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The Warded Man (Demon Trilogy, #1) by Peter…

The Warded Man (Demon Trilogy, #1) (edition 2009)

by Peter V. Brett

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2,1111473,114 (4.11)99
Title:The Warded Man (Demon Trilogy, #1)
Authors:Peter V. Brett
Info:Ballantine Books (2009), Trade Paperback
Collections:Read, Your library
Tags:fantasy, 2012, demons, magic

Work details

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

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English (142)  German (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (148)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
The beginning of a series that's already up to 4 giant novels and 4 shorter entries. I kept hearing good things about it, so decided to check it out.

Well... it's a start. A slow start, however.
The largest part of the book really moved too slowly for me, as it shows us three young people who are bored of life in their small, backward, restrictive towns.

Admittedly, I guess the point is that their lives are restricted and boring... but it got to the point where reading about them was boring, too. And oh, the stereotypes.

The reason that life is so very restrictive and boring here is that, for the last few hundred years, a plague of bloodthirsty demons comes out every night. Anyone caught outside a warded area will be quickly and viciously killed. Whenever it's dark, both the residents of rural villages and the inhabitants of walled cities huddle inside buildings protected by the magical symbols drawn or carved into their boundaries.
It's a war that people are losing, too, by a slow, drawn-out process of attrition.

Understandably, travel is avoided. Villages communicate mainly through traveling duos of Messenger and Jongleur who facilitate news, trade and entertainment. It's a glamorous job, but a dangerous one.

One of the aforementioned bored young people, Arlen, wants nothing more than to be a Messenger. He's got a talent for drawing Wards, and when his family situation goes south, he runs off to try to pursue his dream.

Meanwhile, orphaned Rojer is taken in by a Jongleur and brought to one of the walled cities. While grieving his family, he also learns the trade - and discovers a special talent for the fiddle.

Leesha also has a horrible family situation. An unloving mother and a thuggish fiance cause her to end up with her reputation destroyed. However, she finds new direction in life when she apprentices to the local Herb Gatherer and begins to learn healing arts.

It's not really a surprise to find that eventually, these three stories might merge and, in that convergence, turn out to have something to do with fighting the demons...

It takes a while to get there though, and, as I said, there are just so many stereotypes along the way. The backwards villages with sexist attitudes and uneducated inhabitants are utterly familiar. The walled cities with craftspeople, apprentices, public performers, &c also seem right out of any number of fantasy novels. Then of course, there's the OTHER walled city a few days' ride away that's inexplicably inhabited by a Middle Eastern culture full of every trope about the Middle East you could pull out of a hat. Of course, the countryside is dotted with ancient ruins full of the forgotten Knowledge of the Elders. And that's not even touching on the archetypical behavior that the individual characters exhibit.

I also had a couple of basic logical issues with the setup. First, if the demon plague has been the situation for as long as the narrative says, people would've learned to deal with it a lot better. You just WOULDN'T go running outside your wards after a stray animal, for example. Not doing that would've been beaten into every single person from babyhood. It would be unthinkable.
Second, the concept of painting or tattooing wards on your person just isn't an unthinkable idea. You'd think nearly everyone would've thought to try it. And once one person figured it out and tales started spreading about the Warded Man painted or tattooed with protective symbols - you'd think that tattoos would very quickly become the hottest new trend for everyone.

However, if you're OK with the familiar... the book isn't terrible. The pace does eventually pick up, and ends with a big ol' climactic action scene. Having just finished it... I do have these criticisms, and I think they're valid... but I have hope that it might get better as it goes on. I may just go on to the next book in the series and find out what's happening next. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
slow start but got better ( )
  Claudia.Anderson | Feb 7, 2016 |
A very fun read. I will certainly continue with the series. ( )
  beertraveler | Feb 5, 2016 |
A promising start for a fantasy series. Surprisingly different to other fantasy settings, interesting enough to catch my attention and to keep me reading for hours.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world, in which demons raise every night to hunt people. The inhabitants of this world protect their homes with magical wards against the demons, but if these signs are broken, they will find a cruel end at the hand of the demons. The population is constantly shrinking and the people wait for the return of the Deliverer, a man who once united humanity against the demons and forced them to withdraw, leading to years of peace. But humans are humans, so they started to turn against each other and gave the demons the opportunity to return...

We meet the three main characters during their youth and witness the deciding moments for their development into active adults, who want to change something, who want to fight back. All characters in this book, not only the main characters, are three-dimensional, detailed persons with strengths and weaknesses, some of them are quite likeable, while I detested others - quite a realistic society under these circumstances.

One last word: although the protagonists start at a very young age, this book is definately adult fantasy with adult topics and some really gruesome scenes.

( )
  Ellemir | Feb 1, 2016 |
it was a good read. I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  tianicolle | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter V. Brettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Otzi,
the original Warded Man
First words
The great horn sounded.

Arlen paused in his work, looking up at the lavender wash of the dawn sky. Morning mist still clung to the air, bringing with its damp an acrid taste that was all too familiar. A quiet dread built in his gut as he waited in the morning stillness, hoping that it had been his imagination. He was eleven years old.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Variant Titles: The Painted Man (UK) = The Warded Man (US).
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Sometimes there is very good reason to be afraid of the dark...

Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents on their small farmstead, half a day's ride away from the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook.

As dusk falls upon Arlan's world, a strange mist rises from the ground, a mist carrying nightmares to the surface. A mist that promises a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness, for hungry corelings - demons that cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed on the living. As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn.

When Arlen's life is shattered by the demon plague, he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path.

In the small town of Cutter's Hollow, Leesha's perfect future is destroyed by betrayal and a simple lie. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.

Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night.

Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.
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As darkness falls each night, demons known as the corelings rise, and three young survivors of demon attacks risk everything to recover the secrets of the past to defeat the corelings and stop their relentless assault against humans.

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