Book Review: The Desert Spear

PhotobucketThis is the second in the yet-to-be-named series, following “The Warded Man” written by Peter Brett. Obviously if you read my previous review I really really loved how his first novel was written, the character development, etc. I devoured the book in just 3 days. Really. So I was excited to read the second one which was only just released – about a month ago.

This book is quite good but I had a *hell* of a time getting into it at first. It does not follow the template of the first book.

The first section of story details the life of the leader of Krasia – Ahmann Jardir. He may or may not be “the Deliverer” aka the leader of legend who will drive all the demons away. We just don’t know yet, especially since the Northerners claim Arlen (The Warded/Painted Man) is the Deliverer. Frankly, I don’t like Krasia as a whole. I don’t like the people, I don’t like their rules/castes/honor systems, I don’t like the lack of women’s rights and human rights and I don’t like the desert – they are a stereotypical, warlike, sand people. And Jardir’s story was rather boring. I’m sure his back story was there to highlight that he wasn’t the “bad guy” but I was bored and I felt like it was a waste of time. As far as I could tell, at least for the series so far, the whole point of Jardir’s story is just to inform us in detail how Krasia works and why and how they fight demons (the only humans brave enough to do so at the moment besides what had transpired in the previous book). I know the author was trying to create empathy for Jardir but I just don’t see it. He’s still a “bad guy” in my mind. And he still stole the spear from Arlen and is laying false claim to the title “Deliverer”. I have a very strong dislike for him even more now that I know his back story. Probably not what the author had in mind, I’m sure.

At a certain point however we flip back to our 3 heroes (Arlen, Leesha and Rojer) and what they are doing, as well as another minor character of Arlen’s past from the first book. For the remainder it flip flops back and forth between these 4 and Jardir and their interactions with each other. This half of the book I rather enjoyed. Again he wrote just enough of each storyline to get you hooked then switched to another – frustrating you throughly. In this case the storylines wove together more tightly than the first book but it was brilliant.

Like all good series this book serves its main purpose – the details, back story and build up to the big battle. It was beautifully written, organized well and an enjoyable read – once I got over the hump known as Krasia & Jardir.

I have read other reviews that thought the writing and flow was better for the first half of the book rather than the last half. I disagree. It was well written throughout but came together in the final chapters placing us, as the readers, just on the edge of this great battle that will happen. Executed wonderfully. My sole complaint (beyond the Krasia mess) occurred on the last page of the book. I read the last line, set down my Nook and exclaimed out loud. “NOOO!!!” I do *not* like how he choose to end the novel, but we shall see if this remains in the 3rd installment and what the reason is. I’m sure there is a valid reason. But damn you Peter Brett for not doing what I expected and wanted, the same as many other fans I’m sure!

The next book in the series – The Daylight War – is currently set to be released in 2012 and I am eagerly awaiting this as well!

And just to make it easy on you:
The Desert Spear at Amazon
The Desert Spear at Barnes & Noble