Balancing backstory?

I finished Peter V. Brett’s The Desert Spear last night.  It left me a bit snerty.  This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the writing or that I didn’t get sucked into the story, but I have a few qualifications.

1.  I guess I would have liked to have the tale of Jardir interwoven a bit more with the storylines we were given in The Warded Man.  It feels like I just colided with a big boulder in a stream of the story–an interruption.  While I know the information is necessary, a more graduated method of introducing it would have worked better for my own preferences.

2.  The relationship choices all around are bad news.  I know people do what they do for reasons of their own, but geez, this is fiction.  Let someone be happy (and smart).

I understand that the foil situation between Jardir and the Warded Man.  That’s a given–the identity of the true Deliverer must be discovered.  However, I am wondering if this information was already considered when Brett first began developing the series.  If so, why not roll between the two from the outset in order to balance each backstory?  Considering that The Desert Spear is very Jardir-centered, I would have to say that The Warded Man is no less centered on Arlen.

I guess I am curious about the process that goes into developing a story arc that will carry across multiple books.  While his choices for the set up would not be the ones I would have made, I want to see how the series ends before I make a final review.  Perhaps these choices–while right now seeming a bit clunky–may turn out to be illuminating at the end.  Time will tell…


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