My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
Read on 5/21 to page 45, on 5/31 to page 107, on 6/19 to page 181, on 7/6 to page 297, on 7/15 to page 391, on 7/25 to page 459, on 8/4 to The End. Loved it! Recommend it!
It is weeks since I finished Desert Spear, and frankly, nearing completion of The Daylight War. What took me by surprise initially was the direction Mr. Brett started Desert Spear, in fact, the entire book seems mostly contradictions against the expected.
If you’ve read, “The Warded Man”, or “The Painted Man” (same book, different title), you know a spear became an important artifact in that book, complete with tornados of trauma, and a book-load of drama surrounding that artifact. Yet in “The Warded Man”, it isn’t central to most of the story. So in picking up “Desert Spear” and having a fresh understanding of the conclusion of “The Warded Man” it is easy to draw some expectations for this book.
I think Mr. Brett intentionally considered, “What will my readers expect?” Then set about not to do that.
Through the Demon Cycle series including “Desert Spear” there are a number of prominent top characters… The Warded Man, from the first book, naturally. This book there have been his delving into his own internal struggles regarding the passing-by of lives — filled with the love of beautiful, smart, and charming women that could have been. So there are at least two of these characters who are significant in “Desert Spear”.
By the end of “The Warded Man” there is a very likely candidate for the antagonist in Desert Spear. So that is where Mr. Brett starts this book, but not with Ahmann Jardir at the conclusion of the Warded Man!!!spoiler1
So, all that pent up anxiety teetering on what is about to happen at the conclusion of “The Warded Man” is left like steam in a pressure cooker, with the lid still tightly secured. The expected, anticipated, even craved for confrontations, I’m sorry, are still some historic backstory away. And Mr. Brett, keeping the tradition of changing points of view, does so here, to the likes of Inevera. Lovely Inevera… but again not where we left off in ‘The Warded Man”. spoiler2
This is all quite unexpected as Mr. Brett could have easily jumped into some massive action immediately in “Desert Spear”. Brilliant author he is, he decided to let his readers simmer in the pressure cooker, lid firmly attached, and heat still applied.
There are a couple writer’s tricks going on here but since Mr. Brett is wonderful at character development we are soon students of this history of Krasia and cannot get enough… as there is just so much we did not know!
Mr. Brett has brought us to a point where we are without doubt that some massive actions of good verses bad are inevitable. Then suspends the fulfillment of that dopamine rushing through your body by going in other directions, but you are hooked in the most desperate of ways.
Mr. Brett doesn’t actually throw his readers into an icy shower and withhold hope of the inevitable, he starts shifting back and forth in time, so you actually get the full flavor of the folks most perceived as mean and evil, minus the demons, of course.
I’ve said so little while implying so much. I will offer a quasi spoiler of sorts… By the conclusion of Desert Spear, you are where you expected to be on page 3, after finishing “The Warded Man”, and things have gone so sideways so many times, the big deal you’ve been expecting, may still not come at the beginning of “The Daylight War.”!!!!
Anyone who has read “The Desert Spear” likely has some certainty what is about to happen, probably at the beginning of “The Daylight War.”
While I’m not finished with “The Daylight War”, I can spoil it…. It is like Desert War. It opens having gone sideways. But don’t believe for an instant Mr. Brett is not in full control, plucking your heartstrings, lighting your desires, tensing your muscles, and giving you pause as his whims are inclined.
You’ll want to pick up Daylight War right away. You are not going to want to be high on reader’s dopamine-euphoria then reach the end of this book and find it may be hours before you can get your next Demon Cycle euphoria injection.
I recommended the book but how do I NOT recommend this book? How dare I say no if there’s a chance it may frustrate Mr. Brett and he respond by cutting off the supply of Demon Cycle euphoria.
spoiler1: Rather with Ahmann Jardir the young child who is massively influenced by the culture of the Fort Krasia and the Krasian Desert, the last place on the planet that is not afraid of the night, where honor and a chance at paradise is possible if you can fight demons. ↩
spoiler2: Rather at the beginning of her life in her village helping with the family business. Again, decades before the end of “The Warded Man”. ↩