Overview (No Spoilers): It took all of my self-control to not immediately pick up the Desert Spear after reading The Warded Man! As a personal rule, I attempt to read a book or two between the books in a series, to allow the novels to stand on their own, however in this case I could hardly wait to see where the story would take Arlen, Rojer, and Leesha. However, upon finally picking up the second book in the The Demon Cycle series, I had a fleeting sense of disorientation as the first several chapters introduce a not only a new POV, from a character that caused much heartbreak in The Warded Man, Jardir, but also of Krasia. His chapters took place in the present day, as well as in the past, adding depth and giving us insight into the forces that shaped this rigid man, moreover allowing the reader to understand why he had betrayed Arlan. Additionally, his sections also give context and depth to other side characters such as Abban, as well as introducing other fascinating, and intriguing characters such as Inevera. We also learn exponentially more about the culture, history, and traditions of Krasia, which is crucial for the story as these desert people begin to forcibly mingling with their Northern neighbors. At this point we are reintroduced to our beloved characters from the preceding novel and their continued advancements in the areas of Demon fighting and Warding. Our trio struggles to understand their special gifts, as well as distributing their knowledge to the surrounding areas. My personal favorite aspect of this book had Arlen finally revisiting, or perhaps a better world would be confronting his past. It is at this point that we are gifted a new POV from another familiar side character, Renna. Overall, The Desert Spear was everything and more I could have hoped for as a follow up to The Warded Man. Side characters grew in unexpected ways, the realm continued its own development, and we were introduced to a slew of new, unique individuals. Needless to say, my fingers are itching to immediately pick up The Daylight War!
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- We learn about Abban’s history and how he got his limp! I wish that Jardir would find a way to promote him so he wouldn’t have to constantly be abused. He has proven himself indispensable to the Krasian cause and their Daylight War.
- We also get eight total points of view, including the POV of two of coreling Princes. The Princes are powerful mind corelings that can control people and other corelings. These POVs puts into perspective the impossible odds that the humans are facing, as well as the power that the unique corelings can wield. The fight scenes in which the two Princes were killed were absolutely crazy! Everyone needs tattooed!
- Arlen going home was so heart warming! I loved his entire time in Miln where he reconnected with everyone from Ragen and Elissa to Jaik and Mery. It was quite the twist that Jaik and Mery were married, and their exchanges were by far the least satisfying, however they did act to humanize Arlen for the first time since his abandonment in the desert.
- I knew Arlen was going to save Renna, the poor woman! I was so angry at her cowardly sisters. Her transformation, despite being abrupt, was an interesting development, especially as it complimented Arlen so well. And now they are promised! Melt my heart!
- I’m so happy Arlen was able to see how much his father has grown since he left! I wish he would have told him he was still alive!
- Can we please talk about Leesha and Jardir for a moment! I couldn’t believe they were considering marriage! It was interesting to have Gared, Wonda, Rojer and Leesha within the confines of the Krasian army. It feels as though the rigid Krasian ways are on the cusp of being forced into change but will Jardir survive the change? Leesha and Jardir’s meeting and relationship was also a first in which we see that Inevera will lie about the bones to preserve herself. What else has she lied about? Arlen?
- How about Rojer and his potential wives? What will happen when the Deliver’s Hollow group leaves to go home? Will he marry them?
- Arlen went into the Core and he can disappear to fight! What else will he learn? Will he become a unifier? What will he think of Leesha and Jardir?