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on 28 June 2017
Brett did not quite reach the level of the painted man which is very confusing. Series that started OK and had potential started going somewhere for some reason. I still enjoyed the read and liked the characters as it is another super easy to read book from Brett, but i am now skeptical for the next books in the series.
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on 2 October 2012
Everyone here reading this review must have read and enjoyed the first book, otherwise they wouldn't bother to move on to the second. It's really a shame for me to write about how it disappointed me, as the Painted Man was one of the best fantasy releases I've seen in a while.

While I, to a certain extent, enjoyed reading the first half of the book, which is a recount of Jardirs life, I can imagine a lot of people will find it grating that the first half of the second book, in terms of time line, only brings us to the end of the first book again. I can see why it was done, we need the introduction to Abban, Jardirs Jiwah Ka and to a certain amount the culture they live by (It's a shame we don't get much more out of Jardir that we hadn't gleamed from book one). However, for a section of the book that was, in all essence, a character introduction. So while important it stole a lot more of the book than seemed entirely necessary.

We then move on to the second half of the book, dedicated to Arlen. From here on out until they leave Angiers, the books pace takes on a snail like quality. There are a lot of words dedicated to nothing in particular, we're introduced to how the Hollow has changed, charged glass, Rojers apprentices and a few other bits and pieces. But seeing as the whole first half of the book made no attempt to continue down the plot line, I would hope that some attempt to do so would start appearing at this point.

During the meeting with the duke in Angiers there at last seems to be a feeling of movement, yes we have to sit through the meeting twice, which holds a certain amount of comedic value, but little else, and by this point in the book I was hungry for development, as I was starting to become aware I'd read a lot more than I hadn't.

From there we go down two forks, one for Arlen, and one to unite Leesha and Rojer with Jardir and Abban.

Arlens journey takes him back to Miln, and eventually his old home. It's interesting to see the old faces from Miln again. While, again, a bit long for the amount of relevance it held it was nice to return and see some of the old favourites from book one, and develop the cliff hanger Arlen left when he left.

Until this point in the book the only complaint I have is substance. I've made a huge point of it so far as I think anyone picking up this book should be prepared to switch from the fast full of information pace of book one to the exact opposite in book two.
However it is at this point I started to find problems, mostly concerning Reena. Who's soul purpose in the book seems to be as a medium for the Mind Demons, and to punch holes in Arlens character. I'm being careful here not to delve too deep for fear of dolling out too many spoilers, but fears that Arlen has been grappling with the entire book, and fears that he's made previous decisions on, seem to evaporate where Reena is concerned.

The road Leesha and Rojer take also has some issues. While being (in my opinion) more interesting and seemingly more immediately relevant than the road Arlen takes, it too brings up some problems. Again, I won't say too much for fear of spoilers. But what I will say is the path they take is based upon Leeshs desire to protect her 'children' of the Hollow. However, at the end of the book, her selfless desires seem to evaporate entirely for want of a monogamous relationship.

Unfortunately for me the negatives of lack of development for such a long book, empty chapters, and a few (either badly explained, or contradicting) character decisions, really outweighed a book which in its essence had a strong mix of epic battle and scheming politics with a lot of rich cultural contrasts and detailed explanation.

In short I could read the Painted Man twice, but not the Desert Spear, I sincerely hope book three holds more to the standards of book one then two.
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on 4 June 2013
This books has characters that draw you in from the first you read of them. Characters whose lives will surely become intertwined - or will they? Every single character has qualities that make you root for them, even the ones that appear cruel. I struggled to put this book down so I could sleep and cannot wait to read its follow on. If you love a good story, no matter the genre, then I urge you to try the free sample of this book. I would be amazed if after that you didn't go in to purchase the full novel. Definitely in my top 10 books I've ever read, and I've read at least a book a week for 33 years.
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on 4 January 2013
This is probably the second best fantasy book I've read in a long time, the best being the Painted Man.
This book pushes the mythology along nicely and I can only hope the yet to be published finale lives up to the standards set so far.
The main protagonist feels like a twenty first century Conan. He is almost indestructible and attracting bigger and more deadly foes all the time. I can't wait for him to attack the core and be left holding the final villains head aloft having chopped it off at the very last second. This of course this ignores the other very strong characters that have been developed which is a great disservice to them as each of them has their own unique strength and ability.
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on 17 September 2014
The first book in the series was enjoyable but I felt the second relies far to much on coarse plot devices in order to provide character motivation. A great idea for a series but uses lazy characterisation and its depiction of female characters is just awful. Sorry!
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on 22 December 2013
I love the characters and the way that humanity`s demons are exposed in war and in our homes.
The Krasian culture is so alien and unpleasant I was surprised how easily some characters accepted it. Who will win...humanity or demonkind?
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on 13 May 2013
Bought the first book because it was on special offer, best buy in a long time. Really enjoying the series!
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on 9 July 2016
I have just started reading this and it is beginning with Jadir for the for several chapters on how he became Sharam Ka very good and interesting and have just got back to Arlen as the painted man so will see how this turns out but so far nearly as good as The Painted Man I love these books they are creative and full of action and magic....well worth the read...
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on 16 March 2015
Excellent
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on 9 March 2017
Excellent sequel to the Painted Man.
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