Book Review: The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

Title: The Desert Spear

Author: Peter V. Brett

Series: The Demon Cycle #2

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

The Overview: The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power. Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim. But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure. Once, the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances… -Goodreads

The Review:

With every passing week since finishing The Desert Spear, I find myself more and more dissatisfied with it. Something about many of the elements within the story just aren’t sitting right with me, and I’d be the first to state that I’m getting really tired of every other character having a backstory that includes rape, incestuous rape, and sodomy. I don’t know if Brett is trying to make a grander point on who the real “demons” are, or if it just gives him kicks to write about that stuff, but I think it’s too much. Furthermore, it’s not even the sheer volume alone that bothers me, but the forgiving attitude towards the rapists.

And here’s where you’re going to raise an eyebrow at me – I thought a good portion of the book (that following Jardir – whose POV I actually liked more than most) could’ve been a lot grittier. O_o? What Brett says happens in this hostile desert society and what he shows happening were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Not that I want to read about that stuff in detail, but from an analytical standpoint, the inconsistency drove me crazy.

So here I sit, complaining of an issue with subject-matter while also kind of saying that other parts weren’t as graphic as the story required. Do you get an idea of why it took me so long to compose this review? I think the crux of the matter is that, no matter which end of the spectrum I’m considering, I had issues with a lot of things.

That said, and to be even more contrary, I actually enjoyed the process of reading a lot of this book. I find the demons fascinating, and every scene that gave me a glimpse into their true nature provided me that spark I needed to keep reading. I am morbidly curious to see where all the human storylines are going and am hoping to come out of this series with a lot more satisfaction than I got out of The Desert Spear. Now that the story is finally starting to clip forward, I find myself somewhat reaching for the third book… but I may wait a few more weeks to give myself time to simmer down.

Overall, after this mess of a review, all I can say is: I’m enjoying the good elements of the story enough to continue on, but would be hard pressed to recommend it because of all the negative ones. ;P

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10 comments on “Book Review: The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

  1. Hm, interesting! I think I made the right decision when I didn’t continue after book 1. I didn’t want to read about Jardir at all and it looks like his story wouldn’t have drawn me in much. I was also very interested in the demons but not enough to keep going.


    • I think you may have… All of the issues I had with the first book carried over into the second, so if you weren’t in love with it to begin with, this will not improve your opinion lol. if I make it beyond this point, let me know if you’d like me to tell you what happens with what is, in my opinion, the only interesting plot point at this point (the demons!). :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had such a hard time with this book! I despise Jardir’s character, which made the first third of this one pure hell. Honestly, I’m a bit amazed I kept reading the series after this, when so many of my friends abandoned it after this point, lol. But you’re right, the bad parts may be bad, but the good parts are really good too :D


    • It’s the good parts that will see me through this series to the end, although my enthusiasm is waning a bit. I was planning on being ready for The Core in August, but I might take my time and focus on a few that I’m loving a lot more.


  3. I kinda had problems with the first book and never moved on. It had a lot of promise to start but the second half fell into every grimdark trope around and ended up disappointing completely.


    • Yeah, first book provided a few issues for me too. Everything in the first half seemed so inconsequential to me, so that’s why I probably enjoyed the second half better even though I agree with the tropes.


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