An unnamed narrator has a special gift. The ability to extract demons from people, to violently pull the being out of the host… There are only certain number (72,936) of demons in the entire world and they are immortal. And it is in the odds that our main character will run into a couple of them several times throughout his life. This sets up a fun ongoing relationship that we will see in the novella. After a couple of opening purifications, we find ourselves amongst royalty and the “smartest man on the face of the Earth,” Prosper of Schanz. He has set himself the goal of instructed the newborn philosopher-king. But when you have a demon possessing the master, it will be a curious education indeed.
I’m going with a list on this review.
What I liked:
- The glorious descriptions of the extractions… “tendrils” that have found themselves anchored in the host.
- The banter between the narrator and the demons. There’s wit and threats… and a bit of pleading. But in the end…
- The atmosphere. Castles and clergy. Dark laws and broken men. It’s a fun world to explore.
What was puzzling:
- Just one thing. There’s meat on the bone, but just not enough at times. At just over 100 pages, I was left wanting more. More of the narrator, maybe a bit more his backstory, and I just wanted more of this world.
4 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Tor Publishing, and the author for an advanced copy for review.