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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

The Desert Spear

The Desert Spear - Peter V. Brett If Peter V. Brett were to use a pseudonym it should be Peter P. Turner. The Desert Spear kept me turning the pages to find out what happen next, even during the parts of the book I don't like. The Desert Spear is the second book of the Demon Cycle series, apparently five volumes are planned. The first book [b:The Warded Man|3428935|The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1)|Peter V. Brett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354571949s/3428935.jpg|6589794] is very entertaining and also a page turner extraordinaire, I would recommend that to anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced fantasy read. This book is similarly compelling but more ambitious in term of world building, it does not exactly carry on where [b:The Warded Man|3428935|The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1)|Peter V. Brett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354571949s/3428935.jpg|6589794] left off, however.

Fans of the fist book who started reading this volume immediately after finishing the first one may feel disorientated by the first third of the book which goes a little backward in the timeline of the first book and a switcheroo of POV to Jardir the "Shar'Dama Ka" (that's deliverer, for those who didn't pay attention in their Krasian class). During this first third of the book the author takes a lot of time to create the Krasian culture, which appears to be mainly based on the Middle East nations. It is a rather harsh culture and deliberately politically incorrect. Fans of the first book is advised to stop wondering about where Arlen the Warded Man has got to and just kick back and enjoy Brett's world building and attention to details. Mr. Warded will show up to kick some asses before too long. Jardir is not only a self-proclaimed Deliverer, he is also a self-proclaimed protagonist where the fate of the world revolves around him, he could break the fourth wall he'd tell you that this whole damn Demon Cycle is all about him and disagreeing with him may be detrimental to your health.

Jardir does not seem to have a lot of depth to his character and suffers from an acute case of Gary Stu-itis , he did not leave much of an impression with me in [b:The Warded Man|3428935|The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1)|Peter V. Brett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354571949s/3428935.jpg|6589794], and in this second volume Brett spends a lot of pages developing him, and clarifying his motivation but he still does not appeal as a protagonist. This is partly because every line of dialogue he utters tend to be rather hackneyed, a lot of the time his dialogues remind me of He-Man from Masters of the Universe cartoons. During his years of training from average guy to total bad-ass I kept imagining the song "Eye of The Tiger" playing in the background. His femme fatale missus Inevera is more interesting, but even she is fairly one dimensional. It seems to me that most of his characters tend to have only one facet to them, they rarely ever do anything surprising or "out of character" once their individual character quirk is established. None of them seem like well rounded real people I can really care about.

Once the narrative switches to characters in Thesa / Green lands we are back with the main characters from the first book Arlen, Leesha, Rojer etc. Unfortunately, the author also spends a lot of time developing the character of Renna Tanner whose back story concerning her incestuous Dad reads like a fairly distasteful melodrama. I feel that this part should have been left on the cutting room floor, by all means give her this back story but without going into unnecessary torrid details. As for Arlen the Warded Man he is beginning to seem like a character from The Marvel Universe, maybe he should be called "The Warded-Man", with a hyphen.

On the very positive side from around page 200 onward the story is very fast paced and I read the second half of the book much more quickly than the first. Those pages just flew by and I did not want to put the book down (except to pee). The fight scenes mostly between demons and humans are very well written and thrilling, the plot just gallops along at a breakneck speed.

In conclusion, I believe Peter V. Brett is an excellent storyteller, his ability to keep the reader turning the pages is top notched. However, his prose style and characterization are still catching up with his considerable plotting and narrative skills. The Desert Spear seems to be longer than it should be due to the inclusion of some unnecessary melodrama but at the end of the day it is a highly readable book. I am not entirely certain I will read the rest of the saga, but I had many hours of entertainment from reading this volume.