Last time we took a look at one of my favorite books, The Lies of Locke Lamora. A truly unique fantasy experience that crossed all the great things about a heist story and a fantasy journey into the same book.
The next book I'd like to bring to your attention is another fantasy novel, and as the Lies of Locke Lamora is, the start of a fantastic fantasy series.
Today lets take a look at: The Warded Man, by Peter V. Brett.
When I was younger i enjoyed high fantasy as my chosen sub genre of fantasy, I liked elves and orcs, goblins and half-lings, trolls and dragons and above all dwarves in my fantasy. I grew up on the Lord of the Rings movies (I did not read the books until much later in life), but I loved those movies and all things fantasy had to be recognizable to me through the LOTR lens. This went on for years, until I crossed the Video Game Diablo Two when I was eighteen. I immediately became infatuated with a whole knew type of fantasy, one that revolved around demons as the main adversaries not orcs. One is not better than the other I just felt so much more afraid of these creatures in Diablo. The goat men, the little red skinned, black horned fiends with the torches and the machetes, the yeti's and cursed amazon's and all the other hell spawn, they were the stuff of nightmares, the nightmares I wanted to dream. Soon after playing that game i began researching fantasy novels that explored these demonic realms more than those of more Tolkienian, fantasy.
What I found was the Warded Man. This is a story about a world where the night itself is the enemy, for each and every time the sun falls, from tunnels in earth demons rise. The Core lings. They have one agenda and that is to wipe man from the very surface of the world. Sword and spear, arrow and axes do nothing to these creatures. The only thing that can stop these enemies are the wards.
Magical symbols etched upon a surface to enchant it with ancient esoteric power that can fell the demons.
What I find so special about this book is that it is not weapons, it is not traditional fantasy wizardry that destroys the forces of darkness. Rather it is artistry. I like to think that is the metaphor, all those demons that come in the night, all those doubts and fears and self-deprecating thoughts that assail each and every one of us in times of darkness, in those long nights of the soul, we may all turn to an art, or to any craft that we hold as mighty.
Our craft, the craft we choose is what makes the wards against our own demons.
When I say a craft, I mean anything, from writing as I do, or sport as an athlete does, painting, cooking, mindful cleaning and tidying, dancing, singing, parenting. The discipline and focus of honing an ability, truly applying yourself to it, not merely as a pass time but something to grow and improve from, is how we may best ward ourselves against the shadows and demons in our own souls.
Thank you Peter V. Brett and your Warded Man for the message.