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Prosper's Demon

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In the pitch dark, witty fantasy novella Prosper's Demon, K. J. Parker deftly creates a world with vivid, unbending rules, seething with demons, broken faith, and worse men.

In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.

The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with
ebook, 112 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Johann (jobis89)
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“And belief, like love and sleep, is something you can’t do anything about. You can’t make it come if you want it, and you can’t make it go if you don’t.”

A short and sweet review for a short and sweet novella! First of all, thank you so much to @torbooks for sending me a free copy! I dug the hell out of this one. This is not a horror book, by any stretch of the imagination - although a few parts are somewhat gory - it’s more of a fresh take on demonic possession.

Our morally questionable narrator
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
There's a lot of great stuff going on in this novella.

My first, I believe reasonable, reaction was one of, "Hey! This is like Bujold's Penric's Demon!"

But very quickly, it went down the rabbit hole, scaring away every mouse, drenching itself in blood, and proving that art really IS mightier than the sword.

I like. A lot.

I doesn't end there. It doesn't even begin there. What I got during the reading was a treatment of the prisoner's dilemma wrapped around a despoiled world much like our own and
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, novella

I have an idea you aren’t going to like me very much. That may prove to be the only thing we’ll have in common, so let’s make the most of it. I do terrible things.

KJ Parker has mastered the art of writing short fiction. With instantly recognizable voice, unreliable narration andhumorously cynical tone, he makes me laugh, think, and loathe his protagonists.

In Prosper’s Demon the unnamed narrator can spot demons and communicate with them. The church has authorized him to evict them from
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Review to come closer to publication at the request of the publisher.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher,
The Artisan Geek
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcase
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

I really enjoyed Prosper's Demon! It was a dark but funny read altogether, with a marvellous ending!! A full review is to come!! ;)

Oh my gosh! Look at that cover!! A sincere thank you to for gifting me a copy of this book. :) Can't wait!!

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
I received an ARC from in exchange for an honest review!

I wanted to like this more than I did.

It's a very interesting premise and a fresh take on demonic possessions. But I never felt like I had enough of a grasp on the world to fully understand what in the hell (pun slightly intended) was going on. It's interesting and written well, but in the end I felt like it lacked details that made it fully immersive for me as a reader.
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
An absolutely stellar example of KJ Parker's signature wit. As always, Parker's protagonist is more than a bit of an asshole, but you have to love the wry, humorous prose he's couched in. This would be a great entry point for someone new to Parker's short fiction, given how thoroughly it epitomizes the tone and characters he's known for.

Full review to come!
This is a novella set in the magic/demons etc universe (sort of, as details sometimes vary, but with Saloninus, Invisible Sun etc) of the author and it is one of the best of its sort - I generally prefer the smaller scale pieces in this universe, but Prosper's Demon which touches on the bigger scale issues (for example, we find out that there are some 70K odd demons per religious authority, but any demon hunter/exorciser will generally encounter only a few as they tend to stay local) manages to ...more
J.A. Ironside
ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Prosper's Demon is a strange, compelling little tale. Told from the POV of a cleric/ demon hunter (though not in the Winchester way) the reader is taken on a journey through a world like ours or a historical version of ours, but different. Demons exist alongside humans but they are unseen and intangible to all but those with particular aptitude. Demon nature seems to be to cause mischief and harm which they do via possession. The
Jonathan Strahan
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
A really strong instalment from Parker, one of his better novellas of recent year.
Stefan Fergus
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Another intriguing novella, with a fascinating narrator and story. Superb.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

Prosper’s Demon was one of my most highly anticipated January releases, in part because of its astonishing cover -- yes, I am shallow. While this horror novella wasn’t necessarily what I expected or craved, I enjoyed this strange and snarky tale of demonic possession and exorcism.

This novella is a funny one, because while it does everything it says in the blurb it
Laura (crofteereader)
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you NetGalley and Tordotcom for the advanced copy; all thoughts are my own.

So this one is everything I would expect from a Tordotcom novella: short, smart, weird, and an absolute blast (pun intended, but you'll have to read it to find out why). Our nameless narrator has such a brilliant colloquial tone as he describes his lifelong battle with an immortal enemy. There's also a very clever moral balancing act at play that we see in bits and pieces.

Obviously, the length is an important factor
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker is a somehow delightful novella about a man who has the special "gift" of detecting and removing demons that have taken residence in other humans. This man has found himself in a constant stuggle with one particular demon that can't seem to leave him alone.

Told in first person, the narrator's sarcastic and self-deprecating tone really worked for me. The narrator is a deeply flawed human, which made for an interesting exploration of the nature of so-called heroes
ARC sent to me by the publisher, Tor, at my request.

Prosper’s Demon is the dark, satirical fantasy that you didn’t know you needed, until you did.

"Sometimes I’m so stupid, I’m amazed I manage to breathe."

Prosper of Schanz, a genius, finest painter and sculptor, gifted musician, yada yada (with the tiny problem of being possessed by your friendly neighbourhood demon, no biggie), wants to raise the newly born prince to be the first philosopher king.
Enter our unnamed narrator, a cynical,
Austine (NovelKnight)
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!

This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I've found the best way to enjoy a book is going in with no expectations, and that' exactly what I did withProsper's Demon. This witty, wicked little book was exactly what I didn't know I needed, offering up a serving of snarky commentary on a world that could almost be our own if it weren't for the fact that
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted over at

At long last, I’ve gotten my hands on a work by K. J. Parker, an author very well regarded in the wider fantasy community. Judging by the quality of Prosper’s Demon, I have to wonder – what the hell took me so long?

Written in the first person, this novella tells of the trials and tribulations of an unnamed exorcist in a world very like our own during the early Renaissance. Our protagonist is not a nice guy. He is devious, cunning and
Lizz DiCesare
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I woke to find her lying next to me, quite dead, with her throat torn out.”

I read that first line in Prosper’s Demon, by K.J. Parker, and knew right away that I was in for a wild ride. Horror stories aren’t for everyone, but if you’re in the market for a creepy book, be sure to grab a copy of this little novella as soon as you can.

Prosper’s Demon is another gem from that can easily be read in one sitting. It’s only 112 pages long, but packs in a lot in so few pages. In this story, we
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available on January 28th.

This novella is…odd. I mean, really, really odd. I was originally drawn to this book by the amazing cover (okay, okay, I know: don’t judge a book by its cover. But I did, so there). The premise is intriguing: an exorcist who has an encounter with Prosper, a self-proclaimed genius and close friend of the king, who also happens to be possessed by a very tricky demon.

Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This novella is a clever, sharp toothed little beast. It’s violent and wicked but not without some very black humour. From the first sentence I was drawn into this world, so very like our own but not quite the same. A resemblance to the Renaissance period with Prosper as a Da Vinci figure is unmistakable but with the alarming and often amusing addition of demon possession. From the unnamed demon hunter/exorcist main character, to Prosper and the demons themselves, the characters are vibrant and ...more
Dec 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
When a character tells their reader that the reader will not like them, you can generally take them at their word. This is definitely true of the protagonist of K.J. Parker’s Prosper’s Demon. In fact, I didn’t have to wait for the protagonist to make this declaration. The first page of the book sees him waking up next to the body of a sex worker who has had her throat torn out. He immediately blames a demon for possessing his body and killing the poor woman, as a ploy in the great game that ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of Prosper’s Demon. This is an enjoyable novella, proving you don’t need 500+ pages to get a rich story. In Prosper’s Demon the narrator has the ability and the church’s approval to exorcise demons from their human hosts. He’s not exactly delicate to his fellow citizens and honestly he doesn’t care. His sole purpose is an ongoing fight with the demons. He does however care about geniuses, even if they happen to be possessed.

There’s a lot going on in this novella -
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I accidentally slipped and fell and read this delightfully satirical novella about the demons who possess and the questionable narrator who exorcises them. The writing is damn good, the humor is dark, and the ending--well, that's where I stop. Let's just say it is worthy of the morally grey protagonist whose methods of exorcising demons are effective, he's not not fussed about the person. This is a fast, literary read at just shy of 100 pages, releasing at the end of Jan.

Thanks to the
Alexis Stankewitz
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love that cover! A dark,funny as Hell look at demon possession. I don't know about you, but I LOVE characters who are morally-grey, and it's especially is fun to read about the unnamed-narrator being a complete and unrepentant a**hole. I loved it!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, five-stars, arc
(4.75) This was FANTASTIC! This might be my favorite novella of all time; it was everything a novella should be: full of action, themes to the point and HILARIOUS! I loved the humor, the plot, the characters and especially the overwhelming gray morality (I think that might be my favorite thematic element). There are a few small things I would change, but this was essentially perfect and I’m so glad I got to read it early!
THIS WAS SO GOOD! RTC on January 14!
ARC recieved from Netgalley in
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short sharp tale of demonic negotiation. In a medieval town, an exorcist must negotiate the fine line of his duty and the possible future of humanity when an old nemesis demon turns up in the body of the newborn prince... and a new demon turns up in the body of the greatest mind of the age. A compelling one-hitter, with a satisfyingly fearsome conclusion.
Becky Spratford
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review in Library Journal January 2020 issue:
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
See this review and others at Whispers & Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if it's more that I hate Them than that I love my fellow humans. But nobody pays me to think that, so I don't do it often.

Prosper's Demon was my first descent into the mind of K.J. Parker, and what a curious and entertaining introduction it has been. Upon turning the final page, I immediately questioned why I've waited so long to finally dive into the works of such an incredible author, and truly regretted not doing so
Thank you to for providing me with a copy of Prosper's Demon via Netgalley in exchange for my open and honest review.

Prosper's demon, written by author K.J. Parker is a ride through sarcasm, nihilism, and philosophical morality. Even though the ending made the reading of the rest of the story worth it, this book is not for everyone. It employs time jumps, a stream of conscious writing style, and an unreliable narrator.

All is not what it seems with this story.

The story starts with a
Thank you to for providing me with a copy of Prosper's Demon via Netgalley in exchange for my open and honest review.

Prosper's demon, written by author K.J. Parker is a ride through sarcasm, nihilism, and philosophical morality. Even though the ending made the reading of the rest of the story worth it, this book is not for everyone. It employs time jumps, a stream of conscious writing style, and an unreliable narrator.

All is not what it seems with this story.

The story starts with a
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K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt.

According to the biographical notes in some of Parker's books, Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics, and now writes and makes things out of wood and metal. It is also claimed that Parker is married to a solicitor and now lives in southern England. According to an autobiographical note, Parker was raised in rural Vermont, a