Books for Keeps (UK) | 01 March 2007 | EMc
To my shame, this is the first of Shan's books I have read; I now understand why they are so popular. This is the fourth in the Demonata series, but the novel can stand alone. However, Shan fans will no doubt be intrigued by its hints about Lord Loss's first appearance in our world.Ancient Ireland is overrun by a variety of flesh-eating demons, ingeniously constructed of dead people's body parts and generally sporting lumps of flesh and spots of bile. Bec, a foundling who is now a trainee priestess, undertakes a mysterious journey which is gradually revealed as a quest to rid the island of all the demons. Her companions are one by one overcome by demons, their leader Drust's motivation is suspect and there is a traitor in their midst...The plot is pacy and the characters, though they are easily recognisable as quest types, are fully realised. The setting, Ireland at a time when pre-Christian and Christian religions co-existed, is more than decoration: Shan uses the setting to support his characters' motivations and powers. There are some marvellous set-pieces describing battles and magic. Very enjoyable.
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