05 March 2013

The Daylight War - Peter V Brett

The BlurbContinuing the impressive debut fantasy series from author Peter V. Brett, The DAYLIGHT WAR is book three of the Demon Cycle, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes.

On the night of a new moon all shadows deepen.

Humanity has thirty days to prepare for the next demon attack, but one month is scarcely enough time to train a village to defend themselves, let alone an entire continent caught in the throes of civil war.
Arlen Bales understands the coreling threat better than anyone. Born ordinary, the demon plague has shaped him into a weapon so powerful he has been given the unwanted title of saviour, and attracted the attention of deadly enemies both above and below ground.
Unlike Arlen, Ahmann Jardir embraces the title of Deliverer. His strength resides not only in the legendary relics he carries, but also in the magic wielded by his first wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose allegiance even Jardir cannot be certain of.
Once Arlen and Jardir were like brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies prepare, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all: those that lurk in the human heart.

The Daylight War is the third instalment of The Demon Cycle, Peter V Brett's current line of work. I've been awaiting this with bated breath, seeing as the first two, The Painted Man and The Desert Spear, were both damn good.

The main characters are all well represented and each given enough space to shine in this book. The Painted Man was mostly Arlen's story and The Desert Spear was Jardir's, but The Daylight war focuses a lot on the women in the story. Renna, Leesha and Inevera each shines in this book.

I like the way how Brett seamlessly goes back in time to tell the story from a different viewpoint. It fleshes out the driving force for the characters and makes the overall story well rounded and fleshed out. Since Inevera has a huge impact on Jardir, it was good to see her motivations and machinations throughout Jardir's life.

There are irritations. Leesha is one big one. She's a community leader but she can act selfishly as well. I suppose not all the characters can be nice, but I'm not the biggest fan of her. Renna is hardheaded throughout, but her motivations remain pure, and her willingness to offer herself to protect and help others are laudable. 

We do get a big serving of Jardir and Arlen, and since they are the main protagonists in the story this is well and good. Arlen is much more human thanks to Renna, even though he is halfway demonspawn himself in this book. His rallying of Cutters Hollow was brilliant and his burgeoning power was a joy to behold.

Jardir shows some softer bits of himself and he's turning into a real leader of his people. Most of his decisions are based around the safety of his people and he's not as deuchy as I first suspected of him. I quite liked him in the end.

One thing that Brett get's right is the melding of the different cultures in the book. You can feel the people gaining respect for each other, even though there are major differences in their cultures. No one people is close to evil, they are just different, and this point comes through well. It was also entertaining to learn a bit more about the demons in the book, and I'm getting a sneaky feeling about them. I could be wrong, but some dots are getting connected in my head and I love that.

When I reached the ending, I immediately thought "Damn, that was cool." Having had it stew a bit, I'm feeling it could have been done a little bit better. Brett does not write the best fight scenes in the world. Don't get me wrong, the action is all there, but I couldn't help feeling as if I was watching a show or performance in stead of feeling in the thick of it. It's still done well and entertaining, but it could be better. Might just be me. The explanations about why events unfolded as they did was also a bit murky, but I'm sure this was intentional to keep the suspense high for the next book.

All in all, a damn entertaining read. Not without fault, but the pacing is nice and the dialogue flows well.


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