[book:The Desert Spear|6736971] starts out completely different than I expected, and I loved every minute of it. Without every coming to a point where I actually liked the character of Jardir, this section managed to instill me with a sort of begrudging respect for the guy. I mean, this guy is absolutely out of his mind, but you can’t really blame him for being a product of his society. Despite being a total nutjob, he’s actually quite honorable (albeit in a twisted kind of way) and, to a point, even likable. The similarities between the Krasians and some real cultures weren’t lost on me and I must admit that it helped me put certain things in different perspectives.
After the initial section that focused on the Krasians I was relieved to move the POV back to Arlen and the others, and again, Brett did not disappoint. The story follows the events from the POV of 8 different characters, many times overlapping short periods of time, allowing the reader to fully grasp the subtle differences in interpreting different situations. It really is masterfully written, and not once did I get bored with a character, or wish that he would just move on to another.
When I passed the 75% mark I was fearful of another anti-climactic ending, since no major conflict was appearing clearly on the horizon. Fortunately, I found the ending much more to my liking, and while the entire series up to this point is obviously working toward some epic climax later on, I found that the ending of [book:The Desert Spear|6736971] was really satisfactory.
[book:The Desert Spear|6736971] left me with a desire to read on, to learn about this world and to read more of it’s inhabitants. I love the storytelling, the world building and grittyness of it all. Brett does not take the soft approach, as witnessed by the many raping, the whipping and the killing that goes on abundantly. Something I really respect in this and which makes this work of fiction all the better.
In short: Well written, with good buildup (albeit relatively short in comparison with the entire novel) and a satisfying climax.
5 stars without hesitation.