Why the hate on The Desert Spear?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by sopranosfan, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. sopranosfan

    sopranosfan Journeyed there and back again

    Ok, I get the erotica complaint, I really do. I actually skipped over the sex and rape scenes and I could definitely see how that would put you off but I would guess all mentions of sex would be less than 0.5% of the book. I also thought it was funny that every time they mentioned Jardir's first wife( I'm horrible with names) they described her and how she looked under the translucent dress but once again I can't imagine that being more than 0.1% of the book. It comes down to whoever posted "sex is great in life but not in literature".

    But, I loved the rest of the book. Arlen is an amazing character and I love how Brett made Arlen and Jardir enemies but made them both likable, with Leesha even liking both of them. I loved the way it went back in time to show the story from the other side.

    I'm not trying to change anybody's mind and I'm sure nobody will change mine but I am curious if there was something I missed.
  2. Haven

    Haven Became a Faceless Man

    Basically because he made Leesha into a complete whore, Arlen seems to have lost his ability to speak properly and now comes across as an uneducated tramp as opposed to one of the few in the universe who knows the secrets of the demons.

    Also the general way he treats women in his novels(Although I will admit that Inevera's flashback story was very well done).

    Personally, I also dislike the similarity between the Krasians and Muslims...not that there is anything wrong in it, but I feel that this is too sensitive a topic to be meddling around with in today's world.
  3. Griffin

    Griffin Journeyed there and back again

    I'm mostly on your side @sopranosfan. I really like Brett's prose, but he goes overboard with the sex stuff. Also, Inevera's story might be revealing, but I found it to expanded, the editor should have cut some stuff out. And a big plus for the evolution Arlen goes through, certainly one of the strongpoints of the series. I like and dislike the narrowmindedness of the cultures in his books. It makes me cringe to read about it and therefore I like it.

    It's my personal opinion that you shouldn't avoid a topic just because it is sensitive. I don't mind Brett's putting down a jarring version of Muslims. He kind of does the same thing (though I admit less than with the Krasians) with the very Catholic-like religion in wetlands where Arlen and the others come from.

    So, all in all, the books have there pros and cons but in the end I like to read them.
  4. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    The main reason is that I think he ruined his characters. All female characters have only one way to get what they want. Sex. So simplistic.
    Leesha becomes a whore.
    Edit: I think I should clarify that.
    After thousands of her people get raped and murdered by the Krasians, she decides that the only way to make things right is to bang the man who gave the order to his subordinates to do all those things.
    I think that's far from plausible even in fantasy book.
    Arlen isn't present in most of the book, instead we get back stories.
    Krasians aren't Muslims. That is too wide of a category. But they are very similar to Arabs. But I don't have a problem with that at all. Arab culture was before and after Islam came to be. It's an interesting source to draw from.
    What I do mind is all the incest and child sex abuse. I realize it's a dark world but come on. I don't like books where I have to read one rape scene after another. Let alone child sexual abuse.

    The only good female character in this whole series was Bruna. That old lady had the power to make anybody dance to her tune and it wasn't by spreading her legs. It was with wit, wisdom and respect.

    Third book gets worse. They basically spend 700 pages in bed having sex, nothing happens, and then the last 100 pages is where things start to go down.

    Also Renna fuckin' Tenner. Worst female character ever!
    I love you Arlen Bales! I love you Renna Tenner! 100 times in a day. UGH! He made them into complete dolts.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  5. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Which is even worse considering she was raped in book 1.

    Edit: To clarify, her behavior doesn't make sense. If you have seen the first couple of seasons of Game of Thrones, you'll remember Tyrion talking about the woman he married. He was young and he thought he saved her from certain violation. She ran off with him to get married/sleep together. Then when he was older, he realized that her behavior was irrational if the initial dangerous situation was real and not a set-up. And he found out it WAS a set-up. I see Leesha's behavior as irrational for similar reasons as the GoT example. It's just too soon. For someone who was so reserved all her life to suddenly go wild doesn't make sense anyway, and the catalyst (rape? maybe) having that effect makes even less sense.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  6. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I mind it because it is uncreative. I need more fingers than I have to count the number of books/series where there are tribal desert people who submit their women to harsh treatment and/or never let them go around alone and/or have multiple wives, etc.

    Edit: this may be more specific to Arab culture than Muslim culture. Because of course there are a lot of non-Arab Muslims.
  7. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Just to be fair to Brett, it's not only women or little girls, who are also incidentally all virgins, who get raped a lot in these books, it's men or should I say boys too. Let me guess, that's just Krasian culture. Ok.
  8. Griffin

    Griffin Journeyed there and back again

    I probably have the luck(?) of having read only one other fantasy book that based a people on the Arab culture (Wheel of Time).

    You are quite right on this, I stand corrected.

    The whole rape/sex is indeed jarring and mostly unnecessary. He uses it way too often. I have to admit I don't know that much about the characters anymore to know if they are making sense or not. I do remember that I thought there were some inconsistencies.

    This I do remember, plotwise a wreck and too little of Arlen, too much of everything else.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  9. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    There are a lot of midlist and lower tier authors who use it. I used to buy random fantasy paperbacks at the bookstore so I've encountered it often. (Though it goes all the way back to the later Narnia books.) I understand the desire to create fantasy cultures based on real human cultures. If real people engage in a set of practices, they're more believable for a fantasy race, too. But when I've seen the 10th incarnation of something, it's just old.
  10. Griffin

    Griffin Journeyed there and back again

    I've yet to work my way through to the top/higher tier authors, I'm clearly not as well read as most of the other people on this board. I do understand your quarrel with this and it might explain why I don't mind it as much.
  11. sopranosfan

    sopranosfan Journeyed there and back again

    Maybe my thinking is because I wanted to like the book. I also think that the audiobook helped with some of it.
    About Arlen's character: I think that he is doing that to put people off and to help protect his friends. The narrator even speaks in a different voice when speaking as The Warded Man and Arlen.

    I am 100% with you guys on the sex and rape complaints and I did skip through most of them. I do also agree that even in a dark world there's a lot of rape going on. But I can't help think that all mention of sex in the entire book was less than 0.5% of the total and I loved almost all of the rest of it.

    With Leesha I admit it is kind of sad to see one of the best female characters go down her current path and I never really noticed it while reading but now that it is pointed out I can see that is being a negative.
  12. J P Ashman

    J P Ashman Stood on the wall with Druss

    I'm glad I was pointed towards this thread, because I thought it was just me.

    I'm close to finishing The Daylight War - although parts have been a struggle - and as was said above, I wanted to like it. I have liked it, to be fair, and in all honesty, the sex scenes weren't what bothered me. I think it's the lack of Arlen (as has been mentioned) and the drawn out Krasian lifestyle explanations etc...as well as Leesha who has, I agree, completely changed as a character, rapidly...too rapidly IMHO.

    The greenlanders continue to put a smile on my face. I like all of them. I also like some of the Krasians, but feel like it has centered on them too much.
    Anyhow, I go to read a bit more and will probably finish it this weekend. I still intend to read the next book, and perhaps I will enjoy it more as I won't be going into it as excited as I did for this one.
  13. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Journeyed there and back again

    My main concern is that while Book 1 was great, book 2 was good, book 3 is not going nowhere much.

    Yes, I don't care for the overuse of sex and especially rape.
    But, I dont mind Leeshas behaviour ... if she wants to do that, it's her own choice.

    My main concern is still with the lack of the storyline.

    Best regards,
  14. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow No Power in the Verse can stop me Staff Member

    Yeah, if you look at the worst fantasy list, #28 is The Desert Spear and that was written when that book came out. The Daylight War made it even worse.

    I think it should be way up higher now that Daylight war has been and gone.

    I think everyone has said pretty much what I was going to say, both Leesha and Arlen's characters just go WAY downhill. Nothing makes sense. I disagree with @Derk of Derkholm 's comment about how it is her choice. It's Peter V. Brett's choice, and it makes absolutely no sense the way Leesha's character acts the way she does. I would also think that Jardir should have just killed Leesha and win the war.
  15. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Journeyed there and back again

    So, to sum it up, most here do not hate the "Desert spear", but most of us really did not like the "Daylight War".

    You'll notice when you're there :D

    And, btw, the fantasy stories with noble Arabs/Muslims, I think, started with "Dune".
  16. Danica

    Danica Queen of the boards! Staff Member

    I think the things that piss me off in this book are huge red flags for me and that's why I hate it so much. Crappy female characters and a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't make any sense!
  17. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I don't agree. It started to go downhill in The Desert Spear with rape, sex and nonsensical decisions on part of the characters. But in Daylight War he really sank that whole ship. He turned everyone into idiots.
  18. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Journeyed there and back again

    Agreed. Has been some time since I read the books, so I don't remember what exactly happened when.
    First book was great, though IIRC (although the rape already started in that one, however not so much), hence the disappointment with the latter ones.
  19. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow No Power in the Verse can stop me Staff Member

    The problem is that his first book was SO fantastic that I want him to redeem himself (Brett), but I don't know if that is possible anymore.
  20. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Truth! So much wasted potential :(
    When the next book comes out in March (?) I'll just loan it from the library. I'm not buying anything from him anymore because I don't think he can redeem himself. He's kinda living in his bubble probably, supported by all the high praise coming from Patrick Rothfuss and Mark Lawrence.

    I shouldn't even read it, but I can't help myself. It's like watching a train wreck. You want to look away, but you can't.

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