The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

The Desert Spear is a 583 page fantasy novel. It is the second book in The Demon Cycle. After reading The Warded Man (first of the series), I immediately picked up the Desert Spear and continued the journey of Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer. Along with the familiar characters, Peter V. Brett added in a few new perspectives, like that of Jardir (Ahmann asu Hoshkamin am’Jardir am’Kaji) from Krasia.

The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle, #2)

The first 200 pages detail Jardir’s life from childhood to the approximate present that The Warded Man brought us to. Jardir, being a male, was basically taken from his family at age 9 and put into intense training called Hannu Pash. Through this training, almost all the boys of Krasia are trained in order to fight alagai’sharak every night. During this, they use spears, nets, and teamwork to trap and kill corelings, the demons that rise from the core of the Earth every evening as the sun sets. It was fun to get a deep back story and understanding of Krasian culture and history as a precursor to the events in the rest of the novel. We also get a new view of Arlen here, as he manages to travel to Krasia and befriend Jardir.

Although I really enjoyed Jardir’s point of view, I think I would have liked it more if it was spread throughout the book rather than condensed into the first 200 pages. It felt as if his story was just playing catch-up to the other characters, and didn’t really fit into any major plot other than back story for a main character.

Along with Jardir, the second primary point of view comes from Renna Tanner, a young woman on a farm just outside of Tibbet’s Brook. When she was young, she and Arlen were promised (basically an arranged marriage agreement). Renna has it rough living with her family and rather disturbing and backwards father. Her viewpoint was an exciting way to get back into the hamlets without reliving the stories from the first novel. She eventually travels with Arlen, and it was nice to see him return to his human side after thinking absorbing Core magic was turning him into a demon.

Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer are returning POVs in The Desert Spear. In this book, I think Leesha’s view was my favorite. It was really fun to see her going on adventures. Other than that, I feel not too much changed from the first book that wasn’t natural progression. Aside from the regular human perspectives, this book actually brings in one of the more intelligent demon breeds — a mind demon — and gives a little hint into their thought process. In the face of this demon and the other corelings, humanity is desperate for the return of the Deliverer, a prophet foretold by both the Ejevah (Krasian holy text) and the Canon of the northern cities, to save them from the darkness. Krasia claims the deliverer is Jardir, and the northern cities and hamlets claim Arlen for role. It is this that sparks such tension between characters in this novel.

The book moved quickly, as it felt like something completely different from The Warded Man. The additional POVs really brought some spice to what could have been a simple continuation of The Warded Man. It was fascinating to see Krasia, a civilization that actively fights the corelings every night, rather than just hiding behind wards. Arlen’s explorations into various worldly places was one of the best things Brett could have done for the series to expand the world in a believable and understandable way. The exploration of previous POVs was interesting, and the new ones really brought a fresh feel to this book. If you liked The Warded Man, you should not miss The Desert Spear.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Adam
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 09:45:28

    I thought this book spent too much time backtracking and telling the same story that took place during the first book. I would have preferred that he moved the story forward more rather than going back and telling Jardir’s backstory.

    Either way, I’ll still pick up the third book eventually, if for no other reason than the fact that the world Brett made is really interesting.


    • hannahrose42
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 10:49:27

      I agree that it felt like it was working in the past instead of moving forward. The next book does that much better, with Inevera’s story spread throughout the book.


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