Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Assassins of Thasalon is the latest of the Penric books, but it’s the first one to be a straight-up novel, and not just a novella. Given that my take on these stories has always been that they’re enjoyable enough, but kinda slight, I was hopeful that this longer work would keep the virtues of the series, but add some more depth and complexity.

As it happens, though, it… kinda didn’t? I mean, okay, the plot is more complex here, and there are more moving pieces that end up in play before it’s all over. But fundamentally, it still felt like the novellas—breezy, quick-reading, enjoyable, but still on the light side.

This isn’t really a critique, though, because I enjoyed this book pretty well, and I’ll read the next Penric installment shortly. There is plenty of room on my reader for breezy, lightweight, enjoyable works, even if I prefer the ones that add extra virtues onto those. Recommended.


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