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Book The Demon Cycle - Peter V. Brett

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Pointy, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Pointy

    Pointy HotS Officer
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    Hello all,

    I have just completed the fourth instalment of this franchise, and once again I am left HANGING, desperate to imbibe the final conclusion.

    The Demon Cycle, written by Peter Brett, is a grand story-line set somewhat in the future, but this is far from a futuristic series. The world exists with only simple medieval technology. Mankind is under constant siege at night, at grave risk of being completely wiped from existence. Because at night, the Demons rise from the ground.
    Destroyed by sunlight, the Demons form at dusk, coalescing from a mist the never fails to relent.

    The only method of defence from the demons are wards - symbols fashioned to posts, walls, barricades. The wards create an invisible barrier, prevent the demons from advancing, and repelling their spells.

    The story focuses on three main protagonists: - a humble farm boy who can see the impeding devastation and decides defence will not save the world; a herb gatherer who is battling not only the demons, but a sexually misogynistic way of life; and a jongleur (musician/jester), who having survived a demon attack as child now uses his musical craft in ways not yet understood.

    The Demon Cycle currently contains four novels: The Painted Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne. (There are also 3 novellas not covered by this review: The Great Bazaar, Brayan's Gold, The Messanger's Legacy)

    The Painted Man introduces the three main characters, as they battle their immediate struggles before beginning the long trek through the grand plan of the story arc.
    The Desert Spear sees a fleshing out of another subculture, exploring another antagonist to the world drama.
    The Daylight War will find the world in tumult, both from the Demons and from mankind themselves.
    And The Skull Throne has the attention shifted to political and war type matters.

    And throughout the self made mankind drama, the demons threat only grows.

    The first book felt a little erratic and haphazard. Large chunks of time are lost as the characters stories are accelerate to the more meaningful fare. This was sometime jarring and frustrating, as there was potential for further development of the backstories - but maybe this was a symptom of reading Rothfuss, who has the potential of not missing the details, but not slowing a story.
    It is from the second book the Peter Weeks really hits his straps. Each novel from this point forward dedicates the first quarter of the book to creating a new backstory for emerging characters. In the cultures created, these are typically hard and sombre affairs, giving the reader further information of the choices they make and the reasoning behind them.

    Peter Weeks borrows heavily from Middle Eastern and Islamic themes to add further weight to the global drama. The inevitable cultural clashes often overshadow the threat from the demon invasion, but this is necessary to gain depth and scope.

    Where I appreciated this story the most was that I often found myself considering both sides of any argument, understanding some particularly brutal decisions whilst simultaneously being horrified by them. Peter Weeks treads a difficult path creating suitable empathy for both multiple parties. You can see everyone being the same but wholly different. Its an impressive feat.

    The writing style noticeably matures throughout each novel. Peter has with time filled out the detail of his vision, and that detail begins to fill the gaps on the page. The pace ebbs and flows, but when required draws the reader in with enthusiasm and eagerness to see the conclusion.

    I heartily recommend this experience, with the advice that pushing through the first book (which is by no means bad) will yield a very satisfying experience as you escape into his world.

    Currently, there is one more book to be released.

    NOTE: For anyone in Adelaide, Peter Brett will be appearing at Supernova this weekend - Nov 18, 2016.
     
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  2. Nakid

    Nakid Intrepidus Dux
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    Another excellent recommendation from Nakid you would say @Pointy? :p

    Will have to devour the novellas at some point. Can't wait for the next book in the main series though.
     
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  3. Pointy

    Pointy HotS Officer
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    Indeed a quality recommendation @Nakid, although once again, you have recommended a series THAT IS UNFINISHED....
    Stormlight Archive
    Demon Saga
    Kingkiller Chronicles

    And none of them have announced release dates.....
     
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  4. Nakid

    Nakid Intrepidus Dux
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    brandon.PNG

    Soon! You could try Sanderon's Reckoners series. It is a trilogy and it is finished.
     
  5. Pointy

    Pointy HotS Officer
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    Get moist!!!
     

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