Tuesday 16 April 2013

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Inevera looked at the long line of girls and their mothers before her, each awaiting their turn in the dama’ting pavilion.  The Brides of Everam had decreed that when the dama sang the dawn on spring equinox, all girls in their ninth year were to be presented for Hannu Pash, to learn the life’s path Everam had laid out for them.  Hannu Pash could take years for a boy, but for girls it was accomplished in a single foretelling by the dama’ting. 
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Published by Harper Voyager in February 2013
817 pages
Humanity is fighting back. Although the night still belongs to the demons that arise as the sun sets, new wards and weapons are giving those willing to fight in the darkness a chance to retaliate against their core-spawned enemies.
But, as humanity is about to learn, not all monsters are confined to the dark.
Civil war ravages the north and south, battles fought between those who should be working together. It is up to Arlen – the Painted Man – and Jardir – the self-proclaimed Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer – to put aside their differences and bring their people to terms if they are to have any chance of saving their civilisation from demon-rule.
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Reviewed by Caroline Hodges
The Daylight War is the third instalment of The Demon Cycle books, the following may contain spoilers.
I’ve been looking forward to the latest instalment of P V Brett’s Demon Cycle trilogy since I read the last two books.  Did The Daylight War reward my anticipation? Well, yes but in ways I hadn’t expected.
For those that aren’t familiar with the series, this is high fantasy at it’s finest.  Previous books, The Painted Man and The Desert Spear
Arlen and Jardir continue to assemble their forces, but whilst Arlen focuses purely on the obliteration of the demons that plague the world each and every night, Jardir is out to conquer, forcing all into his own war with the demons.  But which one is truly the promised ‘Deliverer’? 
Meanwhile, a new, intelligent side to the demon army is beginning to emerge, introducing strategy to the nightly conflicts humans have never experienced before.
This book flipped my allegiance.  I won’t lie.  Whereas before, it was all about Arlen and Leesha and the Hollow, I now find myself rooting for the Krasians.  And I’m just not sure that was Brett’s intention.  The trouble is, for me, Arlen’s new squeeze;  Renna.   I’m sorry Renna, I just can’t stand you.  Not only are you annoying in your own right; prone to tantrums and quick to anger, but you’ve made Arlen soppy and careless.  If I read one more ‘Love you Arlen Bales, love you Renna Bales,’ I will batter you both over the head with the arm of a rock demon.  Leesha as well has become decidedly unlikeable, planning her sexual conquests on a whim and getting into bed with men left right and centre.  Admirably though, she and Arlen do still maintain their dedication to the Hollow at any cost.
I can’t help feeling that some readers will be disappointed if they were expecting a novel with the same feel to it as the previous books.  But, if you’re willing to set your expectations aside, there is still some wonderful gold here.  It’s the same yellow stuff but a different currency.
The thing is, the Krasians are just so much more delightfully attractive in this novel.  They've always been exotic, colourful and mysterious.  But here we get to really delve into the mysteries of the Dama'ting.  I thoroughly enjoyed all Inevera has overcome to becoming Damaji'ting and how she shaped Jardir into the man he is.  
There’s all the usual action packed fight-scenes, so real you can taste the demon ichor in your mouth.  There are some nice new complex characters in the shape of Rojer’s new wives, that you’re just not sure if you trust or not.  
And boy, is there a cliff-hanger.  Seriously, never have I felt so betrayed, shocked and thrilled all at once.  
So there we have it, The Daylight War is flawed perhaps to some eyes, but still very much a pretty diamond in Brett’s collection.        

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