Don’t you hate it when what you praised in the first book annoys you in the second? That’s what happened to me for The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett (check out my review of the previous book, The Warded Man), the second book in The Demon Cycle. Luckily, that was only in the first section of the book where the entire life story of an antagonist we’d already met was portrayed even though there was already advancement in the main plot! I am sad to admit I skipped a majority of those chapters (especially since it seemed he was trying too hard to make us hate the antagonist’s culture).
That said, the book wasn’t bad, however, the first portion left such a bitter taste that I found myself annoyed by the littlest of things throughout a majority of the book. But the last fourth of the book? …Worth it. So, instead of me complaining about my nit-picks, let’s focus on the good stuff.
Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer have returned and as a seamless team…at first. Um, there’s not as much drama as that last sentence implied – this isn’t some infighting story or anything like that. Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t want to risk spoiling the story, but let me fangirl about Leesha. This woman is incredible; I love her so much as a female lead because she is one of the strongest ones I’ve seen. On that note, Brett does a great job in his portrayal of women throughout and, strangely enough, also makes me doubt the authenticity of the men. Particularly, there were a few moments where Rojer seemed to act out of character…the rest just seemed a little wishy-washy in their portrayal.
So, moving on, I really loved that Brett introduced a new form of demon (not a spoiler – it’s on the blurb) and he didn’t reveal them to the characters right away. He did a very subtle integration of the new demon species that had a fantastic payoff, though I wish we saw the characters having a bit more suspicion that something was amiss.
Brett’s writing style seemed to be more telling than showing for the first three fourths. The entire time I was reading, I was wondering if this was a new development or if I’d just been blinded by the last story to not notice he’d always written that way. Then I read the last quarter and it felt just like the first book. …I don’t know what happened during his whole writing process, but, for me, there was a very noticeable difference. Along with an introduction of some new perspectives (although they were characters previously introduced), Brett actually did tell a very intriguing story. I’m most excited about what he’ll do with the character Renna in future books.
Check out the YouTube version of this review here! Warning: video contains spoilers.
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Note: Sorry for the late review. I totally blanked on it this morning and had to wait ’til I got home from work to finally post.