popular The Skull high quality Throne: Book Four of The Demon 2021 Cycle online sale

popular The Skull high quality Throne: Book Four of The Demon 2021 Cycle online sale

popular The Skull high quality Throne: Book Four of The Demon 2021 Cycle online sale
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED

The first three novels in Peter V. Brett’s groundbreaking Demon Cycle series— The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War—set a new standard for heroic fantasy. The powerful saga of humans winnowed to the brink of extinction by night-stalking demons, and the survivors who fight back, has kept readers breathless as they eagerly turned the pages. Now the thrilling fourth volume, The Skull Throne, raises the stakes as it carries the action in shocking new directions.

The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.

Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.

But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.

In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.

Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton—rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared. . . .

Look for Peter V. Brett’s complete Demon Cycle:
THE WARDED MAN | THE DESERT SPEAR | THE DAYLIGHT WAR | THE SKULL THRONE | THE CORE

Praise for Peter V. Brett’s novels of The Demon Cycle

The Warded Man

“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way.” —Terry Brooks

“[A] fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable dark fantasy.” The Miami Herald

The Desert Spear

“Inspired, compelling, and totally addictive: the most significant and cinematic fantasy epic since The Lord of the Rings.” —Paul W. S. Anderson, director of Resident Evil: Afterlife

“Fans of epic fantasy in the tradition of Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin will enjoy the arrival of a strong voice in multivolume epic fantasy.” Library Journal

The Daylight War

“Highly entertaining, fast-paced, and action-packed.” —SF Site

“[Brett is] at the top of his game.” Tordotcom

The Skull Throne

“Heart-thumping, adrenaline-pumping . . . The crescendo is near perfect.” —Book Frivolity

“As soon as we dive into The Skull Throne, it quickly becomes obvious that Brett knows exactly what he’s doing. . . . Brett is setting up his world and the characters in order to tell his epic fantasy tale in a way that is both personal and global. It’s a page-turner, and quite possibly the best so far.” Starburst Magazine

Review

Praise for Peter V. Brett’s novels of The Demon Cycle
 
The Warded Man
 
“There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way.” —Terry Brooks
 
“[A] fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable dark fantasy.” The Miami Herald
 
The Desert Spear
 
“Inspired, compelling, and totally addictive: the most significant and cinematic fantasy epic since The Lord of the Rings.” —Paul W. S. Anderson, director of Resident Evil: Afterlife
 
“Fans of epic fantasy in the tradition of Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin will enjoy the arrival of a strong voice in multivolume epic fantasy.” Library Journal
 
The Daylight War
 
“Highly entertaining, fast-paced, and action-packed.” —SF Site
 
“[Brett is] at the top of his game.” Tordotcom

The Skull Throne
 
“Heart-thumping, adrenaline-pumping . . . The crescendo is near perfect.” —Book Frivolity
 
“As soon as we dive into The Skull Throne, it quickly becomes obvious that Brett knows exactly what he’s doing. . . . Brett is setting up his world and the characters in order to tell his epic fantasy tale in a way that is both personal and global. It’s a page-turner, and quite possibly the best so far.” Starburst Magazine

About the Author

Peter V. Brett is the internationally bestselling author of the Demon Cycle series, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies in twenty-five languages worldwide. The novels in the series are The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core. He spends too much time on the Internet, but occasionally unplugs to practice kickboxing and dad fu. He lives in Manhattan.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1 The Hunt 333 AR Autumn
Jardir woke at sunset, his mind thick with fog. He was lying in a Northern bed—one giant pillow instead of many. The bedcloth was rough, nothing like the silk to which he had become accustomed. The room was circular, with warded glass windows all around. A tower of some sort. Untamed land spread into the twilight, but he recognized none of it.

Where in Ala am I?

Pain lanced through him as he stirred, but pain was an old companion, embraced and forgotten. He pulled himself into a sitting position, rigid legs scraping against each other. He pulled the blanket aside. Plaster casts running thigh-to-foot. His toes, swollen in red, purple, and yellow, peeked from the far ends, close, yet utterly out of reach. He flexed them experimentally, ignoring the pain, and was satisfied with the slight twitch that rewarded him.

It harkened back to the broken arm he’d suffered as a child, and the helplessness of his weeks of healing.

He reached immediately to the nightstand for the crown. Even in day, there was magic enough stored within to heal a few broken bones, especially ones already set.

His hands met empty air. Jardir turned and stared a long moment before the situation registered. It had been years since he had let himself be out of arm’s reach of his crown and spear, but both were missing.

Memories came back to him in a rush. The fight atop the mountain with the Par’chin. How the son of Jeph had collapsed into smoke as Jardir struck, only to solidify an instant later, grabbing the spear shaft with inhuman strength and twisting it from his grasp.

And then the Par’chin turned and threw it from the cliff as if it were nothing more than a gnawed melon rind.

Jardir licked cracked lips. His mouth was dry and his bladder full, but both needs had been provided for. The water at his bedside was sweet, and with some effort he managed use of the chamber pot his searching fingers found on the floor just underneath the bed.

His chest was bound tightly, ribs grinding as he shifted. Over the bandages he was clad in a thin robe—tan, he noted. The Par’chin’s idea of a joke, perhaps.

There was no door, simply a stair leading up into the room—as good as prison bars in his current state. There were no other exits, nor did the steps continue on. He was at the top of the tower. The room was sparsely furnished. A small table by the bedside. A single chair.

There was a sound in the stairwell. Jardir froze, listening. He might be bereft of his crown and spear, but years of absorbing magic through them had remade his body as close to Everam’s image as a mortal form could be. He had the eyes of a hawk, the nose of a wolf, and the ears of a bat.

“Sure you can handle him?” the Par’chin’s First Wife said. “Thought he was going to kill you out on that cliff.”

“No worries, Ren,” the Par’chin said. “He can’t hurt me without the spear.”

“Can in daylight,” Renna said.

“Not with two broken legs,” the Par’chin said. “Got this, Ren. Honest word.”

We shall see, Par’chin.

There was a smacking of lips as the son of Jeph kissed his jiwah’s remaining protests away. “Need you back in the Hollow keepin’ an eye on things. Now, ’fore they get suspicious.”

“Leesha Paper’s already suspicious,” Renna said. “Her guesses ent far from the mark.”

“Don’t matter, long as they stay guesses,” the Par’chin said. “You just keep playin’ dim, no matter what she says or does.”

Renna gave a stunted laugh. “Ay, that won’t be a problem. Like makin’ her want to spit.”

“Don’t waste too much time on it,” the Par’chin said. “Need you to protect the Hollow, but keep a low profile. Strengthen the folk, but let them carry the weight. I’ll skate in when I can, but only to see you. No one else can know I’m alive.”

“Don’t like it,” Renna said. “Man and wife shouldn’t be apart like this.”

The Par’chin sighed. “Ent nothin’ for it, Ren. Bettin’ the farm on this throw. Can’t afford to lose. I’ll see you soon enough.”

“Ay,” Renna said.

“Love you, Arlen Bales.” “Love you, Renna Bales,” the Par’chin said. They kissed again, and Jardir heard rapid footsteps as she descended the tower. The Par’chin, however, began to climb.

For a moment Jardir thought to feign sleep. Perhaps he might learn something; gain the element of surprise.

He shook his head. I am Shar’Dama Ka. It is beneath me to hide. I will meet the Par’chin’s eyes and see what remains of the man I knew.

He propped himself up, embracing the roar of pain in his legs. His face was serene as the Par’chin entered. He wore plain clothes, much as he had when they first met, a cotton shirt of faded white and worn denim trousers with a leather Messenger satchel slung over one shoulder. His feet were bare, pant and shirt cuffs rolled to show the wards he had inked into his skin. His sand-colored hair was shaved away, and the face Jardir remembered was barely recognizable under all the markings.

Even without his crown, Jardir could sense the power of those symbols, but the strength came with a heavy price. The Par’chin looked more like a page from one of the holy scrolls of warding than a man.

“What have you done to yourself, old friend?” He had not meant to speak the words aloud, but something pushed him.

“Got a lot of nerve callin’ me that, after what you did,” the Par’chin said. “Din’t do this to myself. You did this to me.”

 “I?” Jardir asked. “I took ink and profaned your body with it?”

The Par’chin shook his head. “You left me to die in the desert, without weapon or succor, and knew I’d be corespawned before I let the alagai have me. My body was the only thing you left me to ward.”

With those words, all Jardir’s questions about how the Par’chin had survived were answered. In his mind’s eye he saw his friend alone in the desert, parched and bloodied as he beat alagai to death with his bare hands.

It was glorious.

The Evejah forbade the tattooing of flesh, but it forbade many things Jardir had since permitted for the sake of Sharak Ka. He wanted to condemn the Par’chin, but his throat tightened at the truth of the man’s words.

Jardir shivered as a chill of doubt touched his center. No thing happened, but that Everam willed it. It was inevera that the Par’chin should live to meet him again. The dice said each of them might be the Deliverer. Jardir had dedicated his life to being worthy of that title. He was proud of his accomplishments, but could not deny that his ajin’pal, the brave outsider, might have greater honor in Everam’s eyes.

“You play at rituals you do not understand, Par’chin,” he said. “Domin Sharum is to the death, and victory was yours. Why did you not take it and claim your place at the lead of the First War?”

The Par’chin sighed. “There’s no victory in your death, Ahmann.”

“Then you admit I am the Deliverer?” Jardir asked. “If that is so, then return my spear and crown to me, put your head to the floor, and have done. All will be forgiven, and we can face Nie side by side once more.”

The Par’chin snorted. He set his satchel on the table, reaching inside. The Crown of Kaji gleamed even in the growing darkness, its nine gems glittering. Jardir could not deny the desire the item stirred in him. If he’d had legs to stand, he would have leapt for it.

“Crown’s right here.” The Par’chin spun the pointed circlet on a finger like a child’s hoop toy. “But the spear ent yours. Least, not ’less I decide to give it to you. Hidden where you can never get it, even if your legs wern’t casted.”

“The holy items belong together,” Jardir said.

The Par’chin sighed again. “Nothing’s holy, Ahmann. Told you once before Heaven was a lie. You threatened to kill me over the words, but that doesn’t make ’em any less true.”

Jardir opened his mouth to reply, angry words forming on his lips, but the Par’chin cut him off, catching the spinning crown in a firm grip and holding it up. As he did, the wards on his skin throbbed briefly with light, and those on the crown began to glow.

“This,” the Par’chin said of the crown, “is a thin band of mind demon skull and nine horns, coated in a warded alloy of silver and gold, focused by gemstones. It is a masterwork of wardcraft, but nothing more.”

He smiled. “Much as your earring was.”

Jardir started, raising his hand to touch the bare lobe his wedding ring had once pierced. “Do you mean to steal my First Wife, as well as my throne?”

The Par’chin laughed, a genuine sound Jardir had not heard in years. A sound he could not deny he had missed.

“Not sure which would be the greater burden,” the Par’chin said. “I want neither. I have a wife, and among my people one is more’n enough.”

Jardir felt a smile tug at his lips, and he let it show. “A worthy Jiwah Ka is both support and burden, Par’chin. They challenge us to be better men, and that is ever a struggle.”

The Par’chin nodded. “Honest word.”

“Then why have you stolen my ring?” Jardir demanded.

“Just holding on to it while you’re under my roof,” the Par’chin said. “Can’t have you calling for help.”

“Eh?” Jardir said.

The Par’chin tilted his head at him, and Jardir could feel the son of Jeph’s gaze reaching into his soul, much as Jardir did when he had the gift of crownsight. How did the Par’chin do it without the crown at his brow?

“You don’t know,” the Par’chin said after a moment. He barked a laugh. “Giving me marriage advice while your own wife spies on you!”

The derision in his tone angered Jardir, and his brows drew tight despite his desire to keep his face calm. “What is that supposed to mean?”

The Par’chin reached into his pocket, producing the earring. It was a simple hoop of gold with a delicate warded ball hanging from it. “There’s a broken piece of demon bone in here, with its opposite half in your wife’s ear. Lets her hear everything you do.”

Suddenly so many mysteries became clear to Jardir. How his wife seemed to know his every plan and secret. Much of her information came from the dice, but the alagai hora spoke in riddles as oft as not. He should have known cunning Inevera would not rely on her castings alone.

“So she knows you’ve kidnapped me?” Jardir asked.

The Par’chin shook his head. “Blocked its power. She won’t be able to find you before we’re finished here.”

Jardir crossed his arms. “Finished with what? You will not follow me, and I will not follow you. We stand at the same impasse we found five years ago in the Maze.”

The Par’chin nodded. “You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me then, and it forced me to change how I see the world. Offering you the same.” With that, he tossed the crown across the room.

Instinctively, Jardir caught it. “Why return it to me? Won’t this heal my wounds? You may have difficulty holding me without them.”

The Par’chin shrugged. “Don’t think you’ll leave without the spear, but I’ve drained the crown in any event. Not a lot of magic venting from the Core makes it this high,” he waved his hand at the windows circling the room on all sides, “and the sun cleans out this room each morning. It’ll give you crownsight, but not much else until it’s recharged.”

“So why return it to me?” Jardir asked again.

“Thought we might have a talk,” the Par’chin said. “And I want you to see my aura while we do. Want you to see the truth of my words, the strength of my convictions, written on my very soul. Perhaps then, you’ll come to see.”

“Come to see what?” Jardir asked. “That Heaven is a lie? Nothing written on your soul can do that, Par’chin.” Nevertheless, he slipped the crown onto his head. Immediately the darkened room came alive with crownsight, and Jardir breathed deep in relief, like the blind man in the Evejah, given his sight back by Kaji.

Through the windows, land that had been nothing but shadows and vague shapes a moment ago became sharply defined, lit with the magic that vented from Ala. All living things held a spark of power at their core, and Jardir could see strength glowing in the trunks of trees, the moss that clung to them, and every animal that lived within their branches and bark. It ran through the grasses of the plains and, most of all, in the demons that stalked the land and rode the winds. The alagai shone like beacons, waking a primal desire in him to hunt and kill.

As the Par’chin had warned, his cell was dimmer. Small tendrils of power drifted up the tower walls, Drawn to the wards etched into the glass windows. They flickered to life, a shield against the alagai.

But though the room was dim, the Par’chin shone brighter than a demon. So bright it should be difficult to look at him. But it was not. Quite the contrary, the magic was glorious to behold, rich and tempting. Jardir reached out through the crown, attempting to Draw a touch of it to himself. Not so much the Par’chin might sense the drain, but perhaps enough to speed his healing. A wisp of power snaked through the air toward him like incense smoke.

The Par’chin had shaved his brows, but the wards above his left eye lifted in an unmistakable expression. His aura shifted, showing more bemusement than offense. “Ah-ah. Get your own.” Abruptly, the magic reversed its flow and was Drawn back into him.

Jardir kept his face calm, though he doubted it made a difference. The Par’chin was right. He could read the man’s aura, seeing his every feeling, and had no doubt his old friend could do the same. The Par’chin was calm, centered, and meant Jardir no harm. There was no deception in him. Only weariness, and fear Jardir would be too rigid to give his words fair consideration.

“Tell me again why I am here, Par’chin,” Jardir said. “If your goal is truly as you have always said, to rid the world of alagai, then why do you oppose me? I am close to fulfilling your dream.”

“Not as close as you think,” the Par’chin said. “And the way you’re doing it disgusts me. You choke and threaten humanity to its own salvation, not caring the cost. Know you Krasians like to dress in black and white, but the world ent so simple. There’s color, and more than a fair share of gray.”

 “I am not a fool, Par’chin,” Jardir said.

“Sometimes I wonder,” the Par’chin said, and his aura agreed. It was a bitter tea that his old friend, whom he had taught so much and always respected, should think so little of him.

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

NH
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A failed wish at a decent book
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2016
I was pretty disappointed in this book. I really loved The Warded Man and even The Desert Spear (book 2). I slogged through book 3, which still had some good parts in it, and I was really hoping that Book 3 would be the slump in the series and it would get better in Book... See more
I was pretty disappointed in this book. I really loved The Warded Man and even The Desert Spear (book 2). I slogged through book 3, which still had some good parts in it, and I was really hoping that Book 3 would be the slump in the series and it would get better in Book 4.

No such luck.

I don''t understand the author''s obsession with doing long, drawn out flashbacks to tell more character''s back stories. Frankly, it''s more exposition than what is helpful to the storyline and it bogs it down. Frankly, it started to feel like he just wanted to draw the series out to a full 5 books so he uses the back stories as a way to boost word count without advancing the plot much. And really, the plot has barely moved from the beginning of book 3 to the end of book 4. Heck, it hasn''t really moved much since book 2!

Most of the plot is predictable. The characters are...confusing. They do things that don''t seem to naturally fit with how they''ve been developed over the course of the series; it just seems like the author realizes that he needs someone to react a certain way and randomly picks a character to do it regardless of if it actually makes any sense. What he has them do and the plot twists are half as clever as he seems to think they are.

Despite really disliking this book, I was planning to still buy book 5 when it comes out and slog through it just because it seems silly to not complete the series. However, after reading the sneak peek chapter 1 of the book on the author''s website, I think I''m going to pass on that one. So sad-- I really loved the first book and hoped this series would really continue to do it justice.
51 people found this helpful
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Cyga74
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good Series, but this one is just filler.
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2017
As mentioned elsewhere, the fact that the novel does not deal with either of the two main characters at all is really frustrating. The Krasian culture and characters are interesting, but not interesting enough to cover an entire book. It feels like a five book deal was... See more
As mentioned elsewhere, the fact that the novel does not deal with either of the two main characters at all is really frustrating. The Krasian culture and characters are interesting, but not interesting enough to cover an entire book. It feels like a five book deal was signed and they needed some filler. I feel like this series has been dragging slower and slower in each novel. I hope he does not Robert Jordan this thing and decide to drag it on to 12 novels and die before finishing.

Also, anyone else annoyed with Arlen''s devolving language? He was an eloquent and learned world travel, now all his sentences are like "Ent gunna let that happen. True Word". Did he tattoo a Forrest Gump ward on himself?
27 people found this helpful
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Dandalf the Grey
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Much Better Than Expected, Given Books 2 and 3
Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2018
So I bought all the books as a bundle - I am uncomfortable leaving a series unread once I''ve started. I only really read reviews for the first book, which were glowing, so I dove into that one. And I wasn''t disappointed! Book 1 was great, and hit everything I wanted in a... See more
So I bought all the books as a bundle - I am uncomfortable leaving a series unread once I''ve started. I only really read reviews for the first book, which were glowing, so I dove into that one. And I wasn''t disappointed! Book 1 was great, and hit everything I wanted in a unique fantasy story. Books 2 and 3...well, those very nearly got me to break my practice of reading through an entire series. The backstory was too much for me; which they very much humanized each and every character and made them all understandable and plausible, it was just too not pertinent to the overall story. But I shouldn''t dwell on the other books...

For book 4, I totally understand the people who are grating at the fact that NO, the majority of the book is not about Arlen and Jardir and their war against the demons. The book does start there and it was indeed nice to get a reminder that the book indeed is supposed to have an end goal, but it''s not the central element, no. You''ll need to come to terms with that. But the book itself was written better than the previous two installments, enough that I would endorse it without putting an asterisk behind it.

Big plusses for me were that there was good non-demon action, and all of the main characters seemed to be more balanced as human beings. I pick up a big vibe of understand-those-who-are-different-than-you from the series as a whole, but in this book I didn''t feel bashed over the head with it. Everyone was nice in their own way, capable in their own way, had personal and political problems that I wasn''t opposed to, and in general the author stuck with POV characters long enough to keep the story juicy. In prior books he jumped around every chapter, but at least now we get some momentum with multiple successive chapters before jumping to something different. It kept it more enjoyable with this book.

Your mileage may vary, but I personally was happy that things picked up in book 4. A bit less of Leesa being a best-at-everything-instantaneously, Rojer''s wives were formidable and though they had their foibles they were still good characters, and all the other supporting characters were made out to be more interesting. If you''ve already bought into the series I say continue on. If you haven''t yet, I''m still positive about the experience after 4 books and looking forward to book 5. Happy reading!
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Rowanne
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing Political Filler
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2015
I can''t decide between 2 or 3 stars. One one hand, the book is well written; on the other it''s absolutely NOT what I waited for and wanted to read. The series is about the fight between humans and the corelings. Arlen and Jardir are the stars here, as the leaders... See more
I can''t decide between 2 or 3 stars. One one hand, the book is well written; on the other it''s absolutely NOT what I waited for and wanted to read.

The series is about the fight between humans and the corelings. Arlen and Jardir are the stars here, as the leaders of the human resistances. This book has very little to do with them. The third book left off in a cliffhanger, and while this book does cover about 5 minutes worth of followup, that''s it. The two most important characters and none of the story is about them. The little bit that we do get, Arlen''s character seems completely off.

I don''t care enough about the various politics to have an entire book dedicated to it. All the focus of this book was on secondary characters and the daylight war. Those were great back story and helped get the main characters where they were but now you cut them out and expect your readers to be interested? Sorry, no. This book might have been a nice supplementary story, but it''s a terrible continuation of a series. If there had been at least some swapping back and forth I would have understood. Apparently for multiple months Arlen & co did nothing. At the end of the third book we were moving on to an ending, the climax of the series. The ending of this book? It''s not even an interesting cliffhanger. The coup wasn''t finished in a satisfying manner, Lesha hasn''t arrived back at the Hollow to do anything, and Arlen''s bit? Not even worth writing. You need movement for a cliffhanger and this book stalled out. The author started a whole bunch of things and none of them even got a proper ending. If politics was the focus then we needed a reason for it. Arlen and Jardir should have returned to this mess, not in the the next book, but now.

Nothing was solved in this book. A character was added, a bunch were killed, and the main plot moved precisely nowhere.
40 people found this helpful
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David Bresson
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good writing, but a different story
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2019
Ok, I love the world Peter has created here, and his writing/prose is in great form in this novel, but I couldn''t help but feel this book was just stalling until the final book/battle/conclusion taking place in the next book of the series. This book is all political... See more
Ok, I love the world Peter has created here, and his writing/prose is in great form in this novel, but I couldn''t help but feel this book was just stalling until the final book/battle/conclusion taking place in the next book of the series. This book is all political intrigue focused on the side characters and their stories. And while that''s ok, it''s still not the main story, the main characters that keep me going and turning those pages to learn more about. Some things happened in this book, but almost seem inconsequential. I hope that turns out to be not the case. I''m looking forward to moving on and getting into book 5, so I can read more about Arlen and Jardir''s conflict with the demons and seeing what happens. This book here was just "keeping the engine warm" so to speak.
2 people found this helpful
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Donald T.
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Somewhat better than the last book - but the series continues to follow the wrong storyline
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2015
When I read “The Warded Man” by Peter V Brett, I was blown away. It instantly became one of my all-time favorite books. It still is. Since then, I have followed the story through the rest of the series. “The Desert Spear” was not as good as the first book, but I still... See more
When I read “The Warded Man” by Peter V Brett, I was blown away. It instantly became one of my all-time favorite books. It still is. Since then, I have followed the story through the rest of the series. “The Desert Spear” was not as good as the first book, but I still enjoyed it. The third book (The Daylight War) was pretty disappointing. And that’s why it’s taken me several months to get back to Brett’s fourth installment, “The Skull Throne”. I have been apprehensive about reading another book that might further deteriorate my feelings toward the series. After finishing it, I feel like the book itself is better than the last one but is still a disservice to the original book.
The book is well written. I am in no way questioning Brett’s talent or skills as an author. My gripe with this book and the series is that Brett lost his way after “The Warded Man”. The first book was amazing because the world was scary and mysterious and because in Arlen he had a protagonist that was larger than life. A guy who had survived despite all odds and had forced himself to work harder, be smarter, and get creative to survive. Then he instilled in that character the drive to help others overcome the darkness. That’s why the first book was so incredible. He added interesting support characters in Leesha and Roger as well. Even Jardir brought something to the story. Things went south when in the second book Jardir and his people and storyline took over the series. Basically all of the second, third, and fourth books revolve around the Kraisan people. Sure, there are little bits here and there about Arlen and Leesha and Roger but even those have been ruined because for whatever reason Brett made the decision to dumb down Arlen and destroy all interest in Leesha and Roger. I don’t even care what happens to those two anymore. I’d almost just assume he kill them both off at this point. And I desperately want Arlen to return to the dark hero he was in the first book – and I saw glimpses of that in “The Skull Throne” which gives me some hope for the final book (although I’m still struggling with the country-bumkin dialogue between Arlen and Rena).
All in all, this book is not badly written or even bad in its own right. It’s actually better than the last. The problem is with Brett’s direction for the series as the whole. Nothing he’s written has lived up to the promise of the first book. I am hopeful that the last book in the series will redeem some of the sins of the middle three books, but only time will tell. In the meantime, I can’t give this one more than a three out of five because the story Brett’s giving us just isn’t the story any of us want to read.
6 people found this helpful
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Cy
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Awful
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2017
Terrible.. i liked the first book very well..the second was awful..being forced to read endlessly about unlikable characters. The third book at least advanced the plot. This book was boring.. the plot "twists" were easily spotted earlier. Lets face it..the entire story... See more
Terrible.. i liked the first book very well..the second was awful..being forced to read endlessly about unlikable characters. The third book at least advanced the plot. This book was boring.. the plot "twists" were easily spotted earlier. Lets face it..the entire story that anyone is continuing to read this series for is Arlen and secondarily Jardir. You get about 40 total page of the actual story out of 800 pages of new character backstory and infill non drama. Super disappointing
4 people found this helpful
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Lars MD
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Death comes to us all
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2019
First statement: you need to read the first three books to understand this one. Brett is an author who isn’t afraid to hold to the one truth that we all must face: death comes to us all. Fairly shocked as to the number of important characters in this story that... See more
First statement: you need to read the first three books to understand this one.
Brett is an author who isn’t afraid to hold to the one truth that we all must face: death comes to us all.
Fairly shocked as to the number of important characters in this story that had their life snuffed. Who needs corelings when man is the real monster in the dark.
I can see why people gave this a lower rating simply based on the horror in their hearts when their favorite characters life simply ends. I’m still not sure what I think about it myself. I hope the final book makes it all worthwhile because at present I’m a little bummed out.
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info@hsmtraining.com
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Drags on
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2020
It would have been nice if the publisher could have put a synopsis the beginning considering the length of time from book three to four. This drags on too much and the authors got carried away with the whole sharum dama thing as if it really adds to the plot. The other is...See more
It would have been nice if the publisher could have put a synopsis the beginning considering the length of time from book three to four. This drags on too much and the authors got carried away with the whole sharum dama thing as if it really adds to the plot. The other is misguided if they think they are creating a new world. They are just taking stereo types from this one and bending them slightly. If I hadn''t started the series. Would bother reading this. Disappointing. Just started book five and I am not hopeful it will improve.
2 people found this helpful
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Lauren Auty
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a solid read but slow going in places
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2017
The first book in this series is storming, the second and third loose a lot of momentum but are still a good read. The skull throne left we wanting, the bulk of the book seemed to go no where at all, with the bulk of the book dedicated to in house squabbling and who is...See more
The first book in this series is storming, the second and third loose a lot of momentum but are still a good read. The skull throne left we wanting, the bulk of the book seemed to go no where at all, with the bulk of the book dedicated to in house squabbling and who is sticking who. Arlen and Jadir are almost non-existent which is disappointing as the chapters with them in see a return to the flare of book one. The krasian are becoming more and more like the aiel from the wheel of time, especially the women with spear sisters and the sign language. Saying that it''s a solid read and parts are really enjoyable and the action when it gets into the nitty gritty picks up the pace. it''s a shame that there is so much filler to slog through. This book could be 200 pages shorter and not loose anything.
7 people found this helpful
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Youngs
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Puts the sag into saga
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2016
The author has gone down with a bad case of saga-itis. What started as an excellent couple of novels has gone severely off-plot and degenerated into a soap-opera of secondary characters, many of whom get trivially killed off thus removing whatever buy-in the reader has...See more
The author has gone down with a bad case of saga-itis. What started as an excellent couple of novels has gone severely off-plot and degenerated into a soap-opera of secondary characters, many of whom get trivially killed off thus removing whatever buy-in the reader has developed to their plotlines and destroying any re-readability of the book. The Demon Cycle would have made an excellent trilogy if it had remained true to the initial storyline but has turned into a saggy Game of Thrones clone - a real shame as the author is undoubtedly talented.
9 people found this helpful
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ChrisT
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Only two more books to get through - hopefully.................
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 29, 2016
its a bit like a TV series that''s annoying but you have to keep watching- I finished Skull Throne just after the latest X Files episode in which a slightly aging Mulder and Scully pursue a man sized lizard. Still, this last series only runs for 6 shows, i guess I can get...See more
its a bit like a TV series that''s annoying but you have to keep watching- I finished Skull Throne just after the latest X Files episode in which a slightly aging Mulder and Scully pursue a man sized lizard. Still, this last series only runs for 6 shows, i guess I can get through that. How many books will the Demon Cycle run to, I presume we''re into the 2nd trilogy now? The Krasian culture is even harder going than ever, their blend of Fundamentalist Islam, Spartan discipline and Macchiavelian politics don''t make them easy to empathize with, and I am still having to constantly turn to the Krasian glossary at the back to remind myself who all the characters are and how they''re related to each other - the endless titles of the various military and religious ranks don''t help either - chi''sharum, damaji, nie dama t''ing etc etc............I will keep reading cos I want to know how Leesha''s pregnancy will turn out, what happens to Abban the khaffit at the hands of Hasik the eunuch, what will happen to Ahmann Jardir and Arlen Bales on their trek into the core...............I wish I didn''t have to sound as if reading it was a hard slog rather than a pleasurable activity, but somehow he''s lost the thrill since the Painted Man - lets hope he finds it again
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Mr Murray Macdonald
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dull money spinner
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2017
Nothing happens for lots of the book. An obvious filler turning what should have been a great trilogy into a dull money spinner.
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