[LMB] Penric's Demon

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 25 05:00:56 GMT 2016

Looking at what I've (re)read so far, one of my strongest 
impressions about Pen's background is gentle failure.

His family are lords - of a minor holding in an isolated valley.
His father wasn't a huge success as a man, a husband, a 
parent or a lord, and his death wasn't a shattering blow to
the family. An older brother rode off for success in the wars, 
and died of disease in camp before he'd fought in a battle.
Another brother died as a child. The family are poor, and 
struggling for the money to run the estate. Penric seemed to
spend most of his childhood being bullied by his siblings, he
doesn't seem to have great affection for any of them. His 
mother's affection for him comes with some frustration and
disappointment. All of his clothes are hand-me-downs, even
for his wedding. They can't afford to send Pen to university. 

His happiest memories are of hunting in the mountains, alone 
or with servants.

There's not a lot of joy, or love, there. Affection, yes, but no
great friendships or strong bonds. Pen doesn't fit in. He's
been trained to see himself as a failure, or a potential disaster
in any situation. And that's what his family expects of him.
Somehow, he's not in tune with them.

One character he does remind me of, a little, is Pratchett's 
Johnny, who sees things as they really are, not as people think
they should be. Pen tends to be like that; he explores things and
methodically examines them - ideas and people. 



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