Boone Daniels is your typical knight in shining armor. His sense of justice and loyalty is strong, especially after a terrible accident at a jousting match that puts his best friend, Flynn, in the hospital. Unable to perform with his band, the Village Idiots, Flynn asks Boone to take his place in New York at a charity ball. Provided with an address and time, Boone heads to NYC to meet the Village Idiot’s benefactor, Professor Stone. Boone soon stumbles upon his true purpose for being in New York – to stop Sinti from summoning the devil and stop Baba Yaga, an immortal being who has been trapped in a deep sleep for centuries, from destroying NYC. Along with his new friend, Sapphire, Boone helps a secret organization fight a long-time war with the Dragon and Nymph society.
In The Devil Pulls the Strings, Joseph Zarek brings to life magic and monsters found in European lore. This is an exciting story that I found to be fast-paced and full of action. The author hits on thrilling plot points rapidly, moving Boone through his next steps to stopping Sinti quickly with just enough time to digest what happened before moving on.
Readers are immediately introduced to intriguing magic and mythological creatures before the main character, which sets readers up to know what kind of imaginative story they are delving into, but I feel like this prevents readers from discovering this secret world along with the main character.
Some of the information the author uses is factual and conforms to the original mythology, which I loved, but in some areas the author bends mythological rules in unique ways, which I love even more. For example, Wendigos prey on people who are socially disconnected or corrupt, greedy and/or weak. I enjoyed the author’s fresh take on these mythological creatures.
The Devil Pulls the Strings is a quirky epic fantasy adventure that is relentlessly moving forward and never forgets to entertain the reader. The modern reimagining of old mythologies and the mash-up of multiple mythologies makes this a one-of-a-kind fantasy that readers will surely enjoy.
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