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Confronting the Demon (The Seven Circles of Hell Book 1) by [Ballintyne, Ciara]
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Confronting the Demon (The Seven Circles of Hell Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Length: 112 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


" and enthralling. I was amazed by how swiftly I got caught up in Alloran's situation. The author uses just the right combination of description and action to get her readers immersed in her fantasy world, causing them to hit the ground running along with the beleaguered wizard. I was surprised and thrilled by how much I was enjoying reading Confronting the Demon. Ballintyne's work shows flashes of inspiration from Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery stories.... an accomplished and impressive debut offering, and it is most highly recommended." - Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

About the Author

Ciara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practising financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic. She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book. She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ciara Ballintyne; 1st edition (January 5, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 5, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FF8NY3C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the kindle version and enjoyed the story and the writing. I do know Ciara so this is not a formal review. . . more of a happy turn of events being able to recommend the book. I don't read many fantasy novels (except for some of the big icons in the field like The Lord of the Rings, most of The Wheel of Time series) so this novella was a delight because it beat every expectation . . . If you like fantasy, you'll enjoy this short novella. It has some gruesome descriptions of the remains left after hellcats and bad wizards happen to good people and a suspenseful set-up with bold confrontations; the characters are interesting (need more tales in this world) and the narrative kept me reading to the end in one sitting.
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Format: Paperback
This story wasn't quite what I expected; it was better! The first pages surprised me, reminding strongly of THE WAY OF SHADOWS by Brent Weeks (the scenes, setting and story feel). I was immediately drawn in and found myself having to concentrate not to miss a beat in the quickly developing plot.

The world built here is intricate and complex. It has the feeling of a full-fledged novel concentrated as tight as possible into a novella. A little voice in the back of my head wished (during the first few sections) the background would have been fleshed out into part of the story. There was so much to dive into and part of me felt a little cheated not having the opportunity to join the scenes leading up to the rest. I loved Alloran right away and would have gladly shared his journey from earlier on.

The pace greatly slows down when Alloran's past girlfriend shows up. Like Alloran she's a likable character - spunky, beautiful and has enough flaws to make her realistic and enjoyable. Although there is definitely a romance going on here, it blends into the rest of the story well and doesn't overpower the plot. The action and tension remain strong the whole way through, which kept me turning the pages. Yep, I read this in one sitting with my hubs wanting to know when I'd finally be done - but I couldn't leave Alloran. Nope.

I really enjoyed reading this and will read it again and maybe again. There were a few spots where things suddenly jumped, which I had to read again to keep up - and this especially clashed with the one or two moments where Alloran sulked a little too long (the pace could use a little smoothing out), but I still hope Ciara builds this out into a novel someday because I love the world and all the mysteries behind Alloran. This felt like a sweet, tantalizing sample of an amazing meal.
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Format: Paperback
Confronting the Demon
By Ciara Ballintyne

Alloran, a man of mystery, a sorcerer, a controller of demons, and hunted for his life. With such a man you would think he would run and never look back but Alloran is also a man of honor. When it is found out he practices the dark arts and seeks to control demons deaths occur. He runs for his life and hides within plain sight until the messages start. The delivery of bodies of those he was close to opens up his visibility and vulnerability and he finds himself almost a captive until he is helped by the one he loves. Will she be able to help him uncover the plot to destroy him and the world of magic? You will have to read this exciting tale and find out.
Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page. From the hellcats to the creature like Legion the demonic is called forth by his enemy to destroy Alloran and his beloved. Read to see if he can truly control the demon realm and find out who has the strongest magic and what price has to be paid.
This is a tale I will read again. Join Alloran in Confronting the Demon.

Bella Doerres 9/26/2013
Confronting the Demon
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, and it is too close to horror for my tastes, but the writing was so good, and the situation so compelling, I had to keep reading to find out what happened. For such a short fantasy, there is a LOT happening here: magic, evil demons, murder mysteries, false accusations, intrigue, and a flawed but likeable protagonist desperately trying to keep his "addiction" to forbidden knowledge under control so he doesn't become like the antagonist. The violence is a bit too graphic and there are just a few too many mild curse words for me to recommend this as a "clean" read. (If it was a movie it would be the upper limits of PG-13, so definitely not for younger readers.) I'm glad I read it, because Ms. Ballintyne is a master of sensory details and characterization.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Confronting the Demon” contains two stories, a novella of the same name and a short story called “A Magical Melody.”

“Confronting the Demon” tells the tale of the wizard Alloran, who is hiding out in the city of Ehsan after his once-friend Ladanyon framed him for summoning demons and murdering people. When a number of demon-murdered bodies start cropping up in his path, and his young girlfriend Giselle comes looking for him, Alloran must decide whether he is willing to risk his life and that of those around him to confront his enemy. Overall, I enjoyed the story a great deal, because it deals with a number of interesting themes. Alloran has chosen cowardice in his recent life, for legitimate reasons, and he must decide whether he is willing to take the risks necessary to be brave. This leads to a conflict that continued to hold my attention throughout the whole story.

In “A Magical Melody,” composer Avram must find a stolen piece of magical music that has the potential to do great harm to whoever has taken it if the magic gets out of control. I enjoyed this story even more than “Confronting the Demon,” probably at least in part because I have some background in music, and I enjoyed the idea of magical music. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I liked how the theft highlighted the relationships that the unattractive Avram had with the women in his life.

Overall, I recommend both “Confronting the Demon” and “A Magical Melody” to anyone who enjoys thought-provoking fantasy stories.
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