The Warded Man
By Peter V. Brett
(Del Rey, Hardcover, 9780345503800, 432pp.)
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
Categories: Fantasy - Dark/Horror
The time has come to stand against the night.
As darkness falls each night, the corelings rise–demons who well up from the ground like hellish steam, taking on fearsome form and substance. Sand demons. Wood demons. Wind demons. Flame demons. And gigantic rock demons, the deadliest of all. They possess supernatural strength and 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 mystery, and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile.
It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms. Once, under the leadership of the legendary Deliverer, and armed with powerful wards that were not merely shields but weapons, they took the battle to the demons . . . and stopped their advance.
But those days are gone. The fighting wards are lost. 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.
Arlen will pay any price, embrace any sacrifice, for freedom. His grim journey will take him beyond the bounds of human power.
Crippled by the demons that killed his parents, Rojer seeks solace in music–only to discover that music can be a weapon as well as a refuge.
Beautiful Leesha, who has suffered at the hands of men as well as demons, becomes an expert healer. But what cures can also harm. . . .
Together, they will stand against the night.
Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V. Brett has been writing fantasy stories for as long as he can remember. He received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and art history from the University at Buffalo in 1995, then worked for a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Danielle, their daughter, and two cats, Jinx and Max Powers. This is his first novel.
"Brett's debut builds slowly and grimly on a classic high fantasy framework of black-and-white morality and bloodshed. Young Arlen battles demons to save his mother while his father watches in terror; when his mother dies, Arlen runs away. Leesha leaves her village to work in the city hospital of Angiers after her betrothed claims to have taken her virginity. Jongleur Arrick Sweetsong saved himself from demons at the expense of a female friend, but he honors her last request and raises her son, Rojer, as his apprentice. Only near the end do the three strands of the story begin to intertwine. With its nameless enemies that exist only to kill, Brett's gritty tale will appeal to those who tire of sympathetic villains and long for old-school orc massacres."—Publishers Weekly
“I enjoyed The Warded Man immensely. There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way, plus he made me care about his characters and want to know what’s going to happen next.”—Terry Brooks
“The Warded Man works not only as a great adventure novel but also as a reflection on the nature of heroism.”—Charlaine Harris
“An absolute masterpiece . . . The novel [is] literally ‘unputdownable,’ and certainly deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy.”—HorrorScope
“A very accomplished debut fantasy, broad in its scope.”—SFRevu
“A fabulous new fantasy series . . . that is likely to become a classic. Excellent fantasy literature.”—The Cairns Post ,Queensland, Australia