'Mira's Last Dance' - Book Review

Mira's Last Dance
by Lois McMaster Bujold
2018
Subterranean Press, 159 pages

In 2015 Lois McMaster Bujold wrote Penric's Demon, a return to the "World of the Five Gods" that started with The Curse of Chalion - a book I consider to be one of the best fantasy novels ever written. Penric's Demon has been highly recommended by a source I trust, but I've been unable to lay hands on the thing: the only copy of the book at Toronto Public Library is reference because it was a specialty press. They have ebook copies, but I don't do Digital Restrictions Management on my devices. After a year of waiting for that book, I gave up and read one of the multiple sequels.

Mira's Last Dance is classified as a novella, and finds Penric - who has a demon called Desdemona attached to him - on the run in the company of Nikys and Adelis, who he's trying to smuggle out of the country after a close encounter (presumably in the previous book) that nearly got him killed. A large portion of the book takes place in a brothel, where Penric gets to impersonate a (female) courtesan - with the assistance of one of Desdemona's several personalities, Mira.

Bujold is intelligent, and a good writer. But this is essentially an uninspired adventure story with a couple odd quirks that don't add significantly to the interest. It's an easy and quick read, but not very good: it cries out "middle sequel!"