All the main characters are back (at least the ones that are still alive) and Peter V. Brett finally brings his epic story to a conclusion. Sharak Ka is nigh and it is time to find out if humanity has what it takes to survive the threat. Despite the many advances in warding skills and demon fighting techniques that have occurred since the series started, mankind still remains ill prepared for what is coming. The Krasians and Thesans must put aside their differences if they are to survive until dawn. Whether you believe in the Creator, Everam, or neither, it matters not as the demons are ready to swarm and every living person must do their part or be prepared to walk the lonely path.
Peter V. Brett
The events at the end of the Daylight War were destined to have a ripple effect, especially in Krasia, and this entire book is dedicated to that purpose. This means that this book is actually more focused on the daylight war than the last one, despite the respective titles. For many readers this is a disappointing turn of events as it does put the story arc regarding the Demon War mostly to the side but the significant events that occur with many of the main characters still makes for good story telling. The ending of the last book was a cliff hanger so don't proceed with reading the rest of this review unless you have already finished that one...
Sticking to his successful formula from book two, Peter V. Brett once again elevates some of his existing characters to PoV status right off the bat. This time around it is Inevera and Abban that get the upgrade and the reader experiences some of the key events, both new and old, from their perspectives. When this happened in book two, The Desert Spear, I was slow to embrace the choice but now I have really come to appreciate the manner in which this many layered story is being constructed. Elevating such characters allows for additional perspectives and insights to be offered up on pivotal events and the characters all turn out to be very engaging. Understanding the histories and motives of all of these individuals adds even more anticipation to the inevitable confrontation that must take place between Arlen and Jardir - one that will likely decide the ultimate fate of mankind in the Demon War.
As the book's title implies, book two of the Demon Cycle series focuses a bit more on the people that live in the desert city of Fort Krasia, also known as The Desert Spear. These battle hardened warriors have fought against the demons for hundreds of years and have created a society, and a religion, completely around that endeavor. Ahmann Jardir, the Krasian who we know well from his interactions with Arlen in the first book, is now elevated into a PoV character and his back story is explained in great detail. Context is given to his rapid rise to power among his people as well as the extreme actions that he took in book one where Arlen was concerned.
The Warded Man has all the components that make it a great first book of a Fantasy series. There is a focus on character building, multiple interesting magic systems exist, and the world itself faces a threat that immediately grabs your attention. Things are bleak in this world ruled by fear as every night when the sun falls demons rise from the core to prey upon any human foolish enough to be caught outside of their protective wards. The reader is slowly exposed to this ravaged world through the progression of three different story lines, each one detailing the events that shape the lives of one of the main characters. All of the characters start young and naive until the demons force them to each make a fateful decision that will shape the entirety of their remaining existence.