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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Read
I was a little unsure of this title at first glance. But after hearing how Brett came up with the concept from a short story he wrote for a writing class I decided to give it a shot. And I have to say I am truly glad I did.

The Painted Man is a story of a world where demons rule the night forcing humanity to huddle within the safety of painted wards and a young...
Published on February 4, 2010 by D. Chuter

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, hope it gets better
The series is set in an interesting world construction. In the not to distant past something happened that completely changed the world. That something now causes elemental like creatures to come out of the earth every night to kill and destroy anything that moves unless protected by magic "wards". These "wards" are basically runes or sigils that...
Published 7 months ago by dvdjhll


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Read, February 4, 2010
By 
D. Chuter "ZaneStriker" (Newcastle, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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I was a little unsure of this title at first glance. But after hearing how Brett came up with the concept from a short story he wrote for a writing class I decided to give it a shot. And I have to say I am truly glad I did.

The Painted Man is a story of a world where demons rule the night forcing humanity to huddle within the safety of painted wards and a young boy named Arlen as he struggles to understand the his world and ultimatly how he fits into it all.

It's a gripping story from the get go with believable (if a little flat at times) characters that you really come to care about and fast pace action that keeps the story from becoming boring in parts where many writers would have floundered.

There were some pacing issues I had, mostly involving the jumping in forward of the story but at the same time it wasn't jarring or annoying enough to make me stop. In fact I honestly couldn't put this one down and read it nearly non-stop over the weekend.

The Painted Man takes a lot of traditional fantasy tropes but spins them into some new and fresh that gives me a lot of hope for the genre. I can't wait for the sequel and whatever else Mr. Brett has in store for us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, October 17, 2012
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This review is from: The Painted Man (Kindle Edition)
A very enjoyable first novel in the Demon Cycle, It has a good mix of everything in it that I enjoy. It has memorable characters, all who get a good amount of time dedicated to their back story, helping you feel and understand their motivations for their actions.

The magic system in it is called "warding" and it quite different from the usual magics and its use and how it works is explained nicely so you don't feel like you're being left out of the loop.
(Unlike some books where explanation is forgotten or ignored entirely, they can do magic cause they can doesn't sit well with me)

The story itself is set at an enjoyable pace, though a large amount of time is dedicated to the 3 mains "growing up"
when the story jumps between characters the story still continues to flow quite nicely and doesn't break its flow.

There's a wonderful mix of action, tragedy, loss and romance with a mix of terrible creatures and fascinating magic, characters who feel like they come right off the page.

If you want a deep involving story that has everything you will ever need in a fantasy novel, then this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and quite original, May 12, 2013
This review is from: Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) (Paperback)
This is the first volume of a trilogy set in a fictional world where demons that only appear at night, just after sunset, have terrorized and massacred humanity for over three centuries, returning after three thousand years of absence. Hence, all dating is A.R. that is "After the Return" (of the monsters). What is left of humanity is being slowly culled every night by the various types of demons that kill and eat them, with demon-types associated to the elements (such as fire demons or air demons) or types of vegetation and landscape (such as sand demons in deserts, rock demons in mountains or wood demons in forests). Humanity is organized in five main cities and a scattering of towns and villages. Humans have little protection against the almost invulnerable monsters at night, except for magical wards inherited from a distant and barely remembered past that repel rather than kill them. So they almost all hide behind them and wait in terror until dawn.

There are two exceptions in this world of despair and terror. One is the warrior who will get to be known as the Painted Man. He has vowed to dedicate his life to fight and kill the demons, and a number of other characters who the reader gets acquainted with in the book will, over time, join him. The other exception is made of the inhabitants of one of the five cities whose militant religion promotes "Holy War", and of their chief warrior and war leader in particular.

Contrary to what I was afraid off, this volume is not exclusively targeted at young adults, although, unlike some other reviewers, I would hesitate to make comparison with David Gemmell's works. The characters are not entirely implausible, including that of the Painted Man whose talents are acquired after much effort and suffering. The story is rather exciting, and, even if hardly unpredictable, it reads easily. The story, and how bits and pieces of lost knowledge are preserved and shared, found again and redeveloped, is an interesting one, while the monster attacks and the fights against them are, at times, quite gripping.

Contrary to another reviewer, I would not go as far as to qualify this book as "one of the best fantasy novels ever", but it is certainly a very good "debut" and I can only hope that volume two, which I am just about to start, will be at least as good. Four solid stars, definitely worth reading and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, hard to put down, February 14, 2012
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This review is from: Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) (Paperback)
It was great to randomly pick up a book from an author I'd never read and have such a great time reading it.
I tend to have a short attention span for reading - mainly due to the limited number of authors that keep me entertained easily.

This book from the get go kept me locked in and I found myself turning page after page totally absorbed in the works.

The story is unique and original, the characters with just the right amount of detail, and the dialogue thoroughly entertaining.

A wonderful book, one of the best novels I've read in quite a while.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and thought-provoking, June 26, 2010
This review is from: Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) (Paperback)
A very good start for a trilogy. Masterfully crafted world and fine, three-dimensional, living characters. I loved it how Arlen's character was never developed into a mysterious superhero type, but retained his human weaknesses that showed from time to time. This made him all the more interesting. And the question that is revealed at the end - how much humanity is still there? Is he becoming totally inhuman? - makes me wait the next instalment all the more eagerly.

Looking back, I think Leesha was somewhat overdone, she was becoming too dominant, too much of a Mary Sue Warrior Woman type of character. Too perfect. Well, let's see what the next books will make of her.

All in all, definitely a book worth reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Heroic Fantasy In Years (or Decades), August 6, 2012
This review is from: Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) (Paperback)
I lost interest in fantasy, heroic, epic or urban, for a long while. But I came back to it with a vengeance with this book. It does everything that's been done before but does it afresh, with vigor and style and complete sincerity. I almost lost interest once the story shifted from the first protagonist's point of view, and had some difficulty warming to the second and third protagonist--maybe because I somehow assumed from the title and cover blurb that it was a single-pov story--but once I kept reading, I found that they were as well delineated as the first.

That is Brett's first and greatest achievement: to create vivid believable characters that not only hold our interest and earn our empathy but have a growth arc that would take many other fantasy series a half dozen books to achieve. What Arlen, Leesa and Rojer go through in this one 544-page book alone is more than most fantasy trilogies. Not all of it is pleasant. Much of it is quite the opposite. Yet, we root for them and want them to survive and thrive.

Do they? Ah, that would be telling. What's important is that the journey is well worth taking. The action sequences are brilliantly staged and described and never do you feel the author flags in energy or attention, even ending with a terrific battle sequence to cap a great journey. This is closer to Abercrombie than Tolkien and the better for it. Recently, I read it's been optioned for a film adaptation by Paul W.S. Anderson of the Resident Evil series fame and I think that's a terrific choice: this is also a strong fighting protagonist adventure saga and I hope The Demon Cycle goes on to spawn its own franchise.

I'll certainly play the PS3 game with relish! Hopefully, they'll bring out a version for the Move, so you can use your hands to ward off and battle demons, with an AI interface that's intelligent enough to track sunlight and shadow (or mud and rain, and the like) to make it as realistic and exciting as the book. This one's a true breakout in the genre and Brett has my admiration and loyalty from here on out. Write on!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the painted man, July 8, 2011
This review is from: Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) (Paperback)
one of the best concepts for sci fi in a while the story is really interesting in the way it develops
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4.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed fantasy with sympathetic characters., June 21, 2014
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This review is from: The Painted Man (Kindle Edition)
A really excellent fantasy, with great characters and an interesting premise. I read the aecond and thrid books in quick session and I'm still not tired of Brett's rich fantasy world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, June 4, 2014
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This review is from: The Painted Man (Kindle Edition)
This was built up a little for me. However, it was a good read. I particularly like the isolation that world conveys. Some characters lacked a little depth in some ways I can't put my finger on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique story line, May 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Painted Man (Kindle Edition)
The story is well written and kept me in suspense as to where it was going. The characters are well portrayed. Loved it.
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Painted Man (The Demon Cycle)
Painted Man (The Demon Cycle) by Peter V. Brett (Paperback - April 1, 2009)
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