Review: The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

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At last, the highly anticipated third book in The Demon Cycle series by Peter V Brett is here. The Daylight War made our 2013 most anticipated list, is a site favorite, and is the forum’s February Book Club book.  It’s been almost 3 years since Desert Spear was released, and despite 2011’s Brayan’s Gold, it’s been a rough wait.

Well, the wait is over.  Was it worth it, or does Brett disappoint?

We’ve been given the histories behind the series’ primary characters in the prior two books.  Arlen, Renna, Leesha, Rojer, and Ahmann all return, and this time we get the backstory of Ahmann’s first wife, Inevera (who graces the book’s cover).  I found Inevera’s backstory to be much more readable than Ahmann Jardir’s in The Desert Spear.  While I still find the entire Krasian culture reprehensible, Inevera’s history was a lot more readable and made her a lot more likeable.  Her motivations are understandable, and I found myself finding less and less to dislike about her.  This was the opposite for me in Desert Spear; the more I read about Ahmann and his culture as a whole, the more I hated him.

The first quarter of the book focused on Arlen and Renna, and was nonstop demon-killing action.  The story picks up the night Desert Spear left off, with Renna and Arlen recovering from the attack of the mimic and mind demon and making their way back to Deliverer’s Hollow to prepare for the coming New Moon, or Waning, slaughtering demons all the way.

Leesha, Rojer, Ahmann and Inevera make up the next piece of the book, with secondary characters making relevant returns (Gared, Elona, Wonda, Abban, and others).  No groundbreaking revelations with these characters. Brett does try to evolve some of the characters, yet some characters still suffer from horny teenager syndrome.

Brett paces the book well, and I didn’t feel like any of the parts dragged on or got boring, despite the potential.  Normally, scenes of court being held or road trips get pretty dull, but Brett manages to sprinkle enough action and plot progression in these scenes to make them readable and entertaining.  It takes about 80% of the book before the Waning fight starts, and it was an exciting, tense fight.  We actually get two versions of this battle, one from Arlen’s group and one from Ahmann’s group—two for one!  We get a lot more insight into demon culture, tactics, magic, and get some really interesting surprises during the fight, as mind demons return as another point of view.

My main gripe is the ending.  I don’t think I am alone when I say I don’t like cliffhanger endings, and this one is damn near literally a cliff hanger ending.  The book ended so abruptly I thought maybe I was missing a chapter in my copy.  It ended right in the middle of where a climax should have been.  There was no wind-down—the book started in 3rd gear, quickly shifted to 5th, and stayed there until the very last sentence.  In a series where I might have to wait 3+ years for the next book to come out, this was really aggravating.

Fans of the series will not be disappointed.  That’s a cliché thing to say in a book review, but it’s true.  Brett has his hooks in me and I want more of The Demon Cycle.  This book was better than the Desert Spear, but not as good as The Painted Man.  I would certainly say it was closer to the first book in quality and plot than the second.  I just hope that it doesn’t take three years before I get to read book four, The Skull Throne.


Review written by l3gacy for

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  • Jim

    I was disappointed by this book. Repeating the same story again from a 3rd characters perspective seemed unnecessary. I also think apart from the last few pages nothing much happened to move the story on. It was just action scenes with limited character development. I hope the next book is a lot better!

    • Jon Snow

      It can’t have been too bad if you’re still interested in the 4th book! Did you get an ARC copy as well?

      • Jim

        The first two books were very good. He deserves another chance. The book was released yesterday but I managed to buy a copy a day early (I work in a bookstore).

        • Jon Snow

          You read it in a day? Sick! I couldn’t read it in a day even if I had the day off!

          • Jim

            More like 2 days. I’m British so the time difference is in my favour. Started it Sunday morning, finished it Monday night!

  • X

    The book was overall good, but Jardir is obviously a better Deliverer. I think that it is best for the Hollow and the Krasians to join forces, but it would be a tragedy if either Arlen or Jardir died.

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