Epic Fantasy

The Demon of Windhelm


This book will launch on Mar 8, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Worth reading 😎

3 out of 5 stars for a sword and sorcery tale that’s more plod than quest.

It’s bad enough being an orphan with an unknown past and a dark brooding secret that nobody, least of all our hero himself, knows about or understands. Add to this: the dubious blessing of an untrained gift for elemental fire magic; a sheltered but unloving monastic upbringing; both demonic and angelic possession; the sudden terrible destruction of the only home he’s ever known; the passing of his death sentence and our young Daelin might well be justified in just curling up and dying in the still smoking ashes of his once thriving home town.

Daelin is, however, made of sterner stuff and instead, he gets up, dusts himself off and sets out single handed on the quest of a life time, all his magical and mystical baggage in tow. Along the way he meets a typical cross section of odd ball fantasy characters: cranky hermit wizards; sexually enchanting lady thieves; holy knights; rich and powerful merchants; an ancient and benevolent demi-goddess; a brutal slave trader; a demonic spirit of pure evil; an enchanted sword.

Disappointingly, the narrative’s potentially greatest source of inner tension and discovery (the fact that Daelin is possessed by some kind of demon) is revealed with little effort almost at the very start of the book, it’s even placed front and centre in the book’s description. Then, thanks partly to the narration being in first person past, what ensues is less of a whirlwind adventure of tense self discovery and more of a flaccid trudge through the author’s fantasy world. Basically, if the protagonist has survived to be able to recount his own story at some future date, we needn’t worry about any challenge he faces because, whatever happens, he obviously succeeds in the end.

Not only is the progress of the story quite slow in places, but I found the author’s style of prose to drag quite a lot too. Descriptions were often unnecessarily detailed and the principle connection to any character’s mental state came by way of rather awkward disembodied exposition rather than witnessing the expression of their emotions through dialogue or action. Add to this the frequent typographical errors and the occasional hiccup in the continuity and my enjoyment of this potentially 4 star story ended up sinking to just 3 stars over all.

However, though there is some rather graphic violence and mild nudity, the main character remains, despite sufficient temptation, determinedly a-sexual throughout the whole book. Coupled with his youth, perhaps teenage readers with less sensitivity to the quality of the prose might really enjoy this yarn.

Reviewed by

When not reading and reviewing books, I help indie authors on mutual critique platforms to improve their work.

As an indie author myself, I blend my experiences in advanced enginnering and international sales to create fascinating BronzePunk worlds full of complex characters.

Dust and Dreams

About the author

I've always loved being lost in far flung fantasy worlds, and now I've begun creating one of my own! Valandria is a world of magic featuring several short stories and an upcoming novel: The Demon of Winhelm! view profile

Published on February 05, 2021

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Epic Fantasy

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