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“I have possessed countless human beings and acquired many human traits and emotions: curiosity, anger, the desire for revenge, most varieties of lust. But some things are more difficult. Compassion eludes me although I have tried. And five times I have almost loved a human being.”
“Almost?” Lisa says.
“There can be no love without the willingness to sacrifice oneself. Sacrifice is beyond me.”
“Is Lu one of the humans?”
“Not Luanda,” Talion says with a trace of regret.
“But you love Solly. Almost.”
“So, what are you beneath your acquired humanness?”
“I am a spirit—nameless, undefined.”
She answers him with a thought: Then you need us.
Readers have asked why I call the spirits in Daemon Blood daemons instead of demons. The meanings of the two words overlap, but demon has strong Biblical connotations. Many people think of demons as the servants of Lucifer and the seducers of humankind, definitions that don’t fit the supernatural beings in the Daemon World series.
Daemon means spirit in a more general sense. The daemons in my stories are spirits who can access the physical world in two ways: by possessing the body of a human being or lower creature, or by using a seer as a tether. Along with seeing daemons, seers can keep these spirits connected to the world without the limitation of being trapped inside a body. Few seers can tether more than one or two daemons. A daemon who owns one of these rare few can assemble a cohort and grow more powerful.
Daemons battle fiercely over seers, who may find themselves caught between the combatants. To impose order on the process and keep seers from being hurt or killed, daemons long ago devised laws to govern the claiming and ownership of seers. The laws grant few rights to seers.
After much suffering, seer Lu Darlington has carved out a small area of freedom from Talion, the daemon she swore to obey. She has given herself the space to have a life of her own, but Talion can still destroy her if he chooses, and she can’t loosen his grip on her four-year-old son, Solly.
Meanwhile, Lisa Duncan is falling more and more under Talion’s influence. The daemon uses his magic to ease her intractable pain and make her dependent upon him. He is a seducer, but not in the service of any evil principal. He’s out entirely for himself. Lisa understands what he’s doing, but she can’t escape from him and finds the pain relief hard to resist. At one point, she thinks of the daemon as a venomous spider whose bite is slowly paralyzing her.
Talion would argue that his relationship with Lisa is symbiotic, that both benefit equally. But he takes far more than he gives.
(Daemon World, #3)
Publication date: March 8th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Our war will not unfold in your imaginary heaven. We will fight on Earth with human beings as pawns and weapons.
Lu Darlington is a seer, bound to the daemon Talion through ritual and blood. It’s not a role she enjoys, but she has little choice: daemons take what they want and destroy whoever stands in their way.
So Lu’s surprised when Talion doesn’t punish her for her newfound ability to keep him from possessing her whenever he likes. In fact he’s pleased. The stronger she is, he explains, the more powerful he becomes.
And he needs that power, because a war is brewing in the daemon world, a war that will be fought by—and through—humans.
Lu’s friend Lisa Duncan can’t see daemons but she’s seen what they can do and so has stayed far away from Lu for years. After a bizarre attack on Lisa leaves half a dozen people dead and she learns it’s just the first skirmish in the daemon war, Lisa realizes the safest place to be is with Lu.
Then Talion sends Lu away to teach her skills to another seer and Lisa must stay behind to look after Lu’s son Solly, conceived through a daemon ceremony with Talion. At four years old Solly’s seer abilities are already so strong Lisa is sometimes more afraid of Solly than for him.
As Talion’s enemies grow bolder, Lisa and Lu face attacks from every direction. There seems little hope any of them will survive—until Talion and his allies devise a plan.
The only problem is how much it will cost.
“With Daemon Blood, Mary Maddox has crafted a timeless tale of good against evil. With compelling characters and a keen sense of the darkness that lurks within us all, Daemon Blood will stay with you long after you turn the final thrilling page.”
— David Sodergren, Author of The Forgotten Island
Mary Maddox is a suspense, horror, and dark fantasy novelist with what The Charleston Times-Courier calls a “Ray Bradbury-like gift for deft, deep-shadowed description.” Born in Soldiers Summit, high in the mountains of Utah, Maddox graduated with honors in creative writing from Knox College, and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She taught writing at Eastern Illinois University and has published stories in various journals, including Yellow Silk, Farmer’s Market, The Scream Online, and Huffington Post. The Illinois Arts Council has honored her fiction with a Literary Award and an Artist’s Grant.