Review: The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker

February 18, 2016
Review: The Devil You Know by K. J. ParkerThe Devil You Know by K. J. Parker
Published by Tor.com on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 126
Our reviews of this author: The Last Witness
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button

four-stars

So, what happens when the greatest philosopher of all time and a representative (a demon) who works for the Devil strike a deal. Who do you think manages to get the better end of that deal? That is essentially what The Devil You Know explores.

The philosopher, Saloninus, is quite well versed at finding loopholes and using manipulation as a means to an end. He can find power in words (as well as power in the words that are missing) and he is not above deception. And by the nature of working for the devil, you assume that deceit is also a strength of the demon. So when the philosopher signs away his eternal soul in exchange for the demon granting his every whim for the remainder of his life, restoring his youth and guaranteeing he will live a couple more decades, the demon is a bit perplexed at the philosophers satisfaction with the contract.

Surely his eternal soul is worth more than some gold and revived youth that will eventually be lost. In the timeframe of eternity, this deal seems incredibly short sighted and offers the philosopher too little. This is the crux of the book. Trying to figure out who really got the better deal. Saloninus seems awfully pleased, perhaps a bit too sure of himself. It sets the demon on edge, wondering what he has missed and what the philosopher is really up to. It is a fun read, watching how Saloninus chooses to use his time and his power over the demon. Reading the demon’s reaction to this, his apprehension that perhaps Saloninus is up to something that he can’t quite figure out, is definitely intriguing and entertaining.

The book is told from these two POVs, both in first person. I will say that I at times felt myself stumble a bit as a reader trying to distinguish between the two POVs early in a section after a switch, wondering if it was just a switch in scene or a switch in POV. It wasn’t a major issue by any means, but left me feeling a bit unsteady at times while reading. This is really my only complaint with the story.

Overall I found The Devil You Know to be a fun and intriguing novella. I love speculating character motivations and trying to discern what they are actually up to and there is ample opportunity for that in this.

Share this:
four-stars
Lisa Taylor
See Me.

Lisa Taylor

I read. Mainly fantasy. Sometimes horror or science fiction. I like books that have a dark side and am not a fan of happy fairy tales. I also have a tendency to tell people what I think of these books (and hopefully why!)

You can also find me blogging about books at Tenacious Reader
Lisa Taylor
See Me.

Latest posts by Lisa Taylor (see all)

Related Post

Wrap Up

  • 8/10
    Rating

Pros

Cons

One Comment

  • Maddalena@spaceandsorcery February 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    What an intriguing premise!

%d bloggers like this: