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Book Review

Book Cover

The Demon Cycle
Book 3
The Daylight War


Author: Peter V. Brett
Publisher: Harper Voyager
RRP: £8.99, US $12.95
ISBN: 978 0 00 727620 2
Publication Date: 24 October 2013

The Daylight War (2013. 803 pages) is the third book in a five book series, written by Peter V. Brett. The book contains a prologue, thirty-two chapters and a glossary. It also contains a small map at the front. It might be my eyesight, but I required a magnifying glass to read some of the text. A cast of characters would have been more useful than anything else provided.

I had not read the first two books and must presume that they were popular enough for the creation of a third. The story is split between the backstory of Inevera and the main story involving Arlen. Now it may be that I have nothing invested in these characters, but I found that not only did Inevera’s story not really add anything to the overall project, it actually slowed the pace of the book.

The book doesn’t work well as a stand-alone project, it’s not just the amount of presumed information, but also the way the book is written, as Brett is a fan of made up words which excludes the casual reader.

He looked at her. ‘Hannu Pash tomorrow, dear sister. Perhaps the dama’ting will find you a husband!’

The italics are Brett’s and not mine. You can find explanations of the words in the glossary, but then this makes the reading an arduous task. As a reader I want to immerse myself in the story, not feel like I’m studying a foreign language. Both Tolkien and Martin made up words in their world building, but these are mostly a delicate garnish. Here the desire to create a whole new language just keeps pulling you out of the story. Readers of the first two books may have a different experience and have invested time and effort in memorising this new world, but for a casual reader it’s a big turn off.

Things do improve when the book's focus turns to Arlen and the realm tearing itself apart. With the promised onslaught by the demon hordes, the realm needs the Deliverer. Unfortunately two men, Arlen and Ahmann Jardir, seem in a position to fulfil this role, Arlen by dint of his eldritch powers and Jardin by his political savvy, in uniting the tribes into a demon killing army. Once these two men were as close as brothers, but now are only bitter rivals, a rivalry which may divide the land allowing the demons to win for all time.

This part of the book is better, but there is a hint of filler to it. If Brett had felt the need to tell Inevera’s story he would have been better to release it as a stand-alone novella, its inclusion makes the book over long for what actually happens.

The book is well written and should appeal to anyone who has read the first two novels, but it’s unlikely to appeal to the casual reader.


Charles Packer

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