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The Desert Spear

Written by Peter V. Brett

Average Score: 78(9)

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that arise as the sun sets, preying upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind ancient and half-forgotten symbols of power. These wards alone can keep the demons at bay, but legends tell of a Deliverer: a general--some would say prophet--who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. Those times, if they ever existed, are long past. The demons are back, and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth . . . or is it?

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia 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. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind--whether they like it or not.

    But the northerners claim their own Deliverer. His name was Arlen, but all know him now as the Warded Man: a dark, forbidding figure whose skin is tattooed with wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. The Warded Man denies that he is the Deliverer, but his actions speak louder than words, for he teaches men and women to face their fears and stand fast against the creatures that have tormented them for centuries.
Once the Shar'Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends, brothers in arms. Now they are fierce adversaries. Caught between them are Renna, a young woman pushed to the edge of human endurance; Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons--or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another.  

    Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are blissfully unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent--and deadly--than any that have come before.

Book Details

Published by HarperVoyager on August 03, 2009
ISBN-10 0007276184
ISBN-13 978-0007276189


SF Site | Dominic Cilli
Review Rating: 100
When you can tell a story that is this much fun while you're commenting on the most topical subject in the world today, you're on the top of your game.
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Fantasy Literature | Bill Capossere
Review Rating: 90
The Desert Spear may not be quite as consistently good as The Warded Man, but it remains a strong book in its own right, more than avoiding the pitfalls of that dreaded second novel curse.
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Fantasy Book Critic | Liviu Suciu
Review Rating: 80
I quite liked The Desert Spear end to end though the first 200 or so pages that focus on the Krasian culture and on Jardir's rise to power have an intensity that is unmatched later.
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Fantasy Book Critic | Mihir Wanchoo
Review Rating: 80
Overall The Desert Spear was a worthy sequel to "The Painted Man"; it wasn't as addictive as the debut but it had its own dark edge to it.
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Library Journal | Jackie Cassada
Review Rating: 80
...a strong voice in multivolume epic fantasy.
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SF Signal | Rob H. Bedford
Review Rating: 80
...a gripping read, a novel that built upon its predecessor in many good ways, as well as adding new elements to the growing story.
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The Wertzone | Adam Whitehead
Review Rating: 70
...a readable and slightly different epic fantasy novel set in a well-realised world with some great ideas and solid use of action.
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Fantasy Literature | Angus Bickerton
Review Rating: 68
...Peter Brett misses a glorious opportunity to take this story to a higher level, and merely entertains instead.
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Publishers Weekly
Review Rating: 60
Romantic entanglements occupy much of the book and lead to an abrupt conclusion that would benefit from a gentler epilogue...
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