Dark Time

Dark Time (Mortal Path #1) by Dakota Banks

Mortal Path series by Dakota Banks

Next Release: Bloodletting #4 — June 2015 (no date)

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy

Series Description or Overview Edit

✥ In the 17th century, a woman is ripped from her husband's arms, thrown in jail, and then set afire as a witch. Saved from the flames by an ancient Sumerian demon, she becomes the Black Ghost, his Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts. Centuries pass before Maliha Crayne finds a way out of the life she hates. If she achieves a balance between lives taken and lives saved, she'll break the demon's hold on her. If she fails, she will suffer the demon's torment ... forever. ~ Book Reader's Heaven

✥ The main character starts out this book as Susannah Layhem, dutiful 17th century wife, herbalist healer, and expectant mother without a care in the world except how to fend off her overly amorous husband during the increasingly uncomfortable end of her pregnancy. When she is falsely accused of being a witch, abandoned by those closest to her, and then suffers a miscarriage due to maltreatment and harsh imprisonment, she willingly accepts a ‘deal with the devil’ (aka the Sumerian demon Rabishu) to escape a fiery death. She becomes an Ageless assassin, killing indiscriminately at Rabishu’s bidding. Fast forward about 300 years and Susannah wants out. She finds in the fine print of her demon contract a possible way out ; if she can save as many lives as she took she will be free. She starts her life over as Maliha (pronounced Ma-lie-hah), a 007 rip-off with all the expensive toys and boys a girl could want. But Maliha is nothing like Susannah. When we first meet her, she is busy working on her tan a trying to think of new ways to pose in her bikini to attract a hottie a few feet away. She is unfortunately forced to ‘pose and run’ as a member of her network of saved lives calls in with a murder case for her to investigate. ~ Goodreads | All Things Urban Fantasy

Lead's Species Edit

  • Witch turned demon-assassin — "An Immortal" creation of a demon

Primary Supe Edit

  • Demons

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • Main Character wants to make up for deaths she was forcibly caused.

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit


Books in Series Edit

Mortal Path series:

  1. Dark Time (2009)
  2. Sacrifice (2010)
  3. Deliverance (2012)
  4. Bloodletting (Expected: June 2015)

Themes Edit

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

  • Chicago: Maliha's home, but she travels extensively


  • Great Above
  • America
  • New York
  • Washington
  • England
  • France
  • Florence, Italy
  • Constanta, Romania
  • Africa
  • Niger
  • Darfur, Sudan
  • Khartoum, Ethiopia
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Wayra, Peru?

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Demons, Ageless, witches, ancient Sumerian demon, Black Ghost, Renaissance murderess, evil cabal of madmen , , , ,

Glossary: Edit

  • Ageless: immortals who are assassins under the command of their demon creators

Groups & Organizations:Edit

World Edit

Protagonist Edit

The heroine of this series is called Susannah Layhem in 1692 when she is burned as a witch, saved by a demon (Rabishu), and changed into one of the Ageless—immortals who are assassins under the command of their demon creators. Now our heroine is called Maliha Crayne by her friends and Marsha Hughes by the general public, readers of her popular Dick Stallion fiction series (her latest title is Too Big to Be True). Maliha is no longer Ageless; she is a mortal again (hence the series name), having broken her contract with Rabishu after refusing to obey his order to kill a baby. In order to save her soul, Maliha must constantly save lives—as many lives as she has taken. As an Ageless-turned-rogue, she will age a little each time she saves a life, and she risks being killed before she has evened the score. Maliha turns out to be a superhuman, as she executes black-belt karate moves, rappels from helicopters, and successfully performs seemingly impossible cat-burglar maneuvers. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Dakota Banks: MORTAL PATH

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Characters Chart Edit

Mortal Path Series - Shelfari

Characters What About
Maliha Crayne / Susannah Layhem Ageless turned Mortal to save her soul, Maliha must constantly save lives
Jake Stackman Drug Enforcement agent love interest
Rabishu demon Lord saved Susannah Layhem in 1692;
Elizabeth Ageless woman tries to force Maliha to carry out some assassinations
Amaro Reese computer Hacker one of Maliha's inner circle of friends
Randy Maliha's "normal" friend knows nothing of Maliha's abilities and is a girl to hang out with, go to nightclubs, etc.
Hound private investigator one of Maliha's inner circle of friends who help her in her cause of saving lives
Yanmeng martial arts expert elderly martial arts expert with some paranormal powers; one of Maliha's inner circle of friends
Master Liu martial arts master Maliha's reclusive martial arts master

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

2Dakota Banks

Dakota Banks

Author Edit

Dakota Banks

  • Website: Dakota Banks
  • Her other writing name: Shirley Kennett

Bio: Dakota Banks wrote short stories in high school and college, submitted them, and got rejection letters. She still have some of them. Writing was shelved while life ran amuck, and she came back to it in the 1990s. She published six books, all hard-edged suspense thrillers dealing with virtual reality, one of them set in a future world. None were written under the Dakota Banks name. She enjoyed these books because they were her first taste of the writing life, not to mention that they brought in some money and put 600,000 published words under her belt. ~ Dakota Banks - Fantastic Fiction

Contributors Edit

Cover ArtistsEdit

Artist: Don Sipley — Source: ISFdb: Cover: Dark Time

Other Contributors:Edit

  • Audio Book Narrator: — Source:
  • Editor: — Source:

Publishing InformationEdit

  1. Dark Time: Paperback, 306 pages, Pub July 28th 2009, ISBN: 0061687308
  2. Sacrifice: Paperback, 285 pages, Pub Aug 31st 2010, ISBN: 0061687324
  3. Deliverance: Paperback, 283 pages, Pub Mar 27th 2012, ISBN: 0062049984
  4. Bloodletting: expected June 2015 (no date)

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE—Dark Time (2009): Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back. For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life - as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free. But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and never-ending. ~ Goodreads

BOOK TWO—Sacrifice (2010): A demon's enslaved executioner—a ravager of lives and souls—Maliha Crayne has been reborn, willing to sacrifice her immortality for a chance at freedom . . . and salvation. Now she has an opportunity to prevent the death of thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—to make up for the countless lives she has obliterated over the centuries. To do so, she must locate and destroy an evil cabal of madmen in possession of a weapon of unspeakable power—and survive the immortal assassins who are now after her blood. But it means reverting to the old ways and surrendering once more to the darkness. And if Maliha dies before the mission is accomplished, the hell she once knew will seem like a picnic compared to the eternal torments awaiting her. ~ Goodreads | Sacrifice (Mortal Path, #2) by Dakota Banks

BOOK THREE—Deliverance (2012): Kill . . . or be damned. A demon's assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she's destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control. Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man's-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't . . . and time is rapidly running out. ~ Goodreads | Deliverance (Mortal Path, #3) by Dakota Banks

BOOK THREE—Bloodletting (June 2015, no date):  ~ Goodreads | Bloodletting (Mortal Path #4)

First Sentences Edit

  1. Dark Time (2009) — It was well after dark, time to set aside the herbs Susannah Layhem was sorting at the table.
  2. Sacrifice (2010) — Maliha Crayne drove through the Massachusetts countryside on a crisp October afternoon, patiently keeping pace with the outsiders who clogged the roads on fall color tours.
  3. Deliverance (2012) — Maliha Crayne placed her feet carefully on the old clay-tiled roof.

Quotes Edit

“Fuck Master Liu! He's some ascetic who counts snowflakes on a mountain in China and dips his balls in ice water for the hell of it. You're not Liu. You live in the real world” ― Dakota Banks

Trivia Edit

Awards Edit

  • USA Best Book Award Winner for Fiction: Fantasy (2012)—Deliverance (Mortal Path, #3) ~ Dakota Banks' Books

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit


See Also Edit

External References Edit


Summaries, Articles:


Name a Character contest: 

World, Characters, etc:




Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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