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When Demons Walk (Sianim #3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  4,993 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Don't try this at home
Sham had spent most of her young life as a sorceress and thief, stealing from Southwood's nobility to survive. Now she must face the greatest test of her skills...

A killer has struck Southwood, claiming the lives of nobles. Lord Kerim, Reeve of Southwood, turns to Sham for help. Posing as his mistress, she delves behind castle walls to find the killer
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1998 by Ace Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Decent beginning with an ending that deserves a better book. In between is a glorified mess that is the hallmark of an early writer - a half-@$&ed "romance", a shoddy mystery, a wandering plot.

This "summer of love" is turning out to be a miserable bust.

Full Review:

Shamara "Sham" is a wizard apprentice thief who makes her living off tweaking the men who tortured her master, Maur. One day, she comes back to his cottage and he is being killed. He whispers the words "Chen Laut".

Beanbag Love
I can't say I was disappointed in this book, but I think it's much weaker than Briggs's later efforts.

The world is interesting (although this is the third in a trilogy, apparently, it's the only one I've read), but the story itself is uneven. Toward the end the explanation of the magic was complicated and, after reading one segment about three times I decided to trust it would all work out and moved on. That's not to say it's bad, perhaps just a bit technical and convoluted. It led to a very ex
Seth Kenlon
Nov 19, 2014 Seth Kenlon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Sham is a low-ranking mage, female but sometimes mistaken for a young male in part for her rogue-ish penchant for petty thievery. She returns to her master only to find that he has been slaughtered by who-knoweth-what. So it becomes Sham's job to find the killer, and this leads her to a wide variety of smaller tasks, resulting in a pretty good ending.

I quite liked this book. Could have been a little more graphic and I would not have minded, but as it is, it's suitable for any age. It's a good fa
Dec 08, 2009 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
One of the things I enjoy most about the writing style of Patricia Briggs is she takes average females and makes them heriones by their cunning, personality, empathy, self-discovery and shear determination. Briggs is a master at weaving an alternative reality and making you feel like you are there. Sham (Shamera)has entered a life of crime when her island was invaded and taken over by Cybellians. She formerly lived in the palace with her servant parents. However, they were killed and she now is ...more
Nov 11, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
read 7/5/1999

sometimes I pick up a book JUST because of who did the cover -- and this Luis Royo cover was no exception. I've now been enjoying Patricia Briggs since 1999

re-read 3/27/2015
Mar 10, 2012 Jacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
This gives the impression of being a slight book (slighter than it actually is) from Patricia Briggs early work (1998). It's set in the Sianim universe though with no crossover characters from Steal the Dragon except for the Prophet of Altis (who's mentioned but doesn't appear on the page). It’s slight but it's absorbing, a crossover between fantasy, murder mystery and romance. Sham, sorceress and thief was exiled to Purgatory (the bad part of the bad part of town) when the hated Cybellians inva ...more
Nov 18, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shamera is a wizard, she has been a thief for the last 12 years protecting and caring for her Master the Wizard Maur, who was blinded and tortured 12 yrs ago when the kingdom was overrun. Her father and mother were murdered then also. Now she is just Sham the thief.

Kerim is Reeve of Southwood. He rules from the palace where Sham used to live. One night while he rides through Purgatory he sees Sham and speaks to her at the docks. By the time she gets home it is to find Maur in a battle for life
Nov 08, 2011 Miki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a good thing I did not read When Demons Walk before I discovered Mercy Thompson. With due respect to Patricia Briggs, this is not her finest moment. If a Harlequin Romances had a Paranormal line, this book would be in it.

Consider: A spunky heroine, not classically beautiful but striking, meets a slightly older man in authority. She is a master of magic, he is steeped in reality. She goes undercover as his mistress, wears some stunning clothes, they have adventures together, she wears more
I love this book; it's not as polished as Brigg's later series (this is the third book in the verse though they all read as standalones) but it's light easy reading.

The story is Sham's. Sham is very self-assured and enjoys her dressing up and shocking people. I liked Kerim's enjoyment of her mischief, there's no great romance or sparks but more a warm playful appreciation of each other, I could see these two getting together amongst a lot of laughter. Their both strong independant people. It wou
Lisa Denn
Patrica Briggs' When Demons Walk was good but it lacked the 1,2,3 punch I experienced after reading Masques and Steal the Dragon.

When Demons Walk follows the adventures and missteps of the story's main characters Sham, a mage and thief, and Lord Kerim, the Reeve of Southwood. Hired by Kerim to pose as his mistress, Sham uses her knowledge of magic and skills as a thief to slip in and out of rooms in the Castle as well as the homes of Southwood's upper class to find information about the elusive
Jan 19, 2010 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The 3rd book by Briggs set in this particular world, it's ok. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read the 2nd book in the series. This book introduces a completely new set of characters, which would be ok, but it references large-scale events from the previous book...but doesn't really address what had happened from book 2 to book 3. Since book 2's plot pretty much revolved around this event (the gathering of information about an impending war & the identity of the enemy's ar ...more
May 06, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love you Paticia Briggs.


Everything in this book was awesome. In fact, it was so awesome that it was awesomer (not a real word, I know) than the other books in this series, which are also awesome. I tried to find a picture of what I imagine Sham looks like, but I couldn't find anything that would work, so have some happy minions instead.

Oct 21, 2010 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010, re-read
Still on my comfort rereading trip this book holds up extremely well on a second reread. You have the mystery, lots of great characters, lovely descriptions of sexy wardrobe ^^, a nicely understated romance and a villain who is so alien that you can eventually feel sorry for it. Not to mention that at least the setting of Purgatory and the Shadow Tides come alive.

We get two more memorable women in this one, other than the heroine, which is better than usual for P. Briggs. Also this is very much
Feb 16, 2014 Miranda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So far of Patricia Briggs AU medieval fantasy books that I've read, I'd say this was her weakest. The characters didn't seem to go through much development which is normal for a medieval fantasy because they grow throughout the series, but as far as I can tell these characters aren't getting another book. The previous books in this world, the characters actually seemed to face tough choices that helped them grow instead of just going through the plot as they seemed to in this one. Personally, I ...more
May 08, 2010 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adult, reviewed
This was better than I remembered. A fun, uncomplicated sword and sorcery tale. The denouement felt a little abrupt, especially the romantic resolution, but other than that this was an enjoyable read.
Dec 28, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good read even though I got distracted. I love the world. I can't wait for more!
Dec 25, 2011 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, favorites, fantasy
reread, still enjoyable
Une lecture fort sympathique, qui m'a été recommandée pour découvrir Patricia Briggs avant de me lancer dans ses séries plus longues, notamment Mercy Thompson.
Même si ce roman-ci est le 3e dans sa série, il peut se lire comme un standalone.
J'ai trouvé le style agréable, fluide, les personnages, tout en restant des archétypes de la romance paranormale, ne sont pas aussi prévisibles qu'on pourrait l'imaginer, et ça fait du bien. L'aspect romantique est traité au 2nd plan, loin derrière la constru
Dec 12, 2016 Vorbis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. Really fun tropes. This isn't a particularly bright book, but it's fun and fast to read.

Thief, magician, dresses like a boy until the man she's going to fall in love with needs her to spy for him so she has to pretend to become his mistress - it's so blatant. Wish fulfilment fantasy, and as long as you turn your brain off it's a good way to pass the time.
May 23, 2017 Jade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the adventure, although, the ending was a little abrupt.
Michael Rhode
Pleasant light fantasy, with a clever idea at the base of it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2017 Adeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that I read in 2 days. Short and sweet!
Sham is a mage, and thief who is being trained by another mage, her mentor. She uses her magic to help her steal from the rich so she can survive. Sham wants nothing to do with the upper-class until her mentor is murdered. He is murdered in the same way that several rich people in the castle have been killed so when the ruler, Kerim, comes asking her for help to find the killer she agrees. She learns to adjust quickly and quickly fits in even though she sometimes doesn’t feel like she belongs am ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's another early work by Patricia Briggs, and you can see that the editing isn't perfect, but the characters are interesting and the story is compelling. I was engaged for the entire book. It's the 3rd in the Sianim series, and again it is a stand alone novel set on the same continent as the first 2, but in this case 12 years later in a country that is new to the reader. You get to see that there might be hope for the followers of Altis and magic users co-existing side by ...more
Kathy Davie
Jan 19, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homey, fantasy
Third in the Sianim fantasy series of very loosely connected stories.

My Take
Wow. Patricia Briggs has done it again. This story has all the homeyness and personality I have found in her other series. I've fallen in love with Sham and Kerim and am desperately hoping that Briggs will consider another installment.

The only connection any of the books have is the countries involved and the ae'Magi although the Voice of Altis does get a mention in When Demons Walks.

When Demons Walk, does not answer any
Laurie (Mots Insatiables)
L'empreinte du démon est le quatrième tome de la saga Sianim, que j'aime de plus en plus à chaque tome. Vous pouvez retrouvez mes chroniques sur les deux premiers tomes : Masques et L'épreuve du loup. Et celle sur le troisième : Le voleur de dragon. Ce quatrième tome n'a pas échappé à mon amour inconditionnel des romans de Patricia Briggs, et à vrai dire, je suis fière de pouvoir avouer qu'elle est la seule à me faire aimer la pure fantasy. Au dos de ce tome, on trouve un commentaire du qui dit ...more
A fun fantasy novel about a mage born thief who poses as a flippant mistress to a lord in order to find a disguised demon hidden at court. It is a stand-alone novel in a book series set in the world of Sianim [Masques, Wolsfbane, Steal The Dragon].

When Demons Walk is considered a stand-alone novel however it utilizes an established magic system that may be overwhelming to new readers unfamiliar to the series. For a more rounded and enjoyable experience I would recommend this book be read last
Oct 03, 2007 Brownbetty rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: bored people
Pretty much as expected, a decent read if one doesn't expect too much. The cheesy cover art was redeemed, however, by the main character's delight in the ridiculousness of the costumes she wears. That said, it resembled a vampire novel in the detail given to costume changes, which, while a plot point, were not as interesting to me as they evidently were to the author.


Briggs has never been good at romances, in my opinion. Generally, in her books, two opposite gender characters develop a dec
M.A. Nichols
Nov 22, 2010 M.A. Nichols rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was the weakest of the series for me. It had a few really great moments, but it's pretty forgettable. Mostly, my problem was that Briggs had set up this really great emotional conflict between the hero and heroine, but it never really played out. The heroine is from a country that the hero's people conquered; her parents and friends were all slaughtered by the hero's group and it's never really sorted out properly. Sure, the hero didn't personally kill any of her family, but other than a fe ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 25, 2015 09:18AM  
Alternate ending please 3 35 Jul 11, 2011 03:59PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a na
More about Patricia Briggs...

Other Books in the Series

Sianim (4 books)
  • Masques (Sianim, #1 / Aralorn, #1)
  • Steal the Dragon (Sianim, #2)
  • Wolfsbane (Sianim, #4 / Aralorn, #2)

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“Over a lifetime of dealing with difficult women, I have learned it is often better to give into their demands immediately.” 219 likes
“When life doesn't meet your expectations, it was important to take it with grace.” 144 likes
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