I recommend you only read this post if you have finished The Skull Throne. There will also be a review of the first chapter of Peter V. Brett’s The Core.
Peter V. Brett has published a blog post today that will delight his fans. I recommend you check the whole blog post out, it outlines Peter’s plans and resolutions for the year – but I’ll summarise what I’m excited about and review the first chapter of The Core (book 5 in the Demon Cycles series) below.
The Core: Progress
Peter told fans that the fifth and final book in the Demon Cycle series is well underway, but that writing didn’t go quite as smoothly as he’d hoped in 2015 due to travelling and promotional commitments related to The Skull Throne. Peter says during that in 2015 he managed to write an average of around 2,776 words a week in comparison to 5,148 a week in 2014. For 2016 he hopes to return to that 5000(ish) kind of word count.
He will be beginning 2016 with The Core wordcount standing at 52,637. That’s 10 completed chapters — including the prologue — out of his planned 31. Peter has already drafted detailed notes on how each chapter will go, whose POV it will be told from and how the story will end (he also writes that he always intended the series to be five books long and this ending is the one he had always planned).
No more flashbacks
One of Peter’s finest skills is his ability to tell a story laterally and backwards, in addition to forwards (i.e. going back in time to further the story or add to it through another, contrasting view). However, Peter says that he doesn’t need to do this in The Core. Instead, the characters and the coming action is all in sync and we will be ploughing full steam ahead.
The Core: Release Date
Peter said that a 2017 release date is likely. He notes that after The Painted Man (The Warded Man), his average word count was right around 243,352 words per book. If you consider that he has written 52,637 words already and plans to write around 5,148 words a day this year then he should finish the first draft around the end of the year. That leaves him and his editors twelve months of editing and tightening work to meet that 2017 goal comfortably (note: George R.R. Martin’s publishers said it will take them 3 months to edit The Winds of Winter upon receiving his manuscript, so that’s not unrealistic or anything)..
Review of The Core: Chapter 1 (skip if you don’t want minor spoilers)
Peter has posted Chapter 1 here of The Core on his website. I’m going to do a very short review of it below:
Peter’s writing is as fluent and absorbing as ever as he takes the point of view of Leesha. By the time we catch up with her it is obvious that the baby she is carrying is far from normal – magic means that even within the womb it is making its power known and Leesha is forced to use ward-magic to reinforce her stomach and stop the baby kicking its way out.
When you look back to the first book, it seems quite impossible that the author would have been able to take the young Leesha Paper from a child groomed to be nothing more than a house wife to the shrewd, strong political leader that she appears in this opening chapter. In considerable pain, Leesha is able to think ahead and mask the physical struggle she is partaking in order to protect herself for the coming period where she and the baby will be in a weakened state.
The array of emotions and plot development in this single chapter is dizzying and impressive – adding to the sense of urgency by the increase in frequency of Leesha’s contractions. We are reminded of the fallen character from the last book, we meet characters who wish Leesha wrong and Leesha must trust those she most distrusts in order to ensure her baby enters this world safely – it is classic Peter V. Brett.
The brave twist that is revealed in the final sentence of this chapter is a cruel cliffhanger for fans of the series… the author has set himself a real challenge and the handling of this reveal will surely be a hot topic amongst the SFF community the year of its release. I didn’t expect this opening chapter to do much more than solidify my desperation for this title and it has done exactly that. The strength of Leesha as a POV character here, in addition to the other POV threads (especially Jardir and Arlen’s) that build towards a truly epic climax, suggest this will be one of 2017’s biggest titles.
More Demon Cycle Books
Probably some of the best news I’ve had since I started this blog in 2010: Peter V. Brett doesn’t intend to leave the world of the Demon Cycle anytime soon. Although I’m sure Peter would nail any world he creates, it seems to me that the Demon Cycle world is so rich in history and potential futures that readers would be missing out if Peter didn’t explore it further. Peter confirmed several novellas, multiple stand-alone novels and a whole new series of books are on the table.
The New Series
In true Peat style, we weren’t given too many details, but we were told that the new series will allow Peter a fresh start and to shed much of the baggage that the current characters bring with them. Based on the fact the first chapter of The Core introduces to us a new, infant character I imagine (and hope) this new series will follow the life and adventures of Leesha and Jardir’s child. It seems a logical way to move the story forward, this will be one incredibly powerful child with a uniqueness about it (read the chapter!) and its birth will be controversial among a percentage of the planet’s the population – regardless of what happens in The Core.
About the Author
Overlord is a Martial Artist, Reader, Student, Boston Terrier owner, Social Media Adviser (to UK Gov/Parliament) and the founder of Fantasy-Faction.com. It's a varied, hectic life, but it's filled with books and Facebook and Twitter and Kicking stuff - so he'd not have it any other way.
New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett brings one of the most imaginative fantasy sagas of the twenty-first century to an epic close.
For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them. Then two heroes arose—men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Warded Man, tattooed head to toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat—and emerge victorious. Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka—the final war against demonkind.
But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear—a swarm. Now the war is at hand, and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen’s wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.
Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil—from which none of them expects to return alive.
Look for Peter V. Brett’s complete Demon Cycle:
THE WARDED MAN | THE DESERT SPEAR | THE DAYLIGHT WAR | THE SKULL THRONE | THE CORE
Praise for The Core
“Thoroughly addicting . . . a thrilling adventure that is, without question, [Brett’s] greatest achievement yet.”—Bookreporter
“Rewarding . . . Congratulations to Peter Brett on completing a fantastic series.”—SFFWorld