My sweetie recommended this one for me. She was so adamant that I read it, and so convinced that I would enjoy it that she went out and bought me a copy, and I moved it to the top the pile.
And, no surprise, she was right!
A wonderful combination of fantasy and horror elements, Brett’s book introduces us to a vast cast of characters, focusing specifically on three of them, Arlen, Rojer and Leesha, and we follow their lives, and the events that shape them. This is a great way for Brett to world build and involve us emotionally with the characters.
The world we are introduced to us feels somewhat familiar, there’s a medieval feel to it, this world has fallen on hard times, science and technology has been lost when demons, long held at bay, have started rising again from the depths of the core. Coming at night, they have been the bane of humanity for the past three hundred years.
Magical wards protect houses, towns, and people, but no one ever fights back, and each night, humanity is whittled down a little further.
As we shift from location to location, and time marches on, we watch as Arlen grows, pursuing his dream of being a Messenger, carrying letters and goods from villages and cities, traversing distances – a dangerous job. Rojer trains to be a jongleur, an entertainer, and bard, while Leesha becomes an herb gatherer, a healer.
You know eventually that the three characters are going to come together, but I was in no rush for it to happen. I simply delighted in the way Brett crafted his world, making it and his characters feel real. I grew attached to each of the characters, and from the moment the book begins, I was hooked.
There are a variety of cultures across the world Brett has created as well as a variety of demons stalking it, there are other things at work in this realm, and I have no doubt these will play out in future books. There is the hint of power struggles, religious beliefs, and at the centre of it all is the character that becomes the Warded Man.
I like the reveal of how the Warded Man has become so powerful, and the effect it has on him, and the characters that populate the world around him. The trio of main characters have a great supporting cast around them, which helps the leads be more believable in my mind.
This is one of those books where I tend not to even realise I’m reading the words anymore, I just see the images in my head,
I was so caught up in this book, that I made sure my girlfriend and I had picked up the next three in the series so I can have them at hand!
If you enjoy a well-realised story, even if you aren’t necessarily into fantasy, this series has already proven itself highly enjoyable!