Things look a little different than the 1985 most people know. Frank Hope still has to go to high school, but his favorite class is Demonology. It’s important that humans know about demons as it’s demon essence that fuels everything on Earth. Frank doesn’t think much about this usually, as he has so many other things to keep track of. His father died when he was a young boy and his mother now suffers from mental illness and Frank is the only one to take care of her. Frank also works a full-time job and where once he was a promising student, now he is just barely getting by. It also isn’t easy being gay in the 80s in small town Texas and it seems that Frank has no one on his side and no future. Until it’s discovered that Frank does have a talent that can bring him a sizable paycheck and prestige—you see, Frank is a Necromancer.
Kasimir lives in the Eternal Realm, which is what humans refer to as Hell. Kasimir’s people also call themselves Eternals and demon is the word that only humans use. The Eternals have been battling mortals for centuries and while Kasimir has been taught that humans are dangerous, as a young boy Kasimir fell in love with a human boy—he fell in love with Frank. Kasimir never fit in with his family and he would find any chance he could to look through a magical window to Earth and it was there he first saw Frank. Kasimir has never lost hope that one day he can meet Frank, but when he does, it’s not at all how he imagined. Caught in a web of intrigue and deception at DemonCo, the company that makes everything run on demon power, Frank and Kasimir will learn some hard truths about life and love.
In some ways, Know Thy Demons presents itself as a simpler story and that has to do with the accessible writing of Sionnach Wintergreen. But go a little deeper, and you will find a story depicting slavery and genocide as Earth runs on demon fuel as the essence of demons is torn from them and there is a lot going on beneath the layers of this story.
Kasimir first saw Frank when they were both seven years old. Kasimir is an Eternal, or a demon as humans would call him. He was able to see Frank through a looking glass at various points over the years and recognized Frank’s sadness and fell in love with him. Frank has had a difficult life. He is the sole caregiver for his ill mother and he has no support anywhere, including at school. Frank is just trying to graduate high school so he can get a better job to support himself and his mother. When he realizes he is a Necromancer, his life completely changes.
Frank can’t control which demon he summons, but Kasimir appears during a summoning spell. Frank is then thrust into an internship at DemonCo, the corporation that fuels everything, and Kasimir is locked up. Frank has no idea what he is getting himself into and he is largely left on his own in his new office. Having found his new skills also sets Frank up for the acceptance he has longed for and Frank tries to make up for lost time with the high school crowd, but that doesn’t go quite as planned either.
Frank has only been taught that demons are dangerous and never thought to question any of it. His attraction to Kasimir completely throws him and Frank has a lot to sort out. At first, Frank wants to show off his power and, since this is only the first book of this series, Frank has a lot to learn and what he learns will forever change his world.
Wintergreen does a great job with the characters of both Frank and Kasimir and it was really easy to slide into their lives as we are presented with both points of view. I would have liked a little more on Kasimir’s world, as “vanishing” demons is a common occurrence and they are aware what humans are doing with them. It seemed that an incredibly large number of demons had to have been vanishing to fuel Earth and more explanation somewhere would have helped me.
Kasimir and Frank are both teens and they do act accordingly and what Frank will uncover will most likely shock him to his core. There is still a lot of story here and Frank and Kasimir have much to overcome, both internally and externally, to be together and I will look forward to their continuing story as they journey to redemption and true love.