29 December 2012

Review: The Desert Spear

The Desert Spear
The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

NOTE: I also won a trade paperback edition of this through Goodreads.

I read The Warded Man when it first came out, and really enjoyed it. I didn't have a ton to say about it then, and I had specifically put off reading book two for reasons I can't pinpoint. With book three imminent, I decided to dive in on The Desert Spear, and I'm definitely glad I did.

The book spends a significant amount of time with Jardir, a warlord who believes he is "The Deliverer," the man of myth who will lead the world out of the darkness by defeating all of the demons. Arlen, the Warded Man, probably holds a better claim, but is only declared as such by those who follow him.

The book has a perfectly balanced approach of political intrigue, cultural narration, and basic action. the nearly 600 pages glide by beautifully, give just the right amount of background into the first book, and lead things very easily into the third. For a book that, by its own nature, runs the significant risk of being lost in its own setting, it does a significant job in letting the setting compliment, rather than overwhelm, the narrative. That's a big deal for me. Also, as a reader who tends to dislike nontraditional fantasy on a whole? Nothing here threw me off in the least, it simply works from start to finish. The story is ultimately about the characters, with each significant character being his or her own person, with their own voice and actions. Nothing feels duplicated or half-finished. It's a great achievement.

This has changed from a curiosity to a favorite series, and I'm looking forward to the third volume quite a bit. Definitely a series I recommend for anyone looking for some great fantasy to keep going.

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