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The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle…

The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle (edition 2010)

by Peter V. Brett

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2,0581363,227 (4.11)96
Title:The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle
Authors:Peter V. Brett
Info:Del Rey (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Already Read, Your library, Audio Book
Tags:demons, fantasy, magic, epic fantasy, the Demon Cycle

Work details

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

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» See also 96 mentions

English (133)  French (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (138)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
On the surface this is a book about humanity struggling against the demons in the night, but on a deeper level it's about the human demons. Each of the three main characters faces difficulties brought on by humans, but they also have inspirational connections too. In the end all the three paths cross and combine.

This a book where it's the telling of the story, and the supporting characters that make it interesting, not the adventure it self. ( )
  MattMattYS | Nov 2, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The author struck a pretty good balance of action vs character development, and the setup for the rest of the books in the series is nicely done. I think I'll be watching this series as closely as my other 3 or 4 favorites. ( )
  jaredhite1 | Oct 6, 2015 |
"The story is set on a probable post apocalyptic world where people hide in the night, afraid of its perils. It starts with a clear show of blood, fire, destruction and fear. Human race, once strong and prosperous, now hide in the night, fearing its creatures: evil elemental monsters known as “corelings”, which, fortunately, hide from the sun with the same gut-gripping fear as their prey run from them.

After getting to know a little about the world's history itself, we get to know three strong children that thrive from all these calamities: Arlen, Leesha and Roger. Their story lines are developed at more or less the same time, carefully written as to show character development bit by bit.

Arlen is a courageous and self-driven boy. He was brought up in one of the many small villages, helping his family with common farm tasks. Is through his point of view that we first see the only apparent weapon disposed by humans as a mechanism of defense against the corelings: wards. These are kind of archaic runes, which provide magic shelters that corelings are not able to break through. Arlen displays a natural talent for drawing wards, which might be one of the reasons why he is not so passive and scared of the corelings as other people seem to be. As he grows up, he becomes more and more rebellious until he cannot abide the hiding in the corners anymore.

On the other hand, Leesha is the classical farm girl, also brought up in a small village, who’s wishes are simple: get married, have a family, be happy and grow old. Although you might think she has a perfect life, this notion is rapidly unmasked. She faces loads of struggles, being the major one the fact that she has a somewhat disturbed, egocentric, vain and selfish mother, with which she cannot be in the same room without having an argument. Leesha, although a little stubborn, has a really sharp mind, which guides her to her path as a herb gatherer apprentice (after some embarrassing events, of course). The cool thing is that she is not that nerdy girl which some authors like to place as a commoner living in a farm. On the contrary, she is highly principled and has a strong personality.

We don’t get to see a lot of Roger at the beginning, mostly because he is the youngest of the trio. At first he was just a happy boy living in another village with his parents, until certain events change his life forever. After this, his story jumps some years and we see him as a pre-adolescent, living as a jongleur apprentice in one the kingdom’s capitals. Later on he develops his musical talents and grows up to be a really good musician – which turns out to be much more important than anyone would have expected. Again, Brett’s innovative mind caught me off-guard.

The author uses the plot-jumping tool with such competence that you feel like you are watching those children grow up, passing through childhood doubts, youth fears and tough decisions. At some point you begin to feel as though you really know them, you start fearing for them and swearing when they choose unwisely. It is crazy, really.

The major plot is much more complex. It is full of politics, greed-driven conflicts, interest confrontations and, more importantly, criticism directed to human morals and our fear of changing and taking control of our lives and responsibility for our actions. There are new languages made specially for the story, new geographic features, different cultures and much more. All in all, it’s a marvelous book, totally worth your time.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
""Welcome to adulthood."" Cob said. ""Every child finds a day when the realize that adults can be weak and wrong just like everyone else. After that day, you are an adult. Like it or not.""
“We are what we choose to be, girl,"" she said. ""Let others determine your worth, and you've already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves.""
""Fear and pain are only wind. Let it blow past you.""

The Last Passage
The two slender corelings stood atop the rise for several minutes, silent vibrations passing between them. Then, as one, the coreling princes turned their eyes to the north, where the other human mind was said to be.
One of the mind demons turned to its mimic, kneeling back in the form of a gigantic wind demon, and walked up its extended wing. As it vanished into the night, the remaining mind demon turned back to regard the smoldering enemy camp.
" ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |

Somehow I acquired two free copies of this book with different titles. It's not bad first-book-of-a-fantasy-series; the world where humans are besieged nightly by deadly demons, and must ward them off with hastily-drawn magical sigils, is well realised, and the brutality of the human society conveyed effectively. Didn;t grab me sufficiently to make me want to look for the next in the series; my bar for big fantasy series is quite high. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 21, 2015 |
Good first book of a series interesting magic system. The main character wasn't very likable. ( )
  GSB68 | May 19, 2015 |
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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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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