At long last! Here's the deal: I read The Warded Man a month ago. That's right. A month. Actually, a little over a month ago. But I've been writing stuff, reading stuff, and out of town since then. I mean, I've even been in a car accident with an illegal immigrant from Honduras since then! (Long story, not important here. But bizarre nonetheless.) So what do I have to say about Peter V. Brett's debut novel?
It's awesome. Go read it yesterday.
I'm serious. I waited till the paperback release, and now I'm kicking myself for doing so. This is great stuff, and really addictive too. I finished reading the book extremely quickly, and I can say it's one of the best fantasy debuts I've read in a long time. Probably since Sanderson and Rothfuss. A big deal.
The Warded Man centers around a world where demons prowl at night. They are kept at bay by wards, magical symbols from days long past. This creates a nice points-of-light society that allows for a huge variety of cultures in a relatively small number of pages. Note: I say small, but it's still 450 in my edition. They just go by really, really fast.
Anyway, the story focuses more acutely upon three children who grow up each having a life-altering confrontation with demons, called corelings in Brett's world. Together, they strive to fight the darkness before it destroys all they hold dear. In a nutshell. But there's a massive amount of mythology hinted at, to be expanded in later volumes (The Desert Spear is already out, so don't worry too much about waiting!).
One of the most remarkable things about The Warded Man is how economical it is. The book manages to convey a great deal of emotion over a great deal of time over a relatively small page count. All of the characters go through major arcs, and it's only Book 1 of a series. The climax is tightly written and doesn't overstay its welcome. Not to mention that Peter V. Brett (apparently called Peat to his friends) is just a good writer, hands down.
The Warded Man is a fast-paced, well-executed romp of a novel with a little something for everybody, and I'm astounded to think this is only Brett's first. This is the guy to watch when it comes to new authors in fantasy. Definately in the running for best debut I've read this year.
My rating: 10/10
Coming Soon: Ooh, a lot of stuff. Stuff I haven't gotten a chance to review yet. Perhaps I'll do a little book about zombies next...