The Demon’s Watch – Conrad Mason

“The old woman smiles into the darkness.
Her cloak is already drenched, but still the rain beats at her back, drips from her hood and streams over her hands, where they cling onto the cold tiles of the rooftop.
Port Fayt. At Last.”

In Port Fayt everyone lives side by side; goblins, trolls, elves, imps, fairies and men. They are all equals… or as close to it as you can get. The order is sometimes pushed off kilter and there’s a great deal of fighting when you mix up a population like that, especially when the pirates and smugglers come ashore. But Captain Newton and his men in The Demon’s Watch are there to help, to lock away the baddies and keep order. If they can get the Militiamen off their backs … However with the League of Light coming over from The Old World trying to mess with the order and getting rid of all the ‘creatures’ there’s more trouble brewing for Port Fayt.
For Joseph Grubb Port Fayt is his home, though he barely sees more than the tavern that his Uncle owns. Then one night he runs away, having only heard stories of the smugglers, the evil do-ers and The Demon’s Watch he finds himself in a sticky situation, but he might be the only one who can help The Watch.

This book is fantasy at its very best. A brilliant story, matched with amazing writing and characters you want to grab from the page and give a huge hug, makes a book that is just un-put-downable!
I knew I’d like The Demon’s Watch, it seemed like a great story aimed at just the right age group for it to work and I wasn’t wrong. I was hooked from the very first page and my love for it just kept on growing.
The story is a dangerous one, filled with tavern brawls and witches and even a sea creature reminiscent of the Kraken. But it’s a brilliant adventure which I think all kids will love! I was impressed with the flow of the story and how bits just kept getting added and added to make it a really in-depth tale. However for this reason I think I would refrain from giving this to too young a reader, I’d say 10 was about as young as I’d go with this book.
The characters were incredible, there wasn’t one that I didn’t think were brilliant – even the evil ones – and you wouldn’t believe the vivid, colourful images I had in my head for many of these characters. I really can’t go into much detail for the characters as it would take forever and you’ll get bored of my babble but I think my favourites had to be Captain Newton, Tabitha, Grubb, The Twins and the Toymaker, Mr Harrison. I have my reasons but basically these were all amazing characters that had backgrounds which intrigued me and they all made me glad I was reading the book. Of course, the Twins may be the exception to that… I just loved how fun, and funny, they were!!
As I mentioned the writing was just what topped this book off for me. I loved the way I felt I was moving across Port Fayt, going into the taverns and over the waves with every sentence I read. The way the writing flowed and even how easy it was to just wash over made this book a fantastic read. I would love to hear this book as an audiobook because with the right voice it would make for brilliant bedtime listening!
My one downside of this book would be that for its age group the size may put readers off. I know that when I suggested it to my 12 year old stepson he flinched away from it even though I showed him that the font was really big. Also, though this isn’t a downside, it’s just a suggestion; I think this book would really benefit from illustration. The small bits at the beginning of each chapter were great but I would have loved for more in the middle of the chapters.
The Demon’s Watch is the first novel from Children’s editor Conrad Mason. It is published by David Fickling Books, a Random House imprint and is available from today. My copy was sent to me from the publisher, this has not affected my review.


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