Title: The Painted Man
Author: Peter V. Brett
Series: Demon Cycle #1
My rating: 5 of 5
(Book re-read from my own copy from January 15 to February 5 , 2013)
Sometimes, there is a very good reason to be afraid of the dark...Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents on their small farmstead, half a day's ride from the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook. As dusk falls each evening, a mist rises from the ground promising death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness. For hungry corelings - demons that can't be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed, and as the shadows lengthen, humanity is forced to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the dawn.But when Arlen's world is shattered by the demon plague, he realizes that it is fear, rather than the monsters, which truly cripples humanity. Only by conquering their own terror can they ever hope to defeat the demons. Now Arlen must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path.In the small town of Cutter's Hollow, Leesha's perfect future is destroyed by betrayal and a simple lie. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night.Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.
My Thoughts on the book:
As always, it was really great to return to the demon world that Peter V. Brett had created. This was my 3rd time that I've read The Painted Man. The 1st time was long before I started blogging & the 2nd time was in 2010. I can't believe it's been two and a half years since the last time I read it. But, now that the 3rd book will be out, it was time to finally re-read it, something I've been looking forward to do for quite some time now, but I've been postponing as The Daylight War was postponed :)And what did I thought now? I'm still totally hooked & addicted to the series. The Demon Cycle is one of my top fav series, I always mention it when someone asks me about my fav series, but I've forgotten how addictive it is. Yeah, I knew what will happen, and I was still completely enveloped in the story & all the characters & the world. I don't know, it's just something about the idea of the wards as well as their power that I love, as well as the demons a.k.a the corelings (don't you just love that word - coreling), the way they come out only at night from the Core, and there are so many different demons - there are wind demons, fire demons, water demons, rock demons, wood demons, snow demons, clay demons, sand demons, swamp demons, etc, and they're all so scary, I definitely wouldn't want to live in a world where they come out of the Core, and you need different wards so you can protect yourself from different type of demons. So yeah, I love the world, the world-building & the writing style.We follow 3 characters: Arlen, Leesha & Rojer. Arlen as the main characters, has the most "coverage" of course, after all he is (or should I say becomes) The Painted Man. Although I like all of these characters, my fav is definitely Arlen. I just love how he doesn't give up, he's so brave & smart & resourceful, he's a survivor, and although he probably took it too far with his war against the demons, he's still so awesome at what he does, really badass, and he has been through quite a lot in his life, but my heart broke a little for him near the end. Just a few lines or should I say thoughts he thought for himself, and they really got to me. I guess I'm mentioning this because I don't remember them getting to me as much before, although before most of the things that happen in this book to the characters got to me a lot more. Really it's true that a book read in different period of life can influence us in a different way, that's actually one of the reasons why I love re-reading books! Anyway, back to the story.Poor Leesha, she was so innocent at 13, but thankfully Bruna was there to save her when her world came crushing down :) Bruna was definitely my most favorite secondary character, and I loved that she helped Leesha. Leesha became a herb-gatherer like Bruna, and I really like the woman she became.As for Rojer, oh sweet Rojer, his parts still made me teary-eyed quite a lot, just so sad, but I liked him quite a lot as a character, he's so fun & I absolutely love his "power" over the demons, so awesome!There are quite a lot of secondary characters that we meet, some I liked, some I didn't, I even hated a few of them, and as I already said Bruna was my most fav from them all. A special mention goes to One Arm - the 15 feet tall rock demon, I have to admit that I miss him, surprising, I know, but he was such a big part of the story & Arlen's life.We also meet Jardir here for the 1st time, and yeah, I hated him for what he did to Arlen, at least the 1st time I read this book. I still hate what he did to him, but I don't quite hate him as mush as I did, because now I know that he's not the only one to blame. But, more about him & that in The Desert Spear.A point I think I have to mention is that although this book starts when Arlen is 11, Leesha is 13 & Rojer is only 3, and we follow them growing up through the years, this book isn't YA, it's an adult epic fantasy. That means that this isn't your sweet fantasy book that anyone can read, there are quite some bad things that happen in it to both the main characters, as well as the secondary, so I guess it might not be a read for everyone, but if you're a fan of epic fantasy, then this is a must-read, I can't recommend it enough! This book will make you laugh, will make you cry, and keep you turning the pages because you'll be so enveloped in the world infested with demons, that you'll be dying to see what will happen next!As for the story in short, but spoiler free, years ago the demons rised every night, and the people lead wars with them, but they had wards which could hurt the demons, so they could fight them, but after the demons stopped rising and the years passed, humanity thought they had won, and when after years the demons returned, the humanity was unprepared for them. Lots of the old knowledge have been lost, including the fighting wards, but thankfully some of the protective wards were found, so some of the humanity survived. Now 300+ years after the return, humanity survives hiding behind the magical wards every night, while demons roam through the night.After something happens in Arlen's life, he runs away from home, he leaves Tibbet's Brook, takes an apprenticeship as a Warder in Miln, becomes a Messenger & searches for the lost combat wards around the world. Leesha takes an apprenticeship to the herb-gatherer Bruna & becomes a herb-gatherer, too. As for Rojer, after he becomes an orphan, he's taken by Arrick the Jongleur, and he becomes his apprentice. So, we follow their stories, and wait for the moment they will meet :) As for the ending, it's really action-packed & will leave you craving for more!