The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett
On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.
Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.
The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.
Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.
But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.
Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all–those lurking in the human heart.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It took me a while to get into this book but I think that may have been due to the amount of reading I’ve been doing during lockdown and how quickly I’ve been shifting between books making it difficult to switch storylines and characters.
Once I did make the necessary mental shift this book was excellent. Similar to the second book it looks at the story from both the Krasian and Thesan sides with a detailed look at Inevera’s back story this time. The story also switches between the two sides much more often than the second book which makes it much more readable and far more enjoyable. It also gives the pace of the book an extra shot of urgency.
Apart from Inevera’s story the other major storyline is the huge battle at “Waning”. It’s mainly told from the Hollow’s perspective and the action is expertly described with great detail. It’s a very complex section of the book but the writing style prevents confusion making it exciting and tense.
When I started this series I thought it was a trilogy and I was well into this book before I realised the story is told over 5 books. I couldn’t see how the story was to be drawn to a climax and was relieved that it wasn’t.
There was quite a sudden shift close to the end of this book. It should be jarring but it’s very smart and leaves the reader looking for more. Reminded me of the old black and white Saturday morning shows like “Zorro“ and “The Lone Ranger” that often finished with a classic cliffhanger.
Header image by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels