discovered the Penric and Desdemona novella adventures you are missing out in a nice afternoon of satisfying reading pleasure. Each story takes about 2 or so hours to read. If like me, locked in by inclement weather, this is a great way to speed the time away.
Jul 23, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy
At some point in the future Lois McMaster Bujold will write a book I don't like and think is merely ok with nothing special about it. Today is not that today, thankfully.

The seventh entry in the Penric and Desdemona novella is just as great as the previous ones. It has amazing writing, characters, world, sarcasm, and heart. I can't think what else you could want from a book.
Titus Fortner
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I love this world and all of the things Bujold does within it. I admit, though, that I'm sad about the lack of resolution with (view spoiler) ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, arc
I'm sure this book has flaws. I might even be able to find them for you if I looked. But I don't care. I get to spend time with Penric (who is the ultimate good guy) and Desdemona (chaos muppet/demon) and watch them be clever and heroes. I love this and will read these forever. ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was delightful. As always.
Rod Magnuson
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, a well written tale.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

There’s ransom – and then there’s anti-ransom paid to make sure that Penric, Learned Divine of the White God, goes away and stays away.

That’s a tiny piece of the end of the story. In the beginning, there’s chaos. In the middle, too. But then again, there’s always chaos in Penric’s life, and has been since the day that he stopped to help a dying woman by the side of the road, and ended up gifted with her demon and her calling.

(That story is in Penric’s Demon
Sep 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's always a good idea to check in on Penric and Desdemona from time to time, and see what they've been up to! As I had suspected it would be, this was a really fun story! Penric has been captured by pirates ☠, and is being held (we assume) for ransom. Once he's dropped into the hold of the pirate's ship, he meets up with two orphaned sisters, and despite his own shaky predicament, he absolutely knows that he has to save them too! As a servant to the Bastard God, even unarmed, Penric and Desdem ...more
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Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse

Other books in the series

Penric and Desdemona (Publication order) (10 books)
  • Penric's Demon (Penric and Desdemona, #1)
  • Penric and the Shaman (Penric and Desdemona, #2)
  • Penric’s Mission (Penric and Desdemona, #3)
  • Mira's Last Dance (Penric and Desdemona, #4)
  • Penric's Fox (Penric and Desdemona, #5)
  • The Prisoner of Limnos (Penric and Desdemona, #6)
  • The Physicians of Vilnoc (Penric and Desdemona, #8)
  • Masquerade in Lodi (Penric & Desdemona, #9)
  • The Assassins of Thasalon (Penric and Desdemona, #10)

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