Blurb: The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power. Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not. Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons–a spear and a crown–that give credence to his claim. But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure. Once, the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent–and deadly–than any that have come before.
Review: After really loving the first book in the series, I ended up rather frustrated with this book. I’m still impressed by the world and the general concept that surrounds this series, but there were a couple of things that dropped the rating on this book for me from where I rated the first one.
The attitude and culture surrounding how women are viewed and treated in this book is pretty contradictory. It would work better if we were talking about the way Krasian society treat women versus the rest of this world as they are different cultures, but the differences and contradictions are actually within a single culture. Women are in one moment expected to be pure and chaste with only their husband and on the next page that same woman is being chastised for still being a virgin and encouraged to find and take a lover. The two views and how they play out within the society do not mesh. I don’t even want to discuss overabundance of the theme of rape throughout this book.
I’m not a fan of characters that are fickle and we see that with several characters in this book. I don’t have a problem when characters change their minds when given reason, but I have a problem when characters turn their views, opinions or morals on a dime without explanation or reason. The biggest example is with Leesha, who has apparently spent her entire life avoiding having a physical relationship with a man, preferring to find one that is worthy of her trust only to jump on a man that has given her no reason what-so-ever of being deserving of her trust and is more than likely an enemy, which she is well aware of. It goes against her character as it has been built. Besides that, there are at least 3 separate characters whose affections for other characters are easily turned towards others without second thought or skipping a beat. It just makes what were previously characters that I was enjoying feel flaky and much less strong character wise.
The biggest downside I had with this book was the nearly 1/3 content that was focused on the history of the Krasian characters, some of which was even just a repeat of events from book one, but from a different character perspective. Since this group is my absolute least favorite in this world, this part of the book seemed repetitive and tedious. Much of it could have been cut or condensed and the reader still would have been able to get a better feel for the culture and characters that were needed in the series that we weren’t able to get in book one.
I did still enjoy this book despite those things. I want to know more about what happens from here, but may find myself skimming a bit in the next book if I have to run across more of the same issues.