Review: Shadow of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan

38887692This was a book that wasn’t really on my radar before a request to review it came in, but I’m so, so glad it did because even reading the blurb I was like, this sounds super interesting!

So thanks to the author, and 47North via NetGalley for the review copy!

Outcast and exiled, the demon Tarrik Nal-Valim has long been forgotten by the world of humans. At least, so he thinks.

But when he is summoned as a last resort by a desperate sorcerer, it seems as though his past has caught up with him. Because the sorcerer is Serenity “Ren” Branwen, the daughter of Tarrik’s former master—and friend. Though she seems cold, driven, and ruthless, Tarrik can tell that Ren has her back against the wall, and he is compelled by ferocious powers to obey her.

As their world sinks into a terrifying maelstrom of murder, intrigue, and insurrection, Tarrik is forced to serve Ren’s arcane designs; plans that, if they were to succeed, would resurrect unimaginable power, and could destroy Tarrik’s entire race.

But as events unfurl, the lines between demon and master become blurred, and Tarrik realizes that Ren is not what she seems. To prevent unimaginable devastation Tarrik may have to surrender what he values most: a chance at redemption and an end to his exile.

“Did you kill him?” Ren asked when Tarrik handed her the horse’s reins.

“No, we had a conversation over a cup of tea. Of course I killed him.”

“Why?”

“That was your original command, and I don’t like loose ends.”

“He wasn’t a danger anymore.”

“Treat me like a demon slave, and that’s how I’ll act.”

This was a very difficult book to put down, and very easy to get into!

I started reading this one just a little bit before bedtime, and pretty soon it was way, way past my bedtime, lol.

This is the story of Tarrik Nal-Valim, who is a demon. He’s one of the higher ranked demons, so he’s intelligent and retains his memories, unlike the lower ranked demons in the worlds of the abyss. He’s been exiled by his people into one of the worst worlds in the abyss, and is just trying to make his way in the hopes that he’ll have a chance to redeem himself to the demon lords, when he is suddenly summoned, and it turns out it’s by his former master’s daughter, Ren. Ren is in a bind, and has bad people chasing her, and is part of a cabal of sorcerers that is going to try and summon the worst demon ever… so, as a last resort, she summons her father’s demon friend to help her contribute to the cause.

And there were many, many shenanigans to be had!

I really, really liked Tarrik. He’s often rather snarky or witty, and the way that he always toes the line of his bonds with Ren was great. He either toes the lines of disobedience, or obeys her commands so to the letter that it’s more than she bargained for. He’s a really easy character to root for, even when he’s doing things that are… not so great. I mean, he is what he is, amirite? Demons in the universe that Mitchell Hogan has created are somewhat similar to demons in our own lore. They vary in power, can be summoned and controlled, and are generally fond of mischief and mayhem. But, Tarrik isn’t the sort who actively goes out of his way to do horrible things. He seems like a pretty good dude, all told, it’s just that demons have an emotional spectrum that’s powerful and difficult to control. So, he gets into trouble at times, but he really just wants to end his exile and move on with his life. So, I found myself cheering for him to win the day.

I didn’t really latch on to Ren until later on in the story, but I did eventually get there. She’s a bit of a mystery, in terms of why she’s so powerful compared to all the other sorcerers like her, and more into the goal that she’s working towards. She knows some interesting people and goes to some interesting places, that’s for sure.

I’m pretty sure that this is part of a series, as it’s certainly left room for further stories with Tarrik at the helm. While this one wasn’t a cliffhanger, it did end rather abruptly and differently than I thought it would. Not badly… just… differently. I’m excited to see where this story will go!

hellboy-reboot-slice-600x200
Something like this, yeah. 😀

This was an easy book to read, and was never boring. I found that it was rather well paced, and there was usually something exciting or interesting going on. I was really interested in this one because a story from the POV of a bound demon was something I thought sounded really interesting. Well, it was rather interesting, so I’m certainly glad that this one found its way into my hands! I had 4/5 stars of fun with this one. I hope to find out what’s next for Tarrik! 🙂

Goodreads
Amazon

Thanks again to 47North via NetGalley for the review copy. 🙂

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