A Demon’s Quest by Charles Carfagno

A Demon’s Quest – The Beginning of the End by Charles Carfagno Jr.

four-stars

From page one of A Demon’s Quest author Charles Carfango Jr. redefines good and evil as we are introduced to a world of merciless battle, unflinching quests of survival, the complex relationship between man and animal, and astonishing acts of brotherhood. In the first chapter, a band of warriors, all with their own respective personalities and skill sets, set about to find the Circle of Demise when giant bug creatures emerge from the treacherous forest, aimed to kill anyone they see. While the crew successfully wards of these deadly creatures, this comes at a serious cost to the state of the men’s morality and health. Carfango so expertly draws in the reader as he describes several of the men’s journey as some search for help while others quickly fall into their own downward spirals into a cult-like world filled with bizarre rituals that we can begin to get confused as to who is the right and who is wrong.

As the story continues, each chapter focuses on a different situation, all happening within this Shakespearean-esque medieval forest. One chapter in particular follows the story of Jacko, a young and modest warrior who is seeking further training and is assigned to the all-knowing, yet affectionate, Teacher Ma. Their relationship could be seen as a parallel to a Luke Skywalker and Yoda in Star Wars as Teacher takes Jacko through several extensive training exercises and instills in Jacko that honor and respect for your opponent are the most valuable skill any warrior learn. Of course, as Jacko’s story progresses, he must become his own teacher and in doing so, Carfango tells us that what is right and what is easy are not mutually exclusive. These varied perspectives create tension as we are never sure how all of these characters will come together. Ultimately, these stories lead up to Torhan, who gets wrongly accused of stealing and must conceal his own identity in order to get his reputation restored. The paradoxes that Carfango creates are what make A Demon’s Quest so fascinating and the suspenseful action and witty dialogue essentially beg for a sequel. While the author is a bit ambitious in the amount of personas he creates, this is a wonderful fantasy novel for readers of all ages and definitely makes us all question the way we look at good and evil.

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