Digging into the third book of The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett has been long overdue, but it was very much worth the wait. After the climactic conclusion of the previous instalment, not to mention some of the revelations, the characters are left in some strange places.
The novel picks up shortly after the previous tale, and with the knowledge that the Mind Demons, and possibly worse will be coming for them at the next full moon, both Arlen and Jadir are preparing their people for an assault, the likes of which they have never seen before.
Arlen is reunited with his friends, and takes a bride. But all of them have changed since they last encountered one another, and while it’s great to see (well, read) Arlen, Rojer and Leeha back together again, things have changed, some of them for the better, but not all.
While in the south, Jadir is preparing for his assault on the Greenlands to the north, preparing to wage the Daylight War that will rid the world of ‘pretenders’ (meaning Arlen) to the Deliverer title before the battle turns to the The Core, and the demons who rise from it to hunt at night.
We know these characters now, and the book, like the previous tales, also fills out more backstory, this time with Inerva, Jadir’s wife, and high priestess. We delve into her life, her powers, and learning are explored.
As the Mind Demons rise from the Core to take on humanity, pieces are moved around the board as politics, religion and even passion come into play.
Brett’s style is compulsive, captivating, and completely engaging. The tale, like the previous ventures in the Demon Cycle invite you into the world, and you revel in its reality, and its history.
The book also does something I knew would the series would have to do since I first got into the series, kill off a major character. In fact, I think that the further the series progresses the more characters we will have to say goodbye to,
Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, has become powerful, and his new wife, Renna, means to keep up with him. Leesha Paper has shared her pillow, and more with Jadir, much to the fury of Inerva, and Rojer walks away with a pair of wives. But that is only the basics, there is so much more going on here, as events race to an inescapable conclusion, and sets up the next novel.
Expansive, engaging, stunning, and violent, The Demon Cycle continues to race head long in the world of fantasy prose, cutting a swath to adventure, revelation, magic, and confrontation.
I don’t think I will wait so long between adventures again.