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A book blog, mostly touring foreign worlds of fantasy novels with occasional detours into space and explorations of magical realism, featuring book reviews, random bookish thoughts and hand lettered quotes.

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

The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker


The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.

But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.

He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?

My thoughts

Loki is getting loki-ed basically, which is what reading The Devil You Know felt like to me and why I had a hell of a lot of fun reading this novella.

“I don’t do evil when I’m not on duty, just as prostitutes tend not to have sex on their days off.
That’s the very first sentences and after reading it, I already knew I’m going to love this one. Even though I usually love villains that are bad through and through, this idea of a Devil’s demon assistant, only being evil on the job, is nothing but great. And that there isn’t just the Devil, but many assistants working for him, and as something like a bureaucracy? Fantastic!

The best about The Devil You Know is that you know the whole time that the Devil/assistant is being played and that the philosopher has it all planned out but you can just sit and keep reading because you are just as clueless as the demon himself. You can actually feel the assistant’s frustration at being unable to figure it all out before it’s too late.
Both the philosopher and the demon were interesting enough characters that I didn’t know who I wanted to root for: the demon to figure out the philosopher’s schemes, or the philosopher getting away with it all.

And the end? Utterly brilliant! All these twist and turns, I absolutely loved it!

The Devil You Know by

Published March 01, 2016