Devil's Claim

Fiction - Cultural
347 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Devil's Claim by Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson is a mesmerizing tale that explores the power of a curse and a family’s struggle to get free from the claims of a demon. A curse has been in their family for generations and now Apache Elder Aidan Stringfellow fears his brilliant son David may be the next victim of a curse made in a moment of quick temper. While he believes he has found a cure, he is far from the truth because David has dark secrets of his own. Katala, whose destiny is linked to David’s, feels the dormant passions in her being awaken. She wants to fight for David, but as she looks at the life of this man, she is plunged into a web of mystery and deceit. She unearths one painful fact after another, so many that she begins to doubt her own identity. Is David redeemable and can a deadly pact with a demon made long ago be voided? Time drives their lives towards the inevitable.

I don’t usually read a novel written by two authors, always feeling there could be some discordance in the narrative voice, but Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson prove the contrary. The quality of the writing is stellar, exceptionally good, with the evocation of powerful emotions right from the very opening of the story. The curse can’t be reversed. From the start, the reader understands that the premise is strong — something terrible and irreversible has happened. Now, the suspense begins as the reader wants to delve into the secret lives of the characters. They wait in longing for what happens at the end while the authors take them along an exciting path. Devil's Claim is a wonderful achievement and a great offering to fans of strong literary voices. This is a world where the supernatural intersects with the ordinary and where magic collides with human will. It is utterly spellbinding.

Lesley Jones

In Devil's Claim by Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson, an evil curse that has tormented a family for generations now has its sights on wealthy Apache Aiden Stringfellow's son, David. Aiden has a plan that could put an end to years of misery and tragedy. When David agrees to go along with his father's bizarre request, an old adversary from his childhood, Katala, becomes part of the scheme. Together they must work as a team to fight the predatory spirit known as Abiku. Can they untangle the clues one by one, whilst building trust in one another and breaking down their emotional barriers? They must be willing to reveal their true feelings if they are to defy and outwit an evil that so far has been triumphant. There is little time. Abiku is within reaching distance to claim David. Is Katala ready to battle an evil that cannot be seen and risk everything to save him?

This is an exceptional story beginning in 1879 through to the present day. I have certainly been taken on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the story. I am emotionally exhausted. The characters are superb and have such depth and realism, especially Momma Ree, who was so wise and loving. David is a fantastic protagonist and I thought his personality flaws made him even more likable. I enjoyed seeing his relationship with Katala develop as the story progressed. The authors have woven many interesting sub-plots cleverly into the main story, and I loved how we were taken back in time and given more information gradually to solve the mystery. There are some excellent areas of conflict that kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat. I was wishing Katala would let down her barriers and reveal what was in her heart. The story has every ingredient I look for in a novel; mystery, suspense, and strong characters with a mission to fulfill. Perfect.

Divine Zape

Devil's Claim by Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson begins with a powerful premise, one that piques the reader’s interest and curiosity. The reader encounters Twilah who is blinded by tears of regret, unable to undo a curse she has placed on Aidan. Does she still have the last chance to save her child, herself, and Aiden, for “if she failed, the demon would not hesitate to claim Aidan's progeny, including the son she carried within her.” Elder Aidan Stringfellow, a very wealthy man, has one wish - to free his only son, David, from the curse that has run through his family for generations. Now convinced of having found a cure, he doesn’t know that David has deadly secrets of his own. All they want is to honor the wishes of Aidan, but little do David and Katala know that they are about to awaken an ancient evil that lays claims on the lastborn of the Stringfellows. And that is David. Katala is on the path to unveiling a truth that is shattering, and as she moves from one clue to the next, she is certain that no one can be trusted. The devil is at work and is about to make a heavy claim, and Katala doesn’t even know who she is anymore.

Devil's Claim is a cunningly plotted novel with hints of urban fantasy and the supernatural, a narrative with compelling characters poised against a powerful enemy. One curse, made in a moment of rage, brings together the destinies of many lives. Is there a way, a cure, for something that defies even death? Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson just became my favorite authors because they know how to put characters in the path of supernatural powers and develop conflicts that are phenomenal. From the compelling premise to the twists in the plot and the depth in character, this novel is a huge success. A veritable literary achievement.

Christian Sia

In Devil's Claim by Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson, the fates of many characters are subject to a spell cast generations ago in a moment of rash judgment and anger. Apache elder Aidan Stringfellow is determined to free his only son, David, from a curse that has run through the family for generations but he doesn’t know that his brilliant and abrasive son has secrets of his own. Katala is attracted to David, but the two are not aware that they are about to awaken an ancient evil, desperate to make good on an old promise. Katala is ready to do anything to protect David, but the path she is set on is filled with danger and dark secrets. Can she stop the evil and does she even know who she is and the part she plays in a plot far more sinister than anything she’s ever imagined?

The premise is powerful and it opens the narrative, introducing readers to the very event that brought about the curse on the Stringfellow family while inserting the conflict. Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson are experts when it comes to plot and character. Nothing is what it seems in this novel and it is interesting to follow how a deadly, demonic power interferes in the affairs of men, thwarting the paths of the characters. The prose is lovely. Readers learn quickly to care about the characters in this novel and to wonder what their fates eventually will be. From the excellent storytelling craft to the compelling characters, Devil's Claim comes across as the work of a master’s hand, filled with entertainment and a lot to remember after the last page is turned.

Grant Leishman

Even as a child, Katala felt a deep attraction to David Stringfellow, one she neither understood nor indeed knew what to do about. Despite the pair hardly ever seeing each other after their childhood, both still retained the memory of their deep affection and attraction. When David’s father dies and leaves his immense wealth to his only son, the will has some strange stipulations that will forever change the lives of Katala and David. In Devil’s Claim, authors Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson bring us a tale that spans generations and cultures. They take us back to the Old West, where Native Americans are being forced from their land and African-Americans, even the free ones, are consistently captured, rounded up and forced back into slavery and subjugation. David's and Katala’s forebears set in motion a chain of events that will see a curse follow the Stringfellow clan down the generations until the present day. Can David and Katala finally break this horrific curse that has held his line in its thrall for so many years?

Devil’s Claim was a veritable romp through so many different and new ideas; black magic, curses, witchcraft, Native American traditions and customs, spirits, and demons. Authors Dariel Raye and Muffy Wilson have crafted a wonderful romance that links Karma across the generations and requires the two main characters to break the Karmic cycle somehow. Both Katala and David were wonderfully drawn characters who exhibited the difficulties and challenges of different cultural histories living together in harmony in the 21st century. The clash of their cultures and beliefs with modern life was one of the keys to the success of the story. This certainly isn’t a book for the young and the relationship scenes between the two were exciting, frank, and hot, without crossing that invisible line into smut. The sex scenes were intrinsic to the understanding of the depth of their relationship across the generations and were beautifully handled by the authors. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if a love story with an esoteric and magical background is your thing, you will love it too. I’ll give a big “thumbs up” to these two authors.