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“Mira’s Last Dance” by Lois McMaster Bujold

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When I reviewed the previous “Penric and Desdemona” novella, Penric’s Mission, I mentioned a speculation on the part of some readers that a chronologically-immediate sequel would be forthcoming. This speculation turns out to have been correct, as Mira’s Last Dance picks up within a few days of where Mission left off. Penric, Adelis, and Nikys are still trying to make their way to Orbas without being apprehended by the people who framed Adelis. To make things more complicated, Penric is recovering from a severe injury he received in battle with another sorcerer at the climax of Mission.

Having read all of the Penric novellas on a Kindle, I’m not sure whether Mira is actually shorter than the others, but it felt shorter. And that’s really my only complaint about it. I loved seeing a facet of Desdemona that hadn’t been featured in the previous stories, and I enjoyed the further development of Penric and Nikys’s relationship. This is the fourth novella in the series, and I’ll be eager to read number five when it comes out.

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