He held out his hand. “Give it to me,” he hissed as his fingernails lengthened into claws. “If you insist,” I said. Then I shot him in the face.
The “Daniel Faust” series, written by Craig Schaefer, is an urban fantasy starring an anti-hero. The series consists of 7 books and a novella so far. Unlike other urban fantasy series like The Dresden Files, this series is far more violent, gritty and is noir in its approach to this setting. The protagonist, the eponymous Daniel Faust, is a violent con-man and sorcerer who has few moral qualms remaining but guards those jealously. In one way, you could of this of as The Saint moved to modern times, with a lot of occult and magic thrown in. This series is also a backbone for the universe, Craig Schaefer is building, with multiple references to the ‘Revanche Cycle’ and ‘Harmony Black’ characters and series.
But enough about the setting and comparisons, what is this series really like?
I had a blast reading the series. It was unique, funny, violent and profane. It has all the elements that I now expect from the author. The pacing is brilliant and the characters are well fleshed out. You end up caring about all the main characters and even the ones on the sidelines.
While, the plot is not as intricate as the ‘Revanche Cycle’, it still has enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested till the end. But, there is a sense of deus ex machina that starts to creep into the series, but that is standard for this kind of urban fantasy fare. After all, the gritty macho hero (or heroine) has to be almost down and out, before coming out with a brilliant plan to outfox their adversaries. So this can be forgiven.
Without getting into spoilers, let me also say that the character arcs here are fantastic. The characters, while neither fully good or evil, are driven by their emotions and motivations, including ones that are usually evil by fantasy standards. The characters might start somewhere on the moral spectrum, but they definitely do not end there.
There is plenty of dry humour and subtle call outs in this series. My favourite was the one where he sees Sue (the T-Rex) and thinks to himself, that its good that necromancers can’t take advantage of it *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink*. Also, the name Daniel Faust (this series is all about demons and magic).
In conclusion, this series is a great read – I recommend it to all readers of fantasy. You will not be disappointed.