A Total Inability To Connect

The Desert Spear - Peter V. Brett Some spoilers ahead. My feelings towards The Desert Spear are fairly parallel to those of The Warded man - extremely unique and interesting concept, well crafted (if somewhat limited) world, relatable characters, solid and enjoyable writing, good plot movement, pacing and twists. Downsides being unrealistic uber-horny female characters who spend an unrealistic amount of time thinking of sex, a relatively small area of geographical focus (the world doesn't "feel" large and they only visit a few places), and at times questionable directions.

Despite any flaws it has, The Desert Spear is an interesting, well paced, well written and enthralling piece of literature. Brett's writing style isn't exactly Rothfuss or Lynch in unique and awe-inspiring prose and dialogue, but it's far from garbage and is a very enjoyable and suited the story very well. The characters have enough depth, and much more so in this book than in The Warded Man. You start to see a lot more of the POV of Arlen, and start to understand a bit more of his internal struggles of life choices, protecting loved ones, trying to shield said loved ones from the pain of finding out what he'd done to himself, and then the neverending battle between him, the corelings, Jardir and his own humanity.

The first part of the book spends a lot of time following Jardir, who in The Warded Man appeared only in the form of a borderline-malovelent monarch who betrays and leaves for dead his friend Arlen. Brett does a wonderful job of chronicling his life, what drove him to be the way he is, and highlighting his own struggles to be the man he is supposed to be, the leader, the hero, and his seemingly benevolent quest to unite the north and south in their holy war. The Krasians are a culture that obviously draws heavily from Middle Eastern culture, mixed with a bit of Native American in my opinion. They're bound by a very strict religions and honor code of life, and their males are bred from birth to have expectations and requirements of battlefield presence in order to have any power or get into their heaven. Jardir is bound more than almost anyone by these morals, and many of his decisions stem from his upbringing in this culture, as opposed to actual malevolence.

The rest of the book jumps between POV scenes of Arlen, Leesha, Rojer and back to Jardir, and is well sectioned and free-flowing. The battles range from intense demon struggles to anti-climactic encounters (Jardir's forces in Deliverer's Hollow), but the drama and character struggles are where the book shines.

The audiobook has an excellent narrator in Pete Bradbury, who is easy to understand, has good cadence and speech patterns, and while he doesn't have a plethora of unique voices, he differentiates characters enough to easily understand who is speaking at what time.

All in all, it was a no-brainer to give this book another 5-star rating and to recommend it to almost anyone.