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The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) (Demon Trilogy 1) Hardcover – 1 Sep 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 515 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition First Impression edition (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007276133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007276134
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 4.4 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (515 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'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.'

'A very accomplished debut fantasy. Recommended.'

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, (NSW)

‘What a book!!! I am going to go insane waiting for the sequel/s to come out!!’ Robert San Remo (NSW)

‘Fantastic first book for his trilogy!! This is a name to remember.’ Linda Naremburn (NSW)

Book Description

Enter a world where darkness belongs to demons...

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This one starts with a farmboy.

Arlen Bales lives on a small farm with his parents, near the small village of Tibbet's Brook. He's quite a bright and cheery kid, despite the world he lives in. In this world, darkness brings demons - they sprout from the earth at night like natural killing machines, and come in various guises. Fire demons are the hunters, the dogs in the pack. Rock demons are the muscle - the sheer, terrifying brute force. And they are only the beginning. When Arlen's life is shattered by this plague of demons he has to make his way out into the world, and in doing so, force himself into becoming the hunter, making the demons his prey.

So far, so ordinary. For fantasy, anyway. And that's where this one falls down for me. I read all the glowing reviews, saw the rabid fanbase and slowly, The Painted Man rose to the top of my reading pile. I knew it was a "farmboy versus the world" story, but assumed it would be a completely fresh and original take on a tired old trope. But, mostly, it really isn't. There is no truly shocking twist, no sudden reveal that I didn't see coming. The Painted Man's biggest disappointment, for me at least, was that it never really shocked me as a reader. Its plot just seemed very unoriginal.

But, that's not to say this isn't an exciting read.

Brett's writing is fast paced, the characters are always interesting and despite the tropes, it's a well-developed setting. The plot may be fairly uninspired, but the overarching demon infestation and the history of the world is what's really interesting here, making me hope Brett explores this further in later novels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Painted Man tells the tale of Arlen whom we meet as a 11 year old boy in the aftermath of a demon attack on the village of Tibbet's Brook. Arlen lives in a world where the coming of night brings the rise of the coreling , demons of various flavours ( wood near forests , stone in the highlands / mountain ranges and sand in the desert , you get the picture ) Humanity has chosen to hide behind magical wards that these coreling cannot cross , living sheltered lives only during daylight hours.

Without spoiling the story tragedy strikes and Arlen leaves home, determined to not be cowed by the coreling , angry at humanity's inability or lack of willingness to take back the night .

The story is also told through 2 other POV's , Leesha is a 13 year old girl at the start of the book and lives in the woodcutting town of Cutters Hollow . Her fairytale existence is shattered with public humiliation and she ends up apprenticed to the hamlets healer, a crone almost as fearsome as the demons themselves.

The third and final POV is that of young Rojan , when his parent wards are breached his family is slaughtered and he is taken in by the a wandering jongleur ( master performer be it in music / magic or song ) He is taken to the city of Fort Angiers and becomes apprentice to Dukes own minstrel.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Superb debut novel from Peter V. Brett. This is the first instalment of the Demon Trilogy, a real thrill ride of a read. The novel places the reader into the world of "Tibbets Brook", where the night is inhabited by seemingly immortal demons, and the inhabitants have to protect themselves and pray for the first light of day. The novel tells the story of Arlen, Leesha and Rojer, each of whom is equipped with very different skills, but together may be able to save civilisation. The book is very character driven, and the deveopment of these characters is done extremely well. There are so many authors writing in the fantasy genre, but Peter Brett offers a completely new take on it. The story moves along at a cracking pace, and never lets up. I read this in one sitting (9am - 6pm), it really is that gripping. I can't wait for the second part of the trilogy! One of the best books I've read this year, and one of the best fantasy novels ever!
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By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first volume of a trilogy set in a fictional world where demons that only appear at night, just after sunset, have terrorized and massacred humanity for over three centuries, returning after three thousand years of absence. Hence, all dating is A.R. that is "After the Return" (of the monsters). What is left of humanity is being slowly culled every night by the various types of demons that kill and eat them, with demon-types associated to the elements (such as fire demons or air demons) or types of vegetation and landscape (such as sand demons in deserts, rock demons in mountains or wood demons in forests). Humanity is organized in five main cities and a scattering of towns and villages. Humans have little protection against the almost invulnerable monsters at night, except for magical wards inherited from a distant and barely remembered past that repel rather than kill them. So they almost all hide behind them and wait in terror until dawn.

There are two exceptions in this world of despair and terror. One is the warrior who will get to be known as the Painted Man. He has vowed to dedicate his life to fight and kill the demons, and a number of other characters who the reader gets acquainted with in the book will, over time, join him. The other exception is made of the inhabitants of one of the five cities whose militant religion promotes "Holy War", and of their chief warrior and war leader in particular.

Contrary to what I was afraid off, this volume is not exclusively targeted at young adults, although, unlike some other reviewers, I would hesitate to make comparison with David Gemmell's works. The characters are not entirely implausible, including that of the Painted Man whose talents are acquired after much effort and suffering.
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