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The Demons We See

(The Dark Abyss of Our Sins #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Society was rocked when the Church asked Allegra, Contessa of Marsina, to negotiate the delicate peace talks between the rebelling mage slaves and the various city states. Not only was she a highborn mage, she was a nonbeliever and a vocal objector against the supposed demonic origins of witchcraft. Demons weren’t real, she’d argued, and therefore the subjection of mages w ...more
ebook, 412 pages
Published June 12th 2016
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Marta Cox
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
If honest I was expecting an urban fantasy type story but this has a much more high fantasy feel to it so if you enjoy Anne Bishops Black Jewels trilogy than this should be right up your street. It’s initially a very politically driven story that took me a few chapters to get really hooked by but once the characters became more fleshed out I definitely didn’t want to put it down.
Essentially we have Allegra a powerful woman who is a mage in a society that enslaves those with magic due to fear tha
A new Krista book! That's always a cause for celebration. Krista writes both fiction, an assortment of speculative fiction genres, and non-fiction. At this point, there are only a few of her books that I haven't read or that I don't own, including her non-fiction. Yes, she's just that good. She's a must-read and an auto-buy. In fact, not only do I have the ARC the author sent, which this review is based on, but I also bought a finished copy. :) The ARC was a mess: wrong words, missing words, ver ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Updated Review:

I’ve never done a full length review for this book and since I’m re-reading it I thought I’d go ahead and do that. Going to be a lot of summary and then some thoughts because I don’t think I can get all my feelings out without talking a bit about some of the things in the book, but it will be pretty spoiler free, or the things I talk about don’t really spoil any major things in the book.

My experience re-reading this was so different from the first time, mostly because I feel like
Melissa Hayden
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Krista has done well creating a cast of characters I enjoy reading. They all interact well together and have sense of humor.

Krista has a masterful touch to her writing. She easily as she blends fun with serious topics. This story is much more than meets the eye when you start it. It centers around slavery and treatment of slaves. The slaves are those who are accused of being elementals and mages, this does not always mean they are as people get mad at someone and this is their way to have them e
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
There's a lot to enjoy in this book. The musings from the main character about the impact of good roads on the country's economy (not long enough to be annoying, but enough to be solid worldbuilding). The cast of characters who are all distinct individuals who all interact with each other in ways that make sense, based on what we're told about them and what is revealed to us later in the story. Humor that is actually funny. Romance that isn't cloying and is between two mature adults who act like ...more
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
So, this ended up being a great book. A quick moving story involving mages, slaves, and a society on the brink of war because of their antiquated religious beliefs.

The world building is on the light side and trusts that we are smart enough to keep up. Which is something I appreciate. I don’t need my hand held through every little detail, although there were a couple of instances where maybe a quick clasp would have been helpful.

I found the most interesting part of the world building was to d
Ashe Armstrong
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-ladies
This book. This fuckin' book. I knew it was gonna be good and I'm in love with the cover. Look at the cover. Love it. Anyways, my thoughts on the story itself. The narrative itself is lighter. That's not a bad thing. It sets things up with its basic premise of "a rebellion is building among slaves." From there, it delves into the lives and interactions of the main characters. The interactions between the characters is fun. Everyone has their own little quirks but all share a love of snark and sa ...more
Morgan Beldyk
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book, fast-paced and with characters I immediately love and identify with. Ball creates a world that is simultaneously more and less progressive than our own. Homosexuality is happily accepted; indeed, the most powerful man in the world happens to have a husband. Skin-tone seems to matter very little if at all. Gender roles present complications, but seem overall ahead of our world. This is the first fantasy novel I've personally read to have an openly genderfluid POV character, and ...more
Calvin Park
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Demons We See is the first of Krista D. Ball’s novels that I’ve read. It has the feel of a Regency period piece, though its set in a secondary world with fun magic. The characters are definitely the aspect that shone the brightest for me. If you’re looking for a lighter read between big epics, this will probably scratch that itch well.

As I mentioned, the characters are the thing that really stood out to me in this novel. Ball obviously has a knack for crafting interesting and believable char
This was a solid 3.5 stars that I'm rounding up to 4 in appreciation of the author's great characters and genuinely funny dialogue moments.

There's a lot to love about this book - the setting is basically an alternative-Italy (or at least that's how it read to me) with a very re-imagined Catholic Church and Pope. In this world, the Pope (Francois) is married to his husband, Pero. The main plot revolves around Francois naming his childhood friend, Allegra (the Contessa of Marsina), who happens to
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love when a fantasy novel can manage to be both political (i.e. not just "kings doing things and war happening" but the actual inner-working of legislatures and executive offices) and fantastical without losing what makes either of those special. Not only is it thematically strong, but it also manages to be thematically salient to our current times. And the author is from Canada, even!

That said, it can be a little too X-Men where the fantastical people serve as a stand-in for all marginalized
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really read many self-published books, but I decided to give Krista D. Ball a chance, as I am a frequenter of /r/fantasy. The Demons We See has a good story line with an interesting context. Its pacing is a little odd and it could have used a little more editing, but overall it is enjoyable and I look forward to reading more of Ball's work in the future.
Robert Runte
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-sf-f
Excellent read: nicely developed world/society; nicely developed characters; and thematically mature action/adventure/romance novel. Kept me turning pages when I should have been abed. I thought I had figured out the obvious plot twist half way through, but ending convinced me I got that wrong--so at very least, not obvious. But if it's not him, then who IS putting out the---? I will definitely sign up for the rest of the series: I care about all these characters and the central mystery is worth ...more
Van Brewer
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For people in a hurry: buy book, read book, enjoy book, thank me later. Demons, magic, swords & hot stuff.

Ball is already a favorite author; her work is creative and enjoyable to the extent that I’ve followed her into new genres. Never a regret. I recommend the Tranquility series, the Spirit Caller serial (favorite), her non-fiction work and other novels as well. As for this particular work - I think The Demons We See really shows evidence of a writer honing her craft. She presents a new world w
Eric Dicarlo
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Krista D. Ball writes with a voice that is belongs solely to herself. This is great and makes the book super refreshing to read, but I can imagine that those reading her for the first time might be scared away (I know I almost was).

Don't! like I said, Ball's voice is fantastic and allows for extremely effective character representation. Furthermore, the plot itself focuses on a part fantasy worlds that is often discussed, but abandoned nearly as often. I don't want to spoil anything, but it work
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been in and out of a reading slump all winter, and picked up TDWS when I had a really busy time at work. So I ended up reading the first 30% slowly over two weeks, then when I finally had reading time one weekend I was physically unable to put the book down. And then I got the second one and I couldn’t put that down either, it was witchcraft I tell you.

I really liked the setting, worldbuilding, what have you. The series takes place in a secondary world, inspired by a 17th (I th
Patti Mar
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book sucked me in right away, and kept me hooked throughout. I ended up attached to the characters, read half through the night when I ought to have been asleep, and nearly missed my bus stop more than once. 100% recommending this book to everyone I know with a "just stop talking and read it!!" I can't wait for the rest of the series.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up, indie
Allegra's entire country is a powder keg. This is particularly problematic because she can summon fire.

This book is really interested in the social necessity and the social cost of revolution, and it does it well. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
In The Demons We See, mages are enslaved, using their powers to produce magical goods or to support other industry. The most powerful mages, elementals, are typically sent to work in mines which operate as de facto prisons, and their lives are hellish and brief. Our main character is Allegra, the Contessa of Marsina, who has lived a somewhat retiring life in a mountainside abbey. She is a vocal opponent of mage slavery, but when the novel opens she has generally confined her opposition to financ ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid 4 from me. Enjoyable characters with solid writing behind it. I'm a bit confused about some of the plot points, like how you repress magic, but hopefully they might get cleared up down the line. Overall this was a very enjoyable fantasy/romance novel. Although I may have skipped over the squelchy time. Ick.
Jane Glatt
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book ... Excellent world building with a complex political and social structure. Characters were believable and motivations - and the wit and sarcasm between characters was lots of fun ...
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable book. The author's focus on the characters is nicely balanced by the more or less even pace of events and the well-imagined world. I look forward to the sequel.
The Demons We See is a well-crafted, thoroughly entertaining fantasy political drama. While the first few chapters are enjoyable, the book really sucked me in once I got past the start. The characters are the heart of the novel, which is also filled with politics, several fighting scenes, and the occasional (rather intriguing) tangent about food or clothing.

Recommended for: People who love character-driven fantasy with humor, politics, romance, and lovable characters that try and improve their
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Krista D. Ball’s The Demons We See (The Dark Abyss of Our Sins Book 1) is also found in: Beginnings: first novels in multiple series by Krista D. Ball (great way to figure out which of her series you might like). I don’t review a lot of fantasy, but sometimes it’s just too fun to ignore. This is one of those times. I already love Ms Ball’s “Collaborator” series, so I had to read more by her–the collection of firsts was perfect for that.

Allegra is the Contessa of Marsina. She’s also an elemental
Sara G.
Oh man, I really liked this book. After hanging around on Reddit's /r/Fantasy community for years, I had yet to read anything by resident author Krista D. Ball. After seeing glowing reviews for this book I decided to give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did!

The characters are hands down the best part. All of them had unique voices, realistic internal dialogues and motivations, and great interactions with one another. It was seriously refreshing to read about characters who act like adults, who have
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*takes deep breath*

Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this book.

First of all, Allegra. A wonderful person and character, full of fire and fear, with a secret that could mean the end of her life. She is brave, she grows, she has difficult decisions to make. It all feels so real, it all hits all the harder when the stakes increase too, and I'm really proud of her for how she grew.

Second of all, Stanton. What a person, what kindness and devotion to doing a job, what honesty to be himself and do
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm rating it as "I liked it" because, whilst it's fantasy and I enjoyed the story, there were elements which I did find myself skipping over. I can understand why others rated it higher, though, as it is a great story.

I'm not sure how I felt about the romantic element of the storyline, and whilst I liked Lex as a character, their non-binariness felt over-emphasized, and for me I didn't think that was necessary, but I can understand why others may enjoy seeing more of the thought process and he
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
This was a really good story with a couple rough spots. The main cast was great and I liked the obvious relationship setup but the world building felt a little lacking (especially about the demons) and the 'bad guys' didn't seem to have credible motivations. Still a fun read and the best of Krista's books so far
May 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. It’s just... boring. A story with no stakes for its protagonists, at least so far as 20%, where i got tired of waiting for something to happen. The story all seems to be happening to people not on the page.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A true page-turner. Once I started it, I read half of it before I could put it down.
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