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Publisher's Summary

The stunning debut fantasy novel from author Peter V. Brett. The Painted Man, book one of the Demon Cycle, is a captivating and thrilling fantasy adventure, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes.Voted one of the top ten fantasy novels of 2008 by amazon.co.uk.
Sometimes there is 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 upon Arlen's world, a strange mist rises from the ground; a mist that promises a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness, for hungry corelings - demons that cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed on the living. As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn.
When Arlen's life is shattered by the demon plague, he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he 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.
©2008 Peter V. Brett (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

"I enjoyed The Painted Man immensely. Action and suspense all the way." (Terry Brooks)
"An absolute masterpiece… literally unputdownable, and deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy." (www.ozhorrorscope.com)
"A very accomplished debut fantasy. Recommended." (www.sfrevu.com. Readers Reviews)
"If the next two books in this series live up to this one it will be one day named as a classic fantasy series." (Joanne Horsley)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Anonymous User on 12-02-17

Fantastic you will want to continue to the next

Fantastic, you will want to continue to the next book. very well narrated. worth the money.

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By B. A. De Luca on 10-24-17

A genuinely good and well thought out book

A smart, well written book, lots of thought has gone into making the role feel real.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Christopher on 03-05-15

So good, I listened to it twice


Story – 5/5

I have actually listened to this audiobook twice due to the change in narrator – and I can say that it was just as enjoyable the second time around, which just goes to show how absorbing this really is.

The characters and world building are where this series really stands out; they are amongst some of the best in fantasy. He starts by following 3 children from independent backgrounds, and tells the story from their point of view – which can seem a little “young adult” in places as a consequence. The years quickly progress though, and the story develops very well as their age, skills and experience do. There are some more harsh scenes near the end that are even more brutal when described due to this approach (you’ll know when you get there).

The story is a bit derivative of other concepts done before, but Peter V Brett just writes it so well, making it smooth and easy to follow. There wasn’t a single moment that I got bored or lost concentration. I haven’t enjoyed books 2 & 3 quite as much as this one, but I am definitely engrossed enough to finish the series off.


Performance – 4/5

Although Colin Mace is an excellent narrator, I think Peter Joyce was a bit better. He may have mispronounced names (which I barely recognised the differences in the new edition), but he performed it a lot better. That being said, don’t be put off by Colin Mace – he may be a bit plain and dull here and there, but he does describe the action well, and the characters do have distinct voices. If you are picking this version up for the first time, you will no doubt be very happy with Colin Mace.


Overall 4.5/5

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful


By Susan on 07-22-15

Best use of a credit..EVER!!!

If you could sum up The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) in three words, what would they be?

thoroughly enjoyable book that's draws you into the story and livers of the 3 main characters and a world where demons rise at night to claim your flesh for their meal,

What did you like best about this story?

the whole book is a great read but I am particularly drawn to the story of Arlen Bayles and his hate for the demon which drives his longing to set his fellow man free from fear of their power of the night.

What does Colin Mace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is a great narrator, who is excellent at bringing out each individual character, whilst keeping the pace of the story. He is an English narrator, which works well as I feel an American accent would overshadow the story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Can man stand once again with man to claim back the night for their own?

Any additional comments?

A great book that's really satisfied a craving for a good epic story, which this is!. I am now on the 2nd book and have already bought the final two books in the series as I am now listening to the series from start to finish. I am officially hooked.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mark Graham on 12-28-16

Addictive and Unique

Any additional comments?

I'm always worried about getting a new audio, will the performer sell the story, will I become immersed in a new world, will I feel a connection with the characters?Collin Mace's voice takes a while to get used too, but soon he wraps you the brilliant tale by Peter V. Brett. The lore presented in the book while drawing on classical representation of demons and magic still feel unique and interesting and I soon found myself reading in anticipation for more and more information from the author about the books mythos. While I enjoy the two male characters are great, the female character Leisha is deeply interesting and each time a chapter from her POV rolls around I put my feet up and am unreachable for the next while, the events that happen to her in the book because of her gender alone are more then enough for a book by it's self! <br/> Over all, as you can tell I really enjoy the book and I am excited to move onto the sequel !

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Alexandra Kennedy-Clark on 08-10-15

great series

I've read the first 4 books so far. Nothing negative to say. Not as good or as well performed as GoT or Joe Abercrombie's 'The Blade Itself' read by Steven Pacey but a good listen none the less .

Three and a half stars

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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