crowgrrl.com | 10 June 2007 | Athena Schaffer aka The Crowgrrl
Darren Shan's Bec is the fourth installment of the excellent Demonata series. This one is a totally unexpected gem in the demonic crown! Not only does this focus on a female lead character for the first time in the series, but also delves back into history for origins of the demonic conflicts brought forth in the previous editions of the series.We’re transported back to Ireland during the era when Patrick is trying to convert the island to Xtianity, but the old Pagan beliefs still have a good stronghold. Enter the Fomorii, otherworldly demons who have found a rip in the barrier between dimensions/worlds and are ravaging the land. The Irish traditions, beliefs, and history infuse the story with rich textures, making this the best in the series so far!Bec is left outside a round wooden fort known as a "rath" by her dying mother, and is adopted by the clan’s priestess, Banba, who raises her as an apprentice priestess. After Banba dies, Bec is elevated to the rank of clan priestess, but she’s still a young teen with a lot of magickal training left undone. Regardless, she has to do her best, call upon her training and powers the best she can to help her clan as they’re attacked by the Fomorii.One day, a boy - Bran - races to the rath to enlist help to fight demons elsewhere. Bec is among the small group of volunteers who leave with Bran (who is communication-impaired), partly as a self-discovery journey to see if she can find out who she is, who her mother was, what her birth clan is like. But the druid - Drust - that Bran brings them to has his own agenda that the group is caught up in, possibly with deadly consequences.Along the way, Lord Loss appears. We learn some of his origins, get more inside what makes him tick. We learn more about the lycanthropic curse carried down to future generations. We even may get a glimpse into Lord Loss’ fascination with the game of chess. But the road is terrifying and blood-soaked almost every step of the way!
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