The Desert Spear is the sequel to The Warded Man, which I recently reviewed, and it’s the second book of The Demon War by Peter V. Brett.
Before I start my review, however, I must confess something. Reviewing the books I read has changed my reading experience. In many ways, it has become a much better experience, but sometimes, I find myself wishing something because it would look better in my reviews. After giving The Warden Man five stars, I found myself wishing this book would be a bit less awesome. Don’t get me wrong, The Warded Man totally deserved each of those stars, but giving two books in a row the same rating somehow felt strange to me.
Unfortunately, The Desert Spear is as good as The Warded Man. Better, even.
The Desert Spear picks up where The Warded Man left off. It takes us back to the demon invested world, and the characters we connected to in The Warded Man. Brett did, however, introduce three new viewpoints of characters who played only a minor role in the previous volume. By doing so, he stayed true to the tone of The Warded Man in a very creative way. While sequels of coming of age novels usually go through a change in theme, the dedication of two hundred pages to the background of a new main character keeps The Desert Spear true to its predecessor.
This part of the story has been very skillfully written, giving this book both a coming of age theme and a well-paced plot. Flashbacks, as well as the introduction of other viewpoints, weave The Desert Spear together with The Warded Man. However, this book does have a much darker feel to it, being focused on facing one’s fears and accepting one’s past.
In my review of The Warded Man, I spoke of the promise it held for future books. The fulfillment of that promise is what made me like The Desert Spear even more. This book has an even more epic feel to it. The storylines that were only hinted at in the previous book, came to fruition in this one. That doesn’t mean, however, that this book was in any way predictable, because it wasn’t. Instead, it held to its own pacing, promising us even more for future installments.
To tell you the truth, in epicness, this book reminded me of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, having a great amount of subtle foreshadowing and setting up smaller storylines for the future. There was significantly more world building in this book as well, giving many insights to the Krasian culture as well as the demons and their magic, which turns out to be a lot more extensive than expected from The Warded Man.
Why should you read this book?
When you’ve read and liked The Warded Man, you should definitely read The Desert Spear as well. However, if you haven’t yet, and you like epic fantasy, you really need to read it. The Demon War is currently a planned series of five books and in my opinion, it’s growing up to be one of the best fantasy series ever written. I am looking forward to the third volume in the series, which Brett is currently writing and will be titled The Daylight War.