demon-cycle

The Core

Book Review

This is the final book in the Demon Cycle, and I enjoyed it.

It was longer than I expected it to be, but I had fair warning that it was going to be long, perhaps too many words. For the record, as wordy as Brett is, he doesn't compare to Rowling and her wordiness. Let's be clear, though, there was a lot of the book that could have been left out.

Told in the style of many different story lines all interweaving, cough Wheel of Time cough, cough Song of Ice and Fire cough, there were a couple story lines that just didn't add to the story. Ashia and Abban? "He still has a part to play." What part? There was no part. That entire storyline could have been dropped from the book, shortening the book by 17% (I made up that number), and increasing the reader's enjoyment by 11% (made that one up, too).

The part I found the most fascinating about the book, however, was my reactions to Renna. I did NOT want the hero of the story to be the uneducated, hick-in-the-derogatory-way, reckless, female character. I didn't want that AT ALL. There were no repercussions for her continually bad choices. Things "worked out." Yes, fiction, yes, good for her, yes, go Brett for making the woman the hero, but why did I have this reaction? That why is a fascinating topic for me to explore.

I liked this book more than the previous one. I'm annoyed a bit at the ending, but we all saw it coming, so I didn't end up throwing the book across the room which is good. Still. Not a fan of the ending.

If I were recommending these books, I'd suggest read the first book. If you're a HUGE fan, keep reading, otherwise, enjoy that you enjoyed the first book.

The Skull Throne

Book Review

Why is this book called The Skull Throne? This isn't the Skull Throne, this book is the second half of The Daylight War, and okay, yes, this is the book of war. So many f'ing deaths. So much stupid male ego.

I suspect that Brett has been taking lessons from George R. R. Martin, including the detail of death on a commode.

This is the first book full of non-stop action. In Brett's style, we have backstories, multiple ones, filled in, but the bulk of the plot was in the "current" time frame.

Arlen and Jardir are pretty much non-existent in the story after a few philosophical conversations early in the book, pretty much discussing the merits of democracy (yay, Arlen) and authoritarianism (boo, Jardir, but we pretty much already hated him), so the next book should be interesting as we catch that plot in the current timeframe.

Yay for the introduction of the new characters, if only they were actually interesting.

Boo for the loss of the main characters we all cared about.

I mean COME ON.

Daylight War

Book Review

Yep, can confirm Brett's style of story plot is 80% back story fill-in and 20% plot advancement.

This is book three of the Demon Cycle, and Inevera's back story. Since we know Jardir and we know the story of Arlen, Brett fills in Inevera's history, and moves the plot of her world along. We have her history, her trials, her fights, her losses, and her victories. We have drama. We have death. We have victory. We have temporary defeat. We have spins and twists and loops.

And we have the f'ing ending. If I didn't have book four already handy, I would be mad. As it is, I'll have to wait for book five until August.

Anyway, Inevera's story. She makes a vow to stop senseless deaths by men's hubris, which she fulfills. She makes a vow that women can fight just as well as men and that they will be able to, which she fulfills. She plays her husband like a fiddle, which, well, one can learn from, even if from a fictional character.

Speaking of fiddles, wow, there wasn't really much plot advancement in this book, we hear little of Rojer, not much more of Leesha, with much of the story being backstory. Well, okay, wedding and sex and the like. Apparently in this world everyone has sex with everyone else even though everyone is a hypocrite about it. Fine.

Still, I found this book interesting, and enjoyed it more than the last one. I'll keep reading, I'm enjoying the series, and GAH THAT ENDING.

Desert Spear

Book Review

Book Two of the Demon Cycle, this book follows directly after The Warded Man, telling the story of Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer.

Except it isn't just their stories. Brett's style in this series appears to be continue the main story line of the three main characters, and also merge in the backstory of surrounding characters. I'll confirm when I read the next book, Daylight War. In this book's case, we follow Jardir's story, and I have to say, well, yawn.

Not a fan of the guy with delusions of power who attempted to murder Arlen. But, that's likely how it is supposed to be. Authors weave tales in specific ways so that the reader bonds with the "good guys" and jeers at the "bad guys." In this particular case, the bad guys believe that women are second class citizens, so, yeah, I really don't like the bad guys. We also meet Renna, whom I'm not a fan of either, so there's that.

Yeah, so, this book is about the Kaji side of the Thesan world, and moves the plot along a couple months while we learn Jardir's backstory. I'm not a fan of the first part of the book, but neither was Andy, so I'm okay with reading that part really fast to get to the parts I did enjoy. Even if, wtf, Leesha is with whom? Come on!

I'll keep reading.

The Warded Man

Book Review

The Warded Man, book one of the Demon Cycle, has been on my list for a while now, along with books two, three, and four. It was often mentioned in the same breath/suggestion as Name of the Wind, though different authors and different worlds. This book is where meet Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer. I can't say I was excited about three main characters and following along different story lines. When Jordan did it with the Wheel of Time, and Martin did it with the Song of Ice and Fire, well, I skipped over the perspectives that are just so boring. Didn't have that problem with this book.

I enjoyed this book. The big time gaps in the story didn't bother me as much as they did in, say, the Saga of the Seven Suns, which is odd, because there are big time gaps, a year spent warding a library, a lifetime (not really, but let's call it 7 years) learning to juggle and entertain a crowd. We skim the highlights of the lives, not seeing the tedium of a daily life.

One of the things I really like about the book is the practical application of both Stoicism and Buddhism. Neither is explained outright, but both are strongly present.

The world is engaging, and the story a fun ride. I'll keep reading the series.

Quotes from the book that caught my attention:

“We are what we choose to be, girl,” she said. “Let others determine your worth, and you’ve already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves...." - Bruna

“Welcome to adulthood,” Cob said. “Every child finds a day when they realize that adults can be weak and wrong just like anyone else. After that day, you’re an adult, like or not.” - Cob, page 192