Demonstorm is the sixth world-saving exploit of JamesBarclay's heroic-fantasy "Mission Impossible" team, The Raven-—first seen in his 1999 debut novel Dawnthief.

Again the war-ravaged continent Balaia is in big trouble. Bigger than ever. Attacked for excellent reasons by the barbarian Wesmen, the magical college of Xetesk desperately misuses its doomsday weapon of "dimensional magic", and tears a hole between realms. Endless hordes of demons come swarming through, eager to make Balaia their new home. No ordinary weapon will kill them, but they can drain human souls with just a touch. The odds are, as always, impossible.

Meanwhile, after dealing severely with impostors who took their name in vain, the weary, scarred survivors of The Raven have given up war and retired to the sunny southern continent. You can't run away from the end of the world, though, and more than one world faces extinction. The demon beachhead threatens the realms of the dragons and even the dead:

"You know how I said The Raven would never ride again? Seems I was lying."

Barclay pushes his characters to the ragged edge and beyond, as they fend off inexhaustible demon armies, suffer heavy losses in nightmare treks across occupied territory, and weaken day by day while the enemy grows ever stronger. One mad possibility remains, a commando raid into the demon dimension where their strength is greatest…

The tension is unremitting, the action unsparing. There's less room for Barclay's usual glints of humour in the long slog of fighting for what any sane mercenary should recognize as a lost cause. Still, The Raven has always managed to win through, though at great cost. Demonstorm battles its way to an appropriate finish, and delivers the goods—though this must surely be The Raven's last adventure. Edge-of-the-seat stuff.—David Langford