The Desert Spear is Peter Brett’s followup to The Painted Man. Folks, there’s no sophomore jinx here of any kind. In fact, I find The Desert Spear to be even more awesome than The Painted Man in every way possible. Characters feel much more fleshed out and the story feels much more engaging, although this could be debatable for some. Here, we learn a lot more about our main characters of Jardir, Arlen, Leesha and Rojer. Because I have read and enjoyed The Painted Man, I already knew that I would continue with the series and thus, I read The Desert Spear without reading any prior notes or plot summary of any kind. Therefore, I was surprised that the book put so much focus on Jardir of Krasia in the beginning of the book (about the first 20% of the book). This is excellent because I hate when books or movies leave out details of the supposed main villain to only have him or her killed in the end by the good guys. By spending time with Jardir, you learn of his past and how he became the Shar’Dama Ka. You literally go to the very beginning of his young life to learn of his trials and tribulations. How did he come to power? Is he really all that powerful? Who is Inevera? Why did he betray Arlen? Can he really be considered evil even if his intentions are good? With The Desert Spear, focus is once again on Arlen Bales, one of the so called “Deliverer” come again. We learned of his sacrifice in the previous book but there’s just something that I don’t like about his character. He just seems the same throughout the book. Yes, he can kick demon ass pretty good. Yes, we know he walks the path he walks now based on the choices he alone had made and now is forced to live with it. Yes, he doesn’t want to be labeled as the Deliverer and only wants humankind to make their own choices of standing together to drive the demons away by providing them with warded weapons. But somehow, he just doesn’t seem as exciting as I thought he would be. In fact, I found myself wanting to read more about Jardir than The Painted Man himself. While Leesha and Rojer remains pretty much unchanged from the previous book, I expected one of the more important characters to be more refined.We also learn that Renna Tanne plays an important role in Arlen’s life.
In the previous book, we learned quite a lot about the demons. However, we never really had a “main” demon boss of some sort. While this definitely is OK, I wanted the demons to have some sort of leader to lead the destruction against humankind. With The Desert Spear, that wish sorta got fulfilled with the mimic and mind demon. I thought that the story progressed at a steady rate although it might be considered a little too slow by some. Initially, this series was suppose to be a trilogy. However, I have recently learned that the author now plans for the series to be five books instead of three. The Desert Spear actually provided for some good humor, especially when the Krasians meet with Leesha and the people from Deliverer’s Hallow.
Upon conclusion of The Desert Spear, I felt much more inclined and excited for the next book in the series. This wasn’t my exact feeling after reading The Painted Man and this goes to show how awesome a job the author did with this one. It felt as if a big weight has been lifted off the shoulders of the author from having to introduce us to the main characters and can finally begin the real story.
I was a bit disappointed when I learned that this initial three book series will now turn into five. Now, I understand the author wants to extend the story and whatnot but as a reader, I sometimes want closure as well. After reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (still on-going), I feel so tired. The more a author gets to write, the higher the chance that they might just write about nothing at all and fill the book with pointless fillers. Also, it doesn’t help the fact that each new book doesn’t get released until after 2-3 years of the previous one.