Book Review: Give the Devil His Due by Rob Blackwell

Author:Rob Blackwell
TitleGive the Devil His Due 
Publication Info: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)
ISBN: 149289656X

The third installment of The Sanheim Chronicles completes the story begun in A Soul To Steal and Band of Demons.  As noted, the author is a friend of mine, so I may not be impartial, but on the other hand I was reading this while waiting for a bus and was so engrossed that I didn’t notice a bus had stopped right in front of me.  The series continues to improve and it continues to change.  These three books could be three different genres, and there’s a lot going on in just this one volume from Celtic mythology to the American Civil War.  There’s imaginative world-building too as the characters proceed on an epic journey across the Land of the Dead.  Blackwell also brings back a lot of good characters from earlier novels in unexpected ways, but I shan’t into detail lest it get too spoilery.

Favorite Passages:

“It matters because words have power, and names have more than most,” Kieran replied. “It influences what we believe and that definitely matters. If we say the Land of the Dead is hell, and Sanheim is the devil, then we’ve already lost. How can we free a soul from a land where only the most evil and corrupted go in the first place? How can we defeat a monster that is evil incarnate? This is why Sanheim acts the way he does, why he no doubt tries to make the Land of the Dead seem like our conception of hell. Because it teaches people to accept their fate. They believe they are there because they deserve to be, and the creature that rules them is nothing less than an evil god.”

Rating: ****

Book Review: Band of Demons by Rob Blackwell

Author: Rob Blackwell
Band of Demons
Publication Info: 
Dark Forest Publishing
Rating: ***1/2

Summary/Review:  This is the second installment in The Sanheim Chronicles, following up on A Soul To Steal, which tells the story of two journalists in Virginia who discover they have the powers of the Prince of Sanheim which manifests itself as The Headless Horseman from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”  As I noted in the review of the previous book, the author is a friend of mine so there could be some bias.  For a second book, the fear is that there will be a sophomore slump, but thankfully I think this book is better than the first.  While A Soul to Steal reads like a murder mystery in which supernatural elements creep in and take over, in Band of Demons the supernatural is front and center.  Yes, there are more murders in sleepy Loudon County, but Quinn and Kate have bigger fish to fry as they discover they have rivals to being Prince of Sanheim.  What’s best about this book is that while Quinn was central to the first novel, this one takes the time to develop Kate and explore the mysteries of her character.  And then there’s that stunning cliffhanger of an ending ….