The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – Review [Lord of the Night]
Lord of the Night reviews the excellent third book in Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series, The Daylight War.
“A fantastic continuation of a series that will no doubt one day stand among giants of fantasy such as A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings.” – The Founding Fields
It’s been a long wait for fans like me but finally the long-awaited third Demon Cycle novel, The Daylight War, has arrived and as we’ve come to expect from Peter V. Brett it’s a brilliant book filled with strong and relatable characters, imaginative and visually beautiful action scenes and the deep setting of world and culture that Brett does very well.
The Daylight War has begun. The Krasian army marches towards their goal of unity, to unite all under the law of Everam and to forge an army that will destroy the darkness. But standing against them is The Painted Man and the people of Cutter’s Hollow, determined to stop the Krasian advance and protect the freedom that they all hold so dearly. But Waning is coming, and now that humanity for the first time in an age is fighting back against the demons of the Core, the Core has taken notice. When the Waning Nights come, the demons will rise in force, and humanity must be ready or Waning Night will be the last night that any human will ever see.
The story that TDW continues is nothing short of excellent. Picking up right where The Desert Spear left off Brett moves the story along, furthering the Northern-Krasian conflict while at the same time introducing the real enemies in the Core that will no doubt play a big role in what is to come. The character plots continue as well and many take unexpected turns, both the stories of the Hollowers and the Krasians are equally compelling but for different reasons and as I read further and further into the storyline many new elements were introduced, some that played their role in the book and some that have yet to come into play. Brett does a masterful job of furthering his story and at the same time building towards the final books.
The characters are strong and very very readable. The Painted Man and the Hollowers are a very mixed group, each one of them vastly different from the others and all of them with stories that are being told over the course of the entire series. And the Krasians while not being as varied, on purpose however, are just as compelling for the changes that come to many in the book and the building conflict between both sets of characters. Brett really makes his characters feel like real and understandable people, people who believe in what they are fighting for and people who have their own feelings, wants, fears, etc. One thing that I really enjoyed was that I could root for either side, both sets of characters feel strong and likeable with their own positives and negatives, neither side is perfect and that’s the way it should be.
The action is as vivid as the rest of the series and is one of the reasons I do love reading the books, alongside the characters, story, world and themes. The physical parts of the action are good but it’s the magical side that is truly the most entertaining of all. The powers of Arlen Bales and Ahmann Jardir only get better in the book and both have many new tricks that make their fight scenes not only powerful but as colourful and imaginative as a fireworks display, and with new demon breeds being introduced into the series, TDW does not fall short on it’s battle scenes and each one is just as gripping as the plot twists and character development, and is very nicely coreographed as Brett makes his fighting complicated yet describes it well enough that I never felt confused by what the characters were doing in battle.
The pacing is nicely done. Rather than spend the first third of the novel going back in time as he did with TDS Brett spreads out the flashback chapters across the book, placing them where they are most appropriate, and making sure that there are enough Hollower and Krasian chapters to give both sides equal time in the book, and that they are spaced out enough so that the reader doesn’t feel like their hopping from POV to POV every few pages. The book is immense at 791 pages worth of story and a Krasian lexicon at the end make this a book that you’ll need some time to read, but more than likely you’ll regret not a second of it.
Now for my favourite quote, this one stands out quite a bit I think,
“Very well, Servant of Nie. Let us finish it.”
Now the ending is a cliffhangar. But a real cliffhangar, the kind that literally just stops and you find yourself asking “what the hell happens next?!” Some won’t like it and I understand their point, but I really enjoyed the final scene as it was amazing and finally made me decide which Deliverer I wanted to support. Brett leaves the reader, or at least me, dying to know what will happen next in the series and forces us to wait for the next book. But he also keeps us in the dark about some things that could have occured, one or two events left me wondering if the ending is really as simple as it appears or if something is happening that we won’t understand until book four, tenatively titled The Skull Throne, is released. That makes the ending even better, as it gives the fandom fuel for speculation and theories and crackpot ideas that we’ll be on edge to discover if we’re right or wrong.
For an epic story, a deep and memorable cast of characters and for continuing one of the best new series in fantasy I give The Daylight War a score of 9.5/10. I would recommend this series to any fan of the Fantasy genre, any at all. I meant what I said above, I truly do think that one day The Demon Cycle will be in the same league as A Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings or Sandman. If you haven’t already become a fan, I heartily recommend that you buy The Painted Man and become one immediately. And when you finish The Daylight War you can join the rest of us in waiting for book four, of which i’m already dying of anticipation for.
That’s it for this review. Whatever book I decide to review next will be next. So until next time,
AVE DOMINUS NOX!