Review of The Warded Man by Peter V Brett

3.75/5 Stars

A story about demons, tattoos, mysterious desert people, and a sexy heroine? Yes please. I am always looking for newer, up and coming fantasy and science fiction authors. Partly to get some inspiration for my own writing, but also simply because I am always looking for newer, fresher stories. Different takes on the classic fantasy format. Peter V. Brett does not disappoint. Brett gives classic fantasy lovers a great tale that is remotely reminiscent of other fantasy tales as well as those newer to the genre, and perhaps those who are not your typical fantasy reader, something that crosses genres and trails into mystery, intrigue, crime novels, and good old adventure.

Peter V. Brett has a knack for writing. His use of language and the written word propels the story forward. His characters seem multidimensional. They develop nicely throughout the story and seem very genuine through their dialogue. He develops several protagonists that the reader grows to love and care about. I really did become emotionally attached to Leesha and Arlen and Rojer. His story progresses quite nicely as well, fast forwarding several years at a time. One might think that this would hinder the story, perhaps make the reader what happened between these chunks of time, but that is not the case. And the world that Brett builds…well, I will leave that to you as the reader, but I am suspect that this world is more familiar than we might think. The twists leave the reader wondering where we are, when we are, and what is going to happen next.

So, on to the criticism. I gave The Warded Man four stars on Amazon and Goodreads. If I could have given it like, 3.5 or 3.75 stars I probably would have. Why? Especially with all the good things I just said about it. Well, there were, for me, several glaring things that frustrated me as a reader and, unfortunately, those things came at the very end of the book. As much attention as Brett pays his main characters, especially Leesha and Arlen, and as genuine as they seem, their actions, motivations, and characterizations at the end of the book seem very forced, almost fake. I have no desire to give any spoilers, so you will have to find out what those are for yourself. The plot, as well, seemed rushed towards the end of the book, almost as if Brett was on a deadline and he had to wrap it up. We have this great build through 85% of the book and then, BAM! the end. Now, being an author myself, I am familiar with story arcs, but this resolution seemed so sudden. And both Arlen and Leesha are confronted with some very serious issues that, because of the speed at which the book ends, don’t seem to be resolved in a very real way. Lastly, it seemed like there was confusion throughout the book in terms of point of view. I got confused in several places as to who the focus was on, where the camera lens was, whose thoughts are we listening to at that moment.

All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fresh take on classic, epic fantasy and I am already reading (and listening to) The Desert Spear: Book Two of the Demon Cycle Series.

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