The Warded Man (#1)

Next: The Desert Spear

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.


“Brett ably blends fantasy and horror in this arresting first novel, the first in a planned series. An imaginative and exciting tale, recommended where there is interest in epic fantasy.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“Brett’s fantasy debut is a highly readable adventure with a unique setting and three strong protagonists. Brett includes plenty of exciting battles, terrifying monsters, and heart-wrenching moments to make the focus of the story — the development of flawed, ordinary children into legends — believable. Consider the series this begins worth tracking.”


“Brett’s debut builds slowly and grimly on a classic high-fantasy framework of black-and-white mortality and bloodshed. Brett’s gritty tale will appeal to those who tire of sympathetic villains and long for old-school orc massacres.”

Publishers Weekly

“A gripping adventure — a very promising start to a new series, and an excellent first novel.”


“An absolute masterpiece… for me, the novel was literally 'unputdownable,' and certainly deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy.”

Horrorscope (Australia)

“I enjoyed THE WARDED MAN immensely. There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. Action and suspense all the way; he made me care about his characters and want to know what’s going to happen next.”

Terry Brooks, the New York Times bestselling author of the Shannara Chronicles

“Peter Brett’s tremendously readable first novel, THE WARDED MAN, is set in a harsh and feudal world in which demons rule the night. No one is free until a hero rises who is willing to defy the demons, but at a terrible price. THE WARDED MAN works not only as a great adventure novel, but a reflection on the nature of heroism.”

Charlaine Harris, the New York Times bestselling author of ALL TOGETHER DEAD

Awards & Accolades

United Kingdom

#43 UK Bookscan hardcover fiction list

United Kingdom

#13 UK Bookscan fantasy list

United Kingdom

#2 UK Bookscan hardcover fantasy list


#4 Eslite Foreign Literature chart


#1 Yentha’s Best Books of the week

United Kingdom

Amazon UK: “Best of 2008”


ALA: “Top Five Fantasy of 2009”