I’m going to start posting my thoughts of books I’ve read. But first, let me be clear. These posts will not be traditional reviews, because the books I talk about will not be rated. I won’t reveal spoilers either: no, “Oh look, Darth Vader is Luke’s dad” here, folks. I’ll also only write my thoughts about the books I enjoy or admire.
The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett is a massive tome (800 pages) and the third book in a series. Before this, there was The Painted Man (750 pages) and The Desert Spear (780 pages). But don’t let the page counts worry you. The read is easy, clearly written and well crafted, and for me the story is flying by. I became so immersed within the rich world building that includes two opposing cultures (one loosely based on a Western society, the other taken from Middle Eastern cultures) and the characters who tell their stories as they struggle to fight off powerful flesh-eating demons. These demons, coming from a place called the Core (underground), rise after the sun goes down to own the night, returning before dawn. Prompted by Arlen (The ‘Painted Man’ of the Western-type culture), and Jardir (‘The Deliverer’ and of the Middle Eastern-type one), the people of this world now want to get their night back.
They begin to fight the demons instead of cowering from them.
Along with Arlen and Jardir, to help the people’s cause against the demons, there’s protection magic. This magic is created using symbols or ‘wards’ (as they are known in the story) written on the ground/on posts/walls etc to create a magical shield around homes and buildings. The fighting wards were lost long ago after the last great demon war. Now they are being discovered again. I won’t go into detail about this as that will go into spoiler territory.
I have to admit, my favourite character is Rojer. For me, when he’s on the pages they light up, he has that much presence and interest. We’ve seen him go from a frightened little boy (of 4 years old) to a confident, caring young man (18) able to mesmerise/kill demons with the music he plays on his warded fiddle. I loved this take on magic. He also marries outside his culture, to bring a better understanding between the two. But really, all the characters are well drawn, and have their own unique stories to tell. In The Daylight War, we even get to see how those in the opposing culture are also people with their own beliefs and struggles, and that’s what really made this book special for me. The world is rich and the characters are alive. What more could one ask for in a fantasy series?
The next book in the series is The Skull Throne and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.