The Desert Spear

The Desert Spear

Book - 2010
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The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that arise as the sun sets, preying upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind ancient and half-forgotten symbols of power. These wards alone can keep the demons at bay, but legends tell of a Deliverer: a general-some would say prophet-who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. Those times, if they ever existed, are long past. The demons are back, and the return of the Deliverer is just another myth . . . or is it?

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons-a spear and a crown-that give credence to his claim. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind-whether they like it or not.

    But the northerners claim their own Deliverer. His name was Arlen, but all know him now as the Warded Man: a dark, forbidding figure whose skin is tattooed with wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. The Warded Man denies that he is the Deliverer, but his actions speak louder than words, for he teaches men and women to face their fears and stand fast against the creatures that have tormented them for centuries.
 
Once the Shar'Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends, brothers in arms. Now they are fierce adversaries. Caught between them are Renna, a young woman pushed to the edge of human endurance; Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons-or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another.  

    Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are blissfully unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent-and deadly-than any that have come before.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey-Ballantine Books, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345503817
Branch Call Number: FAN Bret
Characteristics: 579p

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s
suezee
Sep 02, 2017

Good but overly long detailed back story of Jardir's early brutal training as a warrior. I still do not like him. The Krasians are a brutal sadistic society that treats women as property or sex slaves and considers all other cultures beneath them. Very much like old Jihadist Muslim cultures. After Leesha, Rojer. Wanda and the Cutter "visit" them and Jardir is smitten with Leesha, Jardir makes some attempt to change the culture but is met with resistance. Finally the book returns to Arlen, who after soaking up magic from killed demons finds he can dematerialize his body and he fears he is becoming a demon. He rescues his childhood friend Renna from a brutal death by demon in the town square. This 2nd culture is similar to feudal Middle ages Western culture which is more varied and a bit more humane on the whole. However, women here are still 2nd class, cannot hold any title, and are expected to marry as soon as old enough to bear children. A war between the two cultures is eminent as Jardir continues his northward march to unite all under his banner. Abrupt ending where Arlen follows the mind demon down into the Core and is able to read his mind. Renna saves him by calling him back and he promises to stay with her forever.

s
ShamaBole
Jul 31, 2017

Thoroughly unpleasant but reflective of life: rape, religion and other atrocities. Bit irritating that all the female characters eventually end up focused on a man rather than their own skills and strengths.

s
Swifield
Jan 13, 2015

I enjoyed this book alot. i was disappointed at how it ended so abruptly not realizing that there was another book following lol. I definitely look forward to reading the Daylight War.

k
kmuir10
Aug 27, 2013

If you don't mind reading through more origin stories, this book is just as good as the first. I for one, do mind, so it falls a bit short for me. Still very good.

unbalancedbutfair Jan 06, 2013

Fascinating book. I preferred this book to the warded man. If all you want is an exciting book with humans vs "corelings" you'll enjoy it. But it is more than that. It is an excellent presentation of culture and character clash. He weaves together multiple times in telling the story (something he did not really do in the warded man) so there are flashbacks, overlaps, and new material all coming together to advance the plot and the characters seamlessly. I normally dislike that method of storytelling, but here it is done very well. The most striking thing to me is how well he writes different cultures, and the variations within those cultures. Parallels, areas of mutual incomprehension, misunderstandings, complexity and a range of members in both cultures ranging from the disaffected to the fundamentalist. All done in a very believable manner without ever stagnating the story or degrading the people and cultures. And all while entertaining the questions of destiny vs history with a dash of religion thrown in for complexity and realism's sake. Well worth your time.

m
mikerogersca
Jun 02, 2011

Excellent read as well, although I preferred the first. This is also available in paperback.

v
Vw1girl
Feb 08, 2011

This book was even better than the first one (and the warded man was great). Great how it expanded on the story of each of the characters.

c
Crucifix
May 30, 2010

very nice book

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gfindling
Oct 10, 2017

gfindling thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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