The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2)

The Desert Spear Book Cover The Desert Spear
Demon Cycle
Peter V. Brett
Fantasy
Del Rey
April 13, 2010
Paperback
579

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power.

Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons--a spear and a crown--that give credence to his claim.

But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure.

Once, the Shar'Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before.

 

The Desert Spear puts a different spin on the standard tropes of fantasy writing. Going into this book, readers may assume the POVs will still to Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer from The Warded Man. Instead, much of this story focuses on Jardir, Arlen’s former friend from the beginning of the last book. A significant portion of The Desert Spear focuses on Jardir. Essentially his whole life is covered, from early childhood to the present day. That being said, it takes a while. Jardir’s backstory covers the first 200-ish pages of this book. It is a bit daunting, but the story continues in earnest from there.

Getting a sense of Jardir’s backstory benefits the audience twofold. Through his eyes, readers learn a lot more about Krasia’s culture. While it is reminiscent of the Middle East, there are some differences. We get to see the mindset of the only people left who still regularly fight the demons. Their history plays a large part in this, as does their sense of honor. Readers will learn why, despite his honor, Jardir betrayed Arlen. As well as whose actions besides Jardir’s manipulated these events and pushed Krasia north.

Jardir is not the only new POV in The Desert Spear either. Whereas The Warded Man had three POVs, this book kicks it up to eight. Most of these are familiar characters from the first book, but there are some new faces too. Despite all the new character development, it does not mean the original trio are on the backburner. This is the point in the story where the world starts to change. It started with Arlen but is growing as more and more people become involved. All their actions will soon change the world order across the five nations.

As the world starts to change, strife begins growing between the human nations. The first book did briefly mention some political turmoil between the countries. But new events are starting to scale those conflicts from political turmoil to military action. Even in a world where monsters hunt men every night, people still fight among themselves. And that is not to say that the demons are standing idle either. As the first book’s epilogue showed us, some demons are more than powerful animals. They are intelligent, watching, and prepared to ensure humanity does not become a threat. Time will tell to what extent humans and demons alike are successful.

July 7, 2019

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