Customer Reviews for

The Warded Man (Demon Cycle Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Predictable Stuff.

The Warded man is another hero's journey of a boy who is thrust from the womb of his home and into the terrible reality he lives. This novel follows Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, each following similar coming-of-age arcs, jumping years, until they finally converge near the ...
The Warded man is another hero's journey of a boy who is thrust from the womb of his home and into the terrible reality he lives. This novel follows Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, each following similar coming-of-age arcs, jumping years, until they finally converge near the end of the book. Structure is good, but you must stray from it to keep things interesting. The story almost turns into Dune while Arlen is in the desert, but thankfully Brett decided to stop there, and instead give Arlen a Edmund Dantes-esque return as the titular Warded Man. There are some funny bits, some sweet revelations of the good in the hearts of some lowly characters and the action was often bloody and thrilling, but overall the inner story of the characters was flimsy, and Arlen essentially becomes the Batman of his world.

Brett's prose would have gotten me flayed in school, he almost entirely tells instead of shows, often repeating the obvious multiple times in the same paragraph, then having the dialog repeat it again, never allowing for subtext. He bashes the reader over the head with the apparent, yet neglects details like describing what the demons actually look like until quite a few chapters in. The world that he created feels more like a rough sketch, which would work with a cast of strong and complex characters, but those are missing here.

Another odd and bothersome aspect of this book is the constant examples of rape, incest, and molestation that permeate the story. About every other chapter has the characters in some conflict with sexual predators, or their own juvenile sexual issues. Particularly Leesha, who in the story is so beautiful that she turns any man alone with her into a drooling rapist. Well written, this may have lent itself to the complexity of the story, but it was not well done. This aspect was clumsy, predicable, and left me cringing more than once, and actually less interested in the character's fates. By the end, it felt like a heavy handed attempt to shape Leesha's and the others characters, but failed to do so.

Certainly not the worst fantasy you could pick up, but if you want a well done, gritty, fantasy, check out Joe Abercrombie and the First Law series. Or just a great, original fantasy book, try The Name of Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and see how it's done.

posted by NickyRay on May 23, 2010

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Predictable Stuff.

    The Warded man is another hero's journey of a boy who is thrust from the womb of his home and into the terrible reality he lives. This novel follows Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, each following similar coming-of-age arcs, jumping years, until they finally converge near the end of the book. Structure is good, but you must stray from it to keep things interesting. The story almost turns into Dune while Arlen is in the desert, but thankfully Brett decided to stop there, and instead give Arlen a Edmund Dantes-esque return as the titular Warded Man. There are some funny bits, some sweet revelations of the good in the hearts of some lowly characters and the action was often bloody and thrilling, but overall the inner story of the characters was flimsy, and Arlen essentially becomes the Batman of his world.

    Brett's prose would have gotten me flayed in school, he almost entirely tells instead of shows, often repeating the obvious multiple times in the same paragraph, then having the dialog repeat it again, never allowing for subtext. He bashes the reader over the head with the apparent, yet neglects details like describing what the demons actually look like until quite a few chapters in. The world that he created feels more like a rough sketch, which would work with a cast of strong and complex characters, but those are missing here.

    Another odd and bothersome aspect of this book is the constant examples of rape, incest, and molestation that permeate the story. About every other chapter has the characters in some conflict with sexual predators, or their own juvenile sexual issues. Particularly Leesha, who in the story is so beautiful that she turns any man alone with her into a drooling rapist. Well written, this may have lent itself to the complexity of the story, but it was not well done. This aspect was clumsy, predicable, and left me cringing more than once, and actually less interested in the character's fates. By the end, it felt like a heavy handed attempt to shape Leesha's and the others characters, but failed to do so.

    Certainly not the worst fantasy you could pick up, but if you want a well done, gritty, fantasy, check out Joe Abercrombie and the First Law series. Or just a great, original fantasy book, try The Name of Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and see how it's done.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Not good. DNF.

    The premise is not uninteresting, but the author doesn't use it well with his plot or characters. I did not find it engaging and did not care about his protagonists. DNF

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Screws the Proverbial Pooch

    Story starts out well enough. Gives you insight to these characters, their lives and how the corelings slowly but surely ruin them but definitely leaves something to be desired. Untapped potential with some characters and their potential for a gripping story.

    The book flows well and continues on at a good pace until the sudden jump where all the characters unite. A good character, with good motives and a noble goal, goes from this man to a vindictive berserker more intent on killing demons than saving his people. The only woman in the story is more or less viewed as a constant sex tool more than an actual character. Constantly being forced into the role of helpless maiden who must be violated to have some character development. I'd say something about Rojer, but he's actually the only character I consistently enjoyed.

    The author starts out strong but leaves a lot to be desired. I finished the book, but I don't think I care about what the characters become to complete the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 3, 2010

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