(Daemon World, #3)
Publication date: March 8th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Our war will not unfold in your imaginary heaven. We will fight on Earth with human beings as pawns and weapons.
Lu Darlington is a seer, bound to the daemon Talion through ritual and blood. It’s not a role she enjoys, but she has little choice: daemons take what they want and destroy whoever stands in their way.
So Lu’s surprised when Talion doesn’t punish her for her newfound ability to keep him from possessing her whenever he likes. In fact he’s pleased. The stronger she is, he explains, the more powerful he becomes.
And he needs that power, because a war is brewing in the daemon world, a war that will be fought by—and through—humans.
Lu’s friend Lisa Duncan can’t see daemons but she’s seen what they can do and so has stayed far away from Lu for years. After a bizarre attack on Lisa leaves half a dozen people dead and she learns it’s just the first skirmish in the daemon war, Lisa realizes the safest place to be is with Lu.
Then Talion sends Lu away to teach her skills to another seer and Lisa must stay behind to look after Lu’s son Solly, conceived through a daemon ceremony with Talion. At four years old Solly’s seer abilities are already so strong Lisa is sometimes more afraid of Solly than for him.
As Talion’s enemies grow bolder, Lisa and Lu face attacks from every direction. There seems little hope any of them will survive—until Talion and his allies devise a plan.
The only problem is how much it will cost.
“With Daemon Blood, Mary Maddox has crafted a timeless tale of good against evil. With compelling characters and a keen sense of the darkness that lurks within us all, Daemon Blood will stay with you long after you turn the final thrilling page.”
— David Sodergren, Author of The Forgotten Island
The talented Ms. Maddox answered a question for us… Is there a particular book or movie that sparked your interest in fantasy and horror? How did it shape who you are as an author?
I was fascinated by horror movies as a kid, especially movies about vampires. As a grownup I transferred my fascination to books. Among my favorite authors are Shirley Jackson, Charlaine Harris, and Stephen King. But two books especially inspired me to write in the horror genre: Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs and Karen Marie Moning’s Darkfever.
You could argue that Silence of the Lambs isn’t horror since it lacks supernatural elements. It does have a bona fide monster, though, in the character of Hannibal Lector. The novel sparked my interest in serial killers. I read around twenty nonfiction books on notorious killers and on the topic of serial murder in general. The result was Talion, which began as a thriller with Conrad “Rad” Sanders—a.k.a. The Professor of Death—as the villain.
I ran into a problem with the fifteen-year-old protagonist, Lu Jakes. The unwanted child of an alcoholic father and an abusive stepmother, she was defined mainly by her victimhood. And then she becomes Rad’s victim. She needed a source of inner strength, and I needed a way of making her more complex. So I gave her the gift (or delusion) of seeing spirits. One of them, Talion, tells her she is loved. Another one, Black Claw, offers her a means of killing her stepmother.
I let readers decide whether the spirits are real or the delusions of a troubled girl. The uncertainty bothers some readers—a lot. Ambiguity is common in all kinds of stories. It allows for different interpretations of a book or movie. But the ambiguity in Talion is just too much for these readers.
The nature of the spirits in Talion might have remained uncertain if I hadn’t found Darkfever. It wasn’t the kind of book I usually read, and I downloaded the ebook mainly because it was free at the time. I was hooked from the start and read the series through book five. MacKayla Lane appears to live in the ordinary world until she goes to Dublin to investigate her sister’s murder and discovers she can see the Fae. She is one of only a few human beings with this gift, which places her in immediate peril.
I thought at once of Lu and her spirits and decided to write Daemon Seer, a sequel to Talion. Moning draws upon Celtic mythology for her novels. I went a different route. Talion and the other daemons are spirits who need the bodies of living beings to tether them to the physical world. Lu can tether any number of daemons without them having to possess her body. Seers give daemons freedom to move about the world, increasing their power. The seers in Lu’s family have belonged to Talion for many generations, and he intends to keep things that way.
In Daemon Blood, Lu’s powers have grown stronger. Although she still can’t escape Talion, he now treats her with respect.
Mary Maddox is a suspense, horror, and dark fantasy novelist with what The Charleston Times-Courier calls a “Ray Bradbury-like gift for deft, deep-shadowed description.” Born in Soldiers Summit, high in the mountains of Utah, Maddox graduated with honors in creative writing from Knox College, and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She taught writing at Eastern Illinois University and has published stories in various journals, including Yellow Silk, Farmer’s Market, The Scream Online, and Huffington Post. The Illinois Arts Council has honored her fiction with a Literary Award and an Artist’s Grant.
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