The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm easily super excited about this book and have no reservations about flying through the sequels.
Because we have an immersive epic fantasy world that focuses simply and easily on survival. The world is overrun with demons that pop out of the ground at night and are only held back by drawn or carved wards. Life is hard and harrowing, and if you make a single misstep, you die. The three main characters: Arlen, Leesha, and Rojen, are given delightful treatment in this world, from their childhoods to the heroic adults that they become.
Make no mistake, though, this is an origin story, building step by step to create the fabled Warded Man, the man who can step into armies of demons and decimate them all by himself.
For most of this book, no one comes close to having this ability, but that's the main joy in reading origin stories. We love to see them level up and discover that they're beast. :)
So yeah, I'm happy as hell and very satisfied with everything I've read here. I can almost see Arlen in that old video game Torment, picking up new tattoos that make him super-strong with each new design. Of course, we have to round out our characters, too, to make the final payoff all the more believable, and honestly, I thought it was a blast.
If I was going to complain about anything, however, it would have to be the heavy focus on sex... rather clichéd and black and white with no real growth between extremes. It makes for vivid characters, yes, but definitely not subtle ones, and it's rather interesting to see that in a novel that otherwise has a lot of great and subtle features in the world-building, the magic system, and the main characters themselves.
It's not a dealbreaker by any means, but it did annoy me.
As for the build and the payoff, I absolutely had a fantastic time, though. :)
Total action movie with a mix of kung-fu and demon slaying. :)
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