Demon Master by Simone Bern

eXtasy Books

Paranormal, Dark Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1-55487-105-6

Reviewed by Patrice F.



Rianne despises her husband, Vankor, the striking, ruthless Demon Master.  He has sacrificed her for years, keeping her as his prisoner with a binding spell.  She lives in daily torment until one day everything changes.  Rianne wants to avenge the wrongs Vankor has committed against her, going as far as seeking the old gods to mete out justice.  But does she truly know her own heart?  Is what she feels for Vankor hatred, or some other stronger emotion?  Who is this stranger that looks like Vankor courting her with passion and sweet words? 

There’s a thin line between love and hate.  Demon Master crosses to the other side, and skillfully ties it all together.   Sometimes love isn’t necessarily expressed as gentle affection, and the dynamic between Rianne and Vankor gives new meaning to another expression, “You always hurt the one you love.”   The motivations that drive Rianne and Vankor engulfed me in their complexity.   This is a story with a mesmerizing affect, and the more I continued to read, the more engrossed I became.   There’s substance and intelligence that shifts to subtlety and blatant unleashed sexuality.

This tale captures the nuances of old school dark fantasy.  The author is very skilled in exploring the layers of her characters in the traditional sense of early sword and sorcery fiction.  There is an eroticism and complexity in her writing that reminded me of CL Moore’s short story, Black God’s Kiss.   Rianne brought to mind the heroine, Jirel of Joiry, and that’s a strong compliment to Ms. Bern’s writing.  Even if you’re not familiar with CL Moore’s work, there’s no time like the present to try Demon Master on for size.   It’s an excellent example of writing that early women authors like Ms. Moore helped to pave the way for. 


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