My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’d been hearing a lot about The Warded Man for the past few months, and I’ve finally had the chance to give it a read. I’m really glad I did–the book was absolutely fantastic. Fast-paced, great world building, intriguing characters and good mysteries to drive the story on.
The setup is simple: the book takes place in a world where demons come out at night to terrorize humanity. Centuries ago, humans knew ways to fight the demons, but today, all they have is the knowledge of some basic runes that will repel the evil. If the runes fail–if they’re not drawn correctly, or if they’re obstructed somehow–then the demons win. Each night, they lie in wait outside, constantly testing the runes, always looking for weakness and easy prey.
One boy on the fringes of society sees humanity cowering and is infuriated. He loses his mother to the demons (corelings), and vows to fight back any way he can. There are rumors of ancient runes–runes that give better defense or actually allow humans to go on the offensive. Arlen dreams of finding those and taking back the night for humanity.
In the meantime, there are two other plots going on–one focused on a girl learning to become a wisewoman, and the other on a boy who aspires to be a jongleur. I found all three plots captivating, and I breezed through the 416 pages in no time. Really, I think that’s the best gauge of a great book. If a book is good, I’ll finish it eventually. If it’s great, I’ll finish it as fast as humanly possible.
The Warded Man is a great book.