HarperVoyager, h/b, Â£18.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins
In the aftermath of their battle with the Coreling Prince and his mimic, Arlen and Renna are closer than ever before. His years spent battling demons and learning their powers have changed Arlen, turning him from the boy he was into The Painted Man he now is. His strength is superior, his mind keener then ever, and his grasp of the demon magic grows by the day. Renna has no choice but to learn the secrets too, if she is to stay at Arlenâ€™s side.
Elsewhere in another time, young Inevera is approaching her Hannu Pash. The time has come for her to see what the dice hold for her future. The Damaâ€™ting are terrifying and she knows her life will change at this moment. Inevera is told she is destined to find the next Deliverer, but the dice do not reveal all of the answers and her future will come at a price the child cannot yet understand.
The Royal Consort is shocked by the defeat of the Coreling Prince at the hands of a human, but now he understands his enemy a little more. Both of his enemies. Two men are hailed as the Deliverer. The Royal Consort seeks to destroy them both.
The Daylight War is the third book in the Demon Cycle series and continues to follow both Arlen and Jardir as each seeks to overcome the corelings and each other. Several other characters including Leesha, Renna, Inevera and Rojer also take point of view roles in this book, showing action in different places as the Krasians try to conquer their rivals and at the same time are changed by them.
In terms of layout and pattern, this book works on the same principle as The Desert Spear. The use of time, particularly in stepping back in time to show the upbringing of characters who are now coming into the forefront in the present, is a necessary device to complete the story, and whilst this does mean that the novel is lengthy and at times moves at a slower pace, it means the background and layering of detail gives the reader everything they need to immerse themselves in this world.
In terms of the story itself, it is hard to speak of without spoiling the experience for readers. Where book one was very much focused on Arlen growing up and becoming The Painted Man, and book two gave us Jardirâ€™s background and desires as he styled himself Deliverer, book three shows us what happens to the land and the people around them when two able forces begin to oppose one another.
There is tension, magic, suspense and an ending that comes too quickly â€“ even at nearly 800 pages â€“ and leaves you reeling.Â Book four cannot come soon enough and it feels safe to say it will be a while yet before we see any conclusion to the Demon Cycle. As the characters have grown and developed, so too has the magic system and political landscape of the world, leaving great scope for the story to expand further.