seak's Reviews > The Desert Spear

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010

Mankind finally has a way not only to defend themselves from the demons that have taken over the night, but they have the ability to combat their enemies. Arlen, aka the Warded Man, wants to distribute the combat wards he found to everyone in the world so they don't have to suffer at the hands of the demons as he did when his mother died.

Compare this to the Krasian method of enslaving all mankind and forcing them to fight in alagai'sharak, the Krasian's name for their nightly battle with the demons.

In this respect, I couldn't help but compare The Desert Spear to The Matrix Reloaded. Not because there was a decrease in quality like the Matrix films, but moreso because suddenly the demons aren't as scary just like the agents lost all their spunk in the second and third films.



There are so many ways and means that have been found, especially by Leesha and those of Deliverer's (formerly Cutter's) Hollow, to either combat the demons or make oneself invisible to them that it's almost like the demons aren't even there anymore. This was a little disappointing especially in a series that is all about groups of people coming together for the cause of warring with demonkind.

Luckily, there's enough going on that this isn't too big of an issue, just something that was a little disappointing.

The Desert Spear, book 2 of the Demon Cycle, begins by following Ahmann something something something Jardir, who we met in The Warded Man, and exclusively deals with the events in Krasia and Jardir's history...and this lasts for about a quarter of the book.

I know many have complained about this aspect of the book, that the book takes far too long to get to Arlan, Leesha, and Rojer, but I'm a firm believer that delayed satisfaction does in fact make you appreciate your favorite parts.

But, I can't really say that I even loathed reading the first part. The more I read/listened, the more I found I was sucked into Jardir's past/present and the effort that went into creating this society.

Not only are new wards created/found, but we find out there are more demons than we have seen so far, one of them being the Mind demons, who rule all of demonkind. These guys make a couple of appearances and prove that although most demons aren't much of a threat, there are still some that could pose some difficulties, especially since they have the ability to think and reason like man.

Leesha and Rojer have become mainstays in Deliverer's Hollow where many refugees have fled to escape the flood that is the Krasians. This is where we also find out the advancements that Leesha has made on warding. Many have mentioned that Leesha is a bit of a wonder woman in this book and while that's true to an extent, I think a lot of this comes from the fact that we see Leesha through the eyes of Ahmann Jardir, who has a bit of a skewed perspective of her.

The issue of The Deliverer, or Shar'Dama Ka in Krasia, is central to The Desert Spear. While Arlan does everything he can to fight this distinction, the people of the north will believe what they want to believe, and many times to Arlen's frustration.

On the other hand, in Krasia, Ahmann Jardir not only convinces himself and Krasia that he is the Shar'Dama Ka, but takes his unified Krasian army to the north to force the people of the north to fight demonkind.

Audiobook Commentary

I realized I haven't been that good at discussing the audio portion of the book when I do an Audiobook review, so I wanted to add this section so that the review will actually be handy to those who were debating on whether to listen or read, having already made the decision to obtain this book.

Pete Bradbury does a great job in both The Desert Spear and The Warded/Painted Man audiobooks. He has a gruff voice, which works well for Arlen, Jardir, all of Krasia, Messengers, etc. But, at the same time, it doesn't even sound weird when he does the female characters' voices. The Audiobook is really well done and definitely recommended.

When Should You Read The Desert Spear?

The Desert Spear continues on the same level as The Warded Man, which I highly recommend and while the characters are great, the world that Peter V. Brett created has created a huge fan in me.

4.5 out of 5 Stars
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Reading Progress

March 24, 2010 – Shelved
June 30, 2010 – Started Reading
July 27, 2010 –
page 400
69.08%
July 31, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010
July 31, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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logankstewart I thoroughly enjoyed this book, too, even the Jardir stuff. It was a bit long-winded, but never slow enough to drag. I hold Brett in the same category as Rothfuss, Sanderson, and Abercrombie. The dude is telling a heck of a story, and I for one cannot wait for Daylight War to hit the shelves.


seak Me too, I just love what he's done here. Daylight War can't come soon enough. I don't put down everything I'm reading very easily, but that's what I'll do for Brett.


Terence I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is that the majority of the world was waiting for the Deliverer to bring back the combat wards and lead mankind against the demons. These people believe so heavily in the Warded Man and Shar'dama'ka that they have little fear left now that the time for victory has come. The rest of the people in the world have been simply been waiting for the return of the combat wards so they can kill demons. Most everyone was ready to fight the demons.

There are still people who are terrified of the demons such as Mery who is afraid for her sons with the potential of the upcoming Demon War.

Demons are basically incredibly powerful animals that previously couldn't be harmed, but once given the proper weapon to kill them...it's easy to see them as less threatening. Hence the reason for the Mind Demon and Mimic to arrive because they are the real threats.


seak Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is that the majority of the world was waiting for the Deliverer to bring back the co..."

I can't disagree with anything you've said, Terence. You're spot on. I guess what my point is that I'm no longer afraid of them as the reader and that affects my reading enjoyment (not to a great degree by any means). Suddenly they're beatable, which is not the case in the first book when they were really scary.

For The Warded Man, I liked the fact that the concept was kind of a mix of fantasy and the zombie story, where people are trapped and isolated and have to deal with the threat on their own. When the world opens up, you can travel where you like and they actually make you more powerful even, it's just not at frightening, which turns into less tension in the pages.

The demons become more like orcs and nasty baddies than what they originally were, which was barely contained monsters.

Now that I've completely beat a dead horse, I'll stop. :)


message 5: by Terence (last edited Sep 25, 2014 12:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Terence Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is that the majority of the world was waiting for the Deliverer to b..."

I see what you mean there. The tension level in The Warded Man was incredibly high because they were facing an unbeatable force. Things certainly changed in The Desert Spear and really even towards the end of The Warded Man since the indestructible became vulnerable. The introduction of the fighting wards did change everything in the series.


seak Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is that the majority of the world was waitin..."

And I love the way it's changed as well. I'm all about superpowered beings filled with awesome. I love this series and can't recommend it to people enough. I just had to note that there's a difference in the book's dynamic once he does become all-powerful, which is not dissimilar to Neo's relationship to the agents from the first Matrix to the second.


Terence Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is that the majority of the ..."

I love the series too and tell people about it often. I also agree there are certainly similarities between Arlen and Neo, but I like the fact that Arlen is only as strong as a mind demon. Neo was far too overpowered in the Matrix sequels and only Smith was his equal. Arlen has a hard road ahead of him even though normal demons are no longer a threat to him on his own.


seak Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The main reason is t..."

Excellent point! Then you add in Jardir and I'm dying for the next book. :)


Terence Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "Terence wrote: "I think it makes sense that the demons weren't as frightening to the reader in The Desert Spear. The ..."

When the Warded Man ended I couldn't imagine every liking Jardir, but I find him to be as least as good a character as Arlen perhaps even better in some ways. When I first read The Desert Spear I couldn't understand why the first 200 pages were all about him, but it was a brilliant choice.


Damian Dubois The third book has an absolutely beautiful cover but really doesn't live up to the first two books in the series. :(


message 11: by seak (new) - rated it 5 stars

seak Damian wrote: "The third book has an absolutely beautiful cover but really doesn't live up to the first two books in the series. :("

I agree that the third book isn't quite as good, but this series is like crack to me. I love reading about the demons and the different ways they're fought. And I do recognize that book three was more of a prequel than a progression of the storyline. :)


Terence Damian wrote: "The third book has an absolutely beautiful cover but really doesn't live up to the first two books in the series. :("

I agree The Daylight War wasn't quite as good as the first two, but it's close in my mind. It's still easily one of my favorite books. I loved every bit of The Warded Man on my first read and nearly every part of The Desert Spear on my first read, but it took two reads for me to love The Daylight War.


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