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| ISBN-10: 0345518705
| ISBN-13: 978-0345518705
| Content: Dark Fantasy, YA readable 16+
| Publisher: Del Rey (March 23, 2010)
| Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
| Cover Art: Larry Rostant
| Source: Librarything
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars
When I received this book through LibraryThing, I was thrilled to say the least. I read it right away but I was asked by the publisher to put off the review until closer to release time. Well it releases here in the US on March 10th, a day before my birthday, so I figure that now is close enough! (Aren't the publishers just the nicest people, releasing this wonderful book just in time for my next 29th birthday...)
Ok, well the blurb gives plenty of story information so let's start with what I did not like. For the first 3/4 of the book, this story centers on each of the three main protagonists, often jumping from one story to the next without warning. None of the three knows each other and each one lives a very different and very fascinating life. Now I have read books like this since I was old enough to read and I have to admit that it is not my favorite method of storytelling. I have to force myself not to skip ahead when one story stops and another one starts up. Granted, Peter Brett does handle this correctly. There is a clearly defined chapter break between changes in viewpoint, but it still interferes with my immersion in the story; just when I am deeply into what is going on with character A, I have to change gears and switch to what is happening with character B, then, just as I am hooked into their life, along comes character C... Believe me when I tell you that when all three finally come together I was thrilled!
This method does have its advantages. You get to view the world from different perspectives which adds alot of depth to the story. The fact that this method bothered me more then usual is a direct result of just how well Peter Brett not only sucked me into the story but created characters I enjoyed reading about. Not necessarily a bad thing, even though it annoyed me just a bit.
Now, what I did like. I loved everything else about this book. This is one of my favorite types of fantasies, character driven. Each character is a product of their harsh and unforgiving environment and tempered by their tragic experiences. The result is characters you can cheer for, feel sympathy for and genuinely like. I also loved the premise. This is a world that has forgotten most of what it knew about fighting demons due to a 3000-year break in the attacks and is now scrambling to survive and regain the knowledge it lost. There are also clearly defined rules, another thing I insist on when it comes to good fantasy. The demons, called corelings, only attack at night and the wards, which are used to hold them back, must be specifically drawn and maintained or the consequences are tragic. There are also different types of demons, each with strengths and limitations. The world building too is excellent right down to the smallest detail. It is obvious that Peter Brett put alot of thought into how people, who are under the threat of attack by demons every single night, would live, think, feel, and survive. He then goes a few steps further and decides what the differences between living in a city, living in a rural area or living as a traveler might be. The result is a world that is very believable, characters that must deal with both external and internal demons, plus a story that flows naturally.
As for content, I want to point out a couple of things. This is not a book aimed at a YA audience, even though the individual stories start out with the three main protagonists being pretty young. Now I always make a distinction between a YA book and a book being YA readable. The first is one aimed at young adults and written with a certain age group in mind. The other depends on the maturity of the reader and what they are capable of reading, understanding, and enjoying. That being said, it is my opinion that this is a YA readable book but one that might be better suited to the 16 and up crowd. The reason for this being that there is one non-graphic rape scene and there are discussions of sex and marriage taking place at a fairly young age. A teen reader needs to understand that such things are typical in times when the average life expectancy is very low and by that standard, ring true for the type of world that Peter Brett has created. Again, that is my opinion and readability age would depend on the maturity of the reader in question. As far as violence and language goes, I did not find anything objectionable though it is a very dark world where death is frequent and the realities are harsh.
Conclusion. That being said, this is a delightful book full of adventure, great characters, a believably dark world, a unique magic system and, constant change of viewpoint aside, flows along at a fast clip. The ending wraps things up nicely while leaving you with just enough questions to spur you on to book two. Awesome debut and definitely a writer to watch for many years to come. Highly recommended!
Librarything Rating 4.16/5
Amazon Rating: 4.2/5
(338 customer reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle
Buy Book: BAM
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Peter V. Brett
Read an Interview with Peter V. Brett From:
Davebrendon’s Fantasy & Sci-Fi Weblog - Suvudu
Other Reviews: (Some with mild spoilers but more plot detail)
Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews - Graeme's Fantasy Book Review - Fantasy Book Critic
Author's Web Presence
Website - Blog - Forum - MySpace - Facebook - Twitter
Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Warded Man /The Painted Man (Demon Trilogy: Book 1) by Peter V. Brett - Reviewed by Mulluane - on February 20, 2009 - Rating: of 5 Stars