Demons! The devils with forked tales, the spiritual entities that grant us wishes at the crossroads, and the inner demons that make us have that extra glass of wine that gets us arrested.
Literature is not kind when it comes to demons. More often than not, demons are the bad guys. The toxic spirits that infiltrate our dreams, take our souls and corrupt us, the notion of demons have stretched back for centuries. Taking a primary place in mainstream religions, they are literally used to scare us straight, even today.
Demons make the best bad guys.
I love demons. They make the greatest antagonist due to their sneaky and malicious tendencies. We love to hate them, and they have such power that they are always a challenge to overthrow. Their magical mayhem and their motives are a mystery to us, so out-thinking a demon is a tough ask.
Cunning, wily and determined to throw everything into chaos, demons are perfect additions to literature. Even if The Exorcist did make it a little more creepy than usual.
Demon magic is out of this world.
Christianity claims that demons are fallen angels, sometimes they are spirits and almost always associated with magic. Standing at crossroads and casting rituals to make a deal with a demon is how many an unwitting protagonist has acquired their greatest desires. Often granting people riches, fame, and love, they grant the demon the power to take their very souls for eternity. Horrifying as that might be, it’s freaking powerful stuff, and that has to be admired on some level!
Demon’s aren’t always bad.
In my short story The Witch’s Touch, demons aren’t spirits or fallen angels, but regular people with the ability to possess others. Still perfectly formidable, but not inherently sinful or born from evil. In fact, some of them use their powers for the greater good. Leona, one of the main protagonists in The Witch’s Touch is one of those awesome demons determined to fight for justice!
While not urban fantasy, in fact this is the most epic of epic fantasies, for demons I recommend the Hero of Darkness series by Andy Peloquin. Epic storyteller, crazy vivid imagination and a really stand-up guy. Check out The Secret Library book review for the first book in the series: Darkblade Assassin.
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