In this coming of age tale, we are met with three different story lines that are in and of themselves unique and could stand on their own as individual stories. Much of the going ons in these stories is the main characters learning who they are by taking up various tasks and having traumatic experiences happen to them through the loss of parental figures or just the hard truth of trying to remain pure and uphold their morals, even the lessons of what a coward looks like. All of these things are going on amongst one of the most harrowing things in their lifetime, the Demons. These denizens of the night have reduced all of the people of "Thesa" to cowering behind ancient symbols, many of which no longer are remembered by everyday people. Many of the people (the Krasians being the exception) hide out of fear of being Demon fodder every night afraid to fight. However, after learning waht cowardice looks like, one boy takes to questing about the land and stumbles upon a ruin where some of these ancient wards that could hurt the demons remain. He then becomes known as the Warded Man, a man who eats the flesh of Demons, and has covered himself in wards and fights the Demons at night.
Now that my book report is over...The writing style used is very rhythmic. There is a very fine and delicate balance between the upbeat rhythm of the action of this novel, as well as the lulling almost lullaby quality of the intimate and personal moments of the story. The only complaint I have about this is the nature of how the three main characters come together. It is very abrupt and instead of telling us why Arlen was where he was (near Leesha and Rojer), Brett just kind of throws them together which isn't how Rojer and Leesha met up, that introduction was a lot smoother. However, despite that one hiccup, this novel was an overall success. The only question I have of Peter Brett is why did you change the name? "The Painted Man" just seems more fitting with the setting of the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above book for free from Goodreads First Reads, in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I enjoy and believe that my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”