Nell’s Book Hunt, The Demon’s Beast by D.S. Smith
Listen up, everybody! Combo book hunt and review coming your way!
The first time Mr. Smith contacted me to read his story, I was truly baffled. It’s my opinion that he picked the wrong horse in that race, but whatever. I read his very short story and told him, honestly, what I thought. I prefer to be told things straight. I prefaced my opinion with the fact that I know nothing. I’m no expert. I’m no specialist on the English language. I’m just me. I told him his story needed work. I told him how it made me feel. He was gracious and said ‘thank you’ and moved on.
I was absolutely stunned when he contacted me about reading his second episode in his Knights of Elyssa series. I swear all the authors out there need to be given a round of applause. They all put their imagination out there for us to critique. That takes guts. I find that quite amazing.
Anyway, Mr. Smith’s story is short – 55 pages and it’s good. He had me interested in his characters plus it won’t take you long to read AND it’s free on Kindle til December 28, 2015. Check it out.
Publisher’s Description: Knight Interrogator Vessin must once again face the demon presence that is threatening to wreak havoc amongst the workers and villagers of Greenhaven. This time the demons take the form of terrifying beasts, corrupted and mutated by foul magic.
Facing his biggest physical and moral test yet, Vessin must depend upon friend Hwelgar Xenis, as well as his own tenacity, to prevail against evil and save the village he has been ordered to protect.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
This type of story is not exactly my cup of tea, so please take that into account when you read the review. Why did I even read the story? I read it out of sheer admiration for its author.
The story, though set in a different world, feels medieval to me. The way the knights speak and the hierarchy of the Order feel like Arthur and the Knights of the round table-ish.
I wasn’t very keen on the beginning of the story-it seemed to build too slowly. I knew the characters from the first story, The Demon of Petra’s Field. I have to say, Mr. Smith’s writing has improved. By the end of the first quarter of the book, I was interested to see how this story would play out.
There are demons infecting woodland animals like bears and wolves. With that infection, the demons can control the animals and turn them into raging mutated creatures bent on killing. The Knights have the job of protecting the inhabitants of Elyssa. There is also a danger of being infected themselves if wounded by these animals. It seems like a no win situation and it is unfortunate, but within the Order, the Knights have to fight politics too. Decisions are made that are not necessarily for the good of the people, but for the trade industry and money making. It sucks.
It’s something that I have encountered – the ‘powers that be’ cannot understand what it’s like in the trenches. That is exactly the point of Knight Interrogator Vessin. He has been tasked to rid the area of demon presence but has been barely given the proper man power or equipment to do so. He makes a decision that will effect a huge number of people, but he feels it’s for the very best outcome. It does not come without cost.
The battle scenes are something I had to look away from as they hit a little too true to form. Spears, swords and very sharp teeth come into the scenario as well as some psychic mind manipulation.
All I can tell you is this: give it a look. Mr. Smith put me under his spell, got me invested in his characters and I don’t normally read the fantasy genre. Well done.