Title: The Daylight War
Series: The Demon Cycle, #3
Author: Peter V. Brett
Publisher: Del Ray
Rating: 5 Sugar Cubes!
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.
Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.
The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.
Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.
But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.
Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all—those lurking in the human heart.
(Summary from Goodreads)
It’s been a while since I read the second book, The Desert Spear, and even longer since the first book, The Warded Man, but I absolutely loved this one. I will try to avoid as many spoilers as I can in this review, but being the third book, this might be hard.
I read another review on Goodreads that perfectly summed up my feelings towards this book:
“To deliver literary punches, to write scenes where we care who lives and who dies, takes time. Time to wind up for the blow. Time to put lives behind those name-tags, time to make the solutions to problems meaningful rather than arbitrary.” (Mark Lawrence)
Brett has set up many big events over the course of the first two books. Some of these have been addressed, but with such a large cast of characters, it is understandable that he would have plots that arc over several books. These little nuggets of information have had me chomping at the bit for this book. I wanted answers. I wanted action! I wanted resolution! Did I get what I wanted? Yes. Do I want more? Heck yes!
One of the greatest strengths of The Daylight War is that it gives insight into the backgrounds of some of the more mysterious, secondary characters introduced in the previous books. We still get to find out what Arlen and his marry band are up to, but this book focused on Jardir and his first wife, Inevera. While to some it may seem like the book started to drag a bit in the action department – something that the other two books have delivered in droves – I loved the fact that you were given an in-depth peek into the life of a seemingly minor character only to find out that she’s pulling many, many strings when it comes to the plot as a whole. (I don’t want to say who in case you haven’t read it)
I often find that there are small aspects of books that I want to know more about. In this series, one of those things was the dama’ting order, a very secretive group of priestesses in the Krasian culture. The Daylight War gives you a front row seat into the secret training of a dama’ting, an intense and ongoing training that is privy only to those accepted into it. I, personally, found this book to be an amazing feat of cultural research and development. The Krasian culture is well thought out, intricate, deep, and this book offered an excellent look at it.
I know I practically sing Peter V. Brett’s praises whenever there’s a favorite book/author list posted but seriously, this man is amazing. My only complaint about this book is the ending. Not because it’s bad. It’s good. It’s so good! But…Worst. Cliffhanger. Ever. Luckily the next book, The Skull Throne, is out so you can move right on to the rest of the story – which I strongly suggest that you do, of course!