The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

The first book I finished this year was The Warded Man, the first of The Demon Cycle, and the debut novel of Peter V. Brett. It is a 453 page fantasy novel. I was recommended this by a trusted fantasy-reading friend and then happened to receive it and its sequel for Christmas and began reading them the next day.

The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1)

The Warded Man follows three main characters: Arlen, a young boy from Tibbet’s Brook; Leesha, a young girl from Cutter’s Hollow, and Rojer, a young boy who is orphaned at the age of 3 and travels with an alcoholic Jongleur (sort of jester). They all show interesting talents (warding, gathering, fiddling) and deal with hard lives thanks to mostly human pettiness and demon injuries (to self or family).

The story follows their progression into adulthood and their travels and dealings with Corelings, which are demons that rise from the core of Earth when the sun sets. Humans have suffered greatly at the hands of Corelings — hiding behind wards (magic symbols that deter the demons from living quarters), so they constantly check their homes’ wards and are at a constant struggle with keeping the hamlets (small villages) alive and thriving.

Of the three characters, I think I would pick Arlen as my favorite; perhaps that is just because he was strong enough to get away from a bad situation at home and pursue his own interests, even at a young age. I’ll be honest and say any book that relates magic and science have me hooked from the beginning; the wards in The Warded Man are particularly fascinating, and Arlen’s grasp of warding is admirable.

Peter V Brett’s intertwined plot of the three characters in order to tell this story is extremely well crafted. Never once did a character become boring before switching to anothers’ point of view. I was captivated by each viewpoint in the end, regardless of how little I liked the people surrounding each character (Brett also creates great unlikable characters!). Something that surprised me was how much I enjoyed watching Arlen, Rojer, and Leesha mature; though I saw much that could have gone wrong with telling the story over 7+ years, it was so well done that I can’t imagine it happening another way.

Overall, The Warded Man has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy novels (that I regularly lend out to others). Although this was the first book I finished this year, I have a feeling it will still be in the top three I’ve read in 2013 by the end of it. I must say, for a first novel, this is impressive! After finishing The Warded Man, I am particularly looking forward to reading The Desert Spear and The Daylight War, the second and third books in the planned 5-book Demon Cycle series. If you enjoy fantasy, I would absolutely recommend checking out The Warded Man!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Adam
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 09:55:53

    The first book you finished this year was the first book that I reviewed for my blog almost two years ago, the second review was of course The Demon Spear because I really enjoyed this book as well.

    Glad to see you liked the book and that I’m not the only one waiting for The Daylight War.

    Reply

    • hannahrose42
      Feb 18, 2013 @ 09:31:27

      I never realized! I went back and read your reviews, which pretty much echoed my thoughts. I actually just bought The Daylight War yesterday (it was released on the 12th). So I will have my review of that up whenever I finish it, which really shouldn’t take long!

      Reply

      • Adam
        Feb 19, 2013 @ 22:47:24

        In my little cave re-reading the Wheel of Time I wasn’t aware that the third book had come out yet, I’ll have to pick that up eventually, although I might wait for paperback for that one, I haven’t decided yet.

        Reply

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