As dusk falls upon Arlan's world, a strange mist rises from the ground, a mist carrying nightmares to the surface. A mist that promises a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness. For hungry corelings - demons that cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed on the living. As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn.
When Arlen's life is shattered by the demon plague, he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path.
In the small town of Cutter's Hollow, Leesha's perfect future is destroyed by betrayal and a simple lie. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.
Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night.
Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.
In some ways this first book, in what is promised to be a trilogy, is the set up for the coming books. We see how circumstances befall normal children in this world and how these events set them on a unique path. But for a book that sets things up it is riveting and presents a new world to explore that is both exciting and frightening. If this is just the start of things to come, I am so excited to see what Brett brings us next!
Brett's world is offers a vast array of cultures with much to explore and offers much by way of discussion of the differing roles of women and men in each of them. Some people may dislike some of the female roles presented but there was never a time when I felt that it was out of context.
I cannot wait to read the sequel, Desert Spear, when it comes out!
Peter V Brett also has an excellent website filled with fascinating bits and pieces including art, deleted scenes, and his own blog. Definitely go take a look!