Review: "The Warded Man" by Peter V. Brett

Our summer reading list begins with Brett's book The Warded Man, the first book in his Demon Cycle series. I honestly cannot wait to get started on this review, but as always I will remind you all of possible spoilers. Let's begin, as always, with the book's summary:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise--demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards--symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand agains the night.

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to Brett's book but I want to begin with a disclaimer (that has nothing to do with spoilers) as I review a very mixed palette of books. My friendly warning to all of you is this: Brett's wonderful book is a thrilling fantasy but it is not a fantasy series that will qualify for young adult fiction. This book does have particularly violent and sexual themes, so for those of my readers who may be a bit younger, this book proves to have content more intense than what books I have reviewed in the past.

Without further delay, let's get to the review. The Warded Man is a thrilling adventure that revolves around three main characters: Leesha, Arlen and Rojer. Leesha is a girl on the verge of womanhood who, rather quickly, comes to understand the strife that accompanies her maturity. Following several coreling attacks she soon finds herself an apprentice of a batty old medicine woman who relates wisdom that offers more than advice on healing.

Arlen is a wayward young man with a talent for warding that ultimately tests him to brave the world the corelings conquered long ago.

Rojer is a young orphan survivor of coreling attacks that leave him playing a fiddle for coin and board to escape the nightly demon attacks.

The book focuses entirely on the journey of this trio and the cast of characters around each. While attempting to find their places in the world, all three are are constantly faced with the devastation and helplessness left in the wake of each coreling attack.

There is not enough worthy praise I can give for this cast of characters that would do Brett's creativity justice. I flew through this story, fully invested in the adventure and the excitement that came with each chapter. Brett weaves a captivatingly thrilling tale of a fear-gripped world desperate for hope. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of the story is watching the unfolding tests of courage, morality and faith as the characters face the monsters of the night.

I was relieved to find out that this had been the first book in a series because I thuroughly enjoyed every second and cannot wait to cycle back to the next book of this series.

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