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The Core

(The Demon Cycle #5)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  23,461 ratings  ·  1,593 reviews
For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them. Then two heroes arose—men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Warded Man, tattooed head to toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand ...more
Kindle Edition, 881 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Del Rey (first published September 28th 2017)
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Michael Peter is a full-time author. No day job for him. Being the last book in the series is probably the biggest contributing factor to the release date. I'…morePeter is a full-time author. No day job for him. Being the last book in the series is probably the biggest contributing factor to the release date. I'm sure he wants to end the series in a satisfying way and has a lot of loose strings to tie up.(less)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  23,461 ratings  ·  1,593 reviews

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Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 Stars

ARC provided by the publisher—Harper Voyager—in exchange for an honest review

A finale that goes beyond my expectations; The Core is a marvelous conclusion to the long-running Demon Cycle series that would make the Jongleurs sing praises.

I binge read all Brett’s work in the Demon Cycle series—novels and novellas included—within a month; that’s in total more or less ten years of his work and I can say with confidence that The Core is his best work, yes, even more spectacular than his de
Jun 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-priority
I am utterly bewildered by the gushing four and five star reviews of this disappointing mess. Not since QUEEN OF FIRE have I been so disappointed with the final book in a series.

The sad thing is that Mr. Brett is an awesome writer. I loved most of this series and it has a lot to do with this man's way with words. He's great but fuck this book.

The sheer number of POVs widened so greatly by this installment that almost nothing happens for most of this book. You have to keep going back to this one
Mark Lawrence
It has been a long journey to the core. The Warded Man was already 2 years old when I read it back in 2010 while waiting for my first book to be published. But these are fat, complicated books full of legions of characters, and engineering such wonders of many moving parts naturally takes time.

Peter Brett is a fine writer. He can paint a scene, bring a tear or a smile, fascinate with imagination, build worlds of believable complexity. The Demon Cycle is a great work of modern fantasy, an adventu
Dana Ilie
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Core was utterly brilliant in tying everything together, and buttoning it up nicely. All of the frayed and wild storylines became centralized in very skillful and fluid ways, the full growth cycles of each character becoming apparent and displayed. There was a wonderful feeling of closure in almost every way by the end, with each of the mains being involved in all the major workings, and a lot of the mid-level characters, such as Briar, being explored much more deeply, and given spotlight to ...more
Mayim de Vries
May 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As far as I am concerned, zero stars is a generous rating when it comes to “The Core.”

Mr Brett began high, quickly began to fall, and with each book only gained momentum. I had been wondering whether I truly wanted to read this book already before I opened the first page. I decided in favour for the sake of finishing the series. It was a mistake, so if you are a somebody like me, somebody with too many books and too little time, pass The Core and if you really want to know how things end, read
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Warded Man Arlen Bales and the Shar'Dama Ka Ahmann Jardir in their passion to rid the world of demons have unintentionally triggered a swarm which threatens to devour mankind. All hope is not yet lost as Arlen has a plan to exterminate the Mother of Demons by going to the Core.

Peter V. Brett saved his best for last as The Core is an exceptional novel and ending to the Demon Cycle series. All the characters from the series seem to have a part to play or a mention from Rusco Hog to Arlen's old
While I have been honored with a review copy from the publisher, let me be very clear about something: I practically demanded it. :)

I read the rest of the series at the beginning of the month and grew so hooked on it that I couldn't pause to read anything else. And then, thanks to a friend, I pushed my luck and asked the publishers directly for a copy. I admit that I was practically foaming at the mouth, too, and nothing much changed when I received my copy.

So what is this? A raving from a fanbo
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I felt like The Core was a decent conclusion to the Demon Cycle series even if it was probably the weakest of the full Demon Cycle books. It was still an entertaining read. The Demon Cycle series has a lot of flaws but the thing it really has going for it is that Brett is a fantastic storyteller. It is easy to get caught up in the happenings even if those happenings are often as annoying as they are exciting!

This last instalment of the series saw Sharak Ka, the final war against demonkind, fina
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Look at the awesome book! & the hardback under the dust jackt! I love how it's fat & jolly too! =) They rocked this one! Never mind that I have only read book one so far & don't own the other books before this. I wish I could get them all in a fat & jolly hardback but it wasn't possible! =(

Deborah Obida
Wow, just wow, this turned out way better than I expected, the last two books in the series were a disappointment, but this is not. It surpassed my expectations and the Sharak Ka aka the demon war was perfectly depicted.The way the author portrayed all the battle scenes in all parts of Thesa was great. It wasn’t boring even though it took like 200 pages because all the different POVs of the characters made it fun to read even though I was at the edge of my seat all through.

World building and Wri
Stefan Bach
A truly satisfying conclusion to one of the series that kept me interested in reading fantasy books after discovering A Song of Ice and Fire series and fearing how I will not find anything remotely as good as that. (Ah, summer child, you knew nothing)

Now, I’m not saying this is as good as G.R.R. Martin’s series, no. But now, after couple of years reading books in this genre – out of which many aren’t even close to these ones – I realize how it did served to show me what author is capabl
Obaid Haroon
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe the Demon Cycle is over. I started this book in high school when my best friend told me the main character reminded him of me. And here we are, years late and its over. Before I get into the meat of the review, be warned...here there be spoilers.

Now as with many amazing books, I needed time to process and that time, coupled with my shitty memory means that I've forgotten a lot of the finer points.

That's why we re-read folks.

So this is going to be less of a sentence by sentence
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A decent ending to the series, though not particularly satisfying if you were looking for a good explanation or answers to some of the mysteries involved. I'd stop short of calling it a deus-ex though it did approach something close to it...

Part of the problem in here is now the sheer number of characters. The scope of the story is now wider than before, and that wideness makes it a bit shallow in terms of storytelling. The original main character, Arlen, is still now one-of-many. I understand
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
4.5 Stars

As all good things come to an end, so too does the Demon Cycle series by Peter V Brett, and it is a fitting end.

At the outset of the story our main characters have embarked on what amounts to a suicide mission in order to take down the demon queen and hopefully bring an end to both Sharak Ka and Sharak Sun.

The descent into the Core is of course only the main thread of a multitude that permeates the story, but they are woven adeptly and will satisfy most readers, including those that d
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
You know, after almost 3 years of waiting for my library to finally get this, I might actually just buy it for my e-reader. XD
I'm a very patient person but boy... almost 3 years is enough.
(Said the person who's still waiting for "The Doors of Stone" *lol*)


What can I say?
Guess my patience got its priorities straight as well. ;-P
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/12/10/...

To be honest, The Demon Cycle and I have something of a love-hate relationship. While I felt the first book was a truly excellent read, every sequel after that has been problematic in one form or another, be they plagued with redundant (and overly long!) flashbacks, infuriating cliffhangers, or obnoxious characters you just want to punch in the face. Still, Peter V. Brett writes very entertaining stories, so I probably put
Like other readers here I`ve had some expectations from this book that, unfortunately, were shattered from the very beginning.

I wasn`t interested in the army of the characters, some of them already forgotten from the last book, and the writer had a lot of interest in them.

Again, the final fight with the demons wasn`t as I hoped it will be, in short, all the structure of the book didn`t spark the same interest in me, as the previous books had.

So much unexploited potential....

SOrry, but, this time
Milda Page Runner
A very satisfying conclusion to the series. No new character introductions or slow start this time – the book starts with Arlen and his group travelling to the Core for the final stand and alternates with the other characters showing humanity’s war with the Demon kind from the best angles – intense and engaging start to finish.
What I loved the most about this book is that P.V.Brett in some ways recaptured magic of The Warded Man. With the help of mind demons and mimics, demons are getting t
Kitty G Books
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Undeniably one of my all time favourite series. This book is the final one, and that is super sad for me because of how long I've been following the adventures and trials of these characters. There are so many who I just love by this point in the series, and I am so very glad that Brett has said he will be continuing to write more within this world (I hope it lives up to this series still).

By this point in the story we're facing the final battle between the demons of the Core and the Deliverer.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
Wow. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you conclude one of the pivotal fantasy epics of the 21st century. The Core is not just a fitting conclusion to The Demon Cycle, it is (by far) the greatest book of an already impressive saga. Peter V. Brett has saved the best for last in a story that is big, bold, and brilliant.

You know you're in for something special when the book opens with a chapter told from a demon's point of view. That's right, the first voice we hear is not that of Arlen or Jardir,
Chris Suchy
Oct 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Great finale of one of the greatest and imaginative fantasy series.

Sharak Ka, The First War, has begun. All over the world demons raise in substantial numbers, with renewed forces and an army of minds behind to wipe out humanity. Will humans prevail, or everything will be lost?

Previous volumes introduced us to many characters. In this one, all of them have a part in the great war; no loose ends remained. Sharak Ka is not just the decisive battle between Arlen and Jardir against the demon queen;
Matthew Bailey
The following is a response to previously posted "reviews" and has nothing to do with the book itself.

Some authors write very quickly, some write very carefully. Some authors have family, and a life outside of writing. Some authors' fans have got it in their head that they are owed something more than a book, when it is released, that they have paid for. Allow me to disabuse you of that notion.

Peter V Brett doesn't owe you a book written quickly. He doesn't owe you a book on "your time". In fa
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I want to start out that I did the previous four books back-to-back and even though I complained about the expansion of POV characters in my previous reviews, it was at least bearable since it wasn't that hard to place everyone in the world. However, a year on since I finished #4, I forgot about everyone except the main handful of characters. This made a large percentage of the book a really tedious experience, not only because I didn't know or care about all the minor characters and their littl ...more
Michael Sliter
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm finally finished with this series, and that makes me so happy. I guess you could say that I have a love/hate relationship with this series. I thought The Warded Man was a fantastic book. The characters and the plot were pretty good and the world was super interesting, but then it all sort of went downhill. For all the talk of magic I feel like the magic was lost sometime during the second book. Not sure why I kept reading. Maybe stubbornness or maybe I just like torturing myself. But at long ...more
Anna Stephens
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seriously epic conclusion to a magnificent series, The Core more than delivers on the promise of the first four books. It's bigger, badder, epic-er, grimmer, darker, scarier... you get the picture.
Without giving too much away, you'll recall from the end of Skull Throne there's a bonkers plot to force Alagai Ka - the demon prince - to lead Arlen, Jardir, Renna, Shanvah and Shanjat to the very heart of the abyss, to the demon queen's hive, and there to kill her. Sounds simple, right? SO WRONG.
Ashley Daviau
Jan 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was both excited and terrified to read this big beast of a book. Excited because I’ve been invested in this series for so long and I couldn’t wait to see how it all ended. Terrified because I’ve become so invested in this series and these characters and I want nothing but good for my precious babies. I’m glad to say that it was everything I could have hoped for and more as an ending to what’s become one of my all time favourite series. It had it all; it made me laugh and sob and want to throw ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fan service. Too many pointless POVs.
Executive Summary: A satisfying conclusion to a really enjoyable series.

Audiobook: Another good job by Pete Bradbury. I thought he was a good fit for the series overall, and makes listening in audio a great choice.

Full Review
I was very late coming to this series, but I nearly listened to it all in one go. That should be a good indicator at how much I enjoyed it.

This series has one of the best magic systems I've encountered, and I'm always a sucker for that. The characters are fantastic too.
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Peter V. Brett is the internationally bestselling author of the Demon Cycle series, which has sold over three and a half million copies in 27 languages worldwide. Novels include The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core. Other works include the Red Sonja: Unchained graphic novel and the Demon Cycle novellas The Great Bazaar, Brayan's Gold, Messenger's Legac ...more

Other books in the series

The Demon Cycle (5 books)
  • The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle, #1)
  • The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle, #2)
  • The Daylight War (Demon Cycle, #3)
  • The Skull Throne (Demon Cycle, #4)

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