“A  slow-building fantasy journey with dark undertones and strong character development, featuring plenty of stark battles.” —IndieReader


In the realm of Colivar, there are demons that roam the mountains. There are lava-encrusted portals to Hell from which these demons crawl. And, of course, there are villagers in mortal danger who need brave hearts, men and women with courage and preternatural strength and skill, to hunt these demons down and kill them. This is the situation in Rory Surtain’s debut novel, Firefanged: Demon in Exile (Barnes & Noble Press), the first in a projected eight-novel series.

Our protagonist is a 17-year-old orphan named Ara. Raised as a ward of the church, Ara is deeply grateful. Blessed with an uncanny sense of smell and exceptional night vision, he hunts game after dark to support himself and give back to the church; but his prey seems to have disappeared and, adding to Ara’s sense of impending doom, the forest is black and quiet.


He kills his first demon in chapter one but crawls back to the village grievously wounded and permanently scarred. “The beast was hairless and dark,” he tells Pastor Riley, “and its eyes glowed a deep reddish-orange. Its breath stank of sulfur and rot.” The stage is thereby set for more terrifying battles.

Mounted knights and foot soldiers patrol the valley of Lockrun, but the demons are otherworldly and formidable monsters. They ravage and murder their victims then retreat to their blistering caves. Neighboring villages fight their demons, which are as varied as any mythology: a screeching half-man/half-raptor, Hell-spiders, lizard men, wolf beasts. The villagers, soldiers, knights and royalty are as diverse as the demons, and include dark dwarfs, elves and half-breeds. 

Both demons and villagers have an arsenal of superpowers and magic with which to fight, and descriptions of near-death combat, fatalities and escape are graphic and vivid. Surtain has skillfully created a world where readers are irresistibly engaged.


The realm of Colivar is a battlefield where magic, curses, talismans, sorcery and witchcraft are a necessary part of military strategy. Ara treasures the fang of the demon he killed; it has supernatural powers. An amulet is a symbol of his betrothal The brands on his breast and on his shoulder? What do they signify? And why was he warned to keep them covered? 

We follow Ara as he learns about himself and his own powers, navigates the complexities of tribal hierarchy, and wins both loyalty and love in an explosive, fantastical world.

The Demon in Exile series continues with The Scarred Man and Sorrow’s Twin both also available now for purchase — and six additional books in various stages of planning and production. Learn more about the series and forthcoming installments on Surtain’s website and more about the author on Surtain’s BookTrib author profile page.

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Rory Surtain is a 2020 debut author and novelist. Surtain resides on the Gulf Coast of the USA, dodging hurricanes, airports, and alpha-personality domestic cats. After a few decades being creative in the technical corporate world, freedom has taken the form of fitness, Irish whiskey, and full-time writing and self-publishing. An avid cloud photographer, art collector, and long-time reader of Historical, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Fiction, Surtain is in it for the art, the escape, and the chance to entertain.