Product info (from Goodreads):
As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.
A Warrior, a Minstrel, and a Healer/Herb Gatherer. Three among many characters of this book are usually presented as the epitome of fantasy lit cliches. Brett managed to break that mould and it made his fiction highly readable to me.
The story begins by following a young boy, Arlen, allowing well integrated world-building as Arlen grows up, suffers his first serious loss and runs away from home. Before Arlen reaches teen years, the point of view switches to a young girl, Leesha (the Healer), and then on to another boy, Rojer (the Minstrel). All of these are presented very well indeed, as three-dimensional heroes with hopes and fears of their own.
Still. The worldbuilding wasn’t that original – it was a fairy common Medieval-style community with princes, castles, knights, peasants etc. What’s more, the humans vs. demons, good vs. evil fight soon became boring. I also found plenty of inconsistencies when it came to the roles of women. They are revered as Mothers. Then they are shamed for extramarital children and sleeping around. They should have as many babies as possible because demons are killing people constantly. And yet they take contraceptives if they wish and it is not against any law. Hmm… somebody hasn’t thought it through. The last word of warning: this author likes torturing his characters and in his writing tool box he seems to favour rape.
It wasn’t very bad but it wasn’t exceptionally good either; if you don’t care about logic in the world building you might enjoy this one far more than me.