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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Stalking the Demon is book two in Ciara Ballintyne's epic fantasy series, The Seven Circles of Hell. Alloran is still recovering from his battle with the first circle demon in the first book. He is being carefully watched by the council, many of whom still blame him for the destruction and loss of lives that resulted from the renegade wizard and his former friend, Ladanyon's actions. Ladanyon was imprisoned within the first circle of hell, but the city is still being plagued by an increasing number of thefts and bizarre incidents. Gisayne, Alloran's fiancee and fellow adventurer, is suffering from a strange and recurring illness that gets more severe with each relapse. Alloran is convinced that the two are linked back to Ladanyon's opening of a door to hell. While that door was closed, he's convinced there must be another somewhere in the castle.
Ciara Ballintyne's epic fantasy, Stalking the Demon: The Seven Circles of Hell, Book 2, can be read and enjoyed on its own, but I'd strongly recommend that readers begin reading this imaginative and exciting fantasy series in order. Alloran is a thinking man's wizard; he broods and considers possibilities and alternatives. I loved being privy to his thoughts and plans as he works out how to resolve the problem of the open door while navigating the hostile councilors who are all too ready to have him silenced for good. There's a lot of action and adventure in this book, as a team of wizards and sorceresses and one stout and heroic human enter hell on a quest to save the city and restore balance to the universe. Ballintyne's questors are valiant and bold, and the action is vivid and fast. Stalking the Demon is a fitting successor to Ballintyne's brilliant debut novel, Confronting the Demon: The Seven Circles of Hell, Book 1. It's most highly recommended.