[LMB] PEN Penic's Demon Section One Discussion

Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 12:08:02 GMT 2016

On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 8:39 PM, M. Haller Yamada <thefabmadamem at yahoo.com>

> Section One Notes:
> The first paragraph solidly sets us in
> time. It’s spring, we have a young man on his way to his betrothal, and we
> learn quite a lot about his family dynamics in just a few lines. He’s got
> some
> interesting reflections on life from the male side of a marriage of
> convenience. I like him because he thinks it’s HIS responsibility to make
> his
> bride feel she got a decent bargain for her money. He’s not out for his own
> gain, but rather the gain of his family, and he doesn’t want to disappoint
> his
> bride, either.

We learn a great deal about our young man here - he's good-looking, from a
very rural lordly line, and he'd rather be fishing than taking on his new
task. His household has been having money troubles, and
mercenary-soldiering has already claimed one of his older brothers. And the
groom is used to treating him like a child.

He's willing to try out this marriage-to-well-to-do-merchant business, even
if he'd rather be fishing.

> So my first question is, what do you think
> of Penric’s thoughts on marriage? (Please note if you read in the romance
> genre
> or not – I think it’d be very interesting to compare reactions.) Is he
> practical? Or does he just think he’s practical? Have you ever seen a man
> worrying about disappointing a bride in literature before?

Not that much of a romance reader myself (not zero, but not large amounts,
either). We don't see her yet, so it's not that easy to judge her side of
the situation. My main comment on this is that he's got very little in the
way of free will, and he's not so sure he wants to be doing this, but he's
trying to take it as optimistically and favorably as he can.

> His journey is delayed when they come upon
> an old woman, collapsed on the road. Her attendants seem useless. Fate has
> a
> heavy hand on the reins here; the Learned Ruchia was persuaded to travel
> against her better judgement and is returning late; we learn that Penric is
> late, as well. I’m reminded of vampires somehow when Penric says, “Let me
> serve
> you in your need, Learned.” They can’t enter unless you invite them in . .
> . .
> “Accepted.”

I don't think that limitation holds in general in this universe, though.
None of the demons we meet in Paladin of Souls were invited in...

> Their fates are sealed.
> But who accepted? Ruchia, or her demon? At
> any rate, with a babble of women’s voices rushing into his head with
> Ruchia’s
> death, he passes out, overwhelmed.

We don't know yet, we don't even know that the situation is a demon (though
folks who've read the other tales in Five Gods won't have much trouble
guessing that's the situation). But later we'll hear "accepted" again.

> I think it’s very interesting that Penric’s
> worries, on the surface at least, don’t have much to do with the real
> story.
> But, the subtext of those worries have everything to do with the real
> story. We
> often spend a lot of life worrying about situations that don’t happen –
> it’s
> interesting to think that our thought processes aren’t wasted, but applied
> to
> different situations that do happen. LOL, or does that only take place in
> fiction?

The biggest use of his worries is to give us an infodump of his situation
without making it look like an infodump....

Karen Hunt

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