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Publisher's Summary

One final contender stands between Claire and claiming the Fallen Throne - but Faith isn't giving up without a fight. Defeating Faith and taking her blood isn't all Claire has to worry about. She must find the last few drops of her own original blood - before the big three usurp her realm and end any chance of her completing the prophecy.

Mace offers a strong shoulder, but as long as Claire aches for the missing Thanos, she can't let herself lean on it.

Meanwhile, the Oracle has emerged from a 500-year hiatus to gleefully fling monkey wrenches into Claire's timeline. Claire loses several hours to one of the hag's schemes, resulting in Faith getting away with the Prince of Time. Which definitely isn't part of the prophecy.

Putting the Time King back together again won't be easy. Even if Claire manages to gather all the parts, nothing fits like it did before. The cracks expose the truth that will change everything...including who'll be the last man standing by Claire's side.

©2017 HD Smith (P)2017 Heather D. Smith

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H.D. Smith delivers another fantastic novel

Dark Contender by H.D. Smith is the fourth novel in the Devil’s Assistant series. Claire, who started as a desk assistant for the Boss/the Devil, is now the unofficial Queen of the fourth (of four) realm, Fallen. Set on fulfilling prophesies and taking official control of her realm, Claire needs to track down the other contender for fulfilling the prophesies and gather all the logistical pieces of the ritual to take over her realm. But the Oracle has returned after hundreds of years and she brings with her a type of time-bending chaos that Claire hasn’t dealt with before and for some reason she seems very interested in Claire. Claire and her team must figure out a way to beat the remaining contender and take her realm without being brought down by the machinations of the Oracle and the other power players in the realms.

H.D. Smith delivers another fantastic novel in what appears to be the finale of this series, filled with an exciting story, a really cool world, and great well-developed characters.  It’s a really complex world that only gets more complicated in this book with the addition of the time manipulating Oracle, but it’s masterfully done. The story is fast paced and exciting and definitely absorbs the attention of the listener.  As with each of the other three novels in the series, there are so many twists and turns as Claire and her team try to figure out not only what is going on around them, but also what to do as they get new information. It’s been great watching Claire come into her powers and to see her ability to make decisions and lead grow. Similarly, the relationships that have changed as the story progressed have been really great to read. However, this is not a stand-alone novel – to understand what is happening it is necessary to have read the previous books in the series. Overall, this is a great wrap-up novel. Any hanging threads from the last three novels area tied off nicely. The new story of the Oracle and the continuing story of the different prophesies intersect nicely and end in a really satisfying way.

The narration by Lauren Fortgang is excellent as usual. She really brings the characters to life and gives them personality. The production quality of the novel is also great. I would recommend this novel and this series to anyone who enjoys complex fantasy novels that include twisting plots and coming of age stories. Also, I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves strong female characters in young adult fantasy novels.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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I lasted barely an hour

Would you try another book from HD Smith and/or Lauren Fortgang?

I enjoyed the first 3 books in the series until this.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

What a bunch of metaphysical gobbledygook , I had to steal this phrase from surfing due to my inability to come up with words how boring this was.

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  • Tabatha
  • 07-26-17

Brilliant, a truly marvellous book & series

Brilliant, a truly marvellous book & series, have loved all 4 books of this epic tale.
A remarkable piece of work, with plots within plots and outcomes you would never guess, which at times leave you reeling. Such a clever, well thought out series.
An amazing heroine you root for, laugh and cry with. A host of complexed characters which draw you in. A thrilling ride, and an absolute recommended read.