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on June 16, 2015
One of my favorite things about reading fantasy is the brand new worlds.

Writing a good book is an accomplishment by itself, but in fantasy . . . the writer not only has to come up with a good story and good characters, they have to create a new place with new rules, new creatures, new cultures, new everything.

For an escapist reader, like myself, shoddy world-building can ruin an otherwise perfectly good book, but above and beyond fantastical, yet believable new worlds, I crave novelty.

Maybe I haven't encountered the type of world in THE WARDED MAN, b/c I tend to stick to a certain type of fantasy (sword and sorcery, epic, and/or high fantasy), but whatever the case, the blend of the standard pre-industrial age + magic fantasy world and real world demonology . . . was utterly captivating.

Nearly four hundred years ago, demons rose for the first time in three thousand years. The world population was decimated.

Science and technology had made belief in anything not immediately tangible practically obsolete, and if the scientists had not dug out texts cataloging things considered to be make-believe, humanity might have disappeared entirely.

I already love advanced civilizations that have been tossed back into the dark ages b/c HUBRIS, but when the root cause is something supernatural vs. some type of modern self-destruction, so much the better.

SO. Various elemental-type demons: fire, water, rock, wood, wind, etc. rise from the earth every evening as the sun sets, wreaking havoc until sunrise. Houses have stone foundations and tiled roofs covered in glyphs. Wards surround all buildings like a circle of protection, but like any circle of protection, it must be perfectly maintained---any flaw can render the protection useless, and that means a painful death at the claws (and sharp, pointy teeth) of a demon.

And as is often the case, this world is on the edge of a precipice. Things have to change and change drastically if humanity is to avoid extinction, which brings me to our three main characters: Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer. Each has an important role to play, each discovers knowledge vital to the struggle against demons, and their individual journeys toward their inevitable meeting are as fantastic as the world in which they live.

I loved the world, the story, and the characters, but what pushes THE WARDED MAN into the top tier of books I've read is the pertinence.

I can point to really good, really interesting books all day long. But it's when the author manages to unobtrusively weave a message with real world implications that pushes it over the edge to GREAT, and Brett does exactly that . . .

In a book with demons as the major antagonist, it would be easy to get preachy.


It doesn't. Not even a little bit.

Instead you're presented with people and circumstances that encapsulate the hypocrisies of organized religion: rumormongering, pots and kettles, complacency, etc. The MCs confront this kind of small-mindedness while readying the masses for the looming confrontation. Sometimes gently, sometimes not-so-gently, and it's a breath of fresh air. Even if you weren't raised with religion and its subculture shoved down your throat, many of the principles explored are applicable, and, again, unobtrusively approached.

The people of this world are in a steady population decline b/c they've been cowering behind wards, waiting for the "Deliverer" to appear and save them . . . Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer will teach them to get off their butts and save themselves.

Believe me when I say it's worth the read. Highly recommended.
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on April 28, 2017
I remembered reading this in high school, and it was just as good from what little I remembered and more. I have some concerns of what people are saying about the sequels, but since at that time those sequels weren't released yet I had no problem ordering books 2-4 to see for myself. If you enjoy any kind of dystopian setting, there shouldn't be much you wont enjoy from book 1. I found myself being somewhat annoyed at the perspective shifts whenever something interesting was happening to one of the three main characters, yet in no time at all I was invested in what was happening to someone else just as much as I was the other. It was exciting when all 3 perspectives combined as well.

I will say the beginning of book 2 seems rather slow. Not as interesting as the beginning of book 1, but not exactly boring either.
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on July 22, 2017
This book starts out strong if a tad slow. You have an adolescent main character, who slowly learns and grows as the world is being set up around you. You have two strong supporting characters, who have their own chapters.
Really this book was great, for around 300 or so pages. And then suddenly it skips a decade, the character completely changes attitude, and a supporting character experiences random brutality but over the next couple dozen pages is already doing things contrary to the experience....
I don't want to spoil it, but really it goes from good, to great, to ruined in such a short time it leaves a foul taste in the mouth.
And what really hurts is the sequel and subsequent novels are completely terrible.
Author did a real 360 here. I can not recommend this novel because it ends in such disarray and disappointment.
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on August 15, 2017
I found this to be a really entertaining read. At first I was concerned that the plot would lack any particularly imaginative twists (demons materialize, people hide, everything is okay again during the day). But the novel does a great job of exploring a the world and the resulting human community that has developed in a world in which demons are an integral part. The plot generally follows 3 main characters (one of which is, in my opinion, significantly more interesting than the others.)

Ultimately interesting enough to compel me to read the next in the series.
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on June 7, 2015
In a world where it appears the only fantasy book series anyone ever tells you to read is Game of Thrones, I was hard-pressed to find one that was actually enjoyable without having other people constantly talk (and thereby spoil) every detail about it. And not to mention a book series that doesn't have it's own TV show that eventually leads readers to just give up on reading and say "I'll just watch the show to see what happens." Thankfully, I randomly discovered The Warded Man.

First of all, it's important to make it clear that this IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK. There is a lot of sexual content involved in this book, so if you're a parent, do not buy this for your young kid thinking that this is some Eragon-like book.

Now with that out of the way, many readers will enjoy the way in which this book is written in terms of the English and wording. I am a huge LOTR fan but I'll admit that Tolkien's wording can come off as a little too 'proper' for me, (probably because he was an old English professor and I'm just a Midwestern American). But Peter Brett's writing is much more modern and easier to follow for today's readers, and even the characters seem to talk in a manner that correlates closer with today's dialects.

I was also impressed with how Brett constructed the characters. I'm sure everyone's tired of hearing the cliche of how certain series have such 'complex' characters, but that's probably the truest thing I can say. Since the main characters start out as children and time actually passes in this book, you are made well aware of how they develop and what it is that haunts them through their lives. Basically, you learn to understand and love them, and you can only root for the good guys, can't ask for much more when it's good vs. evil!

And demons are the main enemy in this book, there is no question about that and their existence and evil is what creates the situations in which the characters are placed in. However, most of this book actually focuses on the day-by-day lives of the characters and how they struggle to get by even when the demons aren't present. Now that may sound boring, like when The Walking Dead has episodes with literally no zombies, but these events are actually the most fascinating. It is clearly shown that evil exists amongst men within these stories and often the demons in the night aren't even the greatest concerns for the characters. And since humanity doesn't have the slightest clue of why demons now exist in their world, the reader too can only wonder as to why the conflict between men and demons is happening now. There are definitely theories amongst the characters, but we are left to believe that there is something greater behind all of this.

One thing that people may find a little ridiculous at first is the presence of wards and how they were just 'forgotten' until they happened to be needed when the demons entered the world. At first they may come across as just convenient magic in a world that shouldn't have magic, but if readers can get beyond this element and accept wards as essential to the story, then I'd guarantee their enjoyment. After all, it's made clear that wards aren't perfect protection, so all things have flaws as well as they should.

I'll avoid giving spoilers in this review, so I'd recommend that reviewers read a synopsis of this book to see if they are interested. All in all, it is a hugely underrated series that people will love if they're looking for something that isn't obsessed over for being on TV or the big screen.
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on July 11, 2017
More than enough people have done a plot synopsis, that one more is unnecessary. There are demons, magic, heroes and violence, but Peter V. Brett makes it all feel new by spinning a very human story of three very relatable people. Brett excels in building fascinating characters and amazing worlds that keep you glued to his tales. The emotional growth of all his characters is particularly well written as well.

I think he could write about almost anything and still have a fantastic novel. If you like this sort of thing, then get the series
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on August 6, 2017
Being a erratic reader due to time limitations, I found this novel very difficult to put down and ended up binge reading the whole series. After reading the series twice at a more casual pace, I again was highly entertained with the novel concepts in this series. I purchased softback copies for my teenager and he immediately started binge reading as well, allowing us to be able to enjoy sharing a common book with great conversations. Note: there are a few chapters that one must be careful about allowing young teenagers to be exposed to, but mine is 16 and I felt him prepared for these. This is a magic concept that I've not encountered before but truly enjoy. (Examples of other books/series I have enjoyed: Thomas Covenant , Game of Thrones, Way of Kings and of course the pinnacle Lord of the Rings)
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on September 26, 2014
I took a chance on the Warded Man on references about other books while researching what my next book would be; I wanted to step out of my usual group of authors because I read faster than they can write.
The Warded Man has a sound beginning and just the right amount of detail and story behind the story. There is a small group of main characters that come together near the end of book one, nicely setting up book two. I am usually hesitant about books with magic because it has an anything goes quality and sometimes it can cheapen the story; this was not the case in book one. Peter Brett has a fine introduction to his series.
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on June 8, 2017
I always think of Haplo and The Death Gate Cycle when I think of a great character covered in tattoos. There are seven books in that series; but, they keep getting better and are worth the commitment. This series, judging by the further ratings, keeps getting worse and, not being 12, I was not the target audience. Some of the clear parallels that are drawn between the Mid East and occurrences in this book also made me feel that the author was lacking inspiration. Even if one chooses to forgive the fumbling, coming of age, peach fuzz moments and idiocracy that is this world, the whole demon thing is about as scary as keeping rabbits out of the garden.
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on March 11, 2015
I found this book through Bookbub and I have to say I am so glad I did. Oh My Gosh what a read. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Yes, some parts were uncomfortable to read, but those are some of the most integral parts of the story. They're the reasons behind the action of the characters. What I enjoyed was the consistency throughout the entire book of the author to the characters. There isn't a lessening of the brutality of the world they live in just because it makes the reader uncomfortable and the actions of the characters bear this out. Bad s*** happens and in their world, at least, you suck it up and move on. I love the attention to detail, the complex world development and the uniqueness given to each duchy and its people. I've finished the first 3 novels in this series in 3 days. Its that good. Now for the only irritant I just can't seem to get past. THIS IS A SHOUT OUT DIRECTLY TO THE EDITORS AT DEL REY!! In the table of contents, would you PLEASE correct the name of this novel? REALLY???? How freaking hard is it to fix an e-book? What kind of support staff can't even change an "N" to a "D"??? I know I am not the only person who's picked up on this. No idea why, but that really irks me.
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