Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Size: 656 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Demon Cycle
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
This is the third book in the Demon Cycle by Brett. The fourth book will be titled, The Skull Throne, and is scheduled for a 2014 release. I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for the chance to review this book. Like the previous book, this book was incredibly slow moving until the last 100 pages or so. There is a lot that I didn’t really enjoy about this book.
The story starts out following Arlen and Renna as they journey back to Cutter’s Hollow. Then it flashes back to Inevera’s past. From then on we bounce between Inevera’s past and present; while occasionally hearing from Arlen or Leesha in the present.
The story about Inevera’s past recounts a lot of events we have already been present for, but this time we see them from Inevera’s perspective. These parts are lengthy…but still seem rushed…like Brett is trying to give a quick outline of a whole series full of events from Inevera’s perspective. The book would have been better without this back story…it just bogged things down so much.
Much of the book is spent basically getting everyone back to Cutter’s Hollow. We hear from Arlen and Renna as they travel back. We hear from Leesha and Rojur as they travel back from Jardir’s conquered city. Then we spend a ton of time listening as Cutter’s Hollow is expanded and fortified.
Additionally we visit Jardir’s new capital and listen as he deals with bickering between his sons and people, and as he tries to make plans to conquer the rest of the Northern lands. Mostly it’s fairly boring and slow moving stuff.
Having Arlen and Renna proclaim their love for each other was cute in the first couple chapters. Having them repeat “Love you Arlen”, “love you Renna” continuously is just silly and obnoxious. Seriously it felt like half of these two characters’ dialogue through the entire book was “Love you Arlen” “Love you Renna”. Ugh…it got to be too much.
There is also way too much in here about Leesha’s love life and her struggle to find men to have sex with. Also I am not impressed with how our chosen few characters keep gaining more and more unbelievable powers (Arlen, Reena, Rojur). Arlen, Reena, and Rojur are gaining seriously crazy powers at a very rapid rate.
Additionally new types of demons pop up randomly with no previous explanation or structure. It’s like “Oh look there is lightening…hey let’s make that a lightning demon”…it’s never even been mentioned before but they must exist!…so whatever.
As with the previous book the last part of this book features a huge epic battle with mind demons and mimics. This part is very engaging. There are a couple of surprises right at the end that will really grab and engage the reader.
Just be warned this story ends on an absolutely horrible cliffhanger. After spending forever wading through this excruciatingly slow story and finally getting to the good part at the end….then to be left how Brett left his readers….well…it really pissed me off. I hate it when authors depend on cliffhangers to engage their readers. They should really just work on making the story tighter and more engaging.
Overall not my favorite installment in this series. I am so sick of unnecessary flashbacks into random characters’ pasts. It just drags out the story forever. The characters that were so heartfelt and complex in earlier installments are turning into superpowered caricatures of themselves. The pace is excruciatingly slow…after nearly 700 pages we aren’t all that much further along in the story than we were in The Desert Spear. Then there is the horrible cliffhanger that the book ends up. Seriously, I am done with this series. Just absolutely done.
Check out Brandon Sanderson’s books, Robert Jordan, Brent Weeks, or Michale J. Sullivan for excellent epic fantasy that is entertaining and actually goes somewhere. I would personally skip this series…it started out pretty good…but has just degraded from the first book on.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 150+ Reading Challenge