Peter Brett: THE WARDED MAN

Brys

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
813
I'm really ambivalent about this. I've just finished the book, and while I quite enjoyed it, I'm not quite sure why. On the whole it was pretty derivative, predictable writing with mainly two-dimensional characters and at best average prose. But it was still fun. And it seemed like it had a lot of potential - very much a debut novel. The idea was an interesting one, and it seemed that a lot of the characters could be developed a lot further and it could be a book similar to Rothfuss, but he never quite followed through.

The characters do appear to be more complex than your standard fantasy stereotypes, but he never goes far enough with it. If he was just a little more willing to make Arlen a real anti-hero and abandon a lot of the good/evil dichotomy this could be a much much better book. At the start he's too much just a whiny character without much depth to his motivations, though after he leaves Miln he begins to become more interesting. Rojer was poorly written I thought, far too much a standard fantasy cliche, and Leesha had some potential, but in the end her mother seemed a more interesting character than her.

I also got the feeling that everything suddenly became much too easy for him. Why was none of this ever tried before? Painting wards on weapons/armour/body seems so obvious, its ridiculous no one even tried it before he did, particularly amongst the Krasians. I can see why it would be hard to win any full fledged war against the demons - but to make life more tolerable and a lot easier would not have been hard in the larger cities.


So as I said, I enjoyed it, but not I'm not sure why, because it wasn't a great book. It wasn't a particularly bad one either, but it's not very original and it's not well written, and certainly not a challenge to the top end of epic fantasy writers, like Martin, Bakker, Erikson, or even Abercrombie, Keyes or Lynch. Rothfuss seemed a lot more accomplished than Brett, but despite all of those criticisms, I'm still optimistic - I think there's a lot of room for improvement, but it's something that is certainly within Brett's ability. The next book will tell.
 

Delvor

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
27
It's interesting how the opinions vary on this book, I love it and am on my 3rd read of it since July.
The thing about the wards being painted onto armour and stuff, I'm pretty sure the combat wards Arlen found work slightly different to the wards painted onto buildings
 

Clansman

Lochaber Axeman, QC
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
1,932
Location
Canada
I just got my hands on The Desert Spear, the second in this series. Publisher sent it to me to review. I'll let you know how it is shortly. It looks really, really good. A much larger book.
 

Hiro Protagonist

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2006
Messages
73
Location
Cyberpunk Addict
The Desert spear has been released, and I am anxious to get my hands on it. I read The Warded Man after seeing this topic, and it only took me a week. It was very hard to get my hands off, and I think this is because it was engaging while at the same time a light read. I really didn't have to think to read it, and I've been so busy that this made it very convenient.

I felt as though nothing happened in the entire beginning. I mean, sure we learned about Correlings, but then the same things happened like towns being destroyed or attacked, just in different places. Half of the content had NOTHING to do with the story arc. I mean, all of the times the Jongeluer was beaten up? I get the point, he has enemies, but they were never important to any bit of the plot. Neither was the sex, but I did like that it was there because it made the read seem more "grown-up" to me... even though I think there are better ways of accomplishing that end.

Regardless, in the very end of the book when the Warded Man returned and started kicking butt, I got really excited and I think that the second book is going to be full of a lot of action and a lot of events that CONTRIBUTE TO THE PLOT. First book would've had the same cliffs notes even if the entire first half had been removed.

For whatever reason, I had fun with this book and I WILL read the next one.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,990
Location
Highlands

ratsy

www.scifiexplorations.com
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
4,644
I've read the first three but haven't picked up the newest one. I really liked The Painted/Warded Man but the series went down for me after that one. Not sure I will make it to the last book ever.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,990
Location
Highlands
Started the first book. Got to admit I've avoided it after previous comments that it could get rapey. However, I figured I should have a try and see what I thought.

Only at the beginning, but so far it reads well and smooth. Arlen is a little passive, just listening to people talk, but even then the pace seems decent and what is mentioned is relevant and connected to the whole issue of warding (as opposed to random infodumps about lines of kings, geography, etc).

There's an interesting degree of tension as well: something that's often bugged me about high fantasy is that most of these secondary worlds are unable to treat the impact of magic in a realistic manner - stuff is mediaeval, but magic is powerful and destructive and...has no affect on the way people live. Brett has made the threat of demon attack absolutely central to everyone's way of life, and that's nice to see.
 

Jaxx

Present
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
73
Location
Not a full deck
Enjoy Brian, I always get a little wistful/envious when someone is experiencing books for the first time I've read and loved.

I have a huge soft spot for this series, although I agree with some of the comments, sometimes I have a "does it matter" moment if the hooks there, I simply enjoy the ride. It is a great series because, well, it's our childhood superhero's in a big fantasy series. We're all on the whole, deep down, suckers for a hero, especially a potentially flawed one. (Deleted what could be seen as a spoiler) I especially love the POV changes as the series progresses adding layers to the world building, plus depth and tension to the plot.
 

LittleStar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
772
I've had the third one lying around for a year or two now, I think, and am probably going to take a pass at reading them all again before tackling it. I remember enjoying them, I thought the concept was pretty cool... I think I prefered The Desert Spear over The Warded Man (Or is my copy The Painted Man??) maybe becuase there is more action that sticks out in my mind. But I read them before I had really taken up writing properly/technically, so I'm not sure if that would make a difference to my enjoyment.
 

Kylara

Ghosting
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,621
I really like the series. But then its just my style. As a worldbuilder and lover of world building I always read more into seemingly unnecessary things and was glad to see that I was right after reading book 3. Although he does have a penchant for cliff hangers that annoys me slightly (mainly because of the long wait between publishing)

It feels to me like an older style of writing which is something I like, but is probably why some people think it's too slow. He has set up some clever things in the first that really come back in book 3 and having reread them recently they do stand up very well as an ongoing series.

Very rarely do I continue buying new series because I get frustrated about delays between publishing one book and the next (so much so I am having to wait for Weeks' new set to be finished. Having bought the first night angel on a Tuesday, walked into town to buy the next on a Wednesday and then again for the last one on the Thursday, having been released that week!) but I do enjoy these and they benefit from rereading, even if I was generally right and even though I hate one of the characters!
 

Similar threads


Top