Tag Archives: demon cycle

Book Review: ‘The Desert Spear’, by Peter V. Brett

515pyk7ZmXL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_After a break of almost five months between finishing The Painted Man and starting The Desert Spear, it was off to a good start. I enjoyed the extra exploration of Krasian society, and thought the flashback and flash-forward combination worked well, though I was waiting for quite a while for the characters of the previous book to appear. I must admit, I had fears of it being something of a disparate series. I needn’t have worried however. When it did return to the Hollowers, I thought it was fantastic. Above all it was certainly worth the wait to get back to the titular character of the first book. While it wasn’t an issue after a while, there were a lot of switches between the use of the names Ahmann and Jardir, which confused things a little bit.

Aside from these few issues, I found it a fantastic read. I began to emphathise a lot more with Jardir – whom I had disliked for his actions in the first book. The epic nature of this second book is probably a reflection of the strength of the world-building at the start of the first book. What I thought was slow at the time has just laid the way for madness, with a load of ‘warded berserker’ types running around, new types of demons, and ‘warding grenades’ all making appearances. The crowning climax of this book came in the last five pages however. It was awesome. There has been a gradual reveal of a more intelligent enemy than was first thought, and I like the idea of a central hive, of intelligence rather than just mindless enemies. Overall, I think there was no sign whatsoever of the dreaded middle-book syndrome. It was better than The Painted Man, taking the strong foundations and just exploding in all directions.

‘The Desert Spear’, by Peter V. Brett is the second in The Demon Cycle.


Book Review: ‘The Painted Man’, by Peter V. Brett

[Minor SPOILERS towards the end]


My initial reaction was that it seemed a little slow to get going, a bit too much ‘stereotypical’ coming of age to begin with. By around the 35-40% mark though, I found myself massively enjoying it, for a reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the time. Having criticized it for being a little slow to get going, I do enjoy coming of age stories when they are done well, and once the characters all find their feet, it was very entertaining.

The Painted Man gathered speed very quickly, with the plot moving along at a fantastic pace. There were areas in which I would perhaps have enjoyed a little more showing rather than telling, where there were instead some not-quite-jarring time jumps. I spent the whole book trying to work out how the three point of view characters would fit together. When they finally came together I was not disappointed.

As a measure, I read the second 50% of the book (some 270 pages) in one sitting, purely because I got caught up in the adventure. In hindsight, the set-up, while slow going at the time, did pave the way for the fantastic, world-altering innovations made by Arlen in particular in the closing chapters.

‘The Painted Man’, by Peter V. Brett is the first in The Demon Cycle.