It is the time of the Dark Ages. A grave digger works in the moor late one night to assemble a grotesque book by the light of a torch. On its papyrus pages are the spells of a demon to be bound in the wood of a Sorcerer's Tree before being covered in the hide of a wolf. Completing his task, the book helps the man become the head of the most powerful - and most feared - family in a land to become known as Scotland.
Fifteen hundred years later, the tome sits on the shelf of a London dealer in fine and rare books. No one knows it is aware of its environment, can see and hear those around it, knows who is in the room and who is speaking, can grant its reader anything he wants if it so chooses no matter how gluttonous or vile the request, no matter who gets hurt or who dies.
It isn't long before an Oxford University theologian, Dr. Peter Ashford, a man that owns a deep knowledge of occult beliefs and practices, comes into possession of the book. Even he, however, has no idea how dangerous is this book until it attempts to kill his wife. Furious and also astonished, he immediately resolves to destroy it, but before he can, it goes missing, taken to the U.S. by someone with no knowledge of the black arts.
In a frantic effort to track it down, Peter must make sense of mysterious clues and codes, solve a baffling cryptogram, avoid a deadly cloud of legend that never moves while trying to escape the control of a strange man with dark green eyes that do not belong to him. Yet from this man Peter learns the book is even more evil - deadlier - than he ever suspected, that its immense power is derived from an archdevil that is not Satan.
To Peter's horror, he hears of dark - scientifically impossible - events taking place in the U.S.He does not know the book's effects have already worried the National Weather Service, frightened even police forensic investigators and have shaken the U.S. military.
Time is running out. Peter is humanity's only hope for rescue. Nearly losing his life several times as he struggles to locate the book that will try to stop him at all costs, the man is drawn into hell itself as he races to prevent a satanic Armageddon.
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- From the first impression provided by the dark, mysterious cover to the structure and fonts used inside the pages, it feels like stepping into an entirely different world.
- It's incredibly rare to be surprised by the way everything plays out in a horror story while being completely enthralled
- Klein paints a scenario that might leave some readers with nightmares.
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A beautifully written fantasy with an international setting, King of the Nine Hells by Dean Klein is a riveting story that will find a comfortable home with readers who enjoy well-crafted stories of dark magic and fascinating characters. King of the Nine Hells by Dean Klein is a great achievement, pulsating and utterly engrossing.
5 stars. Ruffina Oserio (Philippines) for Readers' Favorite
Threats, fear, and tension build from the first page to the last with an ever-escalating danger that keeps you intrigued and both eager and terrified to find out what will happen next. Great scene settings and developments.
5 stars. K.J. Simmill (United Kingdom) for Readers' Favorite
King of the Nine Hells by Dean Klein is a fast paced, action packed, exciting book that reads like a movie. It grabs you from the beginning and refuses to let up the suspense as the pages go by.
4 stars. Kayti Nika Raet (U.S.) for Readers' Favorite
To appreciate the novel is to look at the cover with its blood red script, black background and intense green eyes at either side. It is enough to turn the blood cold, yet this is before you have even turned the page. King of the Nine Hells hooks the reader from the first page... Readers will be in for a treat with this novel, it's huge, and one many readers would be proud to own.
(SF Site does not rate books it reviews.)
King of the Nine Hells is bound to be one of the scariest books some readers will ever open.
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