The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Demon Cycle #1

Publisher: Random House (March 14, 2009)

Author Information:Website | Twitter

Length: 416 pages

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Warded Man was a novel I’d heard a lot about from my reading friends. Peter V. Brett’s name was constantly whispered in my ear as a writer whose work I must try at once. And after finishing this story, I have to admit that was very wise advice — at least where this book is concerned.

For those who haven’t read Mr. Brett’s Demon Cycle series, it is set in a post-apocalyptic world where demons rule the night. In fact, the cause of the apocalypse was the rising of these demons from the underworld, which resulted in human kind almost being totally wiped out. Only by hiding behind special “wards” has a small remnant been able to escape total annihilation. But it is a very precarious existence, for if even one ward fail then the demons will immediately burst into a city or a home killing everyone within. And the worst part is that man has no way to even harm these demons!

But things begin to change when a young boy named Arlen loses his mother to demons while his father cowers in fear. The tragic loss and disgust at people’s fear of the demons leads Arlen on a desperate trek across the nighttime landscape, where he unwittingly discovers his almost uncanny ability to recognize and draw wards.

Barely escaping death at the hands of demons, Arlen is found by a Messenger (A group of specially trained and armed warriors who travel the land with their Jongleurs, entertaining the peasants, trading goods and delivering messages for the rulers of the land.) who takes him back to one of the Free Cities, where the young boy soon begins his training to ultimately become a Messenger himself. His secret desire to travel the world and rediscover the lost offensives wards that can kill demons!

Spaced in between chapters about Arlen are ones focusing on two other characters: a teenage girl named Leesha, who lives in a small village, and a small boy, Rojer, whose life takes an unexpected turn and leads him to the life of a Jongleur. Both these tales are interesting, if not as epic feeling as Arlen’s journey, but I’d have to say that Leesha’s character and life was much more well done than Rojer, who did not get enough page time.

Naturally, a reader senses that the story will eventually push these three people together, but Mr. Brett does a good job making the journey to that point entertaining and intriguing. Each of the youths living very different lives and developing their own unique character and outlook on the world around them – something that kept their individual tales fresh throughout the novel.

There were a few things that I did not love about the novel. One was simply that Arlen’s “big” discovery was a bit of a letdown. Rather than something epic, where he has to brave dangers and escape with his life, he just stumbles upon a map that leads him directly to a spot. No real buildup to this earthshattering discovery, but rather Boom! there it is. Two, the constant skipping of years by the end of the story grew tiresome. It just would have been nice to see Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer grow up instead of them showing up later in the story as a grown woman and two grown men, changed by the years.

Overall, I have to say that The Warded Man was a great book to start the Demon Cycle series, as it had everything that I look for in an opener: interesting characters, mysterious history, creative world, and plenty of fighting. Naturally, the whole concept of demons and wards was the real selling point to me, but Mr. Brett also livened up the rather straightforward narrative, making me turns the pages desperate to discover the answers to some of the questions brewing in my mind.

This one is highly recommended!

Buy the book at Amazon.

This entry was posted in 4 Stars, Epic, Fantasy, High and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to THE WARDED MAN by PETER V. BRETT

  1. romeorites says:

    I really want to read this series there is so much about it that I reckon is right up my street. Love the whole Demons and Wards thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bookwraiths says:

    The demons and wards are definitely a great idea, and Brett does it well in this one.


  3. I won one of his books on a GR Giveaway. I think it was a book 3 though…and why I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet bcoz I need to pick up the first 2. His stuff does sound good. Nice review.


  4. I loved this one. Interested to see what you’ll think of book 2 though, because I struggled with that one for the first third (for reasons you’ll see if and when you start it!)


  5. Bookstooge says:

    Yeah… each book went downhill for me and I gave up after book 3. which really stank because I loved this book, a lot!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The first is definitely the best of the series. I could barely finish the last one I read.


  7. I was a latecomer to Brett’s world as well, reading the first 3 books back-to-back-to-back when the third landed in my inbox as a digital ARC. Amazing series, with some great characters and world building.

    Liked by 1 person


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  11. Just discovered this site from Tumblr. Love it. it looks fascinating. Will read the rest tomorrow. But I’ll bet you ten pound to a pinch of cr*p that my library won’t have it. I prefer to discover new authors via the library as it can cost a fortune buying so-called ‘recommended books’ only to be disappointed. I’m sure that will not be the case with Brett; time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sorry, My first reply ‘ bet the library won’t have it’ referred to The Warded Man. Sorry for any confusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m sure that some peeps may not realise that ‘The Warded Man’ by Peter V. Brett has also been released under the title ‘The Painted Man’. ie it’s exactly the same book.

    Liked by 1 person

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