No big surprise that King would pen a sword and sorcery novel given the Gotrex and Felix series.
Here it would appear we have a little of a Moorcock homage. The lead character is named Ulrik and there are a bunch of demonic black blades floating around. Rather than snow and ice however, Ulrik's domain was as the title suggested.
Until he got captured and rather than being executed was made to fight in the Pit. Which is a slower and more fundraising version of the former, of course, given he was not allowed to earn cash.
Beating a champion with the help of a wizard's loan of a sword and a lot of drugs said wizard decides he could use him as a bodyguard, so buys him from the Pit.
Bit of a catch though. His idea of a bodyguard is to bind a demon inside him as a sword and sorcery version of the old implanted explosive trick. The pair become a threesome as our wizard's other slave is a catgirl thief.
The major problem then becomes the fact that run of the mill blackhearted wizardly bastardry and demonic messing around that our hero is forced to put up with looks like a CWA cake stall compared to what Molok has planned. Which includes blackblading and demoning up a bunch of fellow Sky Pirates of Ulrik's as part of his fleet.
Sword and sorcery characters are often in the evil sorcerer killing business, however. And for Ulrik, business is a boomin'.
3.5 out of 5