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I Belong

Review: CrystalFire by Kate Douglas


Author: Kate Douglas

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The DemonSlayers (Book 4)

Publication Date: April 1, 2012

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420110020 (Kensington/Zebra)

ISBN-13: 978-1420110029 (Kensington/Zebra)

Reviewed by: Kiwi


The Demon King still lives, stronger than ever, devouring souls in search of immortality. Against him stands the scholar Taron, a newly-minted warrior of Lemuria, and Willow, a woman of unearthly loveliness, born of mist…

Taron must pass through the waterfall of molten gold that shields the secret portal to his beloved land. His brilliant mind and the speaking sword called CrystalFire are his weapons against evil. But nothing can protect him from the power of love. Willow, whom he once knew as a sprite who could dance in his hand, has been changed by a master stroke of magic into the form of a beautiful, highly sensual woman, desiring a thousand pleasures that she insists he alone can give her.

Innocent and eager, Willow arouses his deepest needs and sexual hunger – and his love. He will risk all to save her, even if it means a battle to the death with the ultimate foe…

Quick & Dirty: An exciting ending to the series.

Opening Sentence The steady slap, slap, slap of Taron’s sandals echoed off the rough stone walls.


The Review:

So, this story starts where the last left off. The good news; the battle in Lemuria has just ended, the rightful king returned to power, the demons driven back to their spawning place, everybody alive and well. The bad news; there is still a whole mess of demons in Sedona, patiently waiting for their king to appear, and use them for sustenance, to make him powerful enough to finally claim the man who has a hold on the life force attached to his current body, so that he may claim his rightful spot as ruler of demons. Who would want that job?

Of go our merry band of demon killers to take care of this latest swarm. Unbeknownst to them, the demon king has different plans. Knowing that the rest of them will be busy, he heads to the town of Evergreen, to possess the body of the group’s best canine friend, Bumper, who is also carrying the spirit of Willow, a magical sprite who lost her body when the demon ate it. What the demon doesn’t count on is Taron’s appearance, carrying his own crystal sword. Having been told by his sword to go to Evergreen, Taron is awaiting the demon when he shows at Ed’s house. A few things happen in the fight; see my notable scene, and in the end the demon ends up possessing Ed rather than the dog.

So, as the demon is busy living inside Ed’s body, he is also busy making those plans to take over the world. In a supreme moment of good luck, for the demon anyway, he becomes capable of pushing Eddy, another one of the hunters, into a place (I guess you could call it that) known as the void. The void is where they send good demons and bad angels to hang out, no corporeal being, just consciousness swimming around in a vast nothingness.

As Taron is busy trying to figure how to get the demon out of Ed and out of their lives, the rest of the gang are busy trying to save Eddy. There is so much stuff that happens here in the middle-living tattoos, entities in crystal, lovemaking, chanting, fighting (and a partridge in pear tree) that you just have to read the book, and at some point the whole series, to completely understand.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the romance portion of tonight’s event. Taron is a Lemurian, best friend to the king’s grandson, scholar, and most often the voice of reason. However, as of late, he has been helping train this new generation of female warriors in the skills of combat. When his sword finally talks to him, telling him to travel to Earth to take part in the final battle, he rushes there as fast as possible, only to find himself alone with Bumper/Willow and Ed, because the rest are apparently at the real happening place where all the demons are at. But, he turns out to be in the right place when they are attacked by the demon king.

During that battle, Willow magically switches places with Bumper, and they become a humanoid female, and the dog is the consciousness inside her brain. When Willow wakes up to this new body, and Taron beside her, she is rather happy. She can now act on those feelings she harbored for Taron back as a sprite, having loved him since they met.

Taron is afraid to give into these feelings, having been given some sort of doomsday fortune by a woman at a fair in his youth. Something like, you will only love once, and know a mess of joy but also a whole load of pain. He interprets this to mean that when he falls in love, he will be hurt, so he becomes celibate so he will never take that risk. But he falls in love with Willow anyway, and then becomes afraid for her because a pain that bad could only mean that he would be losing her.

So I’d have to say these are the most far-fetched love match of the series. To fall in love with a sprite, a female who can literally dance in your hand, seems a bit extreme in the whole inter-species dating realm. Falling in love with her after a magical accident turns her into a full sized humanoid, now that I can understand. And the Lemurian king? Falling in love with a voice in your head, an entity that has no corporeal form? That’s almost worse than falling for the imaginary someone you might’ve met online (that is you in that picture, right?). But, since she also turns humanoid by the end of the book, we will let these two happy lovebirds have their joy as well.

So, all’s well that ends well in this last book of the series. And I must say; they are all good, start to finish. The pace set in the beginning stays all the way through, the plot twists and turns just enough, the heart turns and twists just right. Overall, a fantastic series, and I am glad I can add them all to my bookshelves.

Notable Scene:

It’s after Bumper! Willow screamed, but she screamed in anger, not fear. She might be nothing more than consciousness at this point, but she still had her powers. Concentrating on the energy swirling about the room, she pulled in all she could and, using Bumper’s voice as a conduit, threw a tremendous blast at the demon.

Willow watched through Bumper’s eyes as everything appeared to slow to stop-action speed. Bumper howled. Willow’s burst of power shot from between the dog’s powerful jaws—a thick stream of brilliant blue sparkles, propelled in a shimmering torrent of pure energy.

Taron’s blade flashed in the overhead light. He raised his arms and then brought his sword down in a smooth yet deadly arc, slicing neatly through the demonic mist.

His stroke was perfectly timed to Willow’s blast.

Combined that way, their power should have worked. Should have killed the demon king except…instead of hitting the demon, all that energy collided with the broad side of Taron’s crystal blade. Willow couldn’t believe what she was seeing, the sparkling blast of power slamming into crystal, exploding in such bizarre slow motion that it was like watching a movie, one frame at a time.

It seemed to take minutes, not the fraction of a second that was actually needed for all of that power—the energy of crystal combined with all that Willow had gathered—to glance off the faceted blade and explode in a multicolored shower of stars.

Stars that ricocheted in all directions, with the bulk of them turning back in a mass of energy both light and dark. Turning back and bathing Bumper in a fiery storm of cold, sparkling light.

Light that turned Willow’s world entirely dark.

The DemonSlayers Series:

1. DemonFire

2. HellFire

3. StarFire

4. CrystalFire

FTC Advisory: Kensington/Zebra provided me with a copy of CrystalFire. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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