American fantasy author Peter V Brett was in Reading on Friday April 10 signing his latest book ‘The Skull

Throne’, fourth book in the ‘Demon Cycle’ series. The Demon Cycle books take the reading into an alternative universe filled with darkness, demons and of course, heroes.

“The first book that I read that didn’t have any pictures in it was the Hobbit.” Peter said. “Sometimes I wonder if I had picked up Sherlock Holmes or something if I would have a completely different course to my life.

“You know the first book that ever captures your imagination stays with you. I read the Hobbit and loved it and pretty much only read comic books after that for years.

“My father got frustrated and remembered that I liked the Hobbit so he went to the library and borrowed The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks for me. This is another fantasy book and after I read that it was sort of cemented. It was like OK this is the kind of book that I like and I would just haunt the library and the book shops looking for more fantasy books, picking them by their covers (even though you’re not supposed to judge books that way), but that’s the way everyone does it when they’re first starting out.

“I read hundreds of fantasy books over the years and I think that something about it resonated with me and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Peter’s writing career started professionally when, over the course of a year, he wrote a novel (The Painted Man) on his mobile phone while commuting on the subway from his home in Brooklyn to his job in Times Square. “I wrote 60% of that book on my phone.” he said. “I had a Windows phone, pre iPhone that had a very watered down version of Microsoft Word on it. I could write on the phone, take it back home, plug it into my computer, sync it to my desk top, keep working on the same file on my desk top, sync it back to my phone.

“When I was at the stage where I was hoping I might turn writing from a hobby into a profession and was trying to get this done I needed time to write. Every writer has this problem. I had a job, I had a social life, I had friends and didn’t want to give any of those up. Something had to go and so I ended up giving up my morning reading time during my commute to work.

“I had a 45 minute train ride to work every day and instead of reading a book during that time I would sit and type away on my phone on whatever chapter I was working on.

“Over the course of a year, I was writing maybe six to eight hundred words a day on my phone and then more at night on my desk top, so over the course of a year that added up to a considerable amount.”

The Painted Man was published and became one of the most successful fantasy debuts of 2008. The second book of the Demon Cycle, The Desert Spear, debuted at number nine on the Sunday Times Bestseller list in 2010. Book three, The Daylight War, charted at number three in 2013.

In this instalment the Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay.

“Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all. But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honour refuse.

Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a saviour, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart. In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for enough glory to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late. Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton – rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared…

The Skull Throne (Demon Cycle) by Peter V. Brett

ISBN: 978-0007425686

Hardcover £12.91

Paperback £7.99

Kindle £8.81

You can find out more about Peter V Brett and his writing at