In this fantasy, many believe that only a few demons survived the Human-Demon Wars that took place 100 years ago.
In the dark Underlands, Alex is an enslaved boy whose owner insists on being called Grandfather. In a land known to mistreat its subjugated denizens (who are the descendants of those who sided with the demons during the wars), Alex fears he will be taken away from his mother, his owner, and the only life he knows. Yet he impossibly dreams of one day visiting the sunlight-filled Overlands. Rita is a witch-in-training whose biggest fear is being forced to marry a person she despises. Her only chance to be free of this prospect is to become a seer. Milos is a traveler from the Overlands, one of the Alertian Line of famous demon slayers. His initiation requires him to find and slay an evil demon (and everybody knows all demons are sinister), and his greatest fear is that he will fail and disappoint his parents. The lives of Alex, Rita, and Milos are upended when their worst fears come to fruition just as their paths intersect. This fantasy series opener is set in a world with a strict hierarchal system that splits Overlands and Underlands and enslaved people and nobles, seemingly with no flexibility or possibility of choice. Boglisch’s absorbing tale puts the three main characters (who share the narrative) through the wringer, leading to an intriguing interrogation of legacy, agency, belief systems, the unjust power dynamics in their world, and how the truth can be twisted to fit a story created by the mighty... Still, this promising installment delivers engaging character dynamics between Rita, Alex, and Milos and an ending that sets up a captivating hook for the sequel.
An engrossing supernatural tale with a strong cast.