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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Demon of Stonewood is the second book in Jeremy Hayes' Stonewood Trilogy. Harcourt the thief, using his magic mask, is now disguised and living as Weldrick, the leader of the Thieves Guild. He has turned the Guild's primary focus on defeating the demonic cult that is secretly led by Krommel, the chief magistrate. Wearing another disguise, Harcourt feeds information to Captain Dornell, his former nemesis and later friend, who believes Harcourt is dead. Harcourt also keeps a vigilant eye out for his beloved Krestina, who is now a priestess but still mourns Harcourt's passing. Harcourt is torn at deceiving these two friends and plans to reveal his true identity to each of them. These plans go awry, however, as the Cult's activities reach a new level: once five special hearts are harvested, the demon Lucivenus will be freed from his imprisonment.
Jeremy Hayes' epic fantasy The Demon of Stonewood is action-packed and exciting. While Hayes gives enough background from Book One of the Stonewood Trilogy, The Thieves of Stonewood, readers really should read the books in order -- this series is that good -- you won't want to miss out on a thing. Harcourt, Dornell and Krestina are fabulous leading characters, strong and determined, and they're well-supported with a cast of supporting characters like the bounty hunters Evonne and Vrawg, the wizard Fezzdin and his cat, Lex, and Na'Jala, the former gladiator.
The plot of The Demon of Stonewood is well thought out, highly original and beautifully scripted. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book. It's filled with battles, magical spells, great companions and endless adventure. The Stonewood Trilogy is shaping up to be a knockout epic fantasy trilogy, and I'm very much looking forward to the next in the series.