Hepen The Watcher
The demon Dismay’s murderous nature has earned him the ire of his beloved wife, who has sent him away in a fit of temper. In his exile he ventures south into the land of Lutawa, drawn there by the prayers of abused and desperate women who beg him to grant them vengeance against the men who cruelly rule their lives—and Dismay is pleased to do it.
Still, murder is hard and dirty work.
When an avid desire for a bath brings him to a fine Lutawan estate, he meets two beautiful young women. Ui and Eleanor are well-acquainted with the whispered tales of the demon Dismay, who slays men but never women, and they’re delighted to entertain their fearsome guest, but they warn him to beware.
Lutawa is ruled by an immortal king, who punishes treason with the terrible weapon of infernal fire. Believing this king to be the same cruel deity known in the north as Hepen the Watcher, Dismay resolves to kill him—and accidentally draws Ui and Eleanor into his schemes.
Those who help Dismay risk a fiery death, those who hinder him risk the demon’s bloody retribution, while Dismay, still yearning for his wife’s forgiveness, discovers that love can be as hazardous as the wrath of Hepen the Watcher.
This was a surprisingly interesting read. I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into it. The plot outline sounded great, but I wasn’t sure since this was the second in the series. Thankfully, I didn’t feel completely out of the loop as I started reading this book since I never read the first one.
On one hand, you have the land of Lutawa where it is socially acceptable to abuse women. Then you have a demon that comes in to get back at the very men who abuse them. Usually in most stories, the demon is the one that is the “bad guy” so to speak. Whereas, even though Dismay is going around punishing and killing men, he is doing it for a good purpose. So in a way, he is actually the “good guy”.
Even though this is a book of fantasy, it really causes the reader to pause and think about what is considered socially acceptable and what is not.
Hepen the Watcher (9781937197100): Linda Nagata: Books
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