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The Devil You Know by KJ Parker eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker is a novella telling the story of a demon working for a rather bureaucratic version of Hell and his favorite philosopher who just sold his soul for suspicious reasons. I absolutely love the spin on selling your soul to the devil and grew strangely attached to both of these characters!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Devil You Know from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Devil You Know by KJ Parker eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker
Published by on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Novella
Page Length: 128 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.

But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus–the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.

He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?

4.5 Stars


  • The real strength of this novella is the banter between a philosopher and the demon who must serve him until his contract is up. These two are fantastic and we get to see the story from both of their perspectives. There are so many fast exchanges full of entertaining and thoughtful ideas; I couldn’t get enough.
  • I am becoming more and more convinced that Hell is actually the worst bureaucracy imaginable. How perfect is it to think of all the demons answering to various middle managers and having to go up the chain to get anything done while also trying to make it look like they know what they are doing?
  • The Devil You Know will have you guessing until the very end. It is full of twists as both characters try to figure out what the other’s motives actually are and whether either has figured out what is really going on. I had a lot of ideas, but all were wrong, ha.
  • You wouldn’t think that you would grow to like a demon and a guy who has sold his soul, but I couldn’t help it! The demon especially really only does this whole evil thing to pay the bills and doesn’t buy into most of it when he’s off work ;-).


  • The point of view changes between the two characters (men? is a demon a man?) frequently and it was sometimes tricky for me to figure out whose perspective I was now reading. There is a lot of referring to each other as ‘he’ and ‘him,’ which doesn’t really shed any light on perspective haha. I always figured it out by the third sentence though.


The Devil You Know is a wonderful read and currently my favorite novella I’ve read this year. If you like the idea of snarky demon government workers, you can’t miss this one.

See for yourself!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. This novella expired before I could get to it but now I may go back and ask for the link again since you loved it so much. I love it when the twists turn out to be completely different than what you think!
    Tammy @Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…FELLSIDE by M.R. Carey – ReviewMy Profile

    • Yes, definitely do! Mordicai said it was one of his favorites so I’m sure he’ll be happy to give you another link :D

  2. I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I discovered it! After reading your review, I’m sure I’ll pick it up. It just sounds absolutely amazing!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Review: The Foxglove KillingsMy Profile

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