Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Skull Throne: By Peter V. Brett



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. . . .

While I should have expected this, the Skull Throne, the fourth book out of five in the Demon Cycle Series, brings even more shocking events to a head than its predecessor, The Daylight War.

Wars are fought, characters introduced, characters killed, and entire plans thrown away, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be unable to put down this remarkable book until your each the last page, and even then you’ll flip back to older chapters trying to see if you really read the insanity that you just read.

That is the greatest reason why you should read the Skull Throne, for while it ends in remarkable cliffhangers for most of the characters we have come to love, and almost everyone is in peril, if you pick this book up you will not be able to put it down. Brett has created a truly remarkable book in how captivating it is. There really are no slow or down moments as readers jump from one war to another, and even when wars end there is constant treachery and intrigue that readers will have to take a day off work before picking this book up.

Brett also keeps the story going by switching between characters mid struggle, as if the reader is flipping between channels attempting to catch only the good bits. This cuts out much of the unnecessary banter many books are left with and focuses on keeping the reader engaged and on the edge of their seat. This if nothing else shows that Peter Brett is a talented author who clearly knows his craft. The way in which Brett is able to seemly maneuver between such staggeringly different characters and different storylines, in a way that not only doesn’t detract from the story but instead enhances it is truly remarkable.

Now that’s not to say that that Skull Throne is all action and no substance. This book still manages to introduce a number of riveting new characters, engage in numerous political debates, and move the story forward in leaps in bounds. My personal favorite new character that is given a POV is Ashia. She is strong, smart, and has a complicated history with a number of main characters that really furthers the story and brings new light to a number of issues the book deals with.

All in all I loved The Skull Throne even as it left me positively shaking with disbelief with the events of the last 100 pages. Peter Brett is an amazing author and readers will clearly be clamoring. His characters are complicated, his story full of action and enough surprises to keep any reader guessing, and the book runs at a pace that will entrance even the most jaded of readers. All in all a fantastic book that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: March 31, 2015

Price: $28.00

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