As a fan of the entire series I was very happy with the final installment of the demon cycle. Well paced, especially while bouncing between the various storylines. This was something I was thankful for after the Desert Spear felt a bit choppy. Past novels aside, The Core really nails it. The plotlines start out with a bang then have a gentle build up of tension. When appropriate Brett pauses one storyline until the competing storyline catches up. For me this was done perfectly with Eunach Ka/Abban, so high five Pete. Great job there.
The climax for each character hit the around the same time, so by this time I was so sucked into the story that the pages just flew by. The ending left me feeling satisfied that all major questions were answered. Although I may have wanted to read more, it felt right that the story ended there. Solid ending to a great story.
With all that said there were a few moments where I was jarred out of the story. First being the initial scene between Briar and Stefny, it felt forced and unrealistic. It reminded me of the scene between Arlen and Leesha in the Warded Man. They were both sex scenes that came too soon in the characters relationship. It is hard for me to believe that such a strong emotional attachment forms from something so abrupt. With Leesha and Arlen it made sense because of their personalities and the fact that well he’s the warded freakin man. Stefny and Briar, don’t seem to fit all that well.
The other major moment that the story lost me was announcing Sikvah’s death. She’s a character that I have grown to love, in fact one of my favorites. I wanted to know how she died, and see her fight for her unborn child. Instead the scene fell flat, granted the focus is on Inevera but her connection to Sikvah has never been shown much. Amanvah would have been a great perspective to use to show this.
Which leads me to the number one lacking point of The Core. Roger’s storyline just died. Yeah the legacy of his music lives on everywhere but the characters that we’ve grown to love from his plot line seemed to also die off with him. Amanvah, Sikvah and Kendall are pushed to the sideline. Especially with Sikvah’s death this ends up being one of the saddest stories but it was buried. Most of the sadness of loss comes from Arlen’s death which is almost expected. Not to say it did not have impact, I was flipping pages like my fingers were on fire but I think there could have been more.
Thanks for the story, look forward to the next one.
Peter V. Brett's Website
To buy the book on Amazon: The Core