I was gifted The Warded Man by a friend several years ago. That book, the first in the five book Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, sent me on a journey I wasn’t ready for. I’ve written of the book before, so I won’t expand on it here. In short, I consider it one of the finest modern examples of heroic fantasy.
The Daylight War, book 3 in the series, has solidified my already stellar opinion of Brett’s work. There’s a lot of cool things happening in this story, and I’d like to highlight a few of them.
First, for an epic fantasy, The Daylight War is remarkably personal and tight knit. Although Brett liberally returns us to one character’s backstory, the heart of this story takes place in less than a month. It’s more interested in the interplay between a handful of characters than in the events of the world beyond. The story is relentlessly character focused, and the payoff is well worth it. The novel has all the world-ending stakes and epic battles one would want, but in one tightly focused bundle. I loved it.
Second, Brett’s character work continues to be outstanding. In The Warded Man I loved Arlen’s character development. The Desert Spear did the same for Jardir, and The Daylight War accomplishes the feat again with Inevera. Now I’m wondering who I’m going to fall in love with in book 4.
I think that Jardir has become one of the most interesting characters I’ve read lately. He’s capable of great cruelty, but watching his development makes him eminently sympathetic. I’m very eager to see what comes of him following the dramatic events of this story.
When I finished this book, I sat back and said, “Now that’s why I read fantasy.”