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The Core: Book Five of The Demon Cycle

Review

The Core: Book Five of The Demon Cycle

It has been a long and incredible journey as Peter V. Brett has unfolded The Demon Cycle. With each book in this series, he has shown his ability to engage a reader in an epic tale with increasing skill, solidifying himself as one of the preeminent voices in modern fantasy. Now, with THE CORE, the grand finale, Brett takes us on a thrilling adventure that is, without question, his greatest achievement yet.

Reviewing the concluding volume of such a worthwhile series is a challenge. One must tread carefully. Major events and spoilers need to be avoided if it can be helped.

The world of men rests on a precipice as the demons take victory after victory in their brutal war. All is darkness and despair. The Waning and the Swarm seem to all but sound the death knell for humankind.

"THE CORE propels forward at a breakneck pace and is thoroughly addicting.... [T]his is a truly satisfying conclusion to one of the better fantasy epics of the new millennium..."

In general, THE CORE can be described as the darkest, grimmest tale of the five that comprise the series. Brett drops readers into battle after battle, each coming with such rapidity that you have to force yourself to stop reading just to pause long enough to allow the devastating events to sink in.

And the events are devastating. The human forces are no match for an ever-learning and conniving demon force. In battle after battle mankind is assaulted, and yet hope always gleams just beyond the grim, and sacrifices are made as heroes wage war to save all.

Leesha, Inevera, Elissa and Ragen have the unenviable task of uniting the peoples of the Free Cities in the hopes that unified forces can repel the onslaught from the demons. At the same time, Arlen and Jardir must put aside their differences and undertake a harrowing journey straight down into the heart of the evil itself --- the Core.

Arlen and Jardir both really shine, which is not surprising, but Brett pulls some surprises out of his pack, allowing others to step forward for a moment in the diminishing light. As location after location falls, old slights are cast aside and those of questionable character show their true value.

Brett switches things up. Gone are the flashbacks. Here, every event is of the Now. He also starts off the book with a disturbing chapter, told from the viewpoint of a demon, Alagai Ka.

THE CORE propels forward at a breakneck pace and is thoroughly addicting. If there is but one quibble to mete out, it would be that the ending seems to play out too quickly. Nevertheless, this is a truly satisfying conclusion to one of the better fantasy epics of the new millennium, and it will be interesting to see where Brett goes from here. He has certainly earned his following, and will have a strong base of readers to explore whatever new worlds he plans to share.

Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on November 3, 2017

The Core: Book Five of The Demon Cycle
by Peter V. Brett

  • Publication Date: October 3, 2017
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • ISBN-10: 0345531507
  • ISBN-13: 9780345531506