Reviews

The Physicians of Vilnoc, by Lois McMaster Bujold

ndxmedina's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

kimu's review against another edition

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5.0

I’m relieved that I didn’t read this right when it was published. The coincidental parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic at that point might have been too hard and I would have struggled with what is an excellent novella. I tend to fall behind with my Penric reading, and then have the delightful experience of rereading the entire series AND having several new novellas to read. This is an extraordinarily good contribution to the story of Penric & Desdemona, with a new feeling to this specific work when reading it for the first time in June 2021.

thinde's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 Stars

For much of this story, we get descriptions of Penric diligently slaving away to help people afflicted with some unknown hemorrhagic fever. That's not particularly interesting, nor is the mystery's resolution. However, the ending was satisfying. So two thumbs up!

kiiouex's review against another edition

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3.0

Another short Pen + Des adventure, this time against a contagious disease (faintly uncomfortable to read, but distant enough to be largely fine) It mostly hearkens back to Pen's time working as a doctor which isn't it's own novella but was also heavily alluded to in Penric's Mission; that was the main point of interest to me, how he coped with being the healer. Otherwise it was fairly straighforward, well-written and enjoyable as ever but without maybe the kind of twist or character hook that I'd get more excited about haha

bethebookworm's review against another edition

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4.0

I just enjoy these novellas so much. Not really profound but they are fine and it's nice to see a world where science and divinity are a natural pairing in societal functions.

lizbusby's review against another edition

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4.0

I'm sure the publisher had no idea when selecting May 2020 as a publication date for this fantasy-world epidemic that the world would be two months into a pandemic. Irony that. But if anyone can pull off an optimistic pandemic book, it's Bujold's characters Penric and Des. The struggles that Penric goes through in the book hit much harder given all that I've heard in the past two years about the struggles of medical personnel during the pandemic and all the hard choices they had to make. Additionally, I enjoyed the interaction between the Five Gods magic system and the germ theory of disease. Given that science is not there yet in this world, it was interesting to see how much the magic enabled Penric to guess, but without falling into the trope of getting all of modern medicine right so it doesn't feel authentic to the world around him.

And now I'm all caught up in my Penric & Desdemona re-read and ready for the new novel!

davidsms's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

isweedan's review against another edition

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3.0

A curious combination of current interests - nomadic people of the steppes and ... plague.

mousie_books's review against another edition

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3.0

SpoilerGeneral Arisaydia calls upon Penric, his brother-in-law, to help out as a plague breaks out at the army fort. As cases increase, Penric is spread increasingly thin unable ration his care or deal with the emotional fallout of triage. The Bastard sends a clue to the plague's cause in the form of an infected horsefly (blue witch), which bites Penric. With the rampant slaughter of flies and horses, they are finally able to get the plague under control.

Penric now has an infant daughter, Florina.

Penric arranges for the potential transfer of a young demon to Rede, the army physician.

writinwater's review against another edition

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mysterious tense medium-paced

3.5