The Daylight War

Remember way back when I started my blog in March of 2011?  Of course you don’t because I’d imagine that almost nobody read anything on my blog on the day I started it, although I’d like to hope that a couple people have gone back and checked out my review of Peter V. Brett’s novel The Warded Man, and hopefully they checked out the review for The Desert Spear, the second book in his Demon Cycle series.  Well, a little over two and a half years later, I’m finally getting around to reading and reviewing the third book in the series, The Daylight War.  There will be a few spoilers regarding the story in my review, you’ve been warned.

Book StatsThe Daylight War

678 pages

Fantasy

Third book in the series (after The Warded Man and The Desert Spear)

Characters

It’s been a while since I read the first two books in the series, but I don’t think there were any major characters in this book who weren’t part of the first two books.  That said, this book does go back and show us Inevera’s past, showing how she came to power and in turn helped Jardir to come to power.  To this point in the series Brett has introduced a variety of characters from several different walks of life, and they’re all interesting to read about.

Setting

Same as the first two, it’s rare that you’ll find something in the third book of a series that really alters the setting of the story.

Plot

As we saw through the first two books, both Arlen and Jardir have gained the powers of the forgotten wards and used them to gain the ability to fight the corelings.  This book deals with the potential problems of both men possibly being the Deliverer of prophecy, and how there can be only one, and how at this point it’s kind of up for grabs which of the two is going to take the role.

Enjoyment

I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but had some problems with the second.  This book definitely falls in the middle of the first two for me.  My biggest problem with the second book was that it went back and retold the story from the first book simply so Brett could show how Jardir grew up.  In this book he does the same thing with Inevera, and I think it was just as pointless as going back and retreading everything in the second book.  Fortunately the backtracking is not nearly as large a part of this book as it was in the second book, and it’s also broken up into smaller sections as we advance the overall story in the present day.

Which leads us to the story of the present day.  We’re told early in the book (and possibly at the end of the last book) that more of the mind demons are going to arise come the next Waning – or New Moon depending on which culture you’re following at the time – and this gives a much better sense that the novel is driving towards a strong conclusion.  In world the Waning lasts for 3 nights, and while we’re shown parts of the fighting as this happens, Brett also blows past the last night of the Waning.  Both the people led by Arlen and those led by Jardir and beaten and battered on the first two nights, but we skip the third night entirely to finish the book.

Which also leads me to the last plot thread of the novel, the idea that there can be only one deliverer.  After the Waning battle is over, there is a showdown between Arlen and Jardir.  This was interesting, but it deserved a lot more build up than it had time to get in this book.  And the way that it ended is a little unsatisfying if you have to wait a while for the next book in the series.  (I did a very quick check online and was unable to find out when the next book is planned to be released.)  I think the book – and series as a whole – would probably end up stronger had the Waning battles been the ultimate climax of this book, and the Jardir/Arlen confrontation been given more time to shine as it’s own novel.

Overall Grade

There are some shaky elements to the way the story is being told, but as a whole I’m still interested and definitely want to read the rest of the series as it comes out.

6/10

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4 Comments

  1. A bit like you I read the first, really enjoyed it and then read the second and didn’t like it quite as much. Something is putting me off reading this one, not quite sure what. I do want to continue with the series though so I’ll have to read it eventually!!
    Lynn 😀

    Reply
    • There are a few things about this novel that bothered me, mostly when it came to the overall level of the writing. But while the writing isn’t always up to the level of a Robert Jordan or George RR Martin, the story is still worth reading. Along with that, the book has been out for a while in paperback, and you could probably find it at a library, so it shouldn’t be too hard to read the book cheaply.

      Reply
  2. hannahrose42

     /  November 22, 2013

    I definitely agree that the end of the book was less than satisfying. It was very sudden, and left me wanting at least another three or four chapters. However, I still find the premise of the book new and refreshing, and will continue to read the series. Oh, and I also enjoyed the way he spliced Inevera’s past throughout the book–much better than just creating basically two separate novels like Desert Spear. Her past was also fascinating, and I was excited that I got to learn about her trials to become the Deliver’s wife.

    Reply
    • I think that Inevera’s past was interesting, and the pacing of this book was definitely better with only going back and retracing one character’s past as opposed to the three or four that he went back through for the second book. But at the same time, by about the halfway point of the book I was reading one of the sections about Inevera’s past and my thought was “I get it, move on with the damn story.”

      I’ll definitely finish the series as the books continue to come out, and I’m excited to see how Brett grows as a writer – both with this series as well as anything else he writes in the future – but I think that when you analyze his writing you can tell that he’s still a newer writer who is still working on his skill and style.

      Reply

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