Knight of the Demon Queen

Knight of the Demon Queen

Barbara Hambly

Book 3.0 of Winterlands

Language: English

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: Jul 22, 2009

Words: 98781
Pages: 381


Once the most powerful mage in the land, Jenny Waynest is now a broken woman. After being possessed and corrupted by the demon Amayon, she lost everything she holds dear--even the trust of her husband. Yet Lord John Aversin has torments of his own: memories of the beautiful and cruel Aohila, demon queen of a rival hell, whom he'd tricked into providing the help he needed to free Jenny. Now, condemned to death for trafficking with demons, John cannot forgive himself for opening the door to a far greater evil--an evil that still haunts his dreams. And not only his dreams . . . For a vengeful Aohila needs mortal aid in realms beyond her power, and who better to provide it than Lord John? Blackmailed into cooperating, John must fight his way through unimaginable horrors in quest of a prize that may doom the world he has left behind . . . *From the Paperback edition.* ** ### From Publishers Weekly "The season of demons is on the world," announces the Demon Queen Aohila in this meditative sequel to the fantasies Dragonsbane and Dragonshadow. On the cusp of the winter following Jenny Waynest and Lord John Aversin's summer ordeal against demons and insurrectionists, their son, Ian, is driven to attempt suicide. His dreams, like his mother's, are haunted--both by the minor demon who possessed him during the summer and by Folcalor, an archdemon who seeks more gates between demons and humans to spawn mass "pain and terror and rage, lust and guilt and shame." Concurrently, Aohila visits Lord John to remind him of the debt he owes her for helping to vanquish the demons, who are now her prisoners behind the Mirror of Isychros. Up against her threats and pledges, John agrees to undertake an arduous quest with the demon Amayon--Jenny's former master--for his guide. Along the way, John discovers different hells, as well as a world whose inhabitants suffer from lives circumscribed by mood-altering drugs. Teaming up with a group of misfits who long for magic rather than for drugs, John strives to understand Aohila's demands as he attempts to execute them. Back in the Winterlands, Jenny, Ian and other residents face their own battles, but their opponents have been strangely superpowered, thus requiring special efforts of Jenny, who has been stripped of her mage's abilities in a prior battle. While John is an admirably realized character, he moves rather mechanically through his challenges, and Jenny and Ian's trials are overshadowed by his exploits. Intricately plotted and solidly written, the story nevertheless feels book-ended by past and likely future adventures--making this an amenable entry for series fans, but a difficult one for readers new to Hambly's demon-infested world. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. ### From Library Journal When plague threatens his lands and his family, Lord John Aversin agrees to the demands of the demon queen Aohila and travels beyond the borders of his world into an alien land to capture a renegade lord of Hell. Once known for his skill at dragonslaying and now condemned for trafficking with demons, Aversin walks a fine line between losing his soul and saving all that he holds dear. Continuing the story begun in Dragonslayer and Dragonshadow, Hambly explores the strengths and weaknesses of her characters as they pit themselves against powers beyond their control. Her expert storytelling as well as her talent for creating sympathetic and believable characters places the author among the front runners of the genre. Recommended for fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.