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The Warded Man: Review

4 Stars.

What I loved most about this book is that it felt like a prologue.

We meet Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer in separate parts of the world and follow them through their individual hardships with the corelings (demons) and with life. While each unique, they are linked by a common enemy in the corelings...as are all human kind. The idea that no matter their differences, problems of the day disappeared for all mankind when the night came is a grand one - death doesn't care your class, wealth, status, age, etc.; it comes for us all.

The story moves fast, jumping months and years sometimes in just a few sentences, and lends to my point that the whole book felt like the prologue to a bigger story. While I was fine with Leesha and Rojer's stories moving past great chunks of their life and learning, I was disappointed to miss some key years in Arlen's. I also found the pace a bit too rushed in the last third, to the point of making some arcs a little unbelievable. I understand the need for the characters to move into certain positions, such as

*Spoiler Alert!* the relationship between Leesha and Arlen. I saw (and hoped!) for that end from the start, though when it came I felt it skipped over too fast. Twenty seven years Leesha distrusts men and saves herself, and after barely a day of meeting The Warded Man she's chosen him to be the one she wants. Don't get me wrong, I love the "love-at-first-sight" angle sometimes, but this not only went against the character we've come to know, it also seems incredibly unbelievable she'd be willing to sleep with a stranger a day after being gang raped. *You're Safe!*

I think there was/could have been much to explore within Arlen's mind that was skipped over, but as I think The Warded Man was to give us the foundation, I'm fine with overlooking this minor disappointment in hopes that the next installments will give me all I crave of his perspective. Excited for The Desert Spear and to continue with this adventure!

Predictions: Arlen is the true Deliverer (duh) because of his desire to not be the Deliverer. And I don't see myself sympathizing with Jardir - no matter his beliefs that what he did to Arlen was the right path - if he's to become a main character as I am guessing he will. 

The parallels with our own modern day religions that come across in this book are also interesting; I find myself reminded of Empress, though on a much different/lesser scale. Exploration into the faults of manmade religions is fascinating to me. As Arlen comments several times throughout, in so many words:

"Books are written down by men."


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Virginia DeFeo