Review – Prosper’s Demon by K.J. Parker

Prosper's Demon

Book Title: Prosper's Demon

Book Description: “In the pitch dark, witty fantasy novella Prosper's Demon, K. J. Parker deftly creates a world with vivid, unbending rules, seething with demons, broken faith, and worse men. In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium. The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out—he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person. Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Too bad he’s demonically possessed.”

Book Author: K.J. Parker

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Tor Books

Publisher Logo:

Date published: 2020-01-28

Number Of Pages: 112

  • Writing - 8/10
  • Development - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)


Prosper’s Demon is a chilling and distressing read. One that shows that in the world of demons and exorcists, sometimes there really is no such thing as a good guy.


Prosper’s Demon – The Tale of an Unstable Balance 

Prosper’s Demon is the latest novel from the mind of K.J. Parker, and it is a chilling, yet evocative, read. This is a tale of possession like you’ve never read before—the sort that will force you to sit down, ponder, and perhaps fear for your health, should this fate ever befall you.

In a world where demons are truly capable of possessing unsuspecting humans, there probably seems like there’s no worse fate out there. But there’s a very good chance that this assumption is wrong.

K.J. Parker - Prosper's DemonAt least, if we’re to believe what we’re being told in Prosper’s Demon. This is the tale of one unscrupulous exorcist and his hunt against one demon in particular—his foe, if you will. Their battles may be brief, but they stretch through the years, clashing together time and time again.


K.J. Parker set out to write a chilling novella that tore away everything we readers take for granted. And they succeeded. Prosper’s Demon was as thrilling as it was alarming, thanks to all of the unreliable narrative of our main perspective.

This was an utterly unique and fascinating novel. The main character, the questionable exorcist I mentioned up above, is never actually named. But he’s quite confident that we will not like him—or agree with his methods (or motives). This is a clever twist, one that immediately forces us to recognize the unreliability of these accounts. And the sheer brutality of it all, as well.

The world we’re introduced to feels dark at times, as demons freely hop from one human host to the other—leaving pain and devastation in their wake. But that’s really only the beginning of this tale, as Parker dives into something much darker—and human.

I already said this, but I really want to make my point clear. Prosper’s Demon is an experience. It’s a chilling one—you won’t look at any other tale of demons and exorcism the same way after you read this novella. But maybe that’s not a bad thing.


Being a novella, Prosper’s Demon flew along at a steady pace. Our protagonist’s obsession easily led him, and thus us, forward in this story. It was fascinating to see more of how this person thought. More than that, it was interesting to see the demons around him and how they acted and interacted, both with him and with each other.

This story is a surprisingly complex one, thanks in part to the unique nature of the narrative itself. It intentionally misleads at times, for the sake of having a bigger surprise or impact later. That’s not what I expected to find when I picked this book up. But I’ll be the first to say that it worked out quite well here.

Really it all comes down to this: the untrustworthy and alarming narrative of our protagonist made it so that we could never really know what was about to happen next—be that for good or bad. It certainly was memorable.


Prosper’s Demon was a unique and distressing read. I can tell you that this novel opened my eyes to new interpretations of the matter. It also left plenty of room for thought. Though perhaps this is a story best read in daylight – just a suggestion.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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