Reading Level: Adult
Size: 480 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Demon Cycle
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the first book in The Demon Cycle by Brett. The series is supposed to have five books; the third will be titled The Daylight Wars and is scheduled for a Feb 2013 release. The fourth and fifth books are tentatively titled The Forest Fortress and The Core. I really enjoyed this book it has excellent world building, characters that are easy to engage with and an epic story.
I listened to this on audiobook and I really enjoyed it. The narrator did an excellent job of distinguishing between character voices and capturing the characters’ personalities.
This follows the story of Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer. Arlen leaves his small village to learn how to be a messenger and ends up apprenticing as a warder. Leesha dodges marrying the town bully and apprentices as a healer. Rojer, loses his parents but becomes a jongleur. They all live in a world where the night is plagued by demons known as Corelings.
This is a very well done fantasy. There are a lot of characters but they are presented in such a way that they are easy to keep track of and relate to. The world is well done and creative. The characters are likable and easy to engage with. This is one of the few epic fantasies that has an engaging female lead that offsets the male leads very nicely.
Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer have both dark and light aspects to their characters, but unlike some fantasies they are clearly the good characters in this story.
The Corelings are clearly the evil that needs to be vanquished in this world. In the beginning of the story they are kind of just a massive evil that everyone fears. As the story continues though we are slowly starting to learn that there is more to the Corelings than we first knew.
The story does move slowly but the characters are well done and easy to engage with. I love the magic of warding and enjoyed this detailed world plagued by demons. The story covers a broad span of time and switches POV between the three main characters. The POVs worked perfectly for this story.
The book is very easy to read and very well written. I can’t wait to see what future books in this series hold.
The only thing that really bothered me about this book is the notion that no one had ever thought to ward weapons or themselves before Arlen thought of it. Right from the first section where they are talking about ward posts I wondered why no one wore warded jewelry or wrote wards on themselves…but I guess if you can get past that point you’ll really enjoy this story.
Overall an excellent epic fantasy read. If you enjoy Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, or Michael Sullivan I think you will enjoy this book as well. The characters are easy to engage with and there are both strong female and male characters. The story is violent but not as bleak as Brent Week’s Night Angel series for example. The world is well done and intriguing. Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy.