Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Warded Man-Peter V. Brett

The Warded Man
Peter V. Brett
Ballantine, Mar 2009, $25.00
ISBN: 9780345503800

Every day when the sun sets, the corelings rise and try to get past the defensive wards on buildings in order to kill humans. Mankind fears these ferocious demons and no one understands that abject trepidation more so than Arlen who watched his mother killed when she was outside and his terrorized father refused to help her even by opening their home or come to her aid. Arlen leaves home to become an apprentice to a Warder and then a Messenger traveling the roads to deliver mail and supplies to the hamlets. He happens to find a way to fight the demons by constructing offensive wards, a lost art long forgotten by people who thought the coreling threat over.

Leesha refuses to marry the man her family chose for her because he spread lies about having already bedded her. She apprentices to local healer Bruna, an even bigger outcast than she has become. She returns to her home village when a plague kills people she knows. She begins healing villagers accompanied by Rojer, whose parents demons killed when he was a child. In their journey they meet the WARDED MAN hoping to join his quest to take the fight to the corelings.

When humanity though the demons were gone forever, they built great cities and science and technology flourished. Demons and demon fighters became myth and knowledge lost except for some limited defensive wards. When the demons return, mankind is vulnerable to their attacks and live in fear behind warded walls. This vivid description of how far humanity has fallen sets the atmosphere for the three coming of age protagonists learning to fight as the legends describe the demon hunters. Fans will enjoy their action-packed escapades in a world filled with frightened humans hiding in fear. Peter V Brett’s work is an outstanding fantasy sublimely written with characters people feel are real.
Harriet Klausner

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