T. Edmund's Reviews > The Desert Spear

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
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Apr 30, 10

Read in May, 2010

The Desert Spear follows Brett's first novel The Painted Man, a tale about a demon ridden world where humans huddled in fear of the night hours. The novel essentially followed a rather D&D format as we saw three children grow to become the warrior (Painted man), Healer and Bard.

In many ways Desert Spear almost feels like an apologetic piece. Many of the criticisms I and many other reviewers had were addressed in a sort-of rewrite of history. The wierd hook-up between Arlen and Leesha, Arlen's first visit to Krasia, and a more in depth look at Krasian society are all covered in Desert Spear.

In saying that in many ways Desert Spear is an improvement on the previous book, the prose is tight, the storylines weave together a little better and the characters are 'mostly' genuine. Many questions risen from the previous novel are answered: The demons do have leaders who possess intelligence, the world depicted is a post-modern (literally, not the artform) there is a very promising plot-line of one city adopting technology in the fight against demons and everyone else.

Ultimately I find myself more miffed by the negatives however, the first 100 or so pages are devoted to Jadir and his upbringing and rise to leadership, which feels like it should have been part of the first novel and too obviously is provided to make us relate to Jadir as more than just 'the bad guy'. And after Jadir's life pretty much nothing at all happens, the war between Krasia and Thresa doesn't occur due to an unbelievable love interest between Jadir and Leesha, Arlen visits the core but doesn't find out anything about it, and the one nobody remembers the name of gets two wives.

Worst of all is the creepy atmospheric setting created in the Painted Man is gone. In Desert spear all the people know how to fight demons and so the main dangers of the whole story are reduced to little more than awkward insects rather than the evil creatures that are the whole purpose of the plotline.

I'm still looking forward to the conclusion (I'm assuming a trilogy) but I can't honestly say that Desert Spear is good as a stand alone novel.
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