The Castle Doctrine by Craig Schaefer review

The Castle Doctrine by Craig Schaefer

Timy reviews The Castle Doctrine, the 6th book in Craig Schaefer’s Urban Fantasy series, Daniel Faust. Reviews of previous books: The Living End (book 3)A Plain-Dealing Villain (book 4), The Killing Floor Blues (book 5).

This being a review for a 6th book in a series, mild spoilers for previous books might appear.

About the Book
Series: Daniel Faust #6Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publishing: 2016 September 26thTrigger Warnings: Death, violence, torture, blood
Page count: 312Publisher: Demimonde Books
Book Blurb
The Castle Doctrine by Craig Schaefer

Out of prison and back on the streets, Daniel Faust returns home to a city on fire. The Chicago mob is making their play for control of Las Vegas, with an army of gunmen and a lethal shapeshifter on their side, while Daniel’s friend Jennifer marshals the forces of the Vegas underworld. Staying on the sidelines isn’t an option, especially when a Metro detective orders him to get the war under control — and if he can’t, he’ll expose Daniel’s secrets to the FBI.

It’s a bad time for ghosts of the past to come calling, but Damien Ecko is on his way with a hit list and a legion of walking corpses. Marked for death by the courts of hell, the mad necromancer plans on making sure that everyone who framed him, Daniel first and foremost, dies along with him.

Hunted by the living and the dead, pushed to his limits, Daniel will have to be smarter, faster, and more ruthless than he’s ever been. He’ll need to call upon new, dark powers, and darker allies. His enemies thought they took everything he had. They couldn’t take his hunger. When this war is over, Daniel Faust will rise like a phoenix…or go down in flames. 

Song of the Book

I’m being totally unconventional with the Daniel Faust series, picking songs from all over the place, but hey, I think Dan would love the chaos. For The Castle Doctrine, I picked The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy. Don’t ask why, it literally just came to me and it’s perfect.


After a little… err… “vacation” in the Iceberg prison, Daniel Faust is out and about once again. Now, with a clean slate and a big pile of trouble landing in his lap. It’s time for Daniel to learn about the consequences of his actions, and decide what he wants to do with his life. And it’s time to fight a war for Las Vegas and face one very angry Damien Echo.

The Castle Doctrine, being the 6th book in the Daniel Faust series, makes it that much harder to review it, so this might be shorter than usual. I could start raving about how much I love this series, but I think that should be clear by now. I’m a Schafer fangirl, and I’m not ashamed of that.

This book closes off the second story arc within the series, bringing solutions, but also opening up new ways for the characters to follow in later installments. It also delves deeper into the First Story. A story arc spanning through different series, bringing together different characters, making them exist in the same universe. Daniel, among others, will play an important part in it. As I previously read The Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy, that gave me some background info about how this story is playing out, even though the official reading order places that trilogy after book 8 in the Daniel Faust series. And yes, I *finally* bothered to check the reading order, lol. Don’t worry though, you can go in whatever order with each series, but it’s something to consider in any way. That said, it’s exciting to see these characters coming into play and see how they’ll get to where they need to be at certain points.

As usual, there are a lot of things happening in The Castle Doctrine, several plotlines are coming together, and Daniel has to use his tricks and his friends to save his neck. And still, for me, the focus was on Daniel finding his own way in the chaos. Yes, he had Damien Echo chasing him down, the Chicago Outfit trying to take control, and a cop pressuring him to close down that business, but he also has to make decisions for the long term. He lost everything and got obsessed with a problem that shouldn’t be his priority so he could ignore the important decisions, and avoid taking charge of his life. Happens to the best of us, and after what he went through in The Killing Floor Blues, it’s quite understandable. We see a much more human side of him. One that we all can relate to, especially in these times.

It’s also interesting to witness how Daniel transits from a morally grey antihero into a kind of villain. Maybe. I’m not sure I’m expressing myself well here. It’s not that he is an entirely bad person – he cares about his family and friends and at least tries not to hurt innocents – but he also develops a bit of ruthlessness as things escalate and lines start to blur. I find myself fascinated by his character, and that’s a big reason why I’m sticking to the series. He is definitely not a hero, he’s got snark and a good heart. I really would like to see him have a companion other than Caitlyn. A cat, say. I’m sure that would be fun.

I also liked how this story arc got closure (both regarding Damien Echo and Angelo Mancuso who earned a tiny bit of respect from me for being a man in the end), but I also look forward to seeing how Daniel’s story will continue. I’m especially interested in how he’ll be able to get on the same page with Emma regarding Melanie (I’m totally on Daniel’s side, for the record, as he advocates for Melanie having a say in her own future and which side of her inheritance she wants to choose), and how his relationship with Caitlyn will continue. And of course, there are those mysterious characters such as The Enemy and The Thief, among others who definitely are up to no good.

The Castle Doctrine was another great installment in the Daniel Faust series, with a satisfying closure to a trilogy, probably my favorite within this story arc. On to the next one, then.

Our Judgement
They Shall Be Remembered - 4.5 Crowns