cover image Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate

Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate

Richard Parks. Prime Books, $14.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-60701-435-5

Prolific writer Parks's superb supernatural page-turner, the second in the Yamada Monogatari series (after Demon Hunter), takes readers to medieval Japan, where Yamada, a minor nobleman, agrees to help the emperor's wife, Teiko, to dispel rumors about her son's parentage. Yamada enlists the help of his supernatural allies to find a letter that would clear Teiko's name, but this does not prevent the young woman's exile and suicide. When evidence emerges that Teiko was framed, Yamada seeks to right the wrongs of the royal court. Meanwhile, a menacing pall hangs over the city, growing darker with every passing day. Parks creates a fascinating world, where cutthroat court intrigue and the beings of the underworld collide. Yamada and his friends are well-rounded, believable characters, and the witty prose maintains mystery and suspense throughout. Playing with Japanese demonology and political scandal, Parks creates an absorbing and original tale. (Nov.)