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14. Peter V. Brett Discussion

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Number 14 on the list is Peter V. Brett. A relatively new writer on the fantasy scene, he is probably most famous for his Demon Cycle series which began with The Painted Man (or as it's known in the U.S., The Warded Man. I've read most of his first book, and so far I have to say I enjoy his rather straight forward style. His magic system of using wards is interesting and his characters grow in the face of adversity throughout. He also has some of the most awesome cover art in the game.

    Thoughts about Peter V. Brett?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    I don't normally read a fantasy series until it's complete, but I tried "The Warded Man" because the premise intrigued me. It's been a few years, so I barely remember anything about the plot, but I do remember the thought that kept running through my head:

    I like these people.

    To be honest, I don't even remember what I liked so much about them, but I remember thinking that all three main characters could have carried a solo novel, and I remember wanting to learn more about all of them. That's an easy five-star rating from me.

    (Apparently the series still isn't over with, so I'll wait until it is before I read it. If I can't remember what happened in book 1, there's no way I'll remember the plots of books 1-4 by the time book 5 comes out.)

    P.S. Also, apparently someone thought the series was a ripoff of The Runelords. Could anyone who's read The Runelords confirm or deny this?
     
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I don't know The Runelords myself, but I can imagine there might be some similar ideas. I agree with your estimation of the characters. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I liked the main characters as well. I think that's the main thing that kept me reading. Each of their own stories were interesting and engaging to me. The magic system was unique enough for me to be interested in all of the varying techniques of warding and such. It sounds like it gets more epic as the series goes on, but I liked seeing these characters from the beginning.
     
  4. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    I've only read the first book of each so far, but I'd say the only similarity is they both involve people with runes on their bodies-- very different ones, the Demon Cycle runes seem purely anti-demon, while Runelords' work by taking strength from other people. That and they both have monsters in the earth.

    But, I like Brett. More for keeping a close eye on a fun concept than for sheer flashiness, but he's worth watching.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I made it halfway through The Warded Man. I liked it well enough, but didn't think it was anything special. I've heard the third book is terrible, though.

    I don't think it is a ripoff of Runelords, though it incorporates some similar ideas.
     
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    When I read it, I thought it was very Final Fantasy-ish with the creatures that come out of the ground.

    I do have my issues with it, not least the gaping plot holes of the first one that don't get filled in until you've read the second book, which seemed to be jumping from the mysterious present to past events around Jardir's life. I think it could have been structured far more effectively.

    I did enjoy the two I read for the most part even though... he did turn a girl's first period into a haemorrhage. ...
     
  7. Lohengrin

    Lohengrin Dreamer

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    I think I read it in June, so I don't remember everything in the books.

    What I remember is that I liked it, not one of the best, but it was good. Arlen's arc was great and pretty much why I kept reading it. Leesha and Rojer I didn't like, I don't like reading about a spoiled beautiful girl or a traumatized young boy when I can read about a Warder in the search of these lost wards. Not saying it isn't well done, it's just not my favorite thing so I understand why people like them. What this means is that for 4 chapters I would love the book, then I would turn the page and realize that the next chapter is about Leesha, so it dragged a little.

    The 3rd book that someone mentioned is really really terrible. The biggest problem is the flow. Like the 2nd book it begins with a HUGE flashblack of someone that I really didn't care that much. It's interesting because you see the villains motivations, but really? Almost half the book is flashbacks, and the other half is about a useless and really stupid quest, to reach the same point they were in the beginning. And it's not just that, the characters that were so strong in the 1st and 2nd books now make decisions totally out of nowhere, decisions that someone could say "Yeah but people do that in real life..." in a specific context. The problem is that you saw those 3 characters growing up, you KNOW them, and then they make decisions that are totally out of character.

    I liked the background story though. The story about the demons and the wards are what made me read it. The cities are a little... Well, they are the standard kind of cities in a medieval setting, and it bothers me a little that they have such a huge problem with demons that I assume is a problem in the entire world, but all you get in world building is 3 big cities, a bunch of rivers, some mountains that nobody gets even near them and the usual huge desert.

    Overall the 1st book was a mix of awesome moments then a boring chapter, then another awesome chapter.
     
  8. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    I haven't read the third one, haven't even bothered buying yet. I would have... but it was released at £11.99 for kindle, it's now down to £9.99. And seriously... it's way overpriced. I might go for it later on... when it reaches £4.99, perhaps.
     
  9. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    Never read anything by him, but one of my best friends (who also writes fantasy) adores his work and has been nagging me to read The Warded Man for years. It's on my list, but I don't know, something about the descriptions they use on Goodreads and Amazon keep turning me off when I think about reading it.
     
  10. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I think the strength of the first book in particular is the characters. As Feo mentioned, they're very likable and you want to see what happens to them.
     
  11. Darkblade

    Darkblade Troubadour

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    What really made me love "The Warded Man" was a rather spoilery (so stop reading this post if you haven't read it yet, you've been warned) scene near the end when Arlen first finds the runned spear. Unlike most fantasy heroes his first thought isn't to keep it to himself and become the savior of the world, he wants to take it home and reproduce it so that everyone can be the hero. Then he gets screwed over and goes a little loopy in the desert so he doesn't get a chance for quiet a while but he actively wanted to give everyone their own copy of the mcguffin, that is a moral stance I can really get behind a hero having.
     
  12. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    A good point. Teach the world to save itself!

    It also draws on the idea that in this world, magic (and some other powers like herbalism) are like technology in that it can be discovered and spread as raw knowledge. It's something most fantasy avoids, tending to assume magic is more a skill or an outright Gift and sharply limited by the user's ability-- and that letting people have more power would make it too much like our own industrial world (or would start wars more than anything else). Making people barely holding on against demons, and defining most power as specifically anti-demon, does make change sound both good and safe.
     
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