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The Demon Cycle #3

The Daylight War

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2013)
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.

639 pages, Hardcover

First published February 12, 2013

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About the author

Peter V. Brett

90 books11.7k followers
Peter V. Brett is the internationally bestselling author of the Demon Cycle series, which has sold over four million copies in 27 languages worldwide. Novels include The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core. Other works include the Red Sonja: Unchained graphic novel and the Demon Cycle novellas The Great Bazaar, Brayan's Gold, Messenger's Legacy, and Barren. The Desert Prince, the first installment of his Nightfall Saga, published in August 2021. The sequel, The Hidden Queen, is due early 2024. He lives in Brooklyn.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PVBrett
Instagram: https://instagram.com/pvbrett/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PVBrett/
TikTok: @PVBrett

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,487 reviews
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51k followers
August 17, 2022
The story changes focus but continues to be strong. I'm hooked on these books. They're the fun, exciting, imaginative fantasy I used to love way back in the 80s, but written for the new milenium with all the additional sharpness and insights that entails.

Brett combines a wonderful idea - the particular combination of 'bad guys' and magic that drives the series - with great characterisation across a broad cast.

To deliver literary punches, to write scenes where we care who lives and who dies, takes time. Time to wind up for the blow. Time to put lives behind those name-tags, time to make the solutions to problems meaningful rather than arbitrary. Fortunately it's time well spent. I found the Inervera back-story absorbing both in its own right and for the second perspective it offered on events in Desert Spear. I am not a person who believes there's a 'now' in storyland and that unless we're moving the plot forward in the 'now' then nothing is happening. If the story of Inervera's initiation into the disciplines of her craft is well told (and it was) that's as interesting to me as the 'now' at Cutters' Hollow and the coming attacks. I don't see one as more valid and important as the other.

It is true that the timeline doesn't advance a great many days past the point reached in Desert Spear. However an enormous amount is learned in that space of days, a hell of a lot of stuff blows up, ichor and blood splatter the page, and a good time is had by all... kinda. Well, by this reader at the very least.


Insert: Having had a chance to see reaction to this book over the past 6 months I have this to add. I've seen quite a few negative reactions to The Daylight War on forums/blogs. This seems to be part of how stuff works. By the time a series is getting established it's often only the people who are upset by the turn of events who bother to register their opinions. I could say the same about George Martin's A Dance With Dragons for example - but both The Daylight War and A Dance With Dragons have thousands of ratings on Goodreads and average scores of 4.20 and 4.21 respectively... so it seems that the bulk of readers are enjoying them a lot and not saying much!

For me these were three quite different books, and that can always cause problems in terms of reader expectations.

The Warded Man: A book of discovery - new world, new enemies, new magic, new characters.

The Desert Spear: Exploring a new point of view and setting up the human vs human conflict.

The Daylight War: Really focused on the characters. One might call it soap opera - but that's not a bad thing if it means putting characters we love through their paces - exploring the relationships, putting them under stress and seeing what happened.


So, yes, The Daylight War delivered like a... deliverer. I got my new information, I got my development of the demon world and the daylight world. I got my fix of the main cast and a collection of new faces. I got my mass battles, touching moments, tension, fun... I'm a happy camper. Just need the next book now.

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Profile Image for Petrik.
673 reviews42.7k followers
March 11, 2021
The Daylight War is a good addition to the Demon Cycle series but in my opinion, it’s also the weakest entry so far.

To anyone who disliked the second book of the series, let me tell you that this is not where it gets better, at least not for me. The Daylight War, the third book out of five in the Demon Cycle series is what I would say inflicted with the infamous middle book syndrome, especially in terms of plot. Let’s digest how much time passed here compared to the previous books. The first book, even though it’s highly character driven, still managed to spin their tales for twenty years, this, of course, can only be done once because it was a coming of age tale for Arlen, Rojer, and Leesha. The second book lasted more or less nine months excluding Jardir’s flashback chapters. In the case of this book, there’s only one-month progression in the main story. That said, despite how small the plot progression is, I enjoyed reading the characterizations of some the characters, Rojer and Abban, in particular, were my favorites in this book. The countdown to the upcoming arrival of the mind demon made the book compelling to read and did it deliver? I’d say so. The last 25% of the book, although a bit anti-climactic, was still really well written and I found that it was easily the best part of the book, together with Rojer’s Song of Waning scenes.

Picture: Rojer playing the Song of Waning by Dominik Broniek

Brett did a lot of things right, the world-building remained great and there’s no doubt that Brett is a great writer. However, I can’t bring myself to agree with a lot of his storytelling direction in this book. This book could’ve been brilliant, but sadly at the same time, he also did a lot of things wrong, at least for me it is.

I asked my good friend, Eon—whose taste in books aligned with me and loved this series so far despite all the infuriating stuff—on whether it’s okay to skip Inevera’s flashback or not because I was so bored reading it; he said go for it because it doesn’t provide anything to the main plot. I didn’t follow that advice; I am not a wise man. I have an advice for all future readers of this book, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but really, skip all Inevera’s flashbacks chapters; I just saved you 150 pages of pointless stuff. The only reasons you should read her flashback chapters are:

-You absolutely love and want to know more about Inevera, the purpose of her POV is to flesh out her character, that’s it. Whether you read her flashbacks or not, you won’t miss anything in the main storyline. Also, in my opinion, her characterization only made her characters worsen in worked better as this mysterious character.

-You want to see Jardir’s flashback events from her perspective.

-You want to know even more about the city of Krasia’s culture, which I imagine you should have enough by now. It was already explored in detail through Jardir’s flashback chapters in The Desert Spear after all.

I am one of those who actually enjoyed reading Jardir’s flashback chapters in The Desert Spear, the fact that he became so crucial to the story made it even more worthwhile even when I still think it was too long. In the case of Inevera, after her flashback chapters were finished, her past doesn’t really have any value to add to the story. I don’t mind a coming of age stories and flashback chapters throughout the entire series if it’s actually important to the main story. A lot of books followed this storytelling direction but a coming of age tale for a minor character? It was unnecessary, that’s all. All it did was made the book that already felt long became even longer than it should be. These flashback chapters belong in a novella instead of the main novels.

Brett also keeps on destroying my love for the female characters by making them infuriating with each new book in the series. I loved Leesha in the first book, but now her character has become shallow, selfish, and self-righteous; she spent almost the entirety of the book thinking which man to fuck but angered when all other man fucked other girls other than her. I loved Renna in the second book; I totally love her character development there. Here, she became this extremely clingy girlfriend who gets jealous with every single thing Arlen did. I also can’t stand the romance between Arlen and Renna, it was extremely corny. The fact that the phrase “Love you Arlen Bales” were repeated even more than the word “succor” infuriated me to no end. It is easily the worse romance section I’ve ever read in any adult fantasy books and don’t even get me started on the excessive amount of unnecessary sex scenes that would fit this book into the erotica fantasy genre.

I may sound really negative in my review, despite all my problems with it, I actually still enjoyed reading the book. Plus, after that cliffhanger ending, there’s no way I’m not continuing this series. Up until now, the second and the third book fail to rise up to the greatness that the first book delivered. There are only two books left, I’m still hopeful to see if it will ever be that good again. This is still a good book, even with all my cons with it; I still would give the book a 3.5 or 4 out of 5 stars IF I skipped all Inevera’s flashback chapters.

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Clinton.
151 reviews20 followers
February 17, 2013
Series so far: 4
The Daylight War Is a Sex Filled Romance Novel Masquerading as the fantasy book you thought you were going to be reading.

Peter V. Brett dropped the ball on this one. The Daylight War is in no way a bad book, it’s just a letdown. It seems that when Peter decided he was going to write a third book, he decided to gather up all the most irritating characters of the past two books and make them main characters. Not only that, he also managed to make some of the previously cool characters annoying and act unlike their past selves. He also made some of the most important characters take a seat, so that the irritating ones could shine in all of their glory.

All of that combined produced one of my main problems with this book, the other was all of the unnecessary backtracking that takes place. Nothing happens in the first 300 to 400 pages of this book because we are stuck in the past reliving everything we have already seen. The backtracking was annoying to the point of me wanting to kick a baby panada. On the flip side it showed us sides of a character that we didn’t know much about. That alone wouldn’t of been a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that the plot barely moves because of it.

Let me tell you about some of the wonderful characters you will have to endure throughout The Daylight War:

Renna- I hate this girl. Yes I said girl, I say this because that’s exactly how she acts when shes not spending her free time acting like a 14 year old demon crack head. Whats a demon crackhead you say? Its somebody who goes around eating demon parts to the point of addiction and then spends its time going off in fit of rage whenever ANYTHING happens. Renna is the worst character in the book/series and I still don’t see the reason why she is featured in it. Im not sure why her and Alren has this disgusting to the point of puking instant love and why they have to mention it in every chapter they are in.

“Love you. ALREN!”

“No, I love YOU RENNA TANNER!!!!”

Who wants to read that cheesy/cornyness?

What makes it worst for me is who would choose her over Leesha?
Since we are talking about Leesha “sigh” I don’t know what to say about her, she just seems become a worst character in each book, making dumber and dumber decisions than the last.

I don’t know whats going on with this series but its disappointing me big time, I really do like the books and the author. Maybe im looking at this too critically but when you have a 700+ page book and the plot barely moves, you have a problem. This books stretches out two weeks by replaying the same events over and over from different povs.

So in the end nothing really happens to move the story forward, the plot only gets moving during the last 200 pages. You don’t really learn a lot you didn’t already know and the best part it ends in a bloody cliffhanger.

Lets not forget the near pornographic amount of sex that takes place. I didn’t realize that I was reading journal of all the characters sexual adventures which is feautred in extreme detail. Im not even sure that the same author who wrote the first two books wrote this one. Sure his name is on the cover but that cant be his writing and story.

Also the biggest problem for me was the fact that Renna didn’t die like I wanted her to. At the the time of this writing Renna is still alive and at large :( Leesha and Arlen still aren’t together :( but those aren’t valid complaints I guess.
But at the end of the day the book was alright, Just not as good as the first two.

Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews347 followers
February 20, 2019
The Daylight War, Book Three of The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett is a fast-paced, action-packed and exhilaratingly detailed novel that will leave readers breathless and in eager anticipation for more.

After finishing this book, all I can say is WOW! Peter V. Brett really knows how to change character perceptions and showcase different facets even after two preceding books. Let’s begin with the part that beguiled me so much, namely characterization. The author fleshes out all characters vividly and makes each of them distinct, beginning from the POV characters all the way down to the minor characters, each of them feels distinctly unique and this is the best part of the story. Beginning from Arlen as he aggressively pursues his own route and now is becoming a darker character and a bit unhinged as well. Renna Tanner is brought into the spotlight due to her own actions and Arlen’s gestures however as a character, I couldn’t connect with her as she seemed off with her thoughts and her actions cause further discord between the people around her.

Rojer who had a reduced role in the preceding title gets a bigger draw and we see what he can accomplish. Leesha also learns about the new headaches of leadership and I felt the author manages to portray her situation a bit better in this volume. Inevera, Jardir and Abban further confound the readers with their machinations and so it is this facet that makes this book bloody terrific. Secondly the author further fleshes out the Krasian culture whilst distinctly drawing some characteristic ties to Islam. Previously the Krasian world was explored from a masculine lens and in this book the same is done from a feminine viewpoint. However the Krasian culture is shown to be no less ruthless or bloodthirsty as we learn about the Dama’tings and their objectives. It’s not shocking to find out the Dama’tings and their underlings have their own games to play and they regard the Krasian men with even more of a rigid mindset than they view their fellow females.

There are characters which (for lack of a better word) are perfect. They’re strong; they can deal with anything, and do absolutely anything. Arlen is especially vexing at times due to that, especially as some of his abilities begin to manifest and gain potency.

An example of this is the Corelings — in the first book, they were invincible, impossibly strong and deadly creatures, by the end of the second book they can pretty much be killed with a look. He does remedy that a bit in this novel, reintroducing the element of fear, even from the “super-powers”.

That imbalance of power can be a bit of a stint when reading Brett’s Demon Cycle. Despite this, it’s enjoyable to follow along their adventure, and his characters are ones that are easy to care about and they’re fun to read.

While choreographic combats between good and evil or men and coreling if you prefer are still present, I think that the real battle now is between the ego, personality, tactic, friendship and resolve defining the two men. The duality between their realities and the way they face the same kind of predicament is the core element driving the whole tale forward and keeping it captivating. Sadly, for both of them, the point of view they deserve is seldom used.

Warding is now a natural element of the world Brett created. With the insights from the princes, even the corelings don't sound so much out of this world. The variety of drones now found in the book is testament enough of the author's work on his particular species of demon.

I can say with complete confidence that Brett has outdone himself, and this latest instalment surpasses The Desert Spear, and is perhaps even better than The Warded Man.
Profile Image for Brent Weeks.
Author 60 books21.4k followers
March 7, 2013
Peter V. Brett's best book yet. Brett handles the expansive scope of one of this era's biggest epic fantasies with considerable skill. Highly enjoyable.
[Two disclaimers: This review refers to an ARC version, which means I got it for free. It also means the copy I read may contain errors the final, printed book does not. Also, importantly, I count Peter Brett a friend. I will, however, give a forthright, dispassionate review. Peter’s career isn’t at a place where an honest critique on a few points will hurt it, and I consider discussing the one of this decade’s foremost fantasies to be a rare opportunity to talk about fantasy in general.]
Maintaining control of a huge cast of characters is something that challenges all epic fantasy writers. The danger of an expansive cast is that rather than each new character bringing new and necessary flavor to the plot, instead, the whole thing becomes a tasteless mush, with each seeming like every other. Brett's characterization is a consistent strength: his characters stay distinct throughout.
Peter Brett writes an intriguing postmodern epic fantasy. He delights in setting up a character you despise in one book, and then telling their story in the next book from their own point of view. Each time, their actions seem justifiable to them, given their culture and personal history. This can give an odd parallax. If it's been several years since you read the previous novels, you may feel déjà vu as you read the same scene from a different point of view. (It can also be a welcome refresher.) Brett command of this technique has both grown and changed. Inevera’s story is told in significantly more condensed fashion than Jardir’s was. I felt that made it more effective, and found these portions of the book engrossing.
The parallax structure Mr. Brett has chosen has drawbacks. Readers who read mainly for plot have now read some plot points from the Warded Man three times. Readers who read for character may rejoice as they get to see what each person at a momentous event was thinking and feeling, but three times is a lot of repetition for some readers. Brett is clearly aware of this: Inevera's backstory moves much more quickly and takes up fewer pages than Jardir's did in The Desert Spear, but some readers will object to not seeing significant forward progress for a big chunk of the book.
A huge problem for all series is how to handle each volume and the overarching story at the same time. Some authors make each book stand alone, which is a fine structure. The tradeoff is that you can't tell a complicated overarching story. Consider how lots of detective novels work: incremental changes to the detective's life, but not too much concern for backstory, maybe by book 12 he's quit drinking, and if he runs across Mr. Carbonacci who he crossed in book 3, he mentions they hate each other from way back. (But the reader isn’t expected to remember the exact details of that dispute in order to understand their current conflict.)
If you don't choose that thin overarching structure, you must instead have big repeat sections of "What's Gone Before" in every novel (think of Ann McCaffrey's Pern books)--or five pages of action followed by ten of refresher at the beginning. It often gets quite cumbersome. “Gee, Tom, how did we get here?” “Well, Joe, as you know, it started when we…” Ugh.
Another approach to a series, which works if the plots are more complex, is to not repeat much plot summary at all. (Obviously, there are permutations and balances between approaches.) If this approach is taken, it means necessarily that the Big Conflict of the overarching story is introduced in book 1, but it can't be resolved in book 1. If you manage to destroy the One Ring in The Fellowship of the Ring, what are the next two books going to cover? Numerous modern epic fantasy writers have made a different compromise: to have each volume be about smaller problems that are (one hopes!) connected directly to the overarching story problem. If you can't remember what happened in the last book, tough. You can re-read or you can read summaries on Wikipedia.
Taking this approach is directly related, though, to how readers experience the ending of a book. (I will attempt to discuss this without spoilers.) Here, my opinion of The Daylight War differs from many readers'. A common complaint is that the ending is a cliffhanger. (When his book tour brought him through my city, I told Peter he should have known better than to put a literal cliff in the final scene.) Peter Brett has announced from the beginning that the Demon Cycle will be five books and a stand-alone novel set in the same world.
The overarching story of the Demon Cycle is that demons are intent on destroying humanity. The question is: Can humans fight them off, or not? You KNOW it's going to take five books to answer this. So Brett makes it clear that this particular volume is about another, smaller, but related question: Can humans make it through this month's new moon, when demons are at their most powerful? THAT question is answered, for both those in the north and those in the south. Does this book--within the constraints of being a non-final volume of a continuing series--tell a complete narrative? Yes.
And yet it has frequently been accused of ending on "a cliffhanger."
The problem with the term "cliffhanger" is that it can refer to two things: a story that offers no resolution at all, demanding that you buy the next volume; and a story like this, that leaves you with big questions. For the first, think of a book in which the bad guy shoots at the unarmed good guy and... The End. You don't see whether he hits, you don’t know anything. A book like that, the book that offers no resolution, is a cheat. The Daylight War isn’t a cheat. It does tell a full story, and it tells the whole story that it said it was going to tell you. At least four times, and probably more like six or seven, the reader’s attention is pointed to the problem of this month’s new moon. Can we make it through this? What Brett does instead is, indeed, something I’ve done in my own series. (Not to make this review at all about my own work, except to say I understand the machinery working behind the scenes.) You end this book’s conflict, and then introduce a new conflict related to the overall conflict before the book ends. Or, ideally, you use how this book’s conflict was resolved to set up new conflict for the next book--both related to the series conflict, and hopefully, making it worse.
Conflating The Daylight War's teaser ending with that other definition of cliffhanger isn't fair.
Now, having defended the ending, let me critique it a bit.
Functionally, I see why Brett chose to bring the characters together as he did at the end. (Speaking vaguely to avoid spoilers.) This ending helps to stitch what might feel like disparate plots together into one volume. However, the style of those last chapters seemed rushed. Momentous decisions were made quickly. (Those decisions were consistent with the characters as presented thus far, but they happen very quickly, with little discussion of the repercussions that all of society would feel--which is not an approach we've come to associate with Peter Brett.) I would have simply ended the book somewhat earlier, with the letter being delivered and its contents acknowledged, and the challenged character saying, "Hell yes, it's on." If the book ended there, I don't think Brett would have been accused of the cliffhanger. To put on my marketing hat, were I Brett, I would then have posted the "cliffhanger" scene on my website as a teaser for the next book--but that is neither here nor there.
So I've called this Brett's best book, but I'm giving it 4.5 stars while I gave The Warded Man/The Painted Man 5 stars. Why? Because these are very different kinds of books. The Warded Man was excellent and stood out from its peers partly because of the novelty of the premise. Bad guys who just rise out of the ground, rather than invading from the north? That you can't stop, period? That give legitimate reason to fear the dark? That's very cool. I also enjoyed The Warded Man’s tight, tight thematic focus on fear. The Daylight War attempts a much more difficult challenge. It's a bigger, more challenging book to write. In truth, I find it difficult to confidently assert a star-rating for a middle book in a series. I haven’t seen the whole tapestry yet, so it’s impossible to tell if niggling little sidebars are tangents, or whether every word is necessary for the totality.
In this book, Peter Brett steps fully into Tolkien-Jordan-Martin arena. Stepping onto that stage invites all the fierce judgments of competing with the best. I, for one, wish Peter V. Brett the best, and will await the next volume of the Demon Cycle with great anticipation.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,919 reviews10.6k followers
March 2, 2013
The corelings will rise en masse under the new moon and Arlen and company only have a month to prepare for it. Can they survive the month and the Krasians that draw near Deliverer's Hollow?

After three years of waiting, the third book in the Demon Cycle is upon us. Was it worth the wait?

Meh. I don't know if it's because I've just devoured five George R.R. Martin books in record time or because three years have passed since I read the Desert Spear but The Daylight War didn't blow my doors off the way I thought it would. It wasn't bad but I guess was expecting a whole lot more. Maybe it's just that the newness has worn off but it felt like cotton candy compared to A Song of Ice and Fire.

Much like the Desert Spear, about half of the book is a long flashback involving a secondary character, in this case, Jardir's first wife, Inevera. Inevera's tale is an interesting one of scheming and betrayal.

Unfortunately, it is by far the most interesting part of the book, way more engaging than the main story in my opinion. The way things are going, I'm expecting the next book to have an extended sequence from a demon's point of view.

Worse, both Arlen and Leesha were really getting on my nerves for most of the book. Arlen is now ridiculously powerful and also kind of annoying with his inspirational speeches and modesty. Arlen's relationship with Renna doesn't seem even slightly real to me and feels like a stalling tactic until he inevitably ends up with Leesha. And Leesha is just a mess. She's 28 years old and a healer so she likely knows how babies are made and therefore shouldn't be the least bit surprised when it turns out she's pregnant with Jardir's baby after they've spent quite a bit of time going at it like particularly randy rabbits on a Spring Break field trip to the Viagra factory. Rojer is about the only character I still really like. In fact, his relationship with his two wives is my favorite part of the book with all the maneuvering by various Krasians a close second.

For most of the book, there's too much talking and preparing and not enough payoff. The fights with corelings were good but nothing revolutionary. The last fifty or so pages seemed rushed, however, and end in a cliffhanger. We've been waiting a long time for Arlen and Jardir to square off and we're denied any sort resolution. What we got was good but making us wait untold years before we find out how the fight ends is kind of a cheap shot.

I guess this all sounds kind of harsh. I did like the book overall. Three stars and I'll likely be picking up the next one.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,699 followers
September 26, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

***Spoilers from the previous books***

Despite liking THE DAYLIGHT WAY, generally speaking, I can't deny my overall impression is that the series has been poorly planned.

The first book was excellent, the second book spent an entire third of its content giving background on a new POV, and this third book reiterated half of that information, giving us New POV’s wife’s perspective on a lot of the same background.

It would have been much more efficient to introduce Jardir, Inevera, and Abban as new POVs at the same time in the second installment, rather than rehashing old news in the third with the addition of Inevera as a main character, but . . . poorly planned.

Not only that, but the new understanding gained from being privy to Inevera's inner thoughts downgraded her from a scheming, manipulative female you loved to hate to a misunderstood woman who's just doing the best she can to support her husband whom she dearly loves.

Blah, frickin’, blah.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sympathetic villains--it always makes you feel more when you understand a character's motivations, but this went far beyond that (to the point that she doesn't feel villainous anymore. At all).

And that's just boring.

On a totally random note, I can't decide which is worse: being driven crazy b/c the character name “Leesha Paper” reminded me of something I couldn't put my finger on, or finally figuring it out and having “Puff the Magic Dragon” stuck in my head. <------boooooo.

ALSO, I'm annoyed that Brett never got to whatever the point is concerning Leesha’s constant headaches. I refuse to believe she's tormented by them b/c the author suffers from migraines himself and is projecting, so what's the deal? Can she learn to do some kind of creepy mind magic like the demon princelings and the headaches are a symptom? Does she have a brain tumor and she's going to die?

I don't know. BUT. If you're going to make such a huge friggin’ deal about something, at least get to the point. It's not like you didn't have sufficient time (nearly 700 pages worth) to do it.

I'm still not satisfied with state of Arlen and Renna's relationship either. I mentioned in my review of The Desert Spear that the whole situation felt like a bait and swap. I'd hoped that this book would give more insight into their newfound dedication to each other, but aside from a few situations in which they clearly got each other, there was nothing to significantly diminish the earlier situations where Leesha and Arlen also clearly got each other.

There are people who believe that men marry the first compatible woman they date after they've decided they're ready to get married--that it has nothing to do with finding “the one.” It's just a right place/right time kind of thing.

That's what this feels like, and whether or not there may be some truth in the real life sentiment, in a book, without further explanation, it's lazy.


THE DAYLIGHT WAR was a definite improvement from the previous book, and THE WARDED MAN was a solid enough foundation to keep me interested in this series. Only one more installment before I'm current, so you'll be hearing more from me soon. Hopefully it'll be worth it. In the meantime . . . Recommended.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1) by Peter V. Brett
The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle, #2) by Peter V. Brett
The Skull Throne (Demon Cycle, #4) by Peter V. Brett
Profile Image for Kyle.
168 reviews58 followers
August 10, 2016

What a chore to read!

If you've read the first two books in this series you know that there are two "factions," the Northerners and the Krasians. Each have their own Deliverer and each fighting their own battle against the demons that attack each night. This book bounces back and forth between these two groups as they battle against the night. 

The book just felt like it was way too long. There was never anything that kept me engaged in the story. The climax if you can call it that was a big disappointment. It just didn't deliver. If you'll forgive the pun.

Not holding out much hope for the rest of this series.

For my review of the other books in this series, use the links below:

Book One: The Warded Man
Book Two: The Desert Spear

Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews602 followers
April 29, 2022
As much as I love this book I have to admit that it didn’t live up to the first two books. 80% of the book focused soley on the love life of the main characters that keep increasing with each book. I could have done without Inevera’s backstory, it was totally unnecessary and was too long, it could have been cut done to 30 pages instead of the 100 plus it was. It added nothing to the plot whatsoever. Just 20% of this book is based on the upcoming demon war, I feel as if the title of the book is all wrong because there was no additional daylight war apart from the one in the Desert spear. It ended with the worst cliffhanger ever.

Trigger warnings, this contain lots of explicit sex scenes that was a little too much.

World building and Writing
The author didn’t disappoint here, it improves with each book and I love it. Both the new and initial locations are all perfectly depicted. The writing is great, we have more POVs here than the former books. Still written in third person. Arlen has the least POV in this, his story was told from other’s POV, specifically Renna, since they are inseperable.

Arlen, even though he didn’t have much POV in this book, he was as present as ever. His character development is one of my favourite in the book, it didn’t dwindle or anything. He is back to using his name and has moved on from the incident at the desert.

Leesha, this is not where it gets better, her character gets worse with each book, if you think she was trashy in desert spear, she is worse here. Self righteous and controlling, while being a hyprocrite at the same time. Right now I don’t even care if she dies.

Rojer made me proud in this book, he made really great decisions and even put Leesha in her place when she came at him with her judgey attitude. . Also like that he is still a good friend to Arlen unlike Leesha.

Jardir, I don’t agree with his methods but I must admit that his intentions are admirable, if only he would have done it the way Arlen united the Hollowers and other towns. Love that he is letting women fight and other stuff.

Renna, her POV is intertwined with Arlen but like the way her mind works. I hated the whole insecurity it was unnecessary, can’t really blame her cause half of it is based on the demon magic she is absorbing. Really love her relationship with Arlen, they are the best couple in this book. I like the fact that she is badass and fights demons better than some guys in the book.
So glad that we got more fighting females apart from her and Wonda.The new ones will blow your mind.

Inevera, we get to know why she is the way she is and her reasons. From how she grew up to how she became a dama’ting. I was a bit disappointed, I expected a very dark past but got a little over average backstory.We get to know more about the Krasians which I think would have been added to Jardir’s story instead of seperating it.

This started just where the desert spear ended, the whole book happened just in a few months. Renna and Arlen went back to the hollow to prep for the next mind demon attack. Leesha and Rojer too are on their way to the hollow. Jardir is preping to attack more lands to get armies to fight demons.
Like I mentioned earlier, this book is more about the love life of the characters than demons. There was politics and action too but it was smaller than I would have loved. We get to know more about the demons here, they even get their own POV which I find really creepy.
Profile Image for Mia.
291 reviews38 followers
December 4, 2013
* Please read this only if you've read the first two books in the Demon Cycle series -- The Warded Man and The Desert Spear. Do not deprive yourself of the pleasure of discovering every twist and turn of this splendid tale in the proper order. Further, I'm purposely shying away from providing details to avoid even unintended spoilers.*

A RECAP: The Warded Man introduced us to Arlen of Tibbett's Brook, a boy whose simple village life was upended by a tragic demon attack. His ensuing restlessness led him to leave his village to give vent to his consuming desire for revenge. Leesha and Rojer are also introduced here, two other major characters whose lives, by virtue of circumstances, will intersect with Arlen's.

Ahmann Jardir enters the story landscape in 'The Desert Spear', detailing his rise to the leadership of Krasia, a land where warriors battle demons every night. The Krasian way fed Arlen's desire to resist and retaliate. He fought alongside the Krasians and became spear brothers with Jardir, finding a new home only to later be betrayed and left for dead.

THE STORY: 'Tis the season of reckoning in Thesa. Sides will be chosen, beliefs and loyalties constantly probed. Accounts must be settled for lies, omissions, betrayals, recklessness, oversight. The consequences of choices, old and new, shall be faced. The level of preparedness -- of human and demon alike -- will be tested. Ultimately, all exercise of power comes with some price.

Old legends speak of a Deliverer who shall lead mankind to victory against the corelings. Both Arlen and Jardir have shown uncommon courage and demonstrated newfound powers that leave people awestruck. The Krasians put their faith in Jardir, a warrior like no other who has led them to great heights. The villagers say Arlen is the Deliverer -- the warded man who saved countless lives and taught villages to defend themselves. Arlen does not believe in an anointed Deliverer. He posits that every person must stand up and fight, collectively delivering themselves from the demon blight.

Meanwhile, the corelings have not been idle and their point of view is given equal emphasis. For a long time, the corelings terrorized villages at will but no longer. The hitherto timid and cowering townsfolk have learned to fight back. The rediscovery of magical wards of old threaten their dominance. The corelings realize the need to now mount a concerted and strategic attack before the prey gets any stronger. The coreling elite will take a leadership role and be closer to the frontlines. Viciousness is now enhanced by cunning and purpose.

The battles are joined. There can only be one Deliverer so Arlen and Jardir are destined for a showdown unless they can unite against their common foe and abandon the idea of a Deliverer. United or separate, ready or not, the people of the surface will soon face the full might of the Core. Arlen, Jardir and the other folks have enhanced strength in varying degress and are more oriented to ways of the demons, but so too have the demons studied their prey and elevated their assault. No employment of an easy plot device here. The opposing sides will be well matched and the outcome is far from certain.

The Daylight War spans great distances-- from the Core, to Cutter's Hollow to Krasia and places in between. The tale also has such scope and breadth -- everyone has come a long way. Everything will culminate in a jaw-dropping ending that is ultimately sublime.

THE WOMEN: Aaahh the women! Peter V. Brett pens such fascinating women -- conflicted and resolute, vulnerable but strong, vain yet wise. Flawed and utterly complex, interesting for not being caricatures or stereotypes. They are no saints or whores, not Xena or Wonder Woman, just credible and compelling people-- products of their unique history and experience. They are swayed by prejudices, desires, fears. Mr. Brett painstakingly leads us through seminal moments of these women's lives. No need to take anything on faith, fill in the blanks or suspend disbelief.

If 'The Warded Man' is Arlen's tale and 'The Desert Spear' is Jardir's, the Thesan women are at the forefront of 'The Daylight War' -- Inevera, Renna, Leesha, and other women as well albeit on a smaller scale. The men in this tale are marked by these women who have influenced -- indeed at times controlled -- their decisions consciously or inadvertently, directly or indirectly, rightly or wrongly.

THE ENSEMBLE: Many were introduced in the previous books and, while they may not have top billing, they come fully alive in 'The Daylight War' and assert their integral part in this tale. This is truly an ensemble cast. With just a few lines or even a turn of phrase, Mr. Brett reveals much about them, always painting them with a multi-dimensional brush. Nobody seems superfluous, gratuitous or extraneous. They are not mere chess pieces moved around to further the cause of the leads. The tale would suffer for the omission of any of them.

The only ones I did not find as vibrant are some Krasians such as Jardir's sons. Their appearance is sparse and I still don't have as much of a grasp of their characters as I do the others. But it's entirely possible that Jardir and Inevera are just so vivid that they dull everyone else around them.

THE ACTION: Once again, I am struck by Mr. Brett's deft hand in giving accounts of skirmishes. I found myself grimacing from or parrying imaginary blows leaping out at me from the written page. The action is dynamic, fluid, organic. I can feel the pace quickening, adrenaline spiking, strategic moves, lulls between tussles, ensuing chaos. Best of all is the window to the combatants' emotions before the first strike, during the battles and in the aftermath. While the battles are stark and arresting, focus is always brought back to the people who are truly at the helm of this tale.

THE BRETT LEFT TURN: 'The Daylight War' continues Mr. Brett's tradition of moving in an unexpected direction by providing in-depth views of more characters other than the obvious protagonist. The first book may be called 'The Warded Man' but the series is much more than Arlen's story. The tale is as many-sided as the alagai hora, each critical and even symbiotic, with potential for infinite combinations depending on eventual interactions.

By orienting us with multiple characters, Mr. Brett engenders a level of understanding that makes it difficult to fit them in traditional protagonist-antagonist boxes. He takes time to show us the hows and whys behind the scenes. Caprice or irrationality does not intrigue me. It is characters who engage in painstaking decision-making that I find engrossing, whether or not I agree with their decisions. The wisdom or folly of a character's decision largely depends on the vantage point. One's hero may be another's villain. I think Mr. Brett takes it further, suggesting that perhaps everyone is both or need not be either.

THE VERDICT: What 'The Daylight War' has done is give me an unbridled appreciation and love for each and every character. I must confess that while they fascinated me, I didn't feel any particular emotional attachment to Arlen, Leesha and Renna previously. This book changed all that for me. It has engendered equal affection for them and all the others. The only thing I'm not particularly fond of are certain syrupy moments that were too frequent and gratuitous for my taste. But this is likely a personal preference. I'm sure others will greatly appreciate such sweet, romantic moments.

If I haven't made it obvious yet, I think 'The Daylight War' is absolutely fantastic. With every book, Mr. Brett creates a new apex. By consistently eclipsing himself, Mr. Brett has raised all of my expectations. But if the first three (3) books are any indication, he will fully meet those expectations and likely swiftly surpass them. I consider this among the best there is in speculative fiction -- enriching, entertaining, heartwarming, gratifying. Indeed, epic.

Now the agonizing wait for Book Four (4) begins.
Profile Image for Gavin.
861 reviews392 followers
June 5, 2017
The Demon Cycle is a strange series for me as I enjoy reading the books despite hating a lot of stuff about them. The good is definitely Brett's engaging writing style. The world is a fun one and it is very easy to get caught up in the story. The downside of the DC series is that it has a misogynistic tinge and Brett's handling of sexual content (both the "romance" and the rampant sexual abuse) is pretty disturbing.

This third instalment of the series was a good one despite its flaws. Both Jardir and Arlen are building support for their own causes and a confrontation seems inevitable between the two groups. To add some spice into the mix both guys have managed to attract the attention of a higer level type of demon! The story was fast paced and quite engaging. Both Arlen and Jardir continued to grow in power and influence in various ways.

Leesha and Rojer had decent outings in this one. We also got Inevera added to the POV cast. I found her story interesting enough. I guess I've grown accustomed to the awful Krasian culture after spending so much time with Jardir in the second book. I only had two issues with the Inevera story arc. The first is that it had so many disturbing moments. The romance was cringeworthy and some of the other sexual content was over the top in its abundance. Especially given its disturbing nature. The other issue is we got some scenes from Inevera's POV that we have already seen from both Arlen AND Jardir's POV. I felt that was a bit much especially since the scenes did not really offer anything new or fresh.

All in all I did enjoy this third instalment of the series and I'm eager to move onto the next book after the exciting way this one ended!

Rating: 4.5 stars.

Audio Note: Pete Bradbury does an excellent job narrating this series.
Profile Image for Myke Cole.
Author 31 books1,736 followers
June 15, 2012
I'm fortunate enough to be one of Pete's beta readers, and I've never felt luckier than I do right now. I can say with complete confidence that he's done it again with THE DAYLIGHT WAR. Readers get to take more steps down the path of mankind's struggle against the darkness venting from their planet's core. Better still, Pete does what he does best: creates compelling characters, puts them on the stage, then stands back and let's them surprise the reader with choices that are all-too-real in their humanity. THE DAYLIGHT WAR is gripping and compelling, with the kind of addictive quality I experienced reading A Song of Ice and Fire (and yes, watching A Game of Thrones on HBO).

I'm not going to give any spoilers here, but I do want to say that this is a worthy addition to the DEMON CYCLE. With the WARDED MAN, Pete has staked out his territory as a major force in fantasy. He held it with THE DESERT SPEAR and I dare say THE DAYLIGHT WAR will expand it further. I can't wait to see folks' reactions when it finally hits the shelves. You're in for a treat!
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews824 followers
October 16, 2018
What a perfect example of a 'could have been' book. "The Daylight War" could have been brilliant - had it not been so long and anticlimactic. It took me ages to read it and the fact that my life has been insanely busy has nothing to do with it. Great literature has its way of stealing into even a busiest schedule, bad literature usually prompts the reader to find excuses in order not to read it - and this was what the Daylight War did for me. Actually, it crippled the Demon Cycle so much that half way in the middle I was tempted to abandon it altogether. Such drastic change after the intricacies of the Warded Man came as a shock.

Truth to be told Mr. Brett you also could have been a couple of things:

For instance, you could have been told by your editor that the Demon Cycle would have been better as a simple trilogy. So unless you are paid per page, redesign the thing, cut down the repetitions, the convoluted explanations what and why has already happened, and stop retelling the same story from different vantage points and move on the plot for Creator's sake! If you don't know how to debrief your reader without repeating the previous instalments, read Harry Potter. Honest word.

You could have been smart enough to figure out that books built on out of the blue developments and plot twists never bade well. What is it with these unexpected headaches, unbelieving damas and love stories? The Chekhov law implies that if the gun was not there in act one, it has no right to fire. If you bring out the guns in part three the guns 'conveniently' hidden behind the curtain in part one it makes me doubt you as a writer Mr. Brett. It makes me suspicious that you had no idea where were you taking me at the beginning of the journey and that you improvise as you go. And this is unforgivable. I hate stand ups even more than I hate Renna Tanner.

I shudder to give 2 stars but there is no credit for more. Come and haggle with your next book Mr. Brett.

Post book 4 update: haggle he did... not.

Also in the Demon Cycle:

1. The Warded Man ★★★★★
2. The Desert Spear ★★★☆☆
4. The Skull Throne ★★☆☆☆
5. The Core ★☆☆☆☆ (Actual rating: ZERO stars)
Profile Image for Joules.
1 review
November 15, 2014
2 1/2

50 Shades of... Fantasy?

Peter Brett must have been trying to break into the erotic fantasy genre when he wrote this. Every POV human character has sex, and further practically all the chapters contain to some level a sexual content. You may be wondering why I used the phrase "human character", well that is because we do have ONE point of view character who does not get lucky with the ladies. Who is he? A coreling prince... We miss out on the fascinating way in which corelings have sex. But for those fans who where curious as to the reproductive habits of corelings fear not: we do get some saucy hints as to how corelings do the dirty! As they say "what goes on in the Core, stays in the Core"

To wrap up: It seems that the population of this world have accepted the apocalypse and what better way to go out than to screw each others brains out? Two characters having sex is in itself not a negative and often leads the character development, but when people are constantly at it like rabbits it loses any impact it has.

And then there is Renna Tanner. May God help us all. She alone has knocked an entire star of the rating.
I cannot stand her and she takes up a depressingly large amount of pages. She is in a perpetual RAGE mode getting pissed off at everyone and everything. She is never constructive in the situations she is in, determined to beat the crap out of anyone in her way.

And then the most overused lines between her and Arlen:

"Love you, Arlen Bales."

"Love you, Renna Tanner."

My god it grates on me how they constantly seem to have to say it.

While we mention Arlen his sections have become less interesting in my opinion due to the level of now godlike power he seems to have. Fights with demons are just uninteresting as the outcome is guaranteed ever time. Additionally lets drop the country bumkin accent. He is one of the most literate and knowledgeable men in the world yet talks like your average peasant.

On the plus side we do see more of Inerva and Krasian culture which I find more interesting than the fairly generic northern cultures. Its far more unique to this world which is a massive plus. The majority of the northern cultures could be at home in any of a dozen fantasy worlds.

Possibly Brett suffered from a mild bout of Robert Jordan-itis as a further flaw is that the story moves forward very little for such a large book. It could have been condensed heavily and not lost any of the plot that occurs.

I'll stick with Peter Brett when he releases the next book because the previous two books where fairly good, so hopefully the next installment will be more promising.
Profile Image for Deirdre.
314 reviews
February 26, 2013
A problematic read.

Positives first. I still like the concept of warding. It’s intelligently developed and not necessarily strength related. The overarching theme of man uniting to save man is a worthy one, if vastly underdeveloped in this book. The action scenes are very well drawn. You get a feeling of fluidity and movement in the fights that is quite rare to come across. I like the use of demon bone – and can see how that could be a poisoned chalice. I quite liked the characters of Arlen and Jardir.

Negatives. Women. Women. Women. The amount of sexualisation of women in this book is horrendous. Every woman is described physically, in detail. Diaphanous silks are the clothing of choice. Renna’s only emotion appears to be rage. Leesha has regressed into a stereotypical mean girl – trying to hide a pregnancy from the father and pin it on another – while being horrendously hypocritical. I actually didn’t think the character of Inevera was that bad, but her journey was horrific – think the Sheik’s harem.

Plotting and pace. An 800 odd page book takes place over one month, which wouldn’t be an issue but the climax was sadly anti climatic. I’m not really sure what the purpose of the book was in furthering the plot.

It’s a quick read – but on reflection, I’m downgrading from 3 to 2 stars, and amn’t sure I’ll be reading the next. Certainly will have to read reviews to see if there has been any improvement.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
September 3, 2017
Some seriously good epic-fantasy going on here.

Like the previous novel, we spend a lot of time in the Krasian camp, only this time it's all from the PoV of Inevera, and I can't complain. Getting the PoV's of the women in this benighted world is a real treat especially since it's so damn dire and ugly. Feeling the strain and drive against the ugliness is damn welcome, even if it's small potatoes with only a few big hints of change or possible change.

That being said, we don't remain there. We get The Deliverer's wife, a big piece of the Deliverer, and the anti-Deliverer, Arlen, sure enough. Mixing the Dukedom and the Krasians is what the Daylight War is all about, but the war is still mainly against the Demons. I'm not saying that war between humans doesn't happen... indeed, by the end, we end up in an epic battle between two Deliverers and I'm nicely wound up and angry how it left off, but I have faith. Cliffhangers are there for a reason and I've been quite happy with the series so far. I have trust.

All told, I'm extremely happy and enthusiastic as hell about this action-packed epic fantasy. So much demon-fighting, so much deep characterization with just a handful of great characters. It's designed perfectly to draw everyone in and I guess I qualify as everyone. It has that certain something that hooks me completely. I can't always or even often say that about most epic fantasies, but I'm totally lost in this series. :)

On to the novella between! Loving it!
Profile Image for seak.
429 reviews473 followers
February 12, 2013
The Daylight War was easily my most anticipated novel this year. There's just something about Brett's world that makes me want to live and breath it always. I can't get enough of it and the really the worst part about this book is that I have to wait at least a year to read the next one. In short, yes it's good and worth the wait. It's consistent with its predecessors and even surpasses them in some aspects.

Spoilers follow for the previous books. You've been warned.

The Daylight War picks up directly after the end of events in The Desert Spear. It's literally within the hour, but that's not before we learn about the lovely lady on the cover of the book, Inevera. The cover is very fitting because we learn a ton about her in this book. There are hundreds of pages of backstory from her early years to her current position next to Jardir, the Shar'Dama Ka or Deliverer at least according to the Krasians.

I know what you're thinking. So how is this consistent and possibly even better with such a focus on a less than likable character? She tried to kill Leesha for crying out loud! (I know, I should never go into palm reading) But that's part of the genius of this book, we learn more about Inevera and it's hard not to root for her and if not that, then at least to understand her motives that much better.

And she's a great character. The early parts of this rather large book show her in essentially Dama'ting school and that always gets me right there. Show me a school filled with bullies, difficult tests and traps, and a highly difficult ascension through the ranks and I'm already halfway there. Just pay attention to the time period displayed at the beginning of the chapter. Anytime the focus in on the Krasians, however, I have a bit of a hard time.

The Krasians

I think Brett's done an excellent job with the Krasians and the Krasian language, it's a realistic society with a realistic and interesting language, but I have a terrible time with it. There are so many words that are terribly similar. Once you get over the fact that a woman's title will have the suffix 'ting on the end, you've barely cracked it. Half the words have the word "dama" somewhere in it and darned if I could remember what titled referred to whom. Good thing for the Krasian dictionary at the back.

And then to add to this, there are a lot of characters with similar names, especially names beginning with the letter "A." Again, this is by no means unrealistic, that's literally how plenty of cultures and languages work, but it was difficult keeping track of who's who.

Then, for a society who makes their women cover up, they're extremely obsessed with sex. I know, that's a whole discussion on it's own, but I felt it got a bit heavy-handed on this one. So much revolved around it when it wasn't all that necessary. I read for action and plotting and not for romance and sex. That's just a personal preference though.

Lastly, for a society who is deeply religious and concerned with sacred things, it was a little odd for some of the characters to shout epithets such as "Everam's balls." Not a huge detractor, it was usually funny even, but I thought it took away from the realism. There's no way they would refer to this holy being in such a way, not when they refer to with the utmost respect and have such harsh penalties for the smallest of sacrileges. But enough of the Krasians, back to Arlen.

The Warded Man

Arlen is a great character, I love reading his pov. He's not afraid to stand up to anyone and tells it like it is. I was really surprised that unlike The Desert Spear, we're given a good hundred or so pages with him right after the prologue. He's constantly struggling with people's perception of him and I really like that his whole message is that everyone's the deliverer, not just one person. That kind of thinking got everyone in trouble in the first place. Arlen's grown more and more powerful and his attack from the mind-demon only strengthened his power.

The Matrix

I mentioned in my last review that I was worried about the Matrix effect. Once Neo becomes all-powerful, the agents are no longer scary in The Matrix: Reloaded.

The same kind of thing started to happen in The Desert Spear for me. Suddenly, the demons were no longer scary like they were in The Warded Man. That can really hurt the suspense factor. Luckily, Brett has obviously prepared for this because we only begin to see what awaits the Free Cities at the end of The Desert Spear. We've barely cracked the surface, literally.

I've Been Overly Critical Out of Love

To be honest, any complaint I've mentioned has really only been minor. I felt like Brett's writing stepped up in this volume and the plot is excellent. Obviously we're in for some real treats to come, especially after that insane cliffhanger ending.

The Demon Cycle is my crack, I can't get enough of it. If you haven't read The Warded Man, do it. I need friends at the AA meetings.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (Very Highly Recommended!)

Note: I received a copy of both the UK and US versions of this book and found out that the respective names for The Painted Man/The Warded man are used throughout the respective country's book. It seems obvious now, but I had always thought it was just a title thing. I asked the author about that (at a reddit.com "Ask Me Anything") and here's what he said:

"Painted was the original, though when my US publisher (for reasons still unknown) insisted on changing it, I was the one who came up with the alternate title and insisted on having it changed throughout. Over time I came to prefer “warded” over “painted”, but there no wrong answer."
Profile Image for Jadranka.
234 reviews126 followers
January 11, 2017

Uzimajući u obzir da sam The Daylight War (u Laguninom prevodu kao "Sunčani rat") čekala kao ozebla Sunce :) mogu slobodno da kažem da sam donekle razočarana.
Sa izuzetkom delova koji se odnose na Ineverino odrastanje i na to kako je postala damating i damadža (u čemu sam uživala) i poslednjih 200 stranica, ostatak knjige je poprilično trom, nedinamičan, previše razvučen, sa nepotrebnim podsećanjima na momente iz prethodnih delova.
Sve u svemu, posle intenzivnog drugog dela i tempa koji je u istom postepeno rastao, Brett je ovde naglo "povukao ručnu" i u pojedinim delovima kao da se vratio na početak serijala.
Da ne bude samo da kudim, kada se uporedi The Warded Man sa nastavcima, vidi se koliko je Brett napredovao kao pisac, i koliko zrelije piše.
Takođe i pored svih mana, koje mu se možda mogu oprostiti i pripisati neiskustvu, ne može se poreći maštovitost koju ovaj pisac ima, veoma zanimljiv world building, i u neku ruku originalnost.
Kažem u neku ruku, jer su primetni "pozajmljeni motivi" počev od same ideje Izbavitelja koji je predvodnik u kolosalnoj bici za spas čovečanstva, pa do pojedinačnih motiva od kojih ću napomenuti samo dva:
1) epizoda kada Liša u Drvosečinoj uvali u toku proslave jednog venčanja ispaljuje "žaromete" neodoljivo podseća na Gandalfov vatromet na proslavi Bilbovog rođendan na samom početku Družine prstena;
2) lik Vonde Drvoseče, muškobanjaste devojke, snažne građe i velike snage odgovara liku i delu Martinove Brijene.
Ono što takođe može da se primeti, kada je reč o ovom delu, jeste pažnja koju Brett poklanja ženskim likovima, koji se donekle probijaju u prvi plan i dobijaju mnogo značajniju ulogu. I to ne samo Liša i Inevera, kao dva centralna ženska lika, već i ostali sporedni ženski likovi.
U svakom slučaju, ovo je jedna lepa i nadasve zanimljiva avantura, koja ima svoje uspone i padove. Ostaje nejasno zašto se Brett odlučio da Demon Cycle bude pentalogija umesto trilogija.

Konačna ocena: 3.5*, ali zbog nemogućnosti davanja polovične ocene, kao i zbog pomaka u poslednjih 200 stranica, ovom nastavku dajem 4*, uz opasku da očekujem da naredni deo bude još sporiji, i da će nam trebati mnogo strpljenja da zajedno sa Brettom završimo ovu bitku sa Utrobnicima :-)
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews864 followers
June 17, 2022
“The future was a living thing, and could never be truly known. It rippled with change whenever someone used free will to make a choice. But...”

The Warded Man Archives - A Dribble of Ink

With epic battles and edge of your seat action, as well as extra setup through Enevera's long flashback, Peter Brett's The Daylight War had the feeling of a book that was going to resolve many of the questions posed by the earlier books, and perhaps even change the direction of the world he has created. Not so much. There was a lot I enjoyed about The Daylight War. Abban's rise at Ahmann's side, as well as his revenge, was quite interesting. I also liked seeing other minor characters become more developed and take on greater roles. I still feel this is an interesting immersive world, but except for an ending that still needs to work itself out, I'm not sure there was a lot of progression. I'll defnintely continue the series, but this one just didn't satisfy my expectations. 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Terence.
1,113 reviews345 followers
December 26, 2015
The people of the Northern Free Cities and Krasia have each named their own Deliverer. In the North despite his protests Arlen Bales The Warded Man is considered the Deliverer. In the Krasian cities Ahmann Jardir is the undisputed Shar'Dama Ka. Arlen and Jardir's sides are set for Sharak Sun The Daylight War. Jardir's Jiwah Ka Inevera has set this stage with her future foretelling alagai hora. The current events from Jardir's rise to now can be accredited to her machinations and ambitions. Before Sharak Sun can begin, the Mind Court prepares for the new moon and their chance to eliminate the resistances. The Mind Court is tired of subtle assassination attempts. They've decided to show the would be deliverers what a demon war really looks like.

The Daylight War is quite a different adventure than its predecessors. The pace is slower at first until the events explode in an astonishing fashion. The two sides are recouping from the Mind Courts assassination attempts and are equally concerned about the waning/new moon.

I really enjoyed how the story unraveled the origins of Kaji's abilities through Jardir and Arlen. Each man begins to demonstrate abilities that could convince any skeptic of their deliverer status. Arlen especially can't dismiss peoples claims fast enough. By the end of this book Arlen and Jardir are easily my two favorite characters and I think they're the most interesting characters too.

The Daylight War also has another lengthy flashback of Inevera's origin. We see her shortly before the dama'ting predict her future and name her a dama'ting up to the present. We see many similar flashbacks to the ones in The Desert Spear except through Inevera's perspective. While I can't say I like Inevera now I can say I understand her and no longer think of her as a mustache twirling tie a girl to the train tracks kind of villain. She's intriguingly dangerous and she would do anything to help Jardir eliminate demon kind. I wasn't a big fan of her flashbacks on my first read, but I appreciated them when I reread The Daylight War.

Leesha Paper continues her questionable actions like she did towards the end of The Desert Spear. She had me scratching my head as she acted far more like her mother than her intelligent former self from the first book The Warded Man.

The Daylight War like The Desert Spear wasn't what I expected, but I loved it nonetheless. The ending left me stunned, smiling, and eagerly wondering what would happen next.

my original reviews
Profile Image for Mihir.
645 reviews296 followers
February 14, 2013

Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

Overall Rating = 4 & 1/2 stars

ANALYSIS: Peter V. Brett’s The Daylight War is a book that most fans have been clamoring for since the release of The Desert Spear back in 2010. This book focuses on Inevera’s character as the past books have done for Arlen, Leesha, Rojer and Jardir. This book would also serve to show the conflict brewing between Jardir and Arlen and so easily marked itself as the most anticipated title for 2013 IMO. A warning though, with this book being the third of a series, there might be points discussed below that serve as minor spoilers for the preceding titles. Before I begin my review, readers wanting to read Liviu's thoughts on the book, can click here.

The story begins with Inevera nearly 33 years before the start of current events (as mentioned in the book) and we get to see her as a child and with a family of her own. Her father Kasaad is a veteran warrior with a disability and drinking issues. Her mother Manvah is a basket weaver and supports the family and lastly is her elder brother Soli who has just become a new Sharum warrior. Life however has other plans as Inevera as Hannu Pash beckons and we have read in the earlier book what happens next and in this book, Peter Brett shows her remarkable journey all the way. The focus is also on Arlen and Renna who are a couple now and share more wards than any normal couple would. Renna is aggressively following Arlen in his ways and walk even though he might not want her to continue on the same path. Leesha continues to straddle her various roles and is now trying to figure out the best way to extradite herself from the wiles of Jardir and his Krasian contingents. Rojer finds himself with an altered connubial status of sorts, is learning more about womanly wiles and especially Krasian womanly wiles. He’s striving to become a good partner to Sikwah and Amanwah whilst trying to explore his own skill with warded magic via his music.

Then there’s Abban who is slowly becoming my favorite character with his grey-shaded actions and tenebrous interactions with everyone as he helps Jardir fortify his new found lands. However Jardir and Inevera both struggle to determine his true intentions and are constantly wary of him. Jardir also plays a significant role in the happenings of this book and especially towards the climax. But in this volume his role is smaller among all the main POV characters aforementioned. This is not to say he doesn’t make his presence felt but this story truly belongs to Inevera, as we find out more about her thoughts, her past and her intentions towards the upcoming Sharak Ka.

After finishing this book, all I can is WOW! Peter V. Brett really knows how to change character perceptions and showcase different facets even after two preceding books. Let’s begin with the part that beguiled me so much, namely characterization. The author fleshes out all characters vividly and makes each of them distinct, beginning from the POV characters all the way down to the minor characters, each of them feels distinctly unique and this is the best part of the story. Beginning from Arlen as he aggressively pursues his own route and now is becoming a darker character and a bit unhinged as well. Renna Tanner is brought into the spotlight due to her own actions and Arlen’s gestures however as a character, I couldn’t connect with her as she seemed off with her thoughts and her actions cause further discord between the people around her.

Rojer who had a reduced role in the preceding title gets a bigger draw and we see what he can accomplish. Leesha also learns about the new headaches of leadership and I felt the author manages to portray her situation a bit better in this volume. Inevera, Jardir and Abban further confound the readers with their machinations and so it is this facet that makes this book bloody terrific. Secondly the author further fleshes out the Krasian culture whilst distinctly drawing some characteristic ties to Islam. Previously the Krasian world was explored from a masculine lens and in this book the same is done from a feminine viewpoint. However the Krasian culture is shown to be no less ruthless or bloodthirsty as we learn about the Dama’tings and their objectives. It’s not shocking to find out the Dama’tings and their underlings have their own games to play and they regard the Krasian men with even more of a rigid mindset than they view their fellow females.

The book slightly alters the pattern by having the current events run entirely parallel to Inevera’s background story. So in chapter I we get to see Arlen going about the Thesan world reclaiming his spot not as the Deliverer but as Arlen Bales the Warded Man, this was a good thing as we directly see past and present events occurring in synchronicity. The magic system is further expanded and this time we get a deeper look in to the Demons and what seems to be taking place at the Core. I liked how the author paralleled the Demon’s culture with those of the humans above. People who have been waiting to know more about the prophecies, the Alagai hora and demon culture will definitely love this book as the author finally gives us a wider look in to all the aforementioned things and much more. Then there’s the fantastic cover art with both the US and UK editions, which I must say the author is really lucky to have such gorgeous cover art on both sides of the pond.

The pace and action sequences of this book are exponentially increased as the title suggests and once any reader starts this book, they'll be hard-pressed to stop reading. This is where PVB managed to combine the plus points from the earlier books to make the third the best one so far. Lastly I want to emphasize what a terrific ending this book has, its right up there with that of say Changes by Jim Butcher or A Storm Of Swords by George R.R. Martin. Not a cliffhanger in the literal sense but a thematic one as the action ends on a edge of a cliff and fans will probably hate the author for ending the book the way it is shown. The worrisome part being that now readers will have to wait another 2-3 years (minimally) to find out what happens next. As an author this is what you strive for and perhaps PVB will have fans clamoring for the fourth book (The Skull Throne) in the same vociferous way as those of GRRM and Patrick Rothfuss. For those fans who are jonesing for the next epic fantasy series after the conclusion to Wheel Of Time, they might want to give this one a try as its not bloated (so far) and promises much more in the remaining two volumes.

I couldn't find any drawbacks to this book however this is entirely a subjective opinion. If one didn’t enjoy the author’s earlier books and style of writing then this book won’t change your opinion but you would be missing out on a terrific series. For all the fans, Peter V. Brett hits it out of the park with this third volume and only makes it harder to not bang on his door pleading for the next volume.

CONCLUSION: An out and out thrilling storyline that mixes action, intrigue and amazing characters, Peter V. Brett’s The Daylight War is his best work so far and rather upends the bar steeply for this series. I would simply like to conclude by saying that with this book, Peter confirms his place among epic fantasy’s pantheon of greats amid the likes of George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, and Robert Jordan.
1 review
February 13, 2013
I'm getiing very annoyed with backstories and descending trend of this cycle. Was The Painted Man written by someone else? In that book you at least had really good story till the last page.

I'm really disappointed that first 30% of The Daylight War doesn't develop plot at all. Instead we have Inevera's "POV" on things we already knew. What's the point? I think that those chapters could be at least two times shorter. Things start to get interesting in second half, but I feel almost cheated by the author - I got little of the story I wanted to read. It felt like reading Name of the Wind - entertaining, but not much happens regarding the main plot.

Aside from that, we have field demons (which I think are the only kind of creatures main characters encounter in this book), Leesha who isn't perfect anymore and crazy Renna. I'm disappointed by lack of humorous situations and overall lack of almost everything what made the first book so great.

If I was to rate only reading experience, I would give it 3.5/5 - very enjoyable, but some habits of the author are starting to annoy me - lines like "She used his force against him" or introducing every single character, animal and phenomena all over again. And the whole "I am Arlen Bales from Tibbet's Brook" started to get very annoying very fast. But if I have to rate book as a whole I would give it 3/5 maybe 2.5/5. It was simply disappointing and I really don't like the direction Peter Brett is taking with this cycle. If it was a trilogy it would be one of the most dynamic series ever written, now it is extremely slow paced (excluding few chapters).

Well, now I have to wait for another book which probably will be worse than this one. I don't want to think about the last one.

My predictions for book #4:
1. Selia's or someone else's from Tibbet's Brook POV for the first 40% of the book.
2. Too much Krasians.
3. Too much romance.
4. Last 20% will be very good.
5. Very little plot development.

Some more
Profile Image for Szara.
12 reviews6 followers
February 24, 2013
Daylight War is the weakest of the series so far. This book greatly suffered by having too many flashbacks which did not add much to the overall plot. Most of the chapters felt like filler and there wasn't much action until the last 25% of the book. I had high hopes for this one and they were not met.

And speaking of magic, Arlen's power has reached the point of being ridiculous. It removes a lot of the tension from the story.

Maybe I'm just biased, but it seems to me that most male fantasy authors are terrible at female characters and sex scenes. People do not read heroic fantasy for the bland romance.

The relationship between Arlen and Renna takes up a good portion of the book, and it was mind-numblingly dull. Renna feels a bit like the "token female love interest" and is never fully fleshed out as an individual person. She exists for the sole purpose to support Arlen with unquestioning loyalty. Aside from having roid rage issues, Renna has no defining personality.

I'm not entirely sure how to feel about Leesha. She continues to make bad decisions and spends the majority of her time moping about her terrible love-life. Of all the female characters, I would have to say that Elona is my favorite, go figure.

Profile Image for Andrea.
76 reviews6 followers
March 17, 2013
Really not sure how to review this book. I have to say that I struggled for the first part because it was so hard to get in to, and with the constant flicking between times and people, it really started to grate. Only started to properly enjoy it towards the end and the big battles.

Arlen and Leesha were kinda annoying in this book. Leesha was especially annoying and only redeemed herself at the end, and only a little and Renna is just horrible, nothing about her is appealing and I cant stand reading about her at all. Rojer and his wives (two, so stupid) were really a good addition, and they added much to the story, and their addition to his music is brilliant.

I got entirely bored with Inevera and her long winded backstory. I just wanted to be caught up to the main story, and it took waaaaay to long to get there.

The best part of the whole book was the last few hundred pages, when the demons came and went all out for them, and it was only once it go to that stage, that I felt it was like the old book. And it was very good. Having Leesha, Arlen and Rojer back together really helped to add to the enjoyment of the story (ignoring Reena totally)

This book was ok, the ending made it worth it, and i certainly have a few new theories. And that ending? Wow!

Reading the next in the series for sure.
Profile Image for Saša.
88 reviews40 followers
April 28, 2017
Dakle, sta imamo ovde?
Manje vise isto sto i u drugom nastavku.
Dobar pocetak, Ineverina prica mi je bila zanimljiva, ne bas toliko kao Dzardirova u dvojci ali dovoljno.
Kad sam saznao sve o Ineveri i presao na "hriscanski" deo price, tu su poceli problemi. Kao i u drugom nastavku uostalom. Ko me najvise nervirao? Svi, ali najvise Arlen i Rena.
Volim te Arlene; Volim te Rena; i tako jedno 50 puta. 150 puta! AMAN! Razumeli smo.

Tako od 250-600 stranice imamo uglavnom bespotrebno razvlacenje, iliti mlacenje prazne slame.
Knjiga se pretvara u jednu telenovelu, ljubavni jadi, beskonacno samopreispitavanje glavnih likova, mozemo da preskocimo 100 stranica i da nista vazno ne propustimo.
I onda se Mr. Brett smilovao i poceo da pise kako valja, jer je poslednjih 200 stranica bilo odlicno.
Bitke su bile vrlo dobre, demona milion, novih vrsta, pametnijih, neki likovi napreduju, neki nazaduju, svasta se desava u tom finalu.
I na samom kraju - cliffhanger. Meni odlican.
Pomenuo bih hafita Abana koji mi se sve vise svidja, polako ali sigurno prerasta u veliku zlocu, i mislim da je najbolji karakter u serijalu.

Peter V. Brett je mlad i talentovan pisac i siguran sam da ce napisati sjajne knjige u buducnosti, ali samo ako prestane da se ''uvlaci'' mladjoj publici. Jer cini mi se da je cela sredina knjige, i ne samo ove, upravo to.
Kako drugacije objasniti jeftine konverzacije i dramske momente na nivou meksickih serija.
A onda odjednom nagli zaokret i poslednjih 200 strana prilicno dobrog fantasy pisanja.
Ne mora knjiga imati 800 strana da bi bila dobra. Ne mora.
Ili je mozda samo neiskustvo u pitanju. Vreme ce pokazati.
Jaca trojka i pauza, verovatno poduza, posto je situacija u cetvrtom delu izgleda jos gora.
Profile Image for Ivan.
417 reviews277 followers
September 29, 2015
Each new book in this series is slightly worse than previous.First one was solid 4, second bit shaky 4 and this one gets 3.

For the most part even that felt generous, story developed at snail pace, Reena was annoying and Roger is even more but last 200 where great it reminded me of what is good about this series.Unfortunately it wasn't enough to fix overall weak impression and fact that ends with cliffhanger doesn't help.
Profile Image for David Sven.
288 reviews446 followers
May 26, 2013
Nooooo!!! Cliffhanger ending! You bastard Brett!

The last 25% of this book was brilliant. As good a finale as the last book barring the cliffhanger finish. Cliffhanger is probably a little inaccurate - it was more like the story ended just when it started taking off and my blood was up and wanting more.

But as good as the last 25% was, the previous 75% was a grind at times. The main story picks up where we left off last book and stretches some thirty days till the next new moon while the Thesans and Krasians prepare for the coming of "Alegai Ka," the prince of the mind demons. The wait really wasn't that engaging.

Fortunately, we also get Inevera's backstory from her recruitment as a child to her rise to "Dama'ting" and then to Damaja, First Wife of the Shar'Dama Ka. This parallels Jardir's backstory from book 2 and we revisit Krasian culture and world building.

I enjoyed Jardir's story last book more than Inevera's this book, but I think her story does add depth to the Krasian world building and the plot of the last book; and that's probably where I would have appreciated this story more, ie in the last book, even a cut down version. As much as I enjoyed the last book, I want to move on with the plot and Inevera's story just doesn't dovetail into where the story is at in this book where she plays a rather minor role to the main story in comparison to her extensive origins story.

Still, Inevera's growing up and training was interesting on it's own and one thing it did expand on was the magic system. We learn that wards are for a whole lot more than fighting corelings/alegai. There are prophecy wards, wards for healing, wards for improved sight and more. We started getting a taste of this last book but this story the warding system really blossoms.

Anyway, the pacing was a problem for the first 75% (which is why this is 4 stars instead of 5). Then we hit the "waning" and the story suddenly wakes up - (which is why this is 4 stars instead of 3). We get our first glimpse of Alegai Ka - The Consort of the Coreling Queen. We get more mind corleings and their mimics. We get coreling politics and strategy. We get action. And we get Arlen Bales. And even though Arlen might be virtually invincible against your standard corelings, the mind demons are a different story and Arlen is not as invincible as he and we thought.

The last showdown at High Noon Twilight, I honestly could not guess who Brett was going to have come out alive. We do get an answer right at the end which is why it's not a true cliffhanger - but it still ends rather abruptly. Thinking on it, it was well done, but I really didn't want the story to end there. I want the next book now.

Up to 75% in I thought this was going to be 3 stars. But the remaining quarter lifted it to...

4 stars
Profile Image for Katherine Coble.
1,200 reviews252 followers
April 17, 2013
This book is what happens when a fantasy author has one good idea and then sees how well the HBO series _Game Of Thrones_ and the erotic Fifty Shades trilogy sell. The author turns his promised trilogy into a "cycle" and waters down three books of story into a presumed five...or more.

_Daylight War_ feels as though Brett decided to dilute his trilogy by amping up the sex factor. The prologue sees a mother chuckling with her young children about the son's plans to attend a gay orgy later that day. Lesbians show up in chapter two. The harem-slash-nunnery plays a major part of Inevera's plodding backstory, with her violent-rape-by-dildo initiation described in detail.

I don't know if I'm more irritated by Brett's genre switcheroo from Epic to Erotic Fantasy or by the fact that he writes sex so....badly. Never in my life have I ever been so bored by reading about sex. Also, it's weird that when he writes about women having sex with men he uses the term "stick" interchangeably with "f---". It's just so incongruous to keep reading women saying "I didn't stick him" or "I'll stick him if I want to." I know Brett has a child so I assume he knows how sex works. But seeing women constantly talk of penetrating men was strange.

Come to think of it, this book DID make me wonder if Brett knows how women work. Aside from his fixation with describing their bodies in sexual terms and sticking them in revealing garments that are lovingly detailed over and over again (we get it--Inevera's diaphanous clothes are see-through and her pubes are shaved) he doesn't do anything developmental with any females. It's just Caps-Lock Renna, Lady MacInevra and Jealous, Grumpy Leesha.

This series has been one of my favourites until now, and I'd still recommend the first two books to any reader who enjoys Epic Fantasy. But this book feels like a marketing gimmick that had horribly backfired. I can only recommend that folks read it of they are fans of completeness or like reading about a henpecked fool, two crazy demon-addled hillbillies and a bitchy woman with a constant migraine.

Oh yeah. That's another thing. Apparently Leesha has had these farkakte migraines her whole life and they've always hindered her. So WHY is this major piece of information withheld until book 3?
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