Mankind finally has a way not only to defend themselves from the demons that have taken over the night, but they have the ability to combat their enemies. Arlen, aka the Warded Man, wants to distribute the combat wards he found to everyone in the world so they don't have to suffer at the hands of the demons as he did when his mother died.
Compare this to the Krasian method of enslaving all mankind and forcing them to fight in alagai'sharak, the Krasian's name for their nightly battle with the demons.
In this respect, I couldn't help but compare The Desert Spear to The Matrix Reloaded. Not because there was a decrease in quality like the Matrix films, but moreso because suddenly the demons aren't as scary just like the agents lost all their spunk in the second film.
There are so many ways and means that have been found, especially by Leesha and those of Deliverer's (formerly Cutter's) Hollow, to either combat the demons or make oneself invisible to them that it's almost like the demons aren't even there anymore. This was a little disappointing especially in a series that is all about groups of people coming together for the cause of warring with demonkind.
Luckily, there's enough going on that this isn't too big of an issue, just something that was a little disappointing. The Desert Spear (2010) [US] [UK], book 2 of the Demon Cycle, begins by following Ahmann something something something Jardir, who we met in The Warded Man (Alec's review, my review), and exclusively deals with the events in Krasia and Jardir's history...and this lasts for about a quarter of the book.
I know many have complained about this aspect of the book, that the book takes far too long to get to Arlan, Leesha, and Rojer, but I'm a firm believer that delayed satisfaction does in fact make you appreciate your favorite parts.
But, I can't really say that I even loathed reading the first part. The more I read/listened, the more I found I was sucked into Jardir's past/present and the effort that went into creating this society.
Not only are new wards created/found, but we find out there are more demons than we have seen so far, one of them being the Mind demons, who rule all of demonkind. These guys make a couple of appearances and prove that although most demons aren't much of a threat, there are still some that could pose some difficulties, especially since they have the ability to think and reason like man.
Leesha and Rojer have become mainstays in Deliverer's Hollow where many refugees have fled to escape the flood that is the Krasians. This is where we also find out the advancements that Leesha has made on warding. Many have mentioned that Leesha is a bit of a wonder woman in this book and while that's true to an extent, I think a lot of this comes from the fact that we see Leesha through the eyes of Ahmann Jardir, who has a bit of a skewed perspective of her.
The issue of The Deliverer, or Shar'Dama Ka in Krasia, is central to The Desert Spear. While Arlan does everything he can to fight this distinction, the people of the north will believe what they want to believe, and many times to Arlen's frustration.
On the other hand, in Krasia, Ahmann Jardir not only convinces himself and Krasia that he is the Shar'Dama Ka, but takes his unified Krasian army to the north to force the people of the north to fight demonkind.
I realized I haven't been that good at discussing the audio portion of the book when I do an Audiobook review, so I wanted to add this section so that the review will actually be handy to those who were debating on whether to listen or read, having already made the decision to obtain this book.
Pete Bradbury does a great job in both The Desert Spear and The Warded/Painted Man audiobooks. He has a gruff voice, which works well for Arlen, Jardir, all of Krasia, Messengers, etc. But, at the same time, it doesn't even sound weird when he does the female characters' voices. The Audiobook is really well done and definitely recommended.
When Should You Read The Desert Spear?
The Desert Spear continues on the same level as The Warded Man, which I highly recommend and while the characters are great, the world that Peter V. Brett created has created a huge fan in me.