Monday, August 3, 2009

The Painted Man (by Peter V. Brett) Review

The fantasy genre has really been blessed in recent years with the emergence of a number of exciting new authors who have brought in some innovative ideas. Brandon Sanderson,Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss are just a few of these. With his debut novel The Painted Man Peter Brett can take his rightful place among them.

The Painted Man is set in a world where hordes of seemingly invincible demons emerge at night and kill anything in their path. The only safety for mankind is through wards that channel a power that can keep the demons out. However wards can and often do fail. I really liked this innovative concept and thought that Brett used it well as a backdrop. The story is centered on three young people whose lives change their course rather dramatically after demon attacks. We follow them over decades separately (until the latter half) as they try to find their places in a hostile world.

There is certainly a good deal of action and suspense culminating in a large finale. The characters are complex and visibly adapt and change as the story unfolds. The author gave the world an interesting feel, for a lot of the characters the villages they grew up in were the whole world to them (traveling being particularly dangerous) and this came across well especially contrasted against the worldview of characters who had traveled further. While it is largely self-contained there is most certainly going to a sequel in the works as there are some large open-ended questions to be addressed.

Overall Brett’s first novel really impressed me, he is definitely one to watch. 8.5/10.

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