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The Desert Spear by Peter V Brett

Book name: The Desert Spear

Author: Peter V Brett

Publisher: Del Rey

Format: ebook, print, audiobook

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 2011

Star Rating: 5/5


The Desert Spear is the sequel to The Painted Man, Peter V Brett's debut novel, which I enjoyed very much. It had quite a different feel from its prequel, but I liked the shift in location and tone even though I was a fan of the first book.


You don't always want to see more of the same in a franchise. It's good to keep things fresh in what appears to be becoming quite a long series of books from Peter V Brett in the same fictional universe.


The lengthy opening section of The Desert Spear (by which I mean 246 pages!) is devoted to telling the story of Ahmann Jardir's life. In the sense that it goes way back before the setting of The Painted Man it could be thought of as a flashback.


It is describing in detail the way that Jardir has fought his way from poverty, up through the chain of command in Krasia to become Shar'Dama Ka. We see him as a fearsome warrior who has earned his place as 'The Deliverer' and whose men follow him into battle against the night demons.


Peter V Brett's style in both books is to use lengthy descriptions of how the main character has developed from adolescence through many years of gritty challenges. This gives a thorough portrait of the individual's formative experiences and presents the opportunity for plenty of action.


However, it comes at the price in terms of 'unity in time': both novels span decades, and lots of chapters and sections cover years of developments through exposition and summary. As a result, sometimes the narrative tension of The Desert Spear feels quite loose.


It also feels strange to see events you've read about in The Painted Man retold in more detail in this book. You already know the outcome, and the most central character of the first book who you've learned to love and admire there appears in a very distant way for quite a lot of this story, which is seen through the eye of Jardir.


On the plus side, the portrayal of the demons was very vivid, and the courage of men and women from all over the world in fighting back against their vicious attacks was consistently impressive.


There was a strong sense of man's potential for standing strong as one against a supernatural enemy who threatens their very existence. This gave the story vibrancy and a drive that kept me riveted throughout the 750 pages.


The Desert Spear is an excellent book, just as The Painted Man was an impressive debut from an author who has so much to give and who continues to deliver!


Thank you for reading my review of The Desert Spear by Peter V Brett. I'll be back on Wednesday. In the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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If you’ve enjoyed this review, you might be interested reading in my review of Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson.


Or you might like to take a look at my review of The Daylight War by Peter V Brett.


If you fancy something different, you might like to take a chance on my article about eating and drinking in horror fiction (Food for Thought).