Author: Peter V. Brett
Category: High Fantasy
Publication Date: April 13th, 2010
After thousands of years of people living in fear of the demons that roam the night, two men have arisen with the title “the Deliverer” attached to them. The Warded Man refuses the title but everywhere he goes the name follows in his wake, whispered by people that see his tattoos and hear tales of his triumph over the night. The other was a minor character in the first book, Ahmann Jardir. Having united all the Krasian tribes he sets forth to the green lands to the north in order to conquer them to unite all humans in the battle against the demons.
The first third of this book focuses solely on Jardir and it was a little difficult to get through at times. The characters whose points of view were the focus of the first book are no where to be seen, except the parts where Jardir interacted with Arlen in the first book, retold by Jardir. It is really easy to get impatient with this section but it the author seems to try to move through his backstory quickly so that we can get to the point of him interacting with the main characters from The Warded Man.
And those interactions were certainly interesting. As Krasia’s culture is apparently based on Islamic extremism it made the moments leading up to the characters in the North and the Krasian characters pretty tense. The mix of cultures was well done though.
For Arlen this story kind of went in backwards order. He ended up revisiting Miln and the people he knew there before visiting his home village and seeing what happened to his family and the young girl that was promised to in the first book, Renna.
Speaking of Renna, some of her story can seem a little pointless. It is out of the way from what happens in Deliverer’s Hollow and is untouched by the Krasian invasion. While it seems pretty useless to the main storyline, it did end up going somewhere that seems to set her up for a major role in future books.
It was a little difficult to get into the story because when it started out with Jardir’s perspective I expected that to just last a chapter or two and then it just kept going on and on and on for over 200 pages. Looking back at the story, I see that it was necessary to have the rest of the book flow well and to not get timelines out of sync and eventually I did get into his story even though I was eager to get back to Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer.
I do think this book suffered a little bit from Middle Book Syndrome. There was no specific plot in this single installment, just one thing after another happening to the characters as opposed to a structured story with a problem and a solution.
That said, it was still a fantastic read. I almost admire the author more because he is able to write an engaging story that did not have much structure.
Also there was a particular romance that was explored in this book involving Jardir that I really liked but I have to say that I think the romance was somewhat out of character for him. While he is depicted as being good to his wives he seems to have a very limited respect for women, even for his First Wife Inevera. While I enjoyed watching him fall head over heels for someone I had not expected him to, I can’t help but look back and feel that it goes against the character that was developed early on in the story.
This book was freaking awesome!!! Getting to see Jardir grow from a small boy to a powerful leader was such a fun and interesting story. This Middle Eastern culture in a fantasy setting was very refreshing.
Then half way through the book we go back to our original main character. I was worried that this would be jarring and weird, but thankfully we slide back into comfortable territory. It is familiar territory with our characters and setting, but the world has changed so much from the events of the last book.
Overall, I loved pretty much everything about this book and I am looking forward to more. The only negative I feel is that sometimes the story gets a little long and small details get dragged out. Definitely a book series I recommend.