The Warded Man: Book One Of The Demon Cycle by Peter V. BrettThe Warded Man: Book One Of The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

The Warded Man: Book One Of The Demon Cycle

byPeter V. Brett

Mass Market Paperback | March 23, 2010

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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 against the night.

Look for Peter V. Brett’s complete Demon Cycle:
Peter V. Brett is the internationally bestselling author of the Demon Cycle series, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies in twenty-five languages worldwide. The novels in the series are The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core. He spends too much time on the Internet, but occasionally un...
Title:The Warded Man: Book One Of The Demon CycleFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 6.85 × 4.17 × 1.02 inPublished:March 23, 2010Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345518705

ISBN - 13:9780345518705

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from liked it enjoyed it and how the characters were brought in.
Date published: 2018-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action Packed Flew right through this one, it's filled with goodies like cool characters, action, suspense. I can't wait to dig into the next
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book to read while waiting for the next Song of Fire and Ice book! This was a very exciting book. There were multiple viewpoints but no so many that you feel overwhelmed. The characters are likeable and the story well paced. I love this book any any lover of epic fantasy should read it.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Heroic Fantasy This was an entertaining read. The prose is nothing to crow about, but it gets the job done. The characters are interesting and their dialogue is written well. I also like that each one gets several chapters' worth of POV in a row. There's not a whole lot of worldbuilding, but I would say that it's not necessary in this case because fantasy readers have been in similar worlds many, many times before--it's the desolate, medieval land of small villages and stone keeps. It's not terribly original or exciting, but it's familiar. I haven't read an epic fantasy story that didn't feature massive webs of politics in a while and, I have to say, it's actually kind of refreshing. I'm looking forward to finding out more about the corelings and seeing where the characters go from here.
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Excellent beginning to this series. Starts with a boy in a world that is plagued every night by a variety of demons, each with its own unique traits and abilities. Follows him following the death of his mother through his adventures crossing the land, relying only on himself for protection from the nightly attacks.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from nope The first half of the book involves the character development and introduction of the players. This is done so well that will race forward into the second half of the book. Unfortunately the book seems to spasm in the middle and skips over the continued character plot lines and pushes us to far along in the story that it is hard to recognize the same characters. If that were the only issue it would have been a reasonable initial book (should have been two and allow the same pacing of story line). The death of this series occurs in the relationship that develops at the end. The manner and characters involved in this relationship will make you consider tossing this book out the window. It should have never made it through the editorial process with this plot development. Not sure how this is going to be saved in two additional books, but know I will not be along for the rest of the ride. I look forward to Additional books from this author but urge him to find people to trust and give him feedback on his drafts in the future.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly good I bought this book on a whim as part of a 2 for 15$ promotion and I'm so happy I did! I ended up ordering the rest of the serie a few days after getting the first one. Love the world that the author created. Can't wait for the last book to finally come out!
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh this book was the worst. It was entirely backstory. Only the last 10% was any good. And I hated all the characters. And the world. The magic was cool though.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most amazing series! This book does not stop! you keep wanting more to read. It draws you into its world and you are absorbed by this book, you wanna keep reading, reading and reading! I could not put this book down! I would recommend this book to everyone!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Could not stop reading!! In a world where demons rise at sunset to attack the humans who only have old wards carved and painted to create barriers to protect them, a boy watches his mother die and see a better way than hiding behind such protections. The story of Arlen Bales as he grows from a young boy into a man is a fascinating one. The people he meets along the way, the demons he faces and destroys, the fighter and man he becomes. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for me This book just wasn't for me. Despite the world that Brett created having the seeds for something interesting, the story and the characters just weren't at a level that intrigued me. The main POV character, Arlen, is a child when the story begins and I was immediately annoyed with seeing the world through a child's eyes. The other POV characters, Leesha and Rojer, are also young but with different backgrounds than Arlen. But one thing ask they have in common is interactions with absolutely terrible adults. It's as if Brett's goal was to make us like them by surrounding them 90% of the time with people we couldn't help but despise. I felt that the story in this book was only a sliver of what is covered in other fantasy novels. I feel some authors would use what happens to these characters in this book as just history or flashbacks to flesh out their future adult stories. I was hoping for a new fantasy series to get into but, unfortunately, this book will be it for me.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun easy read Great premise and backstory for a fantasy novel. Easy read and hard to put down. I plan to read the rest of the series with anticipation.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from could NOT put it down I needed a new series to read, so I just went into chapters and asked for a recommendation. After that it sat on my shelf for about a year, until eventually i picked it back up. ITS AMAZING. couldnt put it down and then bought all the other books in the series the second I was done.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read My brother lent me his copy of this book and I really liked it. The main character is anti-hero yet very likeable. The story is full of so many moments, I think it's pretty dark setting so don't expect a light, fun, magical read from this. But it's still a very good book. The only thing that bugged be was how he described the desert tribe, I found it pretty stereotypical of a bunch of regions of the world ( India or the persian gulf for example ), but once you can get past that, it's good well written book.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique New Series I am hooked on this series, based upon the excellence and uniqueness of this first novel. It follows a handful of characters on their own story threads, similar to how the LOTR branches off into different locations to follow characters' lives that weave back and forth, together and apart. The characters have depth and will stick with you after you've finished reading! Can't wait for the next in the series.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mr Well written. Interesting take on a dystopian future
Date published: 2014-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good one A fun fantasy story centering on magical wards and the demons they certain. Well written with good action sequences and interesting characters. The book ends on a high note and makes you want the next book immediately.
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome read .... 10 stars saw the 3rd book for sale at the library n didn't want to buy without reading first stories.... so librarian ordered 1st 2 books front another library n I have devoured both. arlen is an amazing character as are leesha n rojer n others I won't give away. I am almost thru the 3rd n disappointed that will have to wait til March to get next one. the whole series so far has been some of the best fantasy I have read in a long time. if you get the chance TP pick this up go for it ... you will not be disappointed. :-)
Date published: 2014-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warded Man: Book one Haven't enjoyed a fantasy book like this since reading Terry Brook's "Running With The Demons" series!
Date published: 2014-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Confusion in e begging It was rather confusing initially. But as e book went on, it became easier to understand his style of writing. Just got book 2. Hopefully its better.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kept me up Really good read, had me turning pages into the night when I should have been sleeping. A few seconds were a bit abrupt, but overall, a very good book.
Date published: 2013-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good book. I like the character breaks in the story and then the unification at the end.
Date published: 2013-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Good coming of age story and rewriting of demon lore
Date published: 2013-12-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grown-up version of "Letter Bee" A pretty good read. A little slow in places but worth the time to wade through the lengthy character development. The setting really reminded me of the "Letter Bee" anime.
Date published: 2013-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good start of a series Couple of jarring breaks e.g. How the warded man came to survive the desert n became a walking tattoo; how quickly the herb gatherer became a woman; sudden betrayal of the Desert Spear. While the transitions could have been smoothened, it's a good opener on the bigger view.
Date published: 2013-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I can't wait for the next book.
Date published: 2013-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Greatest fantasy novel I have ever read. So cinematic and epic.
Date published: 2013-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Series Something fresh in Fantasy novel. A different twist in the typical demons - if you're looking to get away from the standards out there (Dragon, Goblins, Werewolf, will not find here). In summary, the race of men live by day and die by night. Humanity has been "fighting" (cowering) a race of elemental demons for 300 years and are losing horribly. The demon arise at night and the only defences are wards...a lost art. Great series. Can't wait for the 4th book.
Date published: 2013-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gred book One of the best books I've read in a while
Date published: 2013-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Awesome book, but I didn't care too much about the other characters. The Warded Man-Arlen kills it, literally
Date published: 2013-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unexpected LOVE! (For this book) This book is absolutely amazing! Not my genre at all but I'll give anything a try if its got great reviews. This book had been on my to-read shelf for a long, long time. I'm just sorry I waited soo long to read it. It fulfilled everything I ever wanted in a book (magic, love, action, life, mystery). Oh, it was soo well written! The characters have become so real to me. I can really feel the weight of their mistakes, regrets, losses, happiness, hopes, etc. The concept is amazing. Demons rise each night at sunset and mankind's only hope of surviving the night is to ward their homes. The magic keeps them in a protective bubble, but if one ward is weakened and the demons break threw, then there's no way to protect yourself. One boy doesn't accept this. He thinks they should fight back..but how do you do that when not even the sharpest spear tip can pierce them? Even as I'm writing this review, this doesn't sound like something I would read. But it is, it is soo much more..I can't give it all away!
Date published: 2013-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Biggest badass ever Without spoiling anything, I can honestly say this book contains the biggest badass ever
Date published: 2013-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Greatness! I went and picked this book a couple weeks ago! I am happy I did. This book was so so amazing! You just love the characters. There is so much character development in this book! I think the writing was pretty great ad storyline is a little standard yet still epic in its own way.. The book has 3 main characters Arlen, Rojer, and Leesha. My Favorite character was Arlen he is so determined to conquer his fears. One of the biggest theme of the book is fear. For all fantasy lovers out there this is a MUST READ! Can't wait to go pickup The Desert Spear!
Date published: 2013-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Amazing book! You learn to love the characters and the storyline is fantastic! For anyone who normally reads fantasy this is a must read.
Date published: 2012-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Warded Man Absolutely loved this book, it is wikkid! If you read this book you have to read the Desert Spear! Cant wait for the Daylight War.
Date published: 2012-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read I picked up this book due to the cover art, as I do with most fantasy novels. And like the cover, this book is incredible. Once I started reading I could not put this book down. The characters are well written, and the world created within the series is amazing. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series.
Date published: 2011-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Fantasy Debut The Warded Man (called The Painted Man in Britain) is told from three character's viewpoints. There's Arlen, who's tired of hiding from the demons that rise from the ground each night, battering the wards (magic that keeps them at bay but which fail all too frequently). He wants to bring the fight to the demons but all the offensive wards were lost centuries ago. Then there's thirteen year old Leesha, who's ecstatic at the thought of marrying Gared, until one lie from him destroys her trust and propels her towards a very different goal in life. Finally there's Rojer, trained to be a minstrel, required by circumstance to travel beyond the free cities, but due to a horrific childhood memory, terrified of being outside at night where the demons are not kept away by stout walls as well as the warding. As the characters age, they are each propelled towards very different destinies than they once believed. And when their paths cross at the end of the book, things REALLY get interesting. The writing is incredible. Fast action sequences alternate with stretches of introspection, so you feel you really know the characters - both the good and the bad - and what they're working towards. The world is written with such detail that you can almost step right into it. The Warded Man is an epic novel that comes up with a lot of fresh ideas. An excellent read.
Date published: 2011-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top Ten for Sure This was an incredible book! There is a new breed of fantasy emerging of late and Peter V. Brett is at the forefront. So much fantasy is the same old good verses evil, orcs and elves, unicorns and dragons, and while that is good from time to time, it's easy out grow. Brett creates a world completely different from any I have experienced before. New, creative and refreshing. His characters are deep and well written. I hate fantasy novels with pure good and pure evil. It makes them far too predictable. Brett's characters are complex and unpredictable. They make mistakes, they suffer, they love, they hate, and it's all believable. It's a beautifully written book with a great balance of everything you expect and hope for in a fantasy book. I was unable to put this book down and I wanted it to go on and on and on. Definitely a worth while book to pick up.
Date published: 2011-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-written, mesmerizing story! This is a great story. Following the characters as they grow and develop was extremely interesting, full of suspense and flowed nicely. Can't wait for the next book!
Date published: 2009-06-03

Read from the Book

Chapter OneAFTERMATH319 arthe great horn sounded.Arlen paused in his work, looking up at the lavender wash of the dawn sky. Mist still clung to the air, bringing with it a damp, acrid taste that was all too familiar. A quiet dread built in his gut as he waited in the morning stillness, hoping that it had been his imagination. He was eleven years old.There was a pause, and then the horn blew twice in rapid succession. One long and two short meant south and east. The Cluster by the Woods. His father had friends among the cutters. Behind Arlen, the door to the house opened, and he knew his mother would be there, covering her mouth with both hands.Arlen returned to his work, not needing to be told to hurry. Some chores could wait a day, but the stock still needed to be fed and the cows milked. He left the animals in the barns and opened the hay stores, slopped the pigs, and ran to fetch a wooden milk bucket. His mother was already squatting beneath the first of the cows. He snatched the spare stool and they found cadence in their work, the sound of milk striking wood drumming a funeral march.As they moved to the next pair down the line, Arlen saw his father begin hitching their strongest horse, a five-year-old chestnut-colored mare named Missy, to the cart. His face was grim as he worked.What would they find this time?Before long, they were in the cart, trundling toward the small cluster of houses by the woods. It was dangerous there, over an hour's run to the nearest warded structure, but the lumber was needed. Arlen's mother, wrapped in her worn shawl, held him tightly as they rode."I'm a big boy, Mam," Arlen complained. "I don't need you to hold me like a baby. I'm not scared." It wasn't entirely true, but it would not do for the other children to see him clinging to his mother as they rode in. They made mock of him enough as it was."I'm scared," his mother said. "What if it's me who needs to be held?"Feeling suddenly proud, Arlen pulled close to his mother again as they traveled down the road. She could never fool him, but she always knew what to say just the same.A pillar of greasy smoke told them more than they wanted to know long before they reached their destination. They were burning the dead. And starting the fires this early, without waiting for others to arrive and pray, meant there were a great many. Too many to pray over each one, if the work was to be complete before dusk.It was more than five miles from Arlen's father's farm to the Cluster by the Woods. By the time they arrived, the few remaining cabin fires had been put out, though in truth there was little left to burn. Fifteen houses, all reduced to rubble and ash."The woodpiles, too," Arlen's father said, spitting over the side of the cart. He gestured with his chin toward the blackened ruin that remained of a season's cutting. Arlen grimaced at the thought of how the rickety fence that penned the animals would have to last another year, and immediately felt guilty. It was only wood, after all.The town Speaker approached their cart as it pulled up. Selia, whom Arlen's mother sometimes called Selia the Barren, was a hard woman, tall and thin, with skin like tough leather. Her long gray hair was pulled into a tight bun, and she wore her shawl like a badge of office. She brooked no nonsense, as Arlen had learned more than once at the end of her stick, but today he was comforted by her presence. Like Arlen's father, something about Selia made him feel safe. Though she had never had children of her own, Selia acted as a parent to everyone in Tibbet's Brook. Few could match her wisdom, and fewer still her stubbornness. When you were on Selia's good side, it felt like the safest place in the world."It's good that you've come, Jeph," Selia told Arlen's father. "Silvy and young Arlen, too," she said, nodding to them. "We need every hand we can get. Even the boy can help."Arlen's father grunted, stepping down from the cart. "I brought my tools," he said. "Just tell me where we can throw in."Arlen collected the precious tools from the back of their cart. Metal was scarce in the Brook, and his father was proud of his two shovels, his pick, and his saw. They would all see heavy use this day."How many lost?" Jeph asked, though he didn't really seem to want to know."?Twenty-seven," Selia said. Silvy choked and covered her mouth, tears welling in her eyes. Jeph spat again."Any survivors?" he asked."A few," Selia said. "Manie"-she pointed with her stick at a boy who stood staring at the funeral pyre-"ran all the way to my house in the dark."Silvy gasped. No one had ever run so far and lived. "The wards on Brine Cutter's house held for most of the night," Selia went on. "He and his family watched everything. A few others fled the corelings and succored there, until the fires spread and their roof caught. They waited in the burning house until the beams started to crack, and then took their chances outside in the minutes before dawn. The corelings killed Brine's wife Meena and their son Poul, but the others made it. The burns will heal and the children will be all right in time, but the others . . ."She didn't need to finish the sentence. Survivors of a demon attack had a way of dying soon after. Not all, or even most, but enough. Some of them took their own lives, and others simply stared blankly, refusing to eat or drink until they wasted away. It was said you did not truly survive an attack until a year and a day had passed."There are still a dozen unaccounted for," Selia said, but with little hope in her voice."We'll dig them out," Jeph agreed grimly, looking at the collapsed houses, many still smoldering. The cutters built their homes mostly out of stone to protect against fire, but even stone would burn if the wards failed and enough flame demons gathered in one place.Jeph joined the other men and a few of the stronger women in clearing the rubble and carting the dead to the pyre. The bodies had to be burned, of course. No one would want to be buried in the same ground the demons rose out of each night. Tender Harral, the sleeves of his robe rolled up to bare his thick arms, lifted each into the fire himself, muttering prayers and drawing wards in the air as the flames took them.Silvy joined the other women in gathering the younger children and tending to the wounded under the watchful eye of the Brook's Herb Gatherer, Coline Trigg. But no herbs could ease the pain of the survivors. Brine Cutter, also called Brine Broadshoulders, was a great bear of a man with a booming laugh who used to throw Arlen into the air when they came to trade for wood. Now Brine sat in the ashes beside his ruined house, slowly knocking his head against the blackened wall. He muttered to himself and clutched his arms tightly, as if cold.Arlen and the other children were put to work carrying water and sorting through the woodpiles for salvageable lumber. There were still a few warm months left to the year, but there would not be time to cut enough wood to last the winter. They would be burning dung again this year, and the house would reek.Again Arlen weathered a wave of guilt. He was not in the pyre, nor banging his head in shock, having lost everything. There were worse fates than a house smelling of dung.More and more villagers arrived as the morning wore on. Bringing their families and whatever provisions they could spare, they came from Fishing Hole and Town Square; they came from the Boggin's Hill, and Soggy Marsh. Some even came all the way from Southwatch. And one by one, Selia greeted them with the grim news and put them to work.With more than a hundred hands, the men doubled their efforts, half of them continuing to dig as the others descended upon the only salvageable structure left in the Cluster: Brine Cutter's house. Selia led Brine away, somehow supporting the giant man as he stumbled, while the men cleared the rubble and began hauling new stones. A few took out warding kits and began to paint fresh wards while children made thatch. The house would be restored by nightfall.Arlen was partnered with Cobie Fisher in hauling wood. The children had amassed a sizable pile, though it was only a fraction of what had been lost. Cobie was a tall, thickly built boy with dark curls and hairy arms. He was popular among the other children, but it was popularity built at others' expense. Few children cared to weather his insults, and fewer still his beatings.Cobie had tortured Arlen for years, and the other children had gone along. Jeph's farm was the northernmost in the Brook, far from where the children tended to gather in Town Square, and Arlen spent most of his free time wandering the Brook by himself. Sacrificing him to Cobie's wrath seemed a fair trade to most children.Whenever Arlen went fishing, or passed by Fishing Hole on the way to Town Square, Cobie and his friends seemed to hear about it, and were waiting in the same spot on his way home. Sometimes they just called him names, or pushed him, but other times he came home bloody and bruised, and his mother shouted at him for fighting.Finally, Arlen had enough. He left a stout stick hidden in that spot, and the next time Cobie and his friends pounced, Arlen pretended to run, only to produce the weapon as if from thin air and come back swinging.Cobie was the first one struck, a hard blow that left him crying in the dirt with blood running from his ear. Willum received a broken finger, and Gart walked with a limp for over a week. It had done nothing to improve Arlen's popularity among the other children, and Arlen's father had caned him, but the other boys never bothered him again. Even now, Cobie gave him a wide berth and flinched if Arlen made a sudden move, even though he was bigger by far."Survivors!" Bil Baker called suddenly, standing by a collapsed house at the edge of the Cluster. "I can hear them trapped in the root cellar!"Immediately, everyone dropped what they were doing and rushed over. Clearing the rubble would take too long, so the men began to dig, bending their backs with silent fervor. Soon after, they broke through the side of the cellar, and began hauling out the survivors. They were filthy and terrified, but all were very much alive. Three women, six children, and one man."Uncle Cholie!" Arlen cried, and his mother was there in an instant, cradling her brother, who stumbled drunkenly. Arlen ran to them, ducking under his other arm to steady him."Cholie, what are you doing here?" Silvy asked. Cholie seldom left his workshop in Town Square. Arlen's mother had told the tale a thousand times of how she and her brother had run the farrier's shop together before Jeph began breaking his horses' shoes on purpose for a reason to come court."Came to court Ana Cutter," Cholie mumbled. He pulled at his hair, having already torn whole clumps free. "We'd just opened the bolt-hole when they came through the wards . . ." His knees buckled, pulling Arlen and Silvy down with his weight. Kneeling in the dirt, he wept.Arlen looked at the other survivors. Ana Cutter wasn't among them. His throat tightened as the children passed. He knew every one of them; their families, what their houses were like inside and out, their animals' names. They met his eyes for a second as they went by, and in that moment, he lived the attack through their eyes. He saw himself shoved into a cramped hole in the ground while those unable to fit turned to face the corelings and the fire. Suddenly he started gasping, unable to stop until Jeph slapped him on the back and brought him to his senses.They were finishing a cold midday meal when a horn sounded on the far side of the Brook."Not two in one day?" Silvy gasped, covering her mouth."Bah," Selia grunted. "At midday? Use your head, girl!""Then what . . . ?"Selia ignored her, rising to fetch a horn blower to signal back. Keven Marsh had his horn ready, as the folks from Soggy Marsh always did. It was easy to get separated in the marshes, and no one wanted to be wandering lost when the swamp demons rose. Keven's cheeks inflated like a frog's chin as he blew a series of notes."Messenger horn," Coran Marsh advised Silvy. A graybeard, he was Speaker for Soggy Marsh and Keven's father. "They prob'ly saw the smoke. Keven's telling 'em what's happened and where everyone is.""A Messenger in spring?" Arlen asked. "I thought they come in the fall after harvest. We only finished planting this past moon!""Messenger never came last fall," Coran said, spitting foamy brown juice from the root he was chewing through the gap of his missing teeth. "We been worried sumpin' happened. Thought we might not have a Messenger bring salt till next fall. Or maybe that the corelings got the Free Cities and we's cut off.""The corelings could never get the Free Cities," Arlen said."Arlen, shush your mouth!" Silvy hissed. "He's your elder!""Let the boy speak," Coran said. "Ever bin to a free city, boy?" he asked Arlen."No," Arlen admitted."Ever know anyone who had?""No," Arlen said again."So what makes you such an expert?" Coran asked. "Ent no one been to one 'cept the Messengers. They're the only ones what brave the night to go so far. Who's to say the Free Cities ent just places like the Brook? If the corelings can get us, they can get them, too.""Old Hog is from the Free Cities," Arlen said. Rusco Hog was the richest man in the Brook. He ran the general store, which was the crux of all commerce in Tibbet's Brook."Ay," Coran said, "an' old Hog told me years ago that one trip was enough for him. He meant to go back after a few years, but said it wasn't worth the risk. So you ask him if the Free Cities are any safer than anywhere else."Arlen didn't want to believe it. There had to be safe places in the world. But again the image of himself being thrown into the cellar flashed across his mind, and he knew that nowhere was truly safe at night.

Editorial Reviews

"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, AustraliaFrom the Hardcover edition.