Fantasy Book Review: Fury of a Demon by Brian Naslund

Fantasy Book Review

Title
Fury of a Demon
Author
Brian Naslund
Publication Date: Aug. 31 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Genres: Epic Fantasy

Blood of an Exile, the first Dragons of Terra book, was one of my more pleasant surprises last year, a book that mixed sword-and-sorcery with grimdark fantasy. I didn't enjoy Sorcery of a Queen as much, finding its pacing to be off and its focus on the least interesting characters, so I wasn't sure what to expect of the finale.

I'm pleased to say Fury of a Demon hooked my attention from the opening chapter, getting back to the darkly humorous fun of the first book and redeeming some of the character aspects of the second. Bershad, Ashlyn, Vera, and Kira all shine here, playing both sides of the conflict as they seek answers along with victory. Although, at its heart, it's a story of good versus evil, it's never quite that simple, with layers of conflicts, agendas, and shifting allegiances giving the story added depth.

Ironically, part of what I disliked about the second book - the shift from magic-fueled epic fantasy into steampunk-themed science fantasy - is precisely what I enjoyed here. It gives the whole story a puzzle feel as we try to figure out how Ashlyn and Ward will manage to outsmart one another, and the contrast of Ward's monsters against Bershad's dragons provides a fantastic parallel. It's a dark, violent, brutal book, with every conflict having consequences and body counts. The experimentation I found so tiresome in the second book somehow comes to life here, making me want to know precisely how things work.

As the old saying goes, war is hell, and hell is here, in the jungles and the cities, and it's on just about every page. Seriously, Brian Naslund doesn't let up and refuses to hold back, and that makes Fury of a Demon a worthy finale.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ 

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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