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Private Demon: A Novel of the Darkyn    by Lynn Viehl order for
Private Demon
by Lynn Viehl
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Lynn Viehl returns to the world of the Darkyn in this sequel to If Angels Burn. Every Darkyn has a particular power, whether the ability to read minds, turn invisible, or slip into another's dreams. Such is the talent of Thierry Durand, who's suffered the greatest betrayal at the hands of his wife. Unbeknownst to him, she was a minion of the Brethren, the Darkyn's mortal enemy. Captured and tortured to the point of madness, Thierry is rescued by fellow Darkyn. But most are convinced that he will never fully heal from his ordeal.

Thierry himself believes the same thing; until he encounters the quiet soul of Jema Shaw, his benefactor's neighbour, and a young woman who's been plagued by illness her entire life. Despite the 'death sentence' that her illness carries, Jema is determined to live her life to the fullest. By day she works as an antiquities expert in her family's museum, while at night she moonlights as a forensic consultant. Once she falls asleep, Thierry slips into Jema's dreams and in her 'demon lover's' arms Jema is swept away into fantasies that become more and more appealing than real life.

Viehl has created a singular society in the Darkyn, offering a satisfying and complex infrastructure with well thought out reasoning as to how and why they were infected. Much more sinister are their mortal enemies, the Brethren, a world wide and secretive cadre of holy men who believe it their 'god-given' right and duty to exterminate all Darkyn. They use their power and influence to capture, torture and destroy in the name of the church. In Private Demon, Viehl offers another nicely involved plot, with plenty of action, fine characterizations, as well as new plot threads and characters that demand further exploration in the next installment, Dark Need.

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