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Prosper's Demon #1

Prosper's Demon

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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 great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out — he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person.

Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Too bad he’s demonically possessed.

112 pages, Paperback

First published January 28, 2020

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About the author

K.J. Parker

129 books1,307 followers
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 lifestyle which influenced Parker's work.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 990 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,968 reviews170k followers
December 13, 2021
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 you count the sweet sweet taste of revenge, this novella has more depth than its length would suggest.

it features a man whose honorable birthright is to hunt hell’s 72,936 demons on earth. a highly skilled exorcist, he stretches the definition of "honorable," as honor isn't really part of his prey's makeup, and he's rightfully peeved at the demons for their habit of invading his own body and making him do things he wouldn't ordinarily do, like waking up beside the corpse of a murdered woman with his hands all bloody. part of a guild, he is himself only responsible for the 109 demons operating within his jurisdiction-grid, but that's plenty to handle, especially when one of those demons really has it in for him. see the aforementioned bloody hands.

this is a tale of strategy and power plays, not-so-good and evil, double-triple crossings, demonic possession, and scruples? who needs 'em?

this exorcist is very good at his job. there will be casualties.

come to my blog!!
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,009 followers
February 11, 2020


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 his decisions are terrible at times. He's more or less remorseless, seeing things as "for the greater good" and all that, and despite how much sick satisfaction he seems to take in his own brutality at times, I couldn't help but devour every page.

The demons in this story are also a bit unusual, and they don't quite follow the "Satan's legion" sort of archetypes I'm used to seeing. They've each got their own little personalities, too, especially this one particular demon our narrator has a long-standing feud with. The utter exasperation when these demons see our exorcist coming is downright hilarious. "You again?"

So, in order to get Master Prosper to like me, I had to give him an opportunity to prove that he was right and I was wrong, deluded, an idiot. Easy peasy.

What is most unusual about this novella, though — and coincidentally, what I adored most of all about it — is that, despite its often dark and violent nature, it is hilarious. The narrator's sense of humor is definitely a dry one, and I laughed out loud so many times reading this. I can easily see this being the sort of book I'll reach for over and over again just because it would be such a fun, quick read whenever I'm feeling slumpy or having a bad day (or just needing a good, morbid chuckle).

Thank you so much to Tor.com for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Anne.
3,792 reviews69k followers
December 6, 2021
An interesting short story about a sociopath who was born with the power of exorcism.
It takes place in a world almost like our own, but with a few twists.

description

None of what he does is religious at all. He just has the power to expel demons out of people. If they don't leave he can somehow hurt them, but if they don't leave willingly they can also do a lot of damage on their way out of the human host.
It's a catch-22.

description

How does he know someone is possessed? Well, he (and others like him) can see what normal people can't, AND they can communicate with these demons.

description

But this is not a scary story about someone possessed by the devil.
This is a tongue-in-cheek tale about what would happen if someone who didn't give a shit about right and wrong went up against an immortal being.
Cute.
I'd definitely read a full-length book by this author.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
218 reviews531 followers
April 18, 2022
Le enseñaron a ser el más rápido, hábil y letal. Cuando un demonio anda cerca, no se le escapa nunca. En cuanto a los daños colaterales, bueno, eso no es culpa suya. Pero cuando se encuentra con el demonio que ha poseído al hombre más sabio de todos los tiempos, todo puede venirse abajo. Un estilo mordaz e irónico, en un relato a medio camino entre la fantasía y el terror.

👹"El demonio de Próspero"👺

Los puede oler y sentir cuando un demonio está cerca, no se le escapan, nunca. Y si para expulsarlo del cuerpo que ha poseído tiene que sacrificar al huésped, bueno, ese no es problema. Este es el protagonista narrador de esta historia, un exorcista eficaz y sin demasiados escrúpulos.

Próspero de Schanz es un filósofo, científico, artista, es el hombre más sabio de todos los tiempos y se ha propuesto a educar al recién nacido príncipe todo para que este sea el mejor gobernante de la historia. Una pena que esté poseído por un demonio..

Nuestro narrador anónimo tiene la habilidad detectar demonios y comunicarse con ellos. La propia iglesia le ha autorizado a eliminarlos de sus anfitriones humanos. Si bien mantener vivo al anfitrión humano deberia ser su prioridad, esto significa poco para él. La verdad es que le importan una mierda los demás seres humanos, conoce los escrúpulos y la piedad sólo por la teoría, la práctica se le da fatal.

Breve y dulce, bueno dulce a menos que contemos como "dulce" el sabor de la venganza o la falta de escrupulos, este libro tiene más profundidad de lo que sugiere su longitud. Muy ágil, sin capítulos y atrapa. No me hubiera importado un libro de trescientas páginas.

Presenta un estilo inusual para mi como lector, pues seguimos a un narrador anónimo que interpreta tanto al héroe como al villano en su propia historia, las consecuencias y muertes a causa de sus decisiones a veces son terribles. Algo despiadado, es de los que ve las cosas como "por el bien mayor" con cierta satisfacción enfermiza que muestra en su propia brutalidad. No pude evitar devorar cada página.

Nos presentan a un hombre que de héroe nada tiene, cuyo derecho de nacimiento es cazar los más de setenta y dos mil demonios del infierno en la tierra. Un exorcista altamente cualificado, en el que el honor no es realmente algo presente, ni en él, ni en su de sus presas. Tonos irónicos presentes y un estilo adecuado para la historia.

Odia a los demonios por su hábito de invadir su propio cuerpo y obligarlo a hacer cosas que él no haría. Como despertar junto al cadáver de una mujer con las manos ensangrentadas. Y alguna cosilla más... Una historia de estrategia y juegos de poder, traiciones, varias posesiones demoníaca y sin escrúpulos. Quién los necesita si cazas demonios.

Los demonios en esta historia también son un poco inusuales, y no siguen del todo el tipo de arquetipos que podemos desde leer a ver en otros. Pues cada uno de ellos tiene su propia y pequeña personalidad, sobretodo este demonio con el que nuestro narrador tiene una disputa. Todo un giro en la vida del genio Próspero.

La exasperación más absoluta y rotunda cuando estos demonios ven venir a nuestro exorcista es francamente hilarante. "¿Tú otra vez?"

La prosa de Parker tiene mucha calidad, ágil, engancha, es precisa, logra ser también a la vez ingeniosa y satírica. Diría que también es una lectura a partes intelectual, pues deja mucho para reflexionar y considerar.

Cien páginas, pero hay más contenido aquí de lo que a primera vista pensemos. Una construcción del mundo con una historia muy intrigante, es impresionante cuando un autor puede ser tan efectivo en tan pocas páginas. Quería más, unas cuantas páginas.

Los demonios no mueren. Cambian de anfitrión. Cuando un demonio con el que el que nuestro narrador tiene cierto rencor se apodera de un niño, un príncipe, pues las cosas se le complican. Añadirle a todo esto que un genio y tutor real, Próspero de Schanz, pues también podría estar poseído. Así nuestro narrador deberá de tomar decisiones difíciles. Expulsar al demonio privará al mundo de obras maestras. Y si en algo cree el narrador, es en el arte y los genios.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
August 14, 2020
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.

In Prosper’s Demon, a man lives his life exorcising demons. The demons, naturally, have not taken well to this.

I've read one novella by this author before, and both have left me feeling as if my brain had just gone through a blender. They each feature snarky characters. More importantly, though, they focus on excellent twists.

My only criticism would be a few passages that felt a little bit male gazey. But otherwise, this novella was excellent, and I’m excited to read more.

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Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
615 reviews4,243 followers
January 5, 2020
“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 is capable of exorcising demons from those who are possessed. His methods are effective and he really doesn’t care about the mess he leaves behind whilst doing so. He encounters Prosper of Schanz, who is a man of science aiming to raise the first philosopher-king - it’s just a shame Prosper is possessed.

The writing alone blew me away. The prose is absolutely beautiful, yet manages to be both witty and satirical. The narrator’s dry humour simply had me cackling out loud at times! I would say it’s quite an intellectual read as well, it leaves with you lots to ponder and consider.

It’s so incredibly short, clocking in at just under 100 pages, but so much is packed in here. There’s impressive world-building and an intriguing storyline, it’s truly impressive when an author can be this effective within so few pages!

The less said the better! This is one to sit and binge in a couple of hours. Look out for it early next year. It was a lot of fun! 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,851 followers
December 20, 2019
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 set in a boiling vat of Enlightenment-era intrigue, authoritarian bullies, and the delightful introduction of widespread institutionalized demon possession.

Nice, right?
So, yeah, I want MORE. A lot more. Novels worth. GIVE ME MORE! :)
Profile Image for The Artisan Geek.
445 reviews7,231 followers
November 30, 2019
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------


17/11/19
I really enjoyed Prosper's Demon! It was a dark but funny read altogether, with a marvellous ending!! A full review is to come!! ;)

13/11/19
Oh my gosh! Look at that cover!! A sincere thank you to tor.com for gifting me a copy of this book. :) Can't wait!!



You can find me on
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Profile Image for Noah.
147 reviews21 followers
October 7, 2022
I figured I’d read something spooky because I’ve already seen every (bad and good) Netflix horror movie, and I think this definitely delivered in the spooky department. It’s certainly interesting and poses a lot of thought-provoking questions, though I’m not quite sure it answers said questions. I think I was expecting the prose to be more flowery or dramatic, but it ended up reading more like a journal of a person who is both unreliable and unwell. I do think this conversational tone helps to juxtapose the mundane with the horrific. Also, are the demons a metaphor? Hmm… I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

“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.”
Profile Image for Magrat Ajostiernos.
549 reviews3,755 followers
April 9, 2022
Una novelita corta llena de ironía y mala baba, de fantasía oscura cercana al terror.
Sobre demonios y exorcistas y su particular lucha donde se muestra que no hay tantas diferencias entre unos y otros.
Personalmente me ha parecido una buena historia para pasar un ratillo entretenido con el cinismo y mordacidad de los personajes, pero no me ha impactado demasiado.
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,190 reviews216 followers
December 16, 2021
Edit on re-read - still excellent, though I'd swear I read this much longer ago. It's very thought-provoking for its size. Sequel time!

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 again. Hopefully soon to be followed by more!
Profile Image for Claudia.
942 reviews508 followers
March 10, 2020
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.

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

3.5 rounded to 4 stars.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
1,968 reviews2,690 followers
February 1, 2020
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 Tor.com 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 strongest aspect of this story. He was purposely written to be an unlikeable protagonist and was very self aware of his flaws. I found his discussions surrounding demon possessions to be fairly interesting, but eventually I wanted movement in the plot itself.

Eventually the story does pick up, but there was just not enough emphasis on the action for my personal reading tastes. So, overall, this was a dark read that I would recommend to literary fantasy and horror readers.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com
Profile Image for Raquel Estebaran.
256 reviews146 followers
August 15, 2022
Una novela cortita contada por su inteligente protagonista, que tiene un don para exorcizar demonios y pocos escrúpulos y mucha mala leche para cumplir con su trabajo.

Muy absorbente.
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
339 reviews232 followers
November 17, 2020
1 star

Worst work I've read so far this year. I was confused most of the time and I didn't really care at all for anything that happened whatsoever... We follow a remorseless exorcist encounters a demon-possessed great scientific/artistic mind in a fantasy Renaissance and things go down.



To be honest, this book gave me a huge headache... It was probably the writing style. We did NOT click. I was thoroughly confused both with the dual conversations that kept on happening (when the protagonist spoke with the person and their demon simultaneously). I felt like we kept going on tangents and I don't really understand most that happened so yeah I did not have a good time.

The demon possessing the smart dude, Prosper, had like this huge plan and it sounded super cool so I kinda wished we followed Her as she wrecked havoc througout different time periods because I don't know making a statue was a bit underwhelming for me.

Also I feel like I just didn't care and because of the writing style I misunderstood or lost a bunch of stuff. The cover is beautiful but it also kind of shows my state the entire time reading this: I was there but idk where my brain was actually spasming and I just felt like I was not really there with the characters at all.

The humor felt forced for me... Like half the time it was trying to be philosophical and the other half it was awkward and I didn't understand what the tone was supposed to be so yeah... more confusion.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll remember this one a lot. I really didn't like it. The reason I pushed myself through it was because its only like 60-ish pages. :/
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,228 reviews195 followers
December 17, 2019
4.5/5

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 and humorously 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 their human hosts. While keeping the host healthy should be his priority, it means little to him. The truth is, he doesn’t give a damn about his fellow human beings and he knows scruples only from theory. Demons call him an evil lunatic and that should tell you everything you need to know about him.

Demons don’t die. They change hosts. When a demon with whom the narrator has a grudge takes over a royal child, things get complicated. Especially that a royal tutor and genius, Prosper of Schanz, may be inhabited by a demon as well. The narrator will have to make a difficult choice - expelling the demon will deprive the world of more masterworks. And if the narrator believes in anything, it's in genius.

We live in a miserable world, where the best we can honestly hope for is that one empty, meaningless day will follow another without things getting actively worse. (...)only two things live forever, the instruments of darkness and works of genius.


At 116 pages, it packs much more of everything than most novels succeed in 500 pages. KJ Parker is brilliant and Prosper's Demon proves he's still in prime form.

ARC through NetGalley
Profile Image for greta.
192 reviews207 followers
July 10, 2020
what the actual hell did I just read?
Profile Image for Sara.
1,039 reviews348 followers
April 2, 2020
3.5 stars.

A wonderfully unique concept, Prosper's Demon follows the story of our unnamed narrator on his journey to meet, and expel, the demon inhabiting the body of an enlightened genius. Which leads to a bit of a dilemma. Should he ruin the chance to give the world a genius and all he has to offer (which is largely due to the demon) regardless of Their long game goals?

This novella really throws you into the story without an explanations or backstory. It relies on the reader picking up on information as we go along, which at times left me floundering in the text. Its fast paced due to its short length, but I really think the story would have benefitted from a bit more context and an expansion on the world building.

That said I really liked our protagonist. Enigmatic, aloof and a little bit hilarious at times, he manages to travel this weird world with a cool, calm exterior and biting wit that makes him strangely affable. His interactions with 'Them' were always entertaining and often met with exasperation that is so funny. Honestly I would have enjoyed a whole book of just dialogue between the various demons and the narrator.

Interesting concept with intriguing characters but this struggled to get off the ground because of a severe lack of world building and explanation. However the writing is great and I'd love to read more by K. J. Parker.
Profile Image for FanFiAddict.
548 reviews128 followers
January 27, 2020
Rating: 8.5/10

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

Prosper’s 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 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.

When you have a morally ambiguous narrator, one who remains nameless throughout the story, that is an expert in their craft but could give less of a rip about his clientele, you are sort of left wondering by the end of the tale whether or not they were good to begin with. Sure, they do good work, what with exorcising demons and whatnot, but when it potentially costs the life of the client, aren’t they really just a murderer with a knack?

I actually fell in love with the narrator. So much so that I want more in this world from Parker. There is something about a protagonist that you love to hate, like Jorg in Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy. I also felt that the setting was just so perfect for this story. We’ve seen modern-day possession stories in urban settings, and I for one am good with taking a pass on another for the time being. Lastly, the narrator’s dialogue with the demons themselves is something to behold. They are spoken to more like nuisances than the horrifying spirits we take them for, and the narrator tends to toy with and threaten them more than anything.

It is sort of difficult to talk about this novella without revealing spoilers. With it being so short, even the slightest hint can lead you down a path that I’d rather you find for yourself.

This wasn’t my first shot at Parker’s works, considering I read An Orc on the Wild Side in 2019, but it gives me even more incentive to tear into his backlog as I have heard so many great things about his fantasy worlds. I highly recommend this novella as it is one of my favorites to come out of Tor.com publishing.
Profile Image for Amy.
279 reviews176 followers
April 17, 2020
“Take the truly dreadful, evil men of history, slaughterers of nations in the name of some twisted ideal. Of necessity you must allow them to have had Faith (which moves mountains, and without which mere works are in vain) and Hope, Loyalty, and Self-Sacrifice in the Name of the Cause, and practically every other noble and glorious characteristic you can possibly think of, except for the small matter of being in the right.”

That one quote made this read worth it for me.

Prosper's Demon isn't necessarily a bad novella. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. The story follows an exorcist as he tries to rid two different demons from two different people: one is a baby Prince, and one is the smartest man in the world, Prosper of Schanz.

I liked the narrator and the overall humor of the book. I did, however, have problems with narrative style itself because I was confused more often than not. On the back of this book the world is described as having "vivid, unbending rules", but I completely disagree. I felt like the world was not built at all, and what little we got of it was quite vague and unexplained. I couldn't tell you why any of the characters' motivations truly mattered, because I couldn't understand them in the context of this world.

Essentially, K.J. Parker could not grasp my investment in 101 pages. That's a pretty hard thing to do, and it wasn't done in Prosper's Demon. I'm lost as to what the point of this story was and what K.J. Parker was setting out to achieve.
Profile Image for Allen Walker.
130 reviews1,206 followers
March 19, 2022
4.5

Great as usual for Parker but not rising the levels of the other novellas I've read. Still a great read. Could easily be read in a couple of hours.

Full review to come.
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 57 books7,657 followers
Read
February 9, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Jovana Autumn.
553 reviews175 followers
November 20, 2021
“ To put it another way, more concise and less whinging: only two things live forever, the instruments of darkness and works of genius. Which, I now had disturbingly good reason to believe, might not be such separate categories as I’d once thought. Collaborations.


→ Books like Prosper’s demon remind me why I love reading a good piece of speculative fantasy fiction: the under layer of complex social/political/ethical/moral issues glazed with a supernatural touch, morally questionable protagonists in a new unique world that often time happens to reflect ours.
Plus, I love snarky morally gray characters with a good sense of humor more than I love to eat bread. And bread is the superior carb of the Balkan area.

“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. I do them to my enemies, to my own side, to myself. In the process, I save a large number of strangers (on average, between five and ten a week) from the worst thing that can happen to a human being. I’d like to say I do it because I’m one of the good guys, but if I did that, you’d see right through me. And then you’d quote scripture at me: Render to no one evil for evil.


In this novella, K.J. Parker gives you everything:

➢ A questionable narrator
➢ Decent worldbuilding
➢ Perception on good/bad, of the nature of art and its purpose, opposition of immortality and mortality
➢ A central idea backed up with evidence (found in the said world)
➢ An unpredictable plot twist – which is another way of saying that the narration is phenomenal
➢ A lot of dark humor.

Take the truly dreadful, evil men of history, slaughterers of nations in the name of some twisted ideal. Of necessity you must allow them to have had Faith (which moves mountains, and without which mere works are in vain) and Hope, Loyalty, and Self-Sacrifice in the Name of the Cause, and practically every other noble and glorious characteristic you can possibly think of, except for the small matter of being in the right. . . .

(Which—the older I get, the more convinced I am—is just fashion anyhow, like the brims on hats or the trimming of ladies’ sleeves. And if you don’t believe me, just think how much morality has changed—in your lifetime—and then read a little history and ask yourself: Do you really, honestly think these changes will be permanent?)”


In short, this novella is excellent at playing with major convictions and beliefs of the known world, making the reader reexamine himself/herself, as well as standing as a well-rounded work of fiction on its own; one of the best fantasy pieces I have read in a long while.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sometimes, one comes across a book that speaks to them, needless to say, that I loved this novella; review to come.
Profile Image for Mangrii.
831 reviews232 followers
February 21, 2022
Nuestro narrador, nuestro exorcista tremendamente eficaz y sin demasiados escrúpulos, ha detectado algo en las altas cortes tras despertarse con una mujer muerta en su cama. Próspero de Schanz, el gran filosofo, científico y artista de la época, el más sabio de todos los tiempos, quiere poner un proyecto en marcha: educar al recién nacido para que sea el mejor gobernante de la historia. Lástima, que esté poseído por un demonio. O eso parece.

Él es un cazador de demonios por derecho de nacimiento, no como los de Kimetsu no Yaiba. Él es el único responsable de los 109 demonios (de 72,936) que operan dentro de su cuadrícula de jurisdicción. Pueden parecer muchos, pero es fácil reencontrarse con algunos de esos seres inmortales.

Junto con el ingenio seco de la prosa, el narrador moralmente dudoso y la riqueza de su falsa Europa histórica, K. J. Parker construye una novela corta repleta de ironía sobre lo que sucedería si alguien con poder, y que le importa una mierda el bien y el mal, se enfrentará a un ser inmortal. Unos seres inmortales que pueden ser doblegados, obligados a abandonar el cuerpo que poseen, pero que también pueden poseer al propio exorcista y cometer actos horrendos.

Un doble juego que se nos va desgranando a través de reveladoras anécdotas del pasado de nuestro narrador, que van perfilando tanto la naturaleza social, científica, artística y política del momento como realizando afilados retratos de los personajes secundarios y principal. Un entorno con dejes góticos y sobrenaturales que conjuga con una estampa renacentista vista a través de los ojos de un personaje moralmente gris, violento y repleto de sarcasmo.

Las decisiones de nuestro narrador siempre optan por el bien mayor, sin embargo, la satisfacción en su brutalidad es traspasable al texto y de alguna forma, interpreta tanto al héroe como al villano de esta pequeña historia. Un sociópata que nació con el poder del exorcismo, en una historia de demonios poco usuales y que evitan los arquetipos conocidos. Es agudo e ingenioso, es despiadado, pero nunca cruel. Moralmente cuestionable sí, pero tampoco malo en absoluto.

Una de las grandezas de El demonio de Próspero es que en apenas un centenar de páginas es capaz de presentar a su protagonista, dotarlo de varias capas y llevarnos, de principio a fin, a un caso bastante grande y significativo al final. Es más, en las dos últimas paginas me vi sorprendido y fui tomado con la guardia baja por parte de K. J. Parker. Un bofetón que cierra la historia planteada y deja, con más ganas quizás, de poder leer Inside Man en octubre, continuación en cierta manera de El demonio de Próspero.

Reseña más extensa en el blog: https://boywithletters.blogspot.com/2...
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,127 reviews94 followers
February 16, 2020
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 to hounding and bullying, and has developed nasty rivalries with some over the course of many years. They dread being discovered by him and only the most powerful, or stubborn, attempt to resist. So, he's stuck trying to maintain a kind of detente.

All in all, there's a great protagonist and refreshingly new take on the urban fantasy genre. Recommended!
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
951 reviews492 followers
August 5, 2020
Not entirely sure what I’ve just read to be honest.

A dark and quirky novella featuring a morally grey character who can hear and extract demons. What follows is his attempt to remove a demon implanted within the palatial staff of his district.

I honestly lost the plot of this half way through and nothing could get me to pick up the thread again. So I’m not even sure why I think as I was just in a perpetual state of confusion.
Profile Image for Leo.
249 reviews32 followers
July 27, 2022
¿Qué un libro de apenas 100 páginas se ha colado entre mis mejores lecturas del año? Así es. No me duró más de dos horas, una vez que ya lo había comenzado, no hubo marcha atrás. Será uno de los libros que volveré a releer más adelante, puesto que es de esas lecturas que no cansan y que posiblemente te amplíe la visión en una segunda lectura.

¿A quién no le gusta encontrarse con un protagonista que no tiene escrúpulos? A mi me encantan, sobre todo estar leyendo y sin saber lo que el personaje te tiene preparado, como si de una bomba de relojería se tratase. Y lo genial de esta historia es que podremos ir viendo todo a través de sus ojos.

Estamos ante una novela corta de terror, pero con un carácter irónico que me ha embaucado por completo. Pasas de estar con los vellos de punta a pensar que el protagonista está como una cabra. Y os digo un secreto: lo está.

Nos encontramos también con numerosas críticas hacia nuestra sociedad actual. Lo hace siempre desde la ironía, pero es que no le falta razón en ningún momento. También me ha gustado mucho el nuevo uso que se le da aquí a los demonios, ya que en ningún momento se parece a nada de lo que estamos acostumbrados. También el tema de los exorcismos y las posesiones, que es algo que siempre me encantó leer.

He hablado de este final con varios de los compañeros y lo cierto es que todos hemos llegado a la misma conclusión: El final es una auténtica pasada y es cierto que no te ves venir absolutamente nada de lo que sucede. Parece que el autor no va a saber cerrar la trama correctamente, pero lo que hace es dejarte con la boca abierta.

Os lo recomiendo totalmente. Es una obra que se sale de todo lo habitual, irónica, ácida, de personajes con dudosa moralidad, exorcismos, demonios, contexto histórico y un final despampanante. Y tal y como dice en la contraportada: Es como si Deadpool se hubiese metido en la piel de Geralt de Rivia.
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
882 reviews760 followers
March 30, 2020
3.5

Really really cool, but didn’t 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 the best guy. He'll take out your demon, but he's not going to be gentle with your body while he does it. (You might die. But at least the demon suffered on the way out, so MC sees that as a win.)

Prosper is, essentially, a DaVinci-type. He's a genius. He can do anything. Too bad Prosper is possessed, and the demon inside of him is responsible for most of his genius.

What's an exorcist to do?

Prosper's Demon was such a strange novella. I loved some aspects of it—the writing style, the extremes of the morally grey MC, and the lack of detail on the world. All of those things made this story unforgettable. But I also really struggled with other aspects—the lack of time spent on the build-up to the end, the general lack of driving action in the middle, and the amount of questions I had at the end of the novella. While some novellas leave you with questions and you're satisfied with that, this one had too many questions and not enough answers for me personally.

Overall, a singular read, but a semi-frustrating one. I'm sure MC would approve.

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