Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Desert Spear, a Review

I loved The Warded Man. The story was unique; the action intense; the characters memorable and likeable; and all around the book was just plain fun. So there was no doubt I would read its sequel, The Desert Spear.

The Desert Spear has several POV characters, unlike the three from The Warded Man. One of the new characters, who appeared briefly in the first book, is Ahmann Jardir. In fact, the first third of the book focuses solely on Jardir, from his childhood and up to his current status as the Shar'Dama Ka. In this, we learn a lot about the Krasian culture (and its fascinating language), and we also get to see a few events that took place in The Warded Man from a different POV.

I'll admit, I wasn't completely won over from the beginning. I wanted Arlen and Leesha and Rojer, not some newcomer to the party. But the more I read, the more I grew to like Jardir. It was also entertaining to learn more about the Krasians and their ways, especially regarding the demons. They are a desert dwelling culture that reminds me a lot of Arabic culture, which is too often ignored in fantasy fiction, and this definitely became more interesting with each page.

But eventually this intro bit ends and we get back to our familiar characters from book one. We get to see how life is going in Deliverer's Hollow and what progress Arlen has made. Demons still rise every night, but not everyone lives in fear of them any longer. The folks of Deliverer's Hollow have taken up arms and are standing alongside their Deliverer.

I really can't say much about the book to remain spoiler-free. I really liked the twists and turns the plot took. I loved the parts of the warrior mindset of the Dal'Sharum, but they had some things I didn't care much for, too, like how women are viewed & treated in their society. I would have liked more pages devoted to Arlen, but I appreciate how Brett is playing with the character of the Deliverer. The continued rise and threat of the demons each night is still prevalent, and just because Arlen is the Warded Man doesn't mean everything always goes smoothly for him. In fact, The Desert Spear introduces some new demons, and this was a real treat from the book.

If anyone read and liked The Warded Man, then I'm sure they'll pick up its sequel. The Desert Spear was a great read, filled with adventure, love, magic, demons, politics, and the other elements that make up a great fantasy story. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book, I still spent many nights past my bed time reading, and if that doesn't make a book good, then I don't know what does.

If you've not read this series, do your self a favor and pick up The Warded Man. It's an excellent read, and its sequel proves that Peter Brett is an author to watch for in the genre.


David Wagner said...

Looks like a new series to add to my shelf, for aging!

I missed commenting on your 500th post. My apologies, bro. Glad your blog is still going strong.

logankstewart said...

Oh and it's such a great series, too. Hope you get to it before you're 60!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I have this one here on the shelf. I loved The Warded Man and look forward to when I can get to this one. It's one of several I really really want to read, but can't seem to get to. :) Thanks for the great review. And it will take the sting out some knowing we don't get as much Leesha, Rojer, and Arlen. :)

logankstewart said...

@Melissa: Yeah, it took me a few months between The Warded Man and reading this, but the book was really good. Hopefully you like it whenever you get to it!