[LMB] Penric and the Shaman discussion

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 7 13:55:42 BST 2019

From: "M. Haller Yamada" <thefabmadamem at yahoo.com>

Penric and the Shaman is novella #2 of the Penric series,?
and the one where we learn more about Penric, Desdemona
and the shamanic magics of the Weald....
How much of this do you suppose is basic demon chaos,?
and how much has she inherited from her past riders?

1. Desdemona is adorable. There's an essential childishness
about her that is really appealing. When the princess-
archdivine bids Penric to attend to her, Desdemona?
responds with a great deal of glee. "Hurrah!" said Des.
"Something new? An outing? An airing . . .?"

Gwynne: A demon must change with each rider, since they draw so much from
the riders. So Des's enthusiasm must, on some level, reflect Pen's. She has far
more knowledge, but he provides a lot of her personality - most of it as a
reflection of him, but since Des has so much experience and knowledge of
humans, some of it is what he needs. She's become a big sister/mother figure,
giving an affection and encouragement that, deep down, he'd craved.

2. This is a book where we get a detailed, side-by-side?
accounting of Five God theology vs. the older Weald?
religion. Penric is a sorcerer divine; Inglis is a new shaman.
In the same way that a great beast is formed from soul?
after soul (soul? essence?) of dog or boar or whichever?
animal, "great humans" (see Horseriver) are formed with?
human after human.?

Gwynne: I don't think so. The soul goes from one beast to
another, until it's taken into a human - and that's the last
step. When it's released to allow the human's soul to go to
the gods, the soul goes... wherever animal souls go.
And we see Penric making a Great Worm, or failing to; there's
no demon involved except Des as an observer. It's all human
work and animal souls. (Pity the poor sod who got a worm soul.)

Is a demon the crystal seed of a "great human"? The?
"shaman" that guides spirit after spirit to release its?
essence into the demon??

Gwynne: If you compare the process, the human souls riding a
demon take the place of animal souls making a shamanic great
beast. So the human souls are used to make a 'Great Demon',
not a great human.

So . . . is the demon a sort of intuitive shaman??

Gwynne: I think Des is the oldest demon around, and she doesn't
seem to be transitioning into something else. She's just more of the
same. Most of the differences between Des and other demons are
down to Pen. Mind you, it'd be interesting (and sad, and horrible, and
miserable) to see what Des is like with her next rider. If she chooses to
go on after Pen.

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