Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prosper's Demon” as Want to Read:
Prosper's Demon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prosper's Demon

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  831 ratings  ·  229 reviews
In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they dont die, and we do. Equilibrium.

The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods arent delicate but theyre undeniably effective: hell get the demon out he just doesnt particularly care what happens to the
Paperback, 101 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Prosper's Demon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Prosper's Demon

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  831 ratings  ·  229 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Prosper's Demon
fulfilling book riot's 2020 read harder challenge task #17 Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)

I woke to find her lying next to me, quite dead, with her throat torn out. The pillow was shiny and sodden with blood, like low-lying pasture after a week of heavy rain. The taste in my mouth was familiar, revolting, and unmistakable. I spat into my cupped hand: bright red. Oh, for crying out loud, I thought. Here we go again.

best. opening. ever.

short and not even a little bit sweet, unless
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

I have an idea you aren't going to like me very much.

By all accounts, the above quote should be correct. A morally grey, snarky, violent, heartless antihero main character? He's awful, truly, absolutely vile at times... and yet, the joke's on you, unnamed narrator, because I happened to love this protagonist.

Prosper's Demon features one of the most unusual devices I've ever read, in that we follow an anonymous narrator who plays both hero and villain in his own story, and the casualties of
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
And belief, like love and sleep, is something you cant do anything about. You cant make it come if you want it, and you cant make it go if you dont.

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 - its more of a fresh take on demonic possession.

Our morally questionable narrator is
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A witty novella by the inimitable K.J. Parker. We get our unreliable narrator, a lot of demons, a situation with no apparent solution and a surprizing and explosive ending. (view spoiler)

Not quite as entertaining as those featuring Saloninus, but close enough. Worth reading nonetheless.

3.5 rounded to 4 stars.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 8.5/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Prospers Demon in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this eARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novella.

Prospers Demon is a darkly humorous take on demonic extractions, written with exquisite prose and featuring a protagonist that I absolutely loved and loathed. Only Parker (aka Tom Holt) has the chops to write something so profound and complete in such a short work.

I have an idea you arent
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella, netgalley

I have an idea you arent going to like me very much. That may prove to be the only thing well have in common, so lets 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 and humorously cynical tone, he makes me laugh, think, and loathe his protagonists.

In Prospers Demon the unnamed narrator can spot demons and communicate with them. The church has authorized him to evict them from their
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-n-sweet, horror
Set in a world surprisingly similar to our own, Prosper's Demon was a short, but very worthwhile read.

You're not given much to work with at the start, but the story comes out over the next chapters - and though our protagonist warns that you're not going to like them, I found them surprisingly sympathetic. Certainly intelligent, more than a little cynical, and of necessity willing to ignore the rules, there's a certain tenacity that I admired.

Definitely a great novella and one I'd like to read
The Artisan Geek
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
2.5 Stars
As someone loves dark fantasy and possession stories, this novella was one of my most anticipated releases for 2020. From the premise, I thought it could be a new favourite, but I was disappointed to find that this piece of short fiction did not quite fit my expectations.

This novella was written in a very literary style. While this is common for novellas, I was still hoping for a bit more focus on plot, given the synopsis. The narrative voice of the main character was easily the
Amy Imogene Reads
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2020

Really really cool, but didnt live up to expectations? Odd one.

Prosper's Demon was one of my most anticipated TOR releases for the year. If I'm honest, mainly because THAT COVER. Also, the idea of a demon exorcist closer to the demon than the divine was intriguing. Either way, I knew I'd be reading this.

The main character is never named, so we'll call him MC. MC is an exorcist. He's one of several people who can see demons and forcibly remove them from their human hosts. Too bad MC's not
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot to like here in what amounts to a very amusing and unusual urban fantasy in a medieval like setting.

The story follows the exploits of a brash, hardboiled, remorseless yet somewhat cheeky exorcist for hire, who is frequently a target of demonic possession himself. The demons seem to be more intent on making trouble, or even just hiding from the protagonist, than actually committing evil deeds. Anyway, unable to permanently dispatch the demons, they are immortal after all, he takes
K.J. Charles
Short and nasty (in a good way) novella about an exorcist and his battles with demons. Very dark and bleak, drily witty in a grim way. I mean, you like KJ Parker or you don't. Excellent writing as ever.
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.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prosper's Demon is on my list of the Best Short SFF of February 2020:
Delightful new novella kindred in style to Blue and Gold. Clever, witty and cynical... A great example of Parkers writing.

Enjoyed a lot! It is definitely one of the better ones...
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Heres the deal. It is probably unwise in the extreme to be reviewing this book right now. I am soooooooooo tired and my post-surgery pain is really kicking my butt today, but I finished this book last night and Id feel a bit remiss without saying something about it.

So, here I am.

Its no secret that KJ Parker is my favorite author. Something about the mix of cynical wit, dark humor, and his realistic worlds just work for me on every conceivable level. While
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
˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
artistic demons & asshole exorcists: aka everything I NEED & DESERVE IN A BOOK THANK U
Rachael Marie
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Ooooo such a cool and dark novel. This has such an incredible voice. The narrator is morally grey and twisted and excellent.

This short novel is sure to capture your attention and have you turning the pages over and over again.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Parker.
If youre a fan already then this 100 page novella has all the best features of his writing.

Its set in a typical Parker late Medieval world, which doesnt have to be described in detail as its secondary to the story. The story is about our first person narrator who casts out demons from people who are usually unknowingly possessed by them. This world has a number of such demons, looking for a home in human minds, just enough of them to give him a living in this profession. Our
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

I have an idea you arent going to like me very much. That may prove to be the only thing well have in common, so lets make the most of it.

Prospers Demon is 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

Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked from the opening line. Really liked this alternate history (I guess), dark fantasy/horror, literary fiction-y mashup going on here. The MC is wholly unlikeable, but I appreciated him.

Loved the length of this novella. I really felt likebit worked incredibly well for this story.
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.

Prospers 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 wasnt 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 is
Jon Adams
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The protagonist is despicable and I loved it.
Ayesha (The Fifth Marauder)
Well this was a surprisingly dark and wonderfully intelligent read.

Prosper's Demon is a well crafted gothic novella that combines a darkly satirical narrative with a brief but interesting plot line.

While the narrator repeatedly warns the reader that he is unlikable, I found him to be very interesting. His actions, especially at the end, were positively ingenious.

The book started off with a bang, and I was immediately hooked. While it got a little redundant around the middle, regarding the making
The attention to detail that KJ Parker evinced in the Two of Swords series is on full display here. The tone is equally acerbic and drily amusing, as with the account of Prosper of Schanz attempting to cast the largest bronze horse statue ever seen in this version of demon-infested Renaissance Europe. If the Trojan horse immediately springs to mind, note this is not a casual reference but in a completely unexpected manner that makes for an explosive ending.

Not to mention an ending that seems
Jonathan Strahan
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
A really strong instalment from Parker, one of his better novellas of recent year.
I seem to be one of the very few people who didn't like this so maybe I just missed something but I have no idea what the point of this was supposed to be. I mean first there was a demon possessing a baby and then for some reason this Prosper dude wanted to make a really big statue and then the author spent FAR too long telling me how bronze statues are made and then at the end something blew up for some reason? I don't know? I honestly I would have stopped about halfway through but it seemed ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Finna
  • Upright Women Wanted
  • Riot Baby
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune
  • The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1)
  • Sisters of the Vast Black
  • Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love
  • American Royals (American Royals, #1)
  • The Reckless Oath We Made
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)
  • The God Game
  • Ormeshadow
  • Made Things
  • Cristallisation Secrète
  • Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)
  • The End of All Things (Old Man's War, #6)
  • Followers
  • The Winter of Our Discontent
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Every new year ushers in a brand-new class of debut authors to discover. And the beginning of 2020 has plenty of fresh new voices to add to you...
100 likes · 44 comments
“It’s a bizarre but widespread myth that only heroes have good qualities, and the only qualities heroes have are good; villains are, by definition, all bad. Bullshit.” 3 likes
“Partly, he said, he enjoyed my company; it wasn’t often that he had a chance to talk to someone whose mind was so little cluttered with education or accepted opinions— (“You mean I’m stupid.” “Good heavens, no. Just ignorant.”)” 1 likes
More quotes…