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    Review of DEMON'S GATE by Steve White

    Baen, January 2004

    It starts out as a normal embassy visit--warriors Khaavorn and Valdar are visiting 'the city,' center of a resurgent empire to pass on their High King's good wishes and to visit Valdar's cousin, Andonre. But the moment they get off their ship, their plans are disrupted--first by a riot, then by the arrival of a man they'd both thought long-dead. Nyrthim, a sorceror, tells them that the demons, long barred from their world, have returned. Only human sacrifice and support from the most powerful in the Empire--and in the High Kingdom could raise the energies needed to bring demons across the dimensional gates.

    His fears are quickly justified when a demon appears. Nyrthim persuades Khaavorn and Valdar to spy for him--and what they discover is worse than they had immagined possible. A demon now rules the empire and plans to open a gate between universes, flooding their home world with powerful demons. When that happens, only one species will survive. Given the demon's near immunity to bronze-age weapons, humans seem the likely losers. To further reduce their hopes, Andonre has been converted by the humans who worship demons and have performed the tasks to bring them over.

    Somehow, Khaavorn and Valdar must survive to get a warning back to the High King. But even that seems inadequate--because no human army seems capable of standing against a horde of demons.

    Steve White's DEMON'S GATE makes for pleasant beach-type reading. His characters are fairly one-dimensional and don't seem to grow much during their adventures, but good old-fashioned demon-bashing and brawny barbarians are ever-popular and appealing. Like cotton candy, this book is a quick guilty pleasure.

    See more reviews of novels by Steve White.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 4/05/04

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