The Demon Cycle by P. V. Brett
Illustrated by: n/a
Translated by: n/a
Series Titles: The Warded Man (also released as The Painted Man), The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, The Core
Plus the novellas: Brayan’s Gold, The Great Bazaar & Other Stories, Barren, Messenger’s Legacy
Published: 2008 – 2017
Narrated By: Peter Joyce/Colin Mace
Genre: Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Fantasy,
Where Did I Get It? I have bought myself all of the Audible versions as I went along! I am seriously resisting buying them all again as physical books…
Blurb of Book #1, The Warded Man:
As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity.
For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile.
It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault.
Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past.
Together, they will stand against the night.
The great horn sounded.
Arlen paused in his work, looking up at the lavender wash of the dawn sky. Mist still clung to the air, bringing with it a damp, acrid taste that was all too familiar. A quiet dread built in his gut as he waited in the morning stillness, hoping that it had been in his imagination. He was eleven years old.
My Review: Losing myself in an epic fantasy universe for book upon book built like a brick has been one of my favourite things to do ever since I discovered such things existed (via The Chronicles of Narnia and then The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings as is often the way of these things).
However, in recent years, I have struggled to find the time and space to indulge in such massive undertakings and I really missed it until I got a free Audible credit and decided to spend it on The Warded Man and see if immersing myself in 16+ hours of audio would work instead.
The first two books were the soundtrack to painting and decorating and packing and moving house, the next two accompanied me on many gym trips and drives from Shropshire to Scotland and the final one started off as a pick-me-up after Christmas and was my gym soundtrack and then I couldn’t bear to stop listening so it just became my life soundtrack for 33 hours or so instead.
I feel a bit lost now they are all done.
Lost, but ultimately satisfied.
The world of the Demon Cycle is a vast one where terrifying creatures rule the night and humans spend their days trying to build their defences to survive. This cycle reaches a tipping point and the books follow the story as humans start to really fight back.
Full of mystery, magic, politics, religion, battles, humanity, and monsters, this book series is utterly absorbing. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me rage and most of all made me think.
Many of the characters in the book come from different backgrounds – a familiar ‘East/West divide – and their journey as they come together is incredibly thought-provoking and totally relevant to life in reality. They have to come to terms with different religions and different traditions – they each think the other ‘savage’ and ‘wrong’ – and they struggle and bicker and fight all whilst coming to realise that if they are going to win the battle against the demons, then they need to stand together, despite their differences. I loved this reflection on reality in a story full of supernatural creatures and magic.
Plunging into this series is no small undertaking – they are substantial books – but it is rewarding and well worth the time. The Audible narration is fabulous too, and I highly recommend the Audible versions if you aren’t sure you can face the physical books.
My Rating: 5/5*
Sound like your kind of read?