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Desert Spear (The Demon Cycle) Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 435 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Demon Cycle Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In keeping with the recent trend of starting in the thick of the action, this sequel to 2009's The Warded Man picks up in the heat of Jardir's conquest of the greenlands. This choice may pull in new readers but risks alienating returning ones, since series hero Arlen Bales doesn't even appear until midbook. Jardir, who seemed to mostly be a villain in the first book, is made more sympathetic through a flashback to his childhood warrior training and the machinations of his psychically gifted chief wife, Inevera, who seems part Bene Gesserit and part Lady Macbeth as she plots his rise to power. Romantic entanglements occupy much of the book and lead to an abrupt conclusion that would benefit from a gentler epilogue, but is sure to leave fans on tenterhooks waiting for the last installment. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'I enjoyed The Painted Man immensely. Action and suspense all the way' Terry Brooks 'Peter V. Brett is one of my favourite new authors' Patrick Rothfuss 'The Painted Man works not only as a great adventure novel but also as a reflection on the nature of heroism' Charlaine Harris

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Product Details

  • Series: The Demon Cycle (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007276176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007276172
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (435 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,895,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Patel on March 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Really, this entire book had pacing problems, and the demons became less and less of a strange elemental threat and more a weird sci-fi thing. But honestly, Leesha's sudden switch as to her sexual mores and concerns was just bizarre. I mean, I went back and forth through the pages trying to see if somehow she missed the whole thing where Jardir has women raped so as to create strong warriors.

I find rape to be way too easily used in fantasy novels, but Leesha being raped in the first novel was such a powerful and painful event for all of us. Sadly, it made sense in the context of the novel. I found it heart breaking but understandable that she wanted Arlen to have sex with her so she could pretend he was the father if she got pregnant.

Then, out of nowhere, she falls for the guy who is telling his men to go out and rape women. After being drugged. 'Nuff said.
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Format: Hardcover
To start with, like many of the other reviewers, I loved the first book. I *bought* the first book, and, as a college student who moves frequently (so money and space are both at a premium), that's saying quite a bit.

That being said, I found this book a rather disappointing sequel. While the first book focused on three characters, building them up slowly, developing them a little and then moving to another, this one spends the entire first half on a single character, Jadir, who we have no reason to like, and not a lot of reason to care about.

I will grant you, the backstory for him is kind of cool, but I can't even give it the praise of being well-written, because the transitions in time (from present day to backstory and back again), were frequently poorly handled, leaving me confused as to why something was happening because I was in the wrong time period.

Even coming in knowing that the first half was about him, I found myself wishing early on that we could just get back to the characters I liked, and their much more promising development. That, however, disappointed as well.

Arlen: Arlen was, and remains, my favorite character in this series. Most of the parts about Arlen involved him beating it into our heads that he isn't human any more, and is such an abomination that he ought to just give up and die. However, his travels alone, and interactions with the people from his past were very well written and fascinating, and his reunion with his adopted parents was poignant.

The Jongular (who's name I forget): That probably says most of what needs to be said about him. He felt like an adjunct character in the first book, and he doesn't seem to be much more here.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm fairly new to PVB, having just begun the Warded Man series. While the first book had its flaws (again, mostly with characters), the sequel fails in pretty much every way its predecessor succeeded. Strap in folks, this is gonna be a long review.


First, the atmosphere of this book is entirely different than that of the Warded Man. The first book took place in a world of fear and tension, where demons were thought to be immortal and the slightest hole in your wardnet spelt a grisly end. I will say that Brett did an AMAZING job of building up the corelings in the first book, and you could feel a genuine fear for the main characters with every sunset.

In this book, the corelings are little more than rabid chihuahuas. At their most intimidating, I couldn't picture them as being anything scarier than those leering trees in Snow White. I recall Arlen having a devil of a time killing his first demon, even when he got a warded weapon. Here, the task poses no problem for an octogenarian with the cane kicked out from under him.

Truth be told, the total castration of the demon race didn't bother me nearly so much as the book's main flaw: its characters.

Creating likeable characters was a bit of a challenge for PVB in the first book as well, his most obvious failure being the inclusion of Leesha (Look, say what you want but she was NEVER anything more than a Mary Sue). Fortunately, Leesha's chapters in the Warded Man were easy to skip and far between.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying the first book in this series The Warded Man is easily one of my favorite books of all time. Brett did a brilliant job setting up a world (possibly in our future) where the total human population had been reduced from billions at its peak to a few hundred thousand struggling to survive. In this world, indestructible demons ruled the night and people huddled behind fences that were tested every time the sun went down and where the slighted mistake in setting them up meant that everyone inside would die a violent death. At the end of the first book, the discovery of the combat wards allowed the humans to start to fight back and removed "indestructible" from the demon description. They were still at least the equivalent of a horde of hungry grizzly bears though -- a Krasian in his prime who had trained his entire life should be able to defeat it 3 times out of 4, but they were hardly a push over.

By the end of the second book though, Brett had reduced the demons a little more than a nuisance. The point in the book where he completely lost my support was when Arlen went to the village and told the elders that if they did not take up a spear and go demon hunting he would leave them. So this 80 yr old granny who walks with a cane grabs a spear and goes out and kills a wood demon. Really? Do you think a untrained senior citizen could kill a bear with nothing but a sharp spear and a Taser?

Other reviewers have complained about all the time spent on the Jardir/Krasian back story. Personally I was fine with Brett giving more depth to the culture.
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