So let’s talk about some novellas! Novellas which, unfortunately, I actually read back in early March and then got lazy about booklogging, so welp, let’s see what I can dredge up from memory about these.

First up is Lois Bujold’s The Physicians of Vilnoc and Masquerade in Lodi, the latest of her Penric and Desdemona novella series. This series has largely been pleasant but inessential, the kind of thing that you read and then forget entirely moments later. And writing at this remove, I can confirm that yep, that’s exactly what happened. I actually had to look up the description of Masquerade in Lodi to confirm that it was the one I’d read, since the title wasn’t ringing a bell. That said, I definitely did remember The Physicians of Vilnoc, because it came out in early 2020 and is about a plague, and okay yeah, that’s gonna be memorable. Both stories are worth reading if you’re already reading this series; neither of them are worth starting it for.

Next was Zen Cho’s The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, a novella about a group of bandits in… China? Malaysia? I honestly don’t remember, and googling turns up different answers, so idk, I can’t be super-precise. Anyway, there they are, and there’s a whole thing where they’re trying to sell off some stuff, but then also half the characters aren’t who they seemed to be, and it gets more complicated, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it even if I remembered it better. There’s more going on here than in those two Bujold novellas, but honestly not too much more—this is definitely a novella that I knew was a novella as I read it, not one of those stealthy almost-novels. Lightly recommended if a wuxia-style story sounds fun.


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