Did I like The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett? Let’s put it this way – as soon as I finished this book, I immediately went on the hunt for a copy of Brett’s sequel to this book, The Desert Spear. Can’t wait to read it!
I opened the first few pages of this book, read all the glowing reviews, and thought – wow – this must be some book! The reviewers were all right. The plot, the characters, the ambiance all hooked me in and held me captive from the very first line. I felt transported to this world of night demons, the corelings, who terrorize the populace, country and city folk alike. I cowered inside in relative safety in the dark along with several main characters and trembled as they dipped their toes in the bravery needed to confront the corelings. Arlen, who we meet as a young farm boy, suffers great sorrow and loss early on. As he grows, he hardens throughout the book until in the end we feel his conflicted emotions battling to the surface. Brett portrays herb gatherer Leesha so well that I wished I could obtain just a small portion of her strength, convictions, compassion, skills and beauty. Then there is Rojer, a jester of sorts, quick with wit, humor, agility, who is our third survivor against horrible odds. Though they travel along vastly different winding paths, somehow they join forces to battle their common foe.
Brett does an excellent job of describing both character and place with rich details and emotions. His characters are well thought out and we feel as if we have known them intimately. Perhaps, the one small failing was in Arlen, our young hero, who even though is a child, we never get the feeling of his youth. True, Brett portrays him and all his characters as old before their time because of the tragedy and terror that befall the three of them at such a young age; however, I would have loved to feel a bit more of Arlen’s young age in his speech and his actions in the early stages of the book. Arlen grows quickly into a man, so this small fault becomes lost within the first half of the exciting battles and travels.
The Warded Man brings us only so far along the lives of Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, almost like a teaser, and I can’t wait to find out if our three heroes conquer over all the demons in Brett’s sequel. 9.5 out of 10 Liams.