Book Review

Demon's Tear

R. E. Sanders 


Been a while hasn't it? What's been happening in Nerd Central? Well, not much really! Obviously some books have been read, some reviews have been written and I have been trying some new things, such as putting up a few reviews on Instagram. If you want to follow me there, over at the ol' Gram, just look for the customary Fantasy Book Nerd, I am sure that you will find me. 

In addition to that, I have also had a trial at putting reviews on r/fantasy. 

Well, let's get back to this week shall we. There's a couple of posts this week. Tomorrow I join the book tour for Matthew Ward's new book, The Fire Within them, which is the second book in his Soulfire Series. I am pretty excited about this as I will be having a quick Q&A about all sorts of things. In addition to this I am a judge at the BBNYA (Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Competition) which is a yearly competition run by The Write Reads, in association with the Folio Society and showcases self published authors from all sorts of different genres.  However, first there's a review of Demon's Tear by R. E. Sanders. 

Demon's Tear was released earlier this month on 01 June 2024 and is available at the usual stockists. So let's get on and tell you some about the book


No prophecies
No destiny
The new heroes of our time shall choose themselves

The Jantakai, the lands of the Twin Swords, are divided. War threatens every border, crime infests countries like a disease, and the gods themselves have faded away. Beneath this turbulent arena an ancient, malicious power begins to wake. The whole world is like dry tinder, waiting for a spark.

Old friends Ellyah and Nastja must rediscover how to trust one another as they navigate the underworld of Anish. Eain is a young soldier of Banahgar, whose dreams of glory turn out to be a nightmare. Driven by necessity, their quests will force them to travel further and through more dangers than they could have imagined.

At the heart of it all, a blood-red ruby gleams, sending out a siren call. A frantic chase begins, those who would possess it unaware of the danger it holds. Glory and riches await the victor, and for the losers the only prize will be death.

Who will claim the Demon’s Tear?


548 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2024


War, cursed gems, thieves and a demon lord all make an appearance in R.E. Sander’s new book Demon’s Tear.

Eain has been training as a warrior since he was a child, but when war comes, disaster strikes and he finds himself in a foreign land, fleeing from the land he knows and loves.

Ellyah, along with her friend Nastja and strange companion Luara have just done the heist of the century. Stealing a mysterious red jewel, Ellyah hopes that the when she fences it, she will be lifted from the clutches of poverty and never have to steal again. What she doesn’t know is that dark forces are aware of the jewel and have designs on it.

In a frantic race to sell the jewel and escape from the clutches of the gangs who are chasing them, Ellyah and co end up in the crime infested city of Ben Gedrin.
Demon’s Tear is the first instalment in The Jantakai Saga, an epic fantasy set in the Lands of the Twin Swords. The book is split into two points of view, but rather than alternating to each character after a chapter or two, it is split into novelette components, with each part centring on either of the two main characters.

To be fair, this works rather well as you get an elongated stint with each of the characters until the end of their section.

The book is a solid introduction to the world, especially for a new reader. However, the one thing that I found a little difficult was the initial introduction. There is a lot of opening world building that means that the reader has to familiarise themselves with various aspects of the world, which I felt hampered the pace a little at first and whilst it sets the scene, I thought it broke the initial pace of the book.

As usual when you have a multi – pov led book, you do tend to gravitate towards certain characters, and I must admit that my favourites were Ellyah and Nastja, despite their faults. 

In addition to this, Sanders gives a different perspective on familiar fantasy races and I liked how he had subverted them to make them very individual to the world, particularly Elves who he gave a totally upended view, and rather than them being the usual wispy beings that readers are generally familiar with they are quite muscular and wild.

On the whole though, I enjoyed the book, and liked the idea that whilst there are certain fantasy tropes present, they are not relied upon and the decisions that the characters make themselves impact on the outcomes rather than it being a pre-ordained destiny.



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