NESFA Members' Reviews

coverLord Demon

by Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold

A book review by Mark L. Olson

Avon Eos, 1999, 276 pp, $23.00

Again we have a posthumous collaboration between Zelazny and Lindskold, and again we have a fun, thoroughly enjoyable book.

The first-person narrator of Lord Demon is a demon who is one of the greatest of demon warriors, but who has spent most of the last thousand years living in a bottle (much larger on the inside than on the outside) creating fine pottery and eating pizza with his human, Irish drinking buddy.

The demons -- self-designated, but with their powers it's not an inappropriate name -- are the losers in a prehistoric battle with another magical race. They settled a reality neighboring ours and for a long time their main entry point to Earth was in China. They are the demons of Chinese legend, but that's because Chinese legends record actual demon activities, not because the demons somehow followed Chinese cultural norms -- in many respects, they created them.

Lord Demon follows the broad outline of many Zelazny stories: retired hero is living in zennish tranquility, but is rousted out of it by outside events and then takes the lead to restore a new order to the world. (Note that the superb Zelazny pastiche -- Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams -- also follows this pattern.) It's a great plot and Zelazny and Lindskold have added so many lovely embellishments that it's not in the slightest bit stale.


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