With the upcoming release of the final book in #DemonSpring, I thought I’d revisit Bael, the original athtar. I wrote about him very briefly before the first book came out. But now that we’ve seen more of him, I really wanted to dive deep into the belu athtar and his character.
Spoilers for the first and second books
Bael the Narcissist
Coming into the final book of my urban fantasy trilogy, we really see a lot about Bael. He is the quintessential insecure narcissist, willing to toy with emotions and prone to lash out when he feels threatened. As I wrote in the author’s note of the first book, his whims and rants seem unbelievable, but for anyone who’s ever dealt with a narcissist, they aren’t. He’s been given the power to control time, yet he’s obsessed with what people think of him. He demands loyalty, and when he doesn’t get it, he punishes.
His relationship with Anya is, to put it bluntly, sick. He found her as a thirteen year old girl, filled her head with delusions and lies, then used his so-called “love” to manipulate her. Granted, she bears some responsibility. But if you think about it, she’s been isolated from him. There’s no domestic violence resource center she can turn to. She’s been brainwashed to believe that he is the beginning and end of all things. But hey, as long as she doesn’t piss him off, things will be good.
The Belu Giveth and Taketh Away
Bael’s lofty vision of himself comes both from his magic (after all, his sin is pride), and from the way he can create a schism. He likens himself to the very God who banished them. After all, he goes to the world, he finds the humans, and he brings them to the other belus. But for himself, he only takes one new athtar. And after a while, Anya begins to understand why: when a human is transformed, a connection forms. But it’s not just one way. Bael will know the language and customs of the athtar he transitions. For him, it’s about control.
When he begins to lose control is when his temper shows its face. The noxes, Xo and Mot, never wanted anything to do with Bael. They didn’t want spawn, they didn’t want to go back to the human world. They were content in their jungle world, loving one another and happy in their solitude. But Bael, of course, couldn’t stand it and thus began their millennia-long, mostly one-sided demonic disagreement.
Demon hunter Jack Grenard’s life changed three years ago when his wife was brutally murdered by the very demons he’d been hunting. At the urging of his partner Cam Macarro, he’s starting a new life in Atlanta, hoping he’ll find the man he used to be. But on a routine hunt, they come across a new type of demon–one that saves instead of kills.
Meanwhile, demons across Atlanta are preparing for the quadrennial uprising of their Underworld brethren. Worse yet, there’s a rumor the so-called king of the demons, Bael, will appear for the first time in over a century. Jack and Cam must uncover the truth about the mystery woman before all hell–literally–breaks loose.
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