Demons of DunDegore is the second book in the Sword of Kassandra series by M. Joseph Murphy.
This is everything I have come to hope for from Murphy’s books – it is well paced and well conceived, with a plot that twists just enough to keep the reader itching to know more. Inhabiting this interesting and carefully crafted world are a wide variety of characters. Each one come across as a fully rounded and individual character, with a level of realism that is refreshing to see in new fantasy work, as well as having a cast range diverse enough to satisfy the reader.
The Demons of DunDegore is a full-on zombie invasion within a classic epic fantasy setting.
Demons have stolen the Sword of Kassandra, using its powerful magics to raise an army of the undead. Few survive the initial assault. Tadgh Dooley, a 17 year old werecat, travels to the island of DunDegore with his companions to rescue an 8 year old boy, the son of his best friend.
But the forces of darkness have plans for Tadgh: capture him and force him to use his power to free the dark god they worship from his extra-dimensional prison.
Murphy’s choice of protagonists works especially well in this book, and seeing the plot from their different perspectives adds an extra layer to this already involving story. Of course, it is not quite as simple or straightforward as a battle of Good versus Evil. Throughout the book Murphy manages to maintain the necessary levels of conflict between characters to ensure that any direct encounters do not feel forced or arbitrary, but always with reason and motivation behind them. As with his other books, I would recommend this to any fans of fantasy.