Black City Demon

Written by Richard A. Knaak
Review by J. Lynn Else

Sixteen hundred years ago, Nick Medea became Guardian of the gate between our world and the Feirie. Once known as Saint George, Nick now spends his days preventing those from the Feirie world from invading ours, but protecting the gate has come at great cost to him. To complicate matters further, a part of him contains the mythical dragon he once battled, and he must fight to maintain control of himself or risk unleashing a fire-breathing terror upon Prohibition-era Chicago. Yet, Nick soon finds he must trust this untrustworthy part of himself as a new threat emerges, one that even dragons fear. Can Nick and his motley group of friends protect the mortal world from the darkest of powers?

Despite the author’s overuse of contractions ending in “had” (but’d, Michael’d, body’d), I found the book’s setting intriguing and highly enjoyed Knaak’s creative blend of fantasy and history. However, the novel spends a great deal of time reminiscing. Knaak spends so much time trying to catch readers up on past events that there’s little room for plot advancement in the first third of the book. Reading Nick Medea’s introduction story, Black City Saint (HNR 76, May 2016), is highly recommended. Unfortunately, the two books are not marked as parts of a series, and it’s hard to read one without the other. I hope readers will not miss out on Knaak’s otherwise absorbing urban fantasy novels; just be sure to pick up Black City Saint first. I know I’ll be getting my copy soon! This is a well-imagined, entertaining story.