A deal struck at Heather’s birth marks her for life in this intriguing fantasy romance.
New born baby, Heather, is not expected to last the night. Her distraught mother summons a demon and trades her own life for her daughter. Fourteen or so years later, Heather, forever tied to a demon, falls in love with him.
Kemeridou doesn’t lack for imagination. Her intriguing worlds and new take on well worn stories are what I like best about her writing. It is also, unfortunately, what frustrates me most. The author casually throws in fascinating nuggets of information, which has me salivating for more detail of the world or character, and then moves on.
Perhaps it is because Kemeridou is writing in English as her second language that she keeps her details spare. I am impressed at her attempting, let alone succeeding so well in writing a story in a language other than her native tongue.
Mark of a Demon is also a long short story, or novelette, so there isn’t much room for the greater depth of description and characters that I longed for. However, wishing a story was longer is never a bad thing, and I hope that the author will expand more on her world and her characters in her next work.
My favorite parts of this story involved the main character, Heather. An outcast because of the deal her mother made, she can see the spirits of the dead. Bullied at school for being considered a witch by her classmates, she never quite fits in, and these were all aspects that made me empathize with the character.
Hints at how the afterlife works in this world were also welcome, and I would love to have seen the new take on angels and demons developed more satisfactorily.
However, this is primarily a romance, and in that respect I am the wrong reader for this book. As an intellectual exercise I can appreciate how Heather falling in love with a demon is supposed to be her seeing beyond the boundaries of society. Perhaps the bond that was forged at her birth (without her knowledge or consent) is supposed to mean the two characters are like the different parts of a whole. I could even see love transcends nature as a theme.
However, as a jaded cynic in a world of predators, I felt decidedly uncomfortable with a romance between a much older man in a position of power and a teenage girl. Perhaps, if this was a novella rather than a short story, my issues would have been addressed and resolved, but as it stands, I couldn’t see past my take on the main characters’ relationship.
I think fans of fantasy romance will love this book, and I am interested to read what the author produces next.
I award Mark of a Demon…
Mark of a Demon is available for $1.24 ebook on Amazon.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.