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The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brett's debut builds slowly and grimly on a classic high fantasy framework of black-and-white morality and bloodshed. Young Arlen battles demons to save his mother while his father watches in terror; when his mother dies, Arlen runs away. Leesha leaves her village to work in the city hospital of Angiers after her betrothed claims to have taken her virginity. Jongleur Arrick Sweetsong saved himself from demons at the expense of a female friend, but he honors her last request and raises her son, Rojer, as his apprentice. Only near the end do the three strands of the story begin to intertwine. With its nameless enemies that exist only to kill, Brett's gritty tale will appeal to those who tire of sympathetic villains and long for old-school orc massacres. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—In his debut novel, Brett catapults readers into a world in which demons rise at night and the human population lives in fear and seclusion. Only those who brave the unsheltered night and survive see what lies beyond their birth town or city. The setting itself is spare and underdeveloped with the focus instead being on the flawed heroes of the tale. Brett spends a majority of the novel—the first of a series—establishing the backstories of the main characters, three humans who come from different towns and backgrounds and are thrown into the battle at a young age. Readers are held in suspense until the three finally meet. Brett uses the demons and magic to examine issues prevalent in our own society, such as religion versus science. The book is captivating and well written, quickly drawing readers in. The Warded Man is a must-read for anyone looking for a new fantasy world to explore.—Kelliann Bogan, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
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Product Details

  • Series: The Demon Cycle (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345503805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345503800
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (641 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V. Brett ("Peat" to his friends) has been writing fantasy stories for as long as he can remember. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Art History from the University at Buffalo in 1995, and then spent over a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He lives in Brooklyn.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Almahdali on June 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
With so many reviews typed up, I'm not sure that mine will be even read - and I normally don't write reviews at all, but this book was something else. I loved it for the first 2/3's of the book, and like other readers I wanted to give it a 5 star up to that point and I was probably driving my family crazy by talking about it too.

- I love how the book was put together for the most part. There are three very different main characters that the author shares with the readers. And we get to see how they all grow up and how they develop.
- The writing style was really neat. Brett brought in so many different cultures, ideas, topics and perspectives with enough detail that readers could appreciate and understand them all, but not too much detail that readers got lost in the background.
- The plot (for the first 2/3's) was AMAZING!

- The last 1/3 of the the book - the characters that the author had spent most of the book developing did a 90 degree flip if not a 180. You didn't recognize the characters that you grew to love
- Almost every scene where there was a woman, sex or child bearing was the topic of conversation. Brett made it seem like a woman's only interest/purpose was creating babies or making men happy. I totally get why (in a world where human population is decreasing, you want to have more children) but, really, there is no point in kicking a dead horse.
- Leesha - one of the main characters. (SPOILER) She really emphasized the above point and I don't like how she "saved" herself for 27 years, then completely falls in love the another character, and gives herself to him, at the end of the story after having met him for all of 1 week. Her character was honestly really unrealistic.
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158 of 179 people found the following review helpful By Rich Gubitosi on June 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Not since Mistborn have I been so captivated by a story and charmed by its setting. The Warded Man is an impressive debut and probably my favorite book of 2009 in any genre. If Peter Brett continues to write this way, he will need to clear space on his mantle for awards.

The Warded Man is about Arlen, a villager who must survive in a grim fantasy world ravaged by demons at night. His character arc propels the narrative once he realizes that survival is not enough. Two other characters eventually join him in his exploits against the demons: Rojer and Leesha. I like how they are regular people--too many fantasies deal with long-lost princes, wizards, queens, and knights. The best thing I can say about the three main characters is that I cared about them. Since the author takes his time developing them from children to adults, you almos feel like you are growing up alongside them. When they suffer, you will cringe, but when they excel, you will cheer.

The author's depiction of village age is authentic and folksy. Everything feels right--the gossip, the neighborliness, the barter, the sense of feeling apart from the other villages and cities. The world is dangerous, and not everyone gets along, but people set aside their differences when the demons strike. Later in the novel, the author describes city life just as well as village life, especially once Arlen reaches Krasia, a hub of a warrior society with Arabic influences.

The novel packs action, adventure, romance, and substance. I like how it considers the nature of heroism, the futility of passivity, and even the plight of women. The scenes of combat between man and demon are gratifying, and the one romantic scene is heady with tenderness and passion.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. Camden on December 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read tons of both good and bad fantasy books over the years. And I have to say this book truly is like an abusive relationship.

The first 2/3 read like a promising first attempt at writing a fantasy novel by someone who may have a gift for it (given some more experience - detail is thin but story/plot/world is there).

Then the author pretty much destroys his own work with the last 1/3. I have to admit, I've never read a book that actually self destructed until now. It just implodes on itself out of nowhere. I honestly couldn't suspend disbelief anymore. Every single one of the characters became totally different, and nearly unrecognizable, people in the span of a chapter or two. I can clearly see what the author was going for with this: a plot twist to make your jaw drop. The problem is that the author doesn't have the skill to pull this off believably. I don't know if it is because he is green or simply rushed it out. It doesn't really matter. The net effect is the same.

One last thing: The whole rape thing he used in the book? Yeah, if you're going to actually implement a rape of one of your primary characters, you should at least make it impact the story beyond a chapter or two. Oh, and a woman is not going to throw herself at some stranger 3 days after being raped and walking around in shock about it. Sorry but this author seriously needs to stop writing women characters. I am a (manly man type of) guy and feel embarrassed for him about the way they are portrayed.
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