Book Review: The Skull Throne (The Demon Cycle #4) by Peter V. Brett
Well, The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett did not go as I thought it was taking the story and that pleases me greatly. It’s nice to have a thought of what you believe is going to happen with a story be shattered in all the right ways. Thus proving, I really have no logical idea of what is going to happen next. So when they do happen, it’s surprising and exciting.
The Skull Throne was a slow burn and as I got toward the end. I found myself putting in a couple of “It’s 2am, I have to wake up in 4 hours.” reading sessions to finish out the book. I’ll be honest that there were a couple of moments where I did suck in a deep breath and found myself holding it as some events unfolded. There are some big surprises, and when you think someone is getting what’s coming to them (good or bad) you realize on the next page, “Well that didn’t go as I was hoping.” but you still can’t give up that character. Unless you know, death. That kinda makes it hard to keep following a character. Be prepared for some “Well, crap.” deaths.
Skull Throne if you break it down is the Krasian’s battling for control of the Skull Throne now that they believe Jardir is taking his battle with the demons to a different level or even don’t think he’s coming back at all. His two eldest sons are set to ensure they are on the path to glory, mostly by wading through blood, so much blood. The Krasians are complicated and brutal, but extremely efficient in their takeover since moving out of their desert. The other side is Hollow County rising as a symbol of strength where so many nations find themselves nearly defenseless against the Krasians. Oh, Arlen and Jardir throw a tea party.
Ok, not a tea party, but basically host a special guest. Just without any fanfare or complete resolution.
I don’t know if it is foreshadowing or not, as I’m not sure if the series will do any big time jumps, but it felt like to me that this is a lot of setup for babies, born and unborn. While we got some new twists for who’s pregnant and who is going through complex relationships or marriage proposals. I have a feeling that what all the main players are doing now, could be a setup for their children to finish the job. I might be far off on that, depending on how some scenarios work out. Without giving away too much, I have a feeling Arlen and Jardir may be spending quite a bit of time traveling as they work to their end goal.
Something I want to highlight that I know people are starting to call more attention to, especially in the fantasy genre and that’s “strong female characters”. Skull Throne doesn’t have one. It actually has many. To a point where if you look at who is really running the show between kingdoms and groups, it’s the woman leader that everyone looks to for advice and who dictates decisions. It’s actually quite refreshing and when my daughter is old enough to read, I’ll be handing these books to her as the time comes. Hopefully she doesn’t get demon nightmares, I’m having a hard enough time with Scooby Doo monsters haunting her.
If you’ve been reading The Demon Cycle series, this fourth book doesn’t have any lull or feels like it makes the series stall as you wait for the big picture to unfold. The Skull Throne is available on Amazon right now at $19.01 for a hardcover. I’ve read numerous fantasy book series that at this point in the series lose my interest. As they reinvent characters from catastrophic events or spends a fourth book amounting to nothing. Skull Throne kicks that approach in the face like a well placed Shahrukh move. The worse thing is the wait for the next book. If you’ve been hesitant or have never read any of The Demon Cycle series, I highly suggest you pick up the first book, The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle and join me on this exciting literary journey.