Tag Archives: peter v brett

the daylight war

The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett

From Goodreads:

On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all–those lurking in the human heart.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It took me a while to get into this book but I think that may have been due to the amount of reading I’ve been doing during lockdown and how quickly I’ve been shifting between books making it difficult to switch storylines and characters.

Once I did make the necessary mental shift this book was excellent. Similar to the second book it looks at the story from both the Krasian and Thesan sides with a detailed look at Inevera’s back story this time. The story also switches between the two sides much more often than the second book which makes it much more readable and far more enjoyable. It also gives the pace of the book an extra shot of urgency.

Apart from Inevera’s story the other major storyline is the huge battle at “Waning”. It’s mainly told from the Hollow’s perspective and the action is expertly described with great detail. It’s a very complex section of the book but the writing style prevents confusion making it exciting and tense.

When I started this series I thought it was a trilogy and I was well into this book before I realised the story is told over 5 books. I couldn’t see how the story was to be drawn to a climax and was relieved that it wasn’t.

There was quite a sudden shift close to the end of this book. It should be jarring but it’s very smart and leaves the reader looking for more. Reminded me of the old black and white Saturday morning shows like “Zorro and “The Lone Ranger” that often finished with a classic cliffhanger.

Header image by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

the desert spear

The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2) by Peter V Brett

From Goodreads:

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power.

Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim.

But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure.

Once, the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a really good story with engaging and strong characters with flaws and strengths and in the main the writing is engaging and draws you along. However, the structure of the story almost broke the book and some of the subject matter is difficult to read and to justify.

The first book is written from the point of view of the Northern characters Arlene, Rojer and Leesha but the majority of the first half of this book focuses on Jardir, the leader of the desert tribes and self-declared “Deliverer“. He was an important element of Arlen’s development into “The Painted Man” but a relatively minor character. Here he is given centre stage and becomes one of the central characters. The author also does this later in the book with Renna from Arlen’s childhood in Tibbett’s Brook. Although she isn’t as central as Jardir I feel she will take on a much bigger role in the third book.

Jardir’s story goes all the way back to his childhood and shows his training as a warrior and his rise to supremacy. The depiction of this brutal, male dominated and extremist society is an intriguing blend of a medieval Arabic and Eastern society with a religion that sounds very like a form of extremist Islam. The warrior caste is the pinnacle of society with the religious leaders a close second. Everyone else is treated with complete disdain and especially the female population which are subject to regular abuse and rape and only valued for their ability to produce new warriors.

At the very beginning I thought I’d started reading the wrong book but once I realised what was happening I really got into this storyline and really enjoyed the depiction of the desert society and Jardir’s rise to power. It all sounded very familiar but completely new how the author put it all together. I also really enjoyed how the author re-told the relationship between Arlen and Jardir from the new point of view and especially how Jardir struggles to live with his decision to betray “the Par’chin“.

Eventually the Northern and desert storylines meet and this is where I struggled. The sudden shift from one to the other was disconcerting and clumsy and it runs the risk of turning readers away.

However, once you get into the new story (which is the old story!) it soon picks up pace and draws you back in. Having watched Arlen’s character break down and reform as “The Painted Man” in the first book we now see him regain a lot of his humanity as he revisits his painful past and comes to terms with many traumatic events in his life.

Leesha is back and as suggested in the first book, has become a strong leader for the Herb Gatherers and the renamed Deliverer’s Hollow. I really like her as a character but the author seems to struggle with her and makes a real hash of her relationship with Jardir. It sits badly with her depiction so far and seems to depend on her implausible difficulties finding a suitable lover.

My biggest struggle with this book is the author’s frequent use of rape as a character development tool. All of the main characters, bar Rojer, have experienced some form of rape by the end of this book. Depictions of male and female rape, incest and widespread sexual abuse are difficult story lines and while the characters needed trauma in their lives I feel that the author could have used a different method to do this.

Overall this is a really good book and despite some flaws follows well from the first instalment and sets the story really well for the third.

the painted man

The Painted Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V Brett

From Goodreads:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This is my second time to read this book. The first was a couple of years ago but for some reason I didn’t go on to read the rest of the series. I don’t understand why as this is an excellent book and the best fantasy story I’ve read for quite a while.

There is a solid core of well defined main characters aided by interesting minor characters. Together they are used in a really good way to create the back story of the main characters and bring them together.

It’s a far from predictable story without being too shocking, just the right blend to keep the story believable but still interesting.

Looking forward now to reading the rest of the series.