The Core (#5)

Previous: The Skull Throne

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.


“Brett delivered a conclusion that [...] felt earned for each of the main characters. A war concluded, a peace delivered, and a saga ended…for now.”


“Thoroughly addicting [...] a thrilling adventure that is, without question, [Brett’s] greatest achievement yet.


“Only very rarely does a long epic fantasy series conclude satisfactorily. With THE CORE, Peter V. Brett manages to hit all the right notes."

The Ranting Dragon

“Brett has managed to pull off a mostly satisfying conclusion that retains the high standards of the previous books.”

Fantasy Literature

“[T]his series as a whole is in my top 10 I have ever read [...] I give THE CORE by Peter V. Brett 5 out of 5 stars. This was truly a great series and I not only recommend it, I insist that you go read it!”

The Blogin’ Hobgoblin

“The final battle was hard fought and gave a very satisfying ending for the series.”

Sci-Fi Fan Letter

“Wow. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you conclude one of the pivotal fantasy epics of the 21st century. THE CORE is not just a fitting conclusion to The Demon Cycle, it is (by far) the greatest book of an already impressive saga. Peter V. Brett has saved the best for last in a story that is big, bold, and brilliant [...] [It] is an ending so perfect, I honestly cannot find a single flaw in how it all played out.”

Beauty in Ruins

“There’s plenty of political intrigue and machinations, a few twists and turns, and a last act that is going to keep you turning pages until late in the night.”

Six Colors, “Our favorite books of 2017”

“Only very rarely does a long epic fantasy series conclude satisfactorily. With THE CORE, Peter V. Brett manages to hit all the right notes, delivering the perfect ending to a great series. Through the years, Brett’s Demon Cycle became one of my very favorite fantasy series. Everything that was started throughout the series, all the potential hinted at in previous books, it all paid off in the end. THE CORE is one of the best finales I’ve ever read. If you’ve been waiting to read The Demon Cycle until it’s completed, I can very much recommend you pick it up in 2018!”

The Ranting Dragon