I have been reading ebooks this week. For some reason, when I finished my last book, my pile of library books didn’t appeal and so I had a browse on the Library Service’s ebook catalogue. I was so pleased when I found the third book in Peter V Brett’s Demon Cycle series: The Daylight War. I then read the ebook so fast that I couldn’t wait to read book four – The Skull Throne. Now I had a slight dilemma: the book was not in the Library’s ebook collection and I was unable to go out and borrow the print book. So, what did I do? I actually bought an Kindle copy and read it on my iPad!
Well, if you persevered through that ebook/print book explanation, you need to read the blurb for The Daylight War:
On the night of a new moon all shadows deepen.
Humanity has thirty days to prepare for the next demon attack, but one month is scarcely enough time to train a village to defend themselves, let alone an entire continent caught in the throes of civil war.
Arlen Bales understands the coreling threat better than anyone. Born ordinary, the demon plague has shaped him into a weapon so powerful he has been given the unwanted title of saviour, and attracted the attention of deadly enemies both above and below ground.
Unlike Arlen, Ahmann Jardir embraces the title of Deliverer. His strength resides not only in the legendary relics he carries, but also in the magic wielded by his first wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose allegiance even Jardir cannot be certain of.
Once Arlen and Jardir were like brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies prepare, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all: those that lurk in the human heart.
Here is my three star review on Goodreads:
As I have said in previous reviews of this series, I really do enjoy reading these books but I need to quash some of my usual critical faculties. There are quite a lot of faults in Brett’s writing and plotting and I hope that he works on these before embarking on any future series. His plots lose momentum whilst he digresses into the back stories of various characters. He doesn’t seem to have a firm fix on where his plot is taking him or on the setting. Brett excuses glaring anachronisms by referring to older technology, but they certainly stick out like very sore thumbs.
But, I do love a good adventure/fantasy yarn and I cannot help being drawn into these books, however much they may annoy some of my finer sensibilities and raise my feminist hackles. I will read right to the end and will look out for new books this author will write in the future – he can only get better (I hope).
I simply couldn’t wait to read the fourth book, so, as I wrote above, I quickly purchased the Kindle version and started straight away. Here is the blurb for The Skull Throne:
The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.
Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.
In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing each other and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.
In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.
Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton—rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.
All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared.
I simply had to give this book four stars, despite some reservations. It was very difficult to write much of a review without spoilers, but here is my attempt:
Well, this book is such a marmite read, if you look down the reviews on this site! So many five star and even one star responses and the thing is, I can fully understand both extremes. I really wish that Brett had been guided by someone who could have helped him to get to grips with his plotting across a book series. The books read as if he has been encouraged to stretch a trilogy out into more books, but without a plan from the beginning. He also has clearly been influenced by George R R Martin! Say no more…
There are some truly amazing and exciting passages in this book, amongst the truly soap opera-like moments. The former will make me read the fifth and final book.
Yes, I am now well into the final book, The Core, and will give you my response next week!
Until then, Happy Reading to you all.