Monday, March 8, 2010

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

Posted by Simcha 7:20 AM, under | 6 comments

The problem with reading a really good book is that eventually you have to finish it. You can put off the inevitable for a while by taking frequent breaks or reading very slowly, but ultimately the last page will be reached. Last week I found myself mourning this unfortunate fact after reluctantly completing The Desert Spear, Peter Brett's sequel to The Warded Man.

In The Warded Man, Brett had introduced a world in which demons rise from the ground each night, slaughtering anyone they can catch. And each night the people of the land cower behind the only defenses that they have, specialized wards that the demons are unable to cross. These wards are drawn around houses, farmsteads and cities to prevent the demons from attacking the people within.

But even with the protection of the wards, people still succumb to the demons. And even in a land terrorized by such frightening creatures, there are humans that can be just as monstrous.

Arlen, Leesha and Rojer are three children who have experienced the tragedies that can come from the hands of both humans and demons. Each of them are forced by their experiences to make life altering decisions that will eventually bring the three together in their fight against the demons.

I had started on The Desert Spear without having any idea of what to expect, and I firmly believe that this is the best way to go into it. Therefore, I will refrain from saying too much about the story or the plot, so that you can do the same. I will say though, that The Desert Spear had me tightly in its grasp the whole way through and I had to forcibly stop myself from reading too quickly as I was skipping over words in my eagerness to find out what would happen next.

Most of the characters introduced in The Warded Man are fleshed out even further in the sequel, some in wholly unexpected ways. The darker aspects of The Warded Man, both human and demon, are also examined more closely in The Desert Spear, lending a darker and edgier feel to the book. I was happy that Brett provided more information here about the different types of demons and their relationship to the wards, though I was surprised that no physical descriptions of the wards themselves were given.

On his blog, Peter Brett had commented that he feels The Desert Spear is the best thing he ever wrote. Since I haven't read everything Brett wrote I can't say if I agree or not, but I can say that The Desert Spear is one of the best fantasy books that I have read in a long while, surpassing even The Warded Man.

The Desert Spear is scheduled to be released in April, which gives anyone who has not yet read The Warded Man, plenty of time to do so.


These do sound like great books. I am going to have to add them to the list. :) Thanks for another great review.

I am SOOOOO jealous. Have to wait for another month!

Melissa, these are great books, though it sounds like you have your hands full at the moment. But if you're looking for a good, solid fantasy with a unique premise, give these books a try.

Naomi, don't be jealous. I now have to wait longer then everyone else for the third book. Sigh...

i read the second one, The Desert Spear,and im doing a project on it.... it was a really cool book!!!!

i read the second one, The Desert Spear,and im doing a project on it.... it was a really cool book!!!!

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