Series: The Demon Child #1
Published by: Harper Voyager
ISBN 13: 9780732264772
Published: July 2000
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Can you count how many times a new writer has appeared on the scene with a book that’s so engaging and well written, you hunger for more rather than think ‘well, she’s new, and it was good for a new author… but…’
Well, if you can’t, you better read this one. I promise you, it’s well worth it. Out of Jennifer Fallon’s thirteen books currently available, this was her first to be published and I highly recommend you start here. There is a little confusion, as she later wrote ‘Wolfblade’, which is set before this series… but I still recommend you start here with the Demon Child series, and then proceed to Hythrun Chronicles, which is just as good, if not better.
In this book we discover the Sisterhood of the Blade, who rule Medalon (Med – ah – lon) harshly, lest they let the slightest hint of heathen worship appear. Once plagued with the mythical race, the Harshini and their demons, the Sisterhood now think the mythical race to be extinct. Thinking, however doesn’t lessen the iron fist they rule with, especially with the possibility of the fabled Demon Child appearing…
When the First Sister of the Blade is assassinated, Joyhinia is confident she will be named in her place, but when she isn’t, we see exactly how foul she really is.
Joyhinia’s children, daughter R’Shiel and son Tarja, are drawn into the trouble. Soon enough, they find themselves on the run and amongst the rebellion against the Sisterhood – that is, against everything they’ve ever known.
Then, Brak, a Harshini outcast, brings news that the Harshini may be returning and that R’Shiel herself may be the Demon Child – quite amusing, really, that Joyhinia’s very own daughter could be the flesh and blood of nothing but a myth – and soon it appears that their world may be turning to war with R’Shiel and Tarja caught right in the middle.
Fallon is brilliant in her plotting and world building. Her characters are strong (with the exception of Joyhinia – some have found her to be a little weak) and dependable. You can really feel their emotions through the words; Fallon is great at showing rather than telling, a refreshing change in these epic fantasies.
The real strength in this book however, is the development of the religion and their Gods, where the diversities of each country are well developed in such a believable way. In Medalon you have the Sisterhood, as previously stated. In Hythrun they believe in many different Gods; one for war, love, lying, thieving… just to name a few. Karien believes only in the God of war, and then you have the Harshini who speak with all the Gods seemingly quite often. The banter between them alone is reason enough to read this series.
If you’re new to fantasy then I highly recommend this series. If you’re old to fantasy and have yet to try any of Fallon’s books, I still recommend this series (although I started with the Tide Lord series, starting there is good too) and please, once you’ve read it, come back here and tell me what you thought
This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 28th October 2009.