Confronting the Demon

Confronting the Demon - Ciara Ballintyne I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This high fantasy novella was well written, and it is easy to see that the author put a lot of care in the wording of the sentences. However, sometimes the feeling I got as a reader is that she was trying too hard to make her words sound like high fantasy. We don't need to pack the pages with lots of difficult and old-fashioned words to make the reader know that the book belongs to the fantasy genre. Do those old-fashioned words have to appear? Yes, but in a balanced way. The good thing is that her prose doesn't get to the extreme of being purple prose, as I have found in other fantasy books, unfortunately. Indeed, Ciara Ballintyne's storytelling is quite good.

My problem while reading this book was that the story pace seemed to be very slow at the beginning, and then the end appeared all of a sudden in a blur of action and fight and monsters and demons. The hero was quite passive, leaving all the action to the female character (but I like that; not that the hero is passive, but that the female character is strong). And the story was kind of predictable; I knew what it was going to happen before it happened because there were hints. Intentional? I don't know, but I don't like knowing beforehand what is going to happen next.

Apart from that, it's an enjoyable book that could have been even better if it had been a bit longer, to allow more development of certain parts of the story.