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The Painted Man (Demon Cycle, #1)
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The Painted Man (Demon Cycle #1)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  42,418 ratings  ·  2,447 reviews
As darkness falls, demon corelings rise — multitudes and giants, from fire, wood, and rock, hungry for human flesh. After centuries, humans dwindle, protective wards forgotten. Three young survivors of demon attacks, Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, dare to fight back.
ebook, 416 pages
Published January 8th 2009 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Way of Shadows by Brent WeeksGraceling by Kristin CashoreThe Hero of Ages by Brandon SandersonThe Painted Man by Peter V. BrettLast Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
2008 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
4th out of 97 books — 217 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Best Releases of 2008
122nd out of 233 books — 621 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot from this book, because I wrote it myself. My rating may be somewhat biased as a result.

The world of The Painted Warded Man (*) is governed by fear. Countless corelings/demons rule the night. Magical wards that keep the demons out also keep the people in. The promise of safety has become their prison.

* Sidenote: By the way, what's up with the name change? Is this book a part of Book Witness Protection Program? Why?
Being caught out in the open at night equals gruesome death. People in this world hide trembling behind their wards at night terrified of what's out there. Fear rules
mark monday
The Warded Man is an effective, efficiently-written fantasy thriller, one with an ingenious premise: at nightfall, various sorts of grisly 'corelings' rise from the earth to slaughter all living beings. folks live and travel behind various 'wards'. draw an imprecise ward: you are fucked, and probably dead. the novel documents a society which may or may not be in transition to ways that more proactively and aggressively engage with this continual threat. the set-up is particularly effective in it ...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Mar 17, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: epic fantasy fans
Recommended to Carol. [All cynic, all the time] by: FA, of course
Shelves: fantasy, male-lead
Tremendously strong start, well on the way to a five star read, but about three quarters of the way through, I became extremely disenchanted with characterization and plot jumping. I'll average it out and call it three and a half stars.

Brett's world is fascinating: a feudal system at the mercy of demons arising from the earth each night, and the only way to defend against them is through the work of drawn/carved wards. The story begins by following a young boy, Arlen, allowing well integrated w
Dan Schwent
Three survivors of demon attacks spend their younger years learning to fight the corelings in their own ways. Rojer becomes a Jongleur, a wandering minstrel whose fiddle playing can ward off the demon's attack. Leesha becomes a healer and herb gatherer. And Arlen walks the path of a Messenger. At least at first...

Wow. I have to admit I wasn't expecting a whole lot with this book. Fantasy in a pseudo-European setting? Yawn city. Imagine my delight when the book proved to be a breath of fresh air
Seak (Bryce L.)
Not only did it rise above the hype, but the hype looks like an ant from up here. This is traditional fantasy done extremely well and with its own unique elements. The Warded Man (The Painted Man in the UK) is exactly the type of fantasy I love.

Goodreads summary:
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
At times, I believe that humanity is doomed to destroy itself. Actually, I feel that way a lot, although it saddens me. Which is why I prefer reading fiction that is hopeful, or with humans triumphing over the destructive forces within them or around them. Tales in which the monster of the story is a fantastical beast of the inhuman variety, defeatable, even if it requires cost and sacrifice on the part of people.

I couldn’t even imagine living in a world in which every night, demons take over,
A fantasy (secondary-world or post-apocalyptic Earth isn’t clear, or at least not in the part of the book I read) in which humankind is subject to attack every night by demons that materialize from the ground. At the opening of the book, the only defense people have is to huddle behind magical wards which the demons cannot breach (unless the chalk or whatever is scuffed or something, I don’t know.) Humans cower in their cities or individual farmhouses, and it would be really great if someone lea ...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

The Warded Man was a novel I’d heard a lot about from my reading friends. Peter V. Brett’s name was constantly whispered in my ear as a writer whose work I must try at once. And after finishing this story, I have to admit that was very wise advice — at least where this book is concerned.

For those who haven’t read Mr. Brett’s Demon Cycle series, it is set in a post-apocalyptic world where demons rule the night. In fact, the cause of the apocalypse was th
Will M.
Oct 28, 2014 Will M. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers!
Recommended to Will by: mark monday

First things first, thank you Mark Monday for recommending this piece of treasure to me. I've read another amazing fantasy novel! Your recommendations are always spot on!

I finished this novel in just a day. Need I inform you that this is a Fantasy novel , and I finished it in one day. It was that good my good people. It's near impossible to finish a fantasy novel in a day, as the length of any tend to make you finish one in 2-5 days. I'm aware that this had fewer pages compared to most fantasy
Paul Stotts
Sometimes it’s easier to be a coward. Easier to not fight back. To not stare in the eye of the bully harassing you. To slink around the corner, avoiding confrontation. Maybe the odds aren’t in you favor. Maybe fighting back could mean serious injury. Maybe it could mean your life.

But what if your family was in danger. Would you stand and watch, paralyzed by fear, unable to help. Or would you fight. Even if fighting meant sacrificing yourself for your loved ones. What choice would you make?

Sep 22, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Fantasy Book Club April 2010 Selection
5.0 stars. WOW there are some really good fantasy series being written lately. Of my top ten favorite series, I wouild say that more than half of them have been written in the last 10 years. This one has the potential to be another great series. Great characters, an original magic system, great villians and excellent world-building. This book is a very good read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
5 Stars

I original gave the Warded Man/the Painted Man 4 stars the first time I read it. But after some time had passed, I read and loved the second book, now more than a year later in anticipation of reading the third book that it is out now, I could not wait to reread this book. By definition, regardless of any flaws or shortcomings, if a novel interests me so much that I want to spend time reading it again for a second time, that I cannot help but give it full marks. That being said, regardles
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
I don't have much to say for this book. I thought the premise was interesting, but there was something about the execution that just didn't grab me. Like Sandi, I found it pretty preditcable and straightforward. Unlike Sandi, I didn't connect with the characters enough for me not to care.

The characters I did like the most were secondary - Bruna, Ragan and Elissa, Master Cox - but after they fill their roll to the main characters, we don't see them anymore. This is has it 'should be', as it were,
Kevin Hearne
This is a strong character-driven book with a fascinating magic system. Loved it, loved it, loved it! The wards on Peter Brett's website are fun to look at and I have no doubt that someone is going to get themselves tatted up with one or more of them. But, to echo sentiments a friend of mine noticed about the wards: These Messengers are just hanging out in the open air, protected by nothing but wards that repel the corelings, right? That's a problem.

The corelings—especially the rock and wood one
David Sven
This did not feel like a debut novel. It doesn’t have that raw, first book feel where the plot grows its own legs and takes you places that have you scratching your head. Not that I mind that at all, but what Peter V Brett has produced here is a polished story, obviously written to an outline with good consistent pacing and a lot of editing. It was very easy to read and the pages just flew by and my attention was held from start to finish.

What you won’t find, at least not at this stage in the s
Hmmmm... well I get the feeling I'm on my own here given the reviews, but here goes:

The warded man/painted man is set in a kind of alternate future where after the age of science, the world has been thrown back into a dark age, where ancient elemental demons known as "Corelings" have once more risen from the earth to feed upon mankind. Man's only salvation rests in the magical properties of "wards", magical symbols that can be written on homes, and earth to keep the creatures at bay. The story
Jay Z
misogyny is common in mediocre fantasy. misogyny AND orientalism takes skill, which this dude's got. i am appalled at how many authors are heralding this as one of the greatest new arrivals in fantasy. i can't remember the last time a fantasy author offended me this much. oh wait. i can. terry goodkind.
Oh, where to start with this book.

Perhaps I should begin by pointing out that, according to the back of the book, this *is* the author's first novel (don't quote me Wikipedia, this is his first published novel, I guess).

Unfortunately, it shows.

So, it's a fairly generic set-up with a Medieval-style community, humans vs. demons, good vs. evil. Blah-de-blah. As is obvious from the title, the primary protagonist eventually carves runes onto his skin to combat the demons and take a stand. As a concep
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Right before I started this book, I had been reading this lengthy fantasy novel that left my mind confused, tired, and utterly dissatisfied with character development. After that ordeal, I was just really in need of a good, baggage-less story that can take me away from all that.

Turned out The Warded Man was exactly what I was looking for -- a character driven novel that grabbed me right away, and certainly the story was interesting, action-packed and straightforward enough to keep that momentum
I expected this to be an epic opener of an epic fantasy series, but instead I got 3 coming-of-age stories with some really captivating characters.

The book follows Arlen, Leesha and Rojer from childhood through their apprentice years and shows us their ordeals in becoming adults in a bleak world.
The setting is one of the things, which set this book apart from your normal run-of-the-mill fantasy world. Humans fought against demons and lost. Their ability to harm the demons is forgotten. During the
I'm not sure what to call this book. Warded Man? Painted Man? I can see the logic in both titles. Painted Man because the man was all painted up and shit.. Warded Man because that paint made wards so he was all warded up and shit.. I really don't understand the need for the title change when it was released in the US. At least that's what I think happened... I didn't use my google-fu to figure it out, I could but I'm feeling lazy at the moment. I just think that's what I might have heard at one ...more
Marc Aplin
Firstly, let me say that 'The Painted Man' is a special, special book. I want to declare this book 'The single best Novel I have ever read'. There is a series that I would rate higher as a collective than this (see my Night Angel Trilogy review), but in terms of a single novel - this is untouchable... If you enjoy modern fantasy... you will enjoy 'The Painted Man'.

The Painted Man is set in a World where demons rule the nights. As soon as the sun sets Demons rise from 'the core' and begin to caus
Apr 11, 2009 Jeffrey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
This new fantasy is excellent. The world is full of demons (corelings) who rise at night and terrorize and kill the humans, who live in scattered homesteads and a few major cities run by Dukes. Most of the people hide behind ancient wards that can stop the demons, but over time, the corelings overcome poorly done wards or negligence and slaughter the humans. Linking the people of the cities with the outlier hamlets are professional messengers who travel at night behind wards. Only one city, Kras ...more
I thought this book was very one-dimensional. Demons versus Humans. Character development was interesting, but I believe the author could have spent less time developing them and spent more time developing the world and it's problems.
Awesome! It is such a treat to get hold of such an engaging story. The world building that Peter Brett uses here is one that will stand up beside the other greats such as Erikson, Martin, and Jordan.

Brett blends epic fantasy with horror in a world of the corelings, demons that rise up at sunset each day to feed on the humans. There are ancient means to combat these creatures, but most of that art had been forgotten, lost in 3000 years of complacency after the demons seemingly went away.

The Ward
I honestly don't know what compelled me to use my February credit on The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett. I was really looking for some science fiction because I've been reading too much fantasy lately. Anyhow, I ran across this at Audible somehow and downloaded yet another fantasy story. I'm so glad I did.

The Warded Man is one of the best fantasies I've ever "read". (Sorry, I have a hard time thinking of listening to audiobooks as reading.) The characters are so well developed and psy
I very much enjoyed this book and have already started reading the second in the series. It's an interesting world with a lot of possibility and room for more discovery about the history of it as the series continues. I thought the story was well paced and it didn't take me long to become fully invested in the main characters. I did have a few issues with each of the main characters but they were all small superficial things (like Leesha crying a bit too much for my taste) that didn't really tak ...more
Loved it! My reviews suck anymore. I wouldn't want to put too much into this one because the target audience for loving this book the way I did is pretty small. It started off weird, got kinda cool and ended pretty badass! When I say it started out weird that is not a bad weird. I guess this is kinda darkish and there are a lot of dysfunctional families. There are kind of 3 main stories going on and I got sucked into everyone and loved the book from cover to cover. Mainly because it is not the s ...more
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Buddy Read Zone: The Warded Man 7/14/14 144 22 Jul 19, 2014 02:15PM  
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Goodreads Librari...: The Painted Man, help (with editing) needed 3 32 Aug 20, 2013 03:42PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: The Warded Man Final Thoughts *Spoilers* 42 167 Jul 13, 2013 05:21AM  
Who Wants To Be A...: The Warded Man 8 9 Jul 05, 2013 12:36PM  
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Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V. Brett (“Peat” to his friends) 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, and then spent over a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He live ...more
More about Peter V. Brett...
The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle, #2) The Daylight War (Demon Cycle, #3) The Great Bazaar and Other Stories Brayan's Gold (Demon Cycle, #1.5) Malowany człowiek. Księga I (Demoniczny Cykl, #1.1)

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