Tempt the Devil

When the body of Former Governor Turyat is discovered in the Red Happiness, QuiTai is the prime suspect. Surprisingly, she seems almost eager to be taken into custody.

If Kyam Zul is to keep her neck out of the noose, he must solve the crime without her help – while matching wits with not only the real killer but his scheming grandfather, his political rivals, and his own wife.

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Jill Braden

Jill-Braden-2Upon completing her studies at Miss Havisham’s School for Girls, Ms. Braden earned a degree in Finance. Armed with a smattering of monetary theory and an understanding of capital markets, she invaded Los Angeles with such stealth that most of the population remains unaware that she lurks within the borders. While her lifelong dream of owning James West’s train remains elusive, the underwater lair is coming along quite nicely, thank you. Do drop in. She’s been looking for an excuse to test the hound’s SCUBA gear.


New characters are introduced and I’m not sure how I feel about one of them, though I feel certain this particular new character is on Ponong to stay. I happen to love Kyam and Qui Tai’s relationship and am not that certain I want to see a monkey wrench thrown in, but I trust Jill Braden. There are lots of twists and turns here and a few uncertainties regarding characters you think you know. The crime is solved, but it’s really more about the journey than the end. We learn more about Grandfather Zul’s machinations and Machiavellian plans and all that assures that there will be more intrigues and adventures to come. Something I’m thrilled about.

If you haven’t dipped your toe into the waters of the Sea of Erykoli, now’s a good time to start, but start with The Devil’s Concubine. You won’t be sorry. This is some of the best world building I’ve had the pleasure to read! –D.L. King, author of Carnal Machines

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I have to say this is technically the best-written of the three volumes, but I can’t make up my mind which is my favorite. In each volume there are new things to learn, and some new characters to explore. I particularly liked the introduction of Kyam’s wife, Nashruu here. This is yet another strong female character tossed into the mix, and she promises to be quite a handful in future volumes. Certainly she proves herself her to be more than Kyam can handle in this one.

The world of Ponong continues to grow and to be filled-in with ever more fascinating detail, becoming increasingly intricate and absorbing. I have no doubt that this will continue with each volume, and I am very much looking forward to the next one already. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with the opening few lines from this volume:

She was vapor: insidious, addicting, forbidden. She was QuiTai, the Devil’s right hand – and often his left one, too. Former actress, former prostitute, former mistress to kings and prime ministers, she was a dangerous mixture of ruthlessness, charm, intelligence, and cunning.

What better introduction could you ask for? Now go read it! —Ian Wood, author and reviewer (visit his website here).

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