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The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle [Anglais] [Poche]

Peter V. Brett
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (7 commentaires client)
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Produits fréquemment achetés ensemble

The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle + The Desert Spear: Book Two of The Demon Cycle + The Daylight War: Book Three of The Demon Cycle
Acheter les articles sélectionnés ensemble


Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter One


AFTERMATH

319 ar

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 his imagination. He was eleven years old.

There was a pause, and then the horn blew twice in rapid succession. One long and two short meant south and east. The Cluster by the Woods. His father had friends among the cutters. Behind Arlen, the door to the house opened, and he knew his mother would be there, covering her mouth with both hands.

Arlen returned to his work, not needing to be told to hurry. Some chores could wait a day, but the stock still needed to be fed and the cows milked. He left the animals in the barns and opened the hay stores, slopped the pigs, and ran to fetch a wooden milk bucket. His mother was already squatting beneath the first of the cows. He snatched the spare stool and they found cadence in their work, the sound of milk striking wood drumming a funeral march.

As they moved to the next pair down the line, Arlen saw his father begin hitching their strongest horse, a five-year-old chestnut-colored mare named Missy, to the cart. His face was grim as he worked.

What would they find this time?

Before long, they were in the cart, trundling toward the small cluster of houses by the woods. It was dangerous there, over an hour's run to the nearest warded structure, but the lumber was needed. Arlen's mother, wrapped in her worn shawl, held him tightly as they rode.

"I'm a big boy, Mam," Arlen complained. "I don't need you to hold me like a baby. I'm not scared." It wasn't entirely true, but it would not do for the other children to see him clinging to his mother as they rode in. They made mock of him enough as it was.

"I'm scared," his mother said. "What if it's me who needs to be held?"

Feeling suddenly proud, Arlen pulled close to his mother again as they traveled down the road. She could never fool him, but she always knew what to say just the same.

A pillar of greasy smoke told them more than they wanted to know long before they reached their destination. They were burning the dead. And starting the fires this early, without waiting for others to arrive and pray, meant there were a great many. Too many to pray over each one, if the work was to be complete before dusk.

It was more than five miles from Arlen's father's farm to the Cluster by the Woods. By the time they arrived, the few remaining cabin fires had been put out, though in truth there was little left to burn. Fifteen houses, all reduced to rubble and ash.

"The woodpiles, too," Arlen's father said, spitting over the side of the cart. He gestured with his chin toward the blackened ruin that remained of a season's cutting. Arlen grimaced at the thought of how the rickety fence that penned the animals would have to last another year, and immediately felt guilty. It was only wood, after all.

The town Speaker approached their cart as it pulled up. Selia, whom Arlen's mother sometimes called Selia the Barren, was a hard woman, tall and thin, with skin like tough leather. Her long gray hair was pulled into a tight bun, and she wore her shawl like a badge of office. She brooked no nonsense, as Arlen had learned more than once at the end of her stick, but today he was comforted by her presence. Like Arlen's father, something about Selia made him feel safe. Though she had never had children of her own, Selia acted as a parent to everyone in Tibbet's Brook. Few could match her wisdom, and fewer still her stubbornness. When you were on Selia's good side, it felt like the safest place in the world.

"It's good that you've come, Jeph," Selia told Arlen's father. "Silvy and young Arlen, too," she said, nodding to them. "We need every hand we can get. Even the boy can help."

Arlen's father grunted, stepping down from the cart. "I brought my tools," he said. "Just tell me where we can throw in."

Arlen collected the precious tools from the back of their cart. Metal was scarce in the Brook, and his father was proud of his two shovels, his pick, and his saw. They would all see heavy use this day.

"How many lost?" Jeph asked, though he didn't really seem to want to know.

"?Twenty-seven," Selia said. Silvy choked and covered her mouth, tears welling in her eyes. Jeph spat again.

"Any survivors?" he asked.

"A few," Selia said. "Manie"-she pointed with her stick at a boy who stood staring at the funeral pyre-"ran all the way to my house in the dark."

Silvy gasped. No one had ever run so far and lived. "The wards on Brine Cutter's house held for most of the night," Selia went on. "He and his family watched everything. A few others fled the corelings and succored there, until the fires spread and their roof caught. They waited in the burning house until the beams started to crack, and then took their chances outside in the minutes before dawn. The corelings killed Brine's wife Meena and their son Poul, but the others made it. The burns will heal and the children will be all right in time, but the others . . ."

She didn't need to finish the sentence. Survivors of a demon attack had a way of dying soon after. Not all, or even most, but enough. Some of them took their own lives, and others simply stared blankly, refusing to eat or drink until they wasted away. It was said you did not truly survive an attack until a year and a day had passed.

"There are still a dozen unaccounted for," Selia said, but with little hope in her voice.

"We'll dig them out," Jeph agreed grimly, looking at the collapsed houses, many still smoldering. The cutters built their homes mostly out of stone to protect against fire, but even stone would burn if the wards failed and enough flame demons gathered in one place.

Jeph joined the other men and a few of the stronger women in clearing the rubble and carting the dead to the pyre. The bodies had to be burned, of course. No one would want to be buried in the same ground the demons rose out of each night. Tender Harral, the sleeves of his robe rolled up to bare his thick arms, lifted each into the fire himself, muttering prayers and drawing wards in the air as the flames took them.

Silvy joined the other women in gathering the younger children and tending to the wounded under the watchful eye of the Brook's Herb Gatherer, Coline Trigg. But no herbs could ease the pain of the survivors. Brine Cutter, also called Brine Broadshoulders, was a great bear of a man with a booming laugh who used to throw Arlen into the air when they came to trade for wood. Now Brine sat in the ashes beside his ruined house, slowly knocking his head against the blackened wall. He muttered to himself and clutched his arms tightly, as if cold.

Arlen and the other children were put to work carrying water and sorting through the woodpiles for salvageable lumber. There were still a few warm months left to the year, but there would not be time to cut enough wood to last the winter. They would be burning dung again this year, and the house would reek.

Again Arlen weathered a wave of guilt. He was not in the pyre, nor banging his head in shock, having lost everything. There were worse fates than a house smelling of dung.

More and more villagers arrived as the morning wore on. Bringing their families and whatever provisions they could spare, they came from Fishing Hole and Town Square; they came from the Boggin's Hill, and Soggy Marsh. Some even came all the way from Southwatch. And one by one, Selia greeted them with the grim news and put them to work.

With more than a hundred hands, the men doubled their efforts, half of them continuing to dig as the others descended upon the only salvageable structure left in the Cluster: Brine Cutter's house. Selia led Brine away, somehow supporting the giant man as he stumbled, while the men cleared the rubble and began hauling new stones. A few took out warding kits and began to paint fresh wards while children made thatch. The house would be restored by nightfall.

Arlen was partnered with Cobie Fisher in hauling wood. The children had amassed a sizable pile, though it was only a fraction of what had been lost. Cobie was a tall, thickly built boy with dark curls and hairy arms. He was popular among the other children, but it was popularity built at others' expense. Few children cared to weather his insults, and fewer still his beatings.

Cobie had tortured Arlen for years, and the other children had gone along. Jeph's farm was the northernmost in the Brook, far from where the children tended to gather in Town Square, and Arlen spent most of his free time wandering the Brook by himself. Sacrificing him to Cobie's wrath seemed a fair trade to most children.

Whenever Arlen went fishing, or passed by Fishing Hole on the way to Town Square, Cobie and his friends seemed to hear about it, and were waiting in the same spot on his way home. Sometimes they just called him names, or pushed him, but other times he came home bloody and bruised, and his mother shouted at him for fighting.

Finally, Arlen had enough. He left a stout stick hidden in that spot, and the next time Cobie and his friends pounced, Arlen pretended to run, only to produce the weapon as if from thin air and come back swinging.

Cobie was the first one struck, a hard blow that left him crying in the dirt with blood running from his ear. Willum received a broken finger, and Gart walked with a limp for over a week. It had done nothing to improve Arlen's popularity among the other children, and Arlen's father had caned him, but the other boys never bothered him again. Even now, Cobie gave him a wide berth and flinched if Arlen made a sudden move, even though he was bigger by far.

"Survivors!" Bil Baker called suddenly, standing by a collapsed house at the edge of the Cluster. "I can hear them trapped in the root cellar!"

Im...

Revue de presse

"Brett's debut builds slowly and grimly on a classic high fantasy framework of black-and-white morality and bloodshed. Young Arlen battles demons to save his mother while his father watches in terror; when his mother dies, Arlen runs away. Leesha leaves her village to work in the city hospital of Angiers after her betrothed claims to have taken her virginity. Jongleur Arrick Sweetsong saved himself from demons at the expense of a female friend, but he honors her last request and raises her son, Rojer, as his apprentice. Only near the end do the three strands of the story begin to intertwine. With its nameless enemies that exist only to kill, Brett's gritty tale will appeal to those who tire of sympathetic villains and long for old-school orc massacres."—Publishers Weekly

“I enjoyed The Warded Man immensely. There is much to admire in Peter Brett’s writing, and his concept is brilliant. There’s action and suspense all the way, plus he made me care about his characters and want to know what’s going to happen next.”—Terry Brooks

The Warded Man works not only as a great adventure novel but also as a reflection on the nature of heroism.”—Charlaine Harris

“An absolute masterpiece . . . The novel [is] literally ‘unputdownable,’ and certainly deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy.”—HorrorScope

“A very accomplished debut fantasy, broad in its scope.”—SFRevu

“A fabulous new fantasy series . . . that is likely to become a classic. Excellent fantasy literature.”—The Cairns Post ,Queensland, Australia


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 480 pages
  • Editeur : Del Rey (23 mars 2010)
  • Collection : The Demon Cycle
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345518705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345518705
  • Dimensions du produit: 2,8 x 10,3 x 17 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (7 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 29.882 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Vos nuits appartiennent aux DÉMONS ! 2 juillet 2010
Par Kallisthène TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Poche
Voici un premier roman diablement impressionnant, et je ne dis pas ça parce que c'est bourré de démons ! Non seulement il repose sur une idée puissante et simple : l'arrivée chaque nuit de démons assoiffés de sang, mais en plus les personnages sont réussis, vivants et suscitant l'émotion de la part du lecteur. La création d'un tel monde, habité par ce mystère de l'existence des démons, représente un de mes ressorts les plus puissants de lecteur, on est porté pendant la lecture par l'envie de SAVOIR, de savoir d'où viennent ces démons (surtout pour pouvoir s'en débarrasser !). Il me faut cependant te prévenir lecteur, tu n'en sauras guère plus à la fin de ce premier tome, mais le chemin que tu suivras en vaudra la peine ... d'ici au livre suivant (The Desert Spear).
Commençons par le monde, un monde pas si éloigné de nos cauchemars d'enfants pour qui la nuit étaient nécessairement peuplés de créatures acharnées à notre perte. C'est peut-être avec surprise que nous nous réveillions alors, or ici le réprouvé, le banni ou même le très pauvre n'a aucune chance de survivre à la nuit sans être claquemuré derrière une muraille de magie créée par des runes dont le tracé et l'agencement doivent respecter des règles strictes.
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tonitruant 4 décembre 2011
Par Lady Lama TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Poche
"The Warded Man" est le nom donné à l'édition américaine, pendante de l'édition anglaise se nommant The Painted Man. Peter V. Brett. Et c'est le premier tome d'une série complétée par The Desert Spear.

"The Warded Man" est de la fantasy classique avec une jolie fille et un héros intelligent, d'une force surhumaine, qui s'allient pour sauver l'humanité. Lectrices féminines, ne fuyez pas, ce n'est pas de l'action à gogo, l'auteur accorde une place de première choix à ses personnages principaux et à leur crédibilité. Et cela passe par beaucoup de scènes de la vie quotidienne. Il y a même quelques belles histoires d'amour. L'auteur n'y va pas par de grands sabots, il prend le temps (et on le savoure) de faire évoluer ses personnages et s'attarde beaucoup sur leur psychologie. Les deux protagonistes principaux sont excellement réussis (tout comme les "méchants" d'ailleurs). Il est à la fois très facile de s'identifier aux héros dans leurs moments de faiblesse et dans les scènes les plus intimes, et il est très facile de les aimer.

Ne vous fiez pas aux premiers 10% du livre (si vous êtes en Kindle) ou aux 50 à 100 premières pages (si vous êtes en livre traditionnel). Le début est poussif, très classique et sans beaucoup de rythme. On y voit l'enfance d'un petit villageois, Alden, rêvant de grandes aventures, luttant pour la survie de sa mère pendant que son père fait preuve d'une lâcheté impressionnante.
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5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Guinea Pig VOIX VINE
Format:Poche
J'ai éprouvé quelques difficultés à m'immerger dans ce livre. Mon impression lors des 50 premières pages (sur 550, c'est vrai !) n'était pas favorable. Les personnages me paraissaient mal partis, à la limite du stéréotype, et la toile de fond terriblement banale, malgré le principe des démons qui sortent chaque nuit de terre, exterminant toute créature à leur portée.
Très curieusement, le style s'est drastiquement amélioré, et j'ai lu la suite avec beaucoup de plaisir. Les personnages ont glissés vers le classique, devenant finalement crédibles et attachants. L'intrigue (qui se déroule avec lenteur, emmenant les personnages vers l'âge adulte), émaillée régulièrement de scènes d'action, m'a bien plu, ainsi que le point d'orgue final, qui laisse présager d'une suite intéressante.

J'ai trouvé quelques points, peu néfastes chacun, mais suffisamment nombreux pour m'empêcher de mettre 5 étoiles à ce livre :
Tout d'abord, j'ai regretté la technique d'écriture, qui fait suivre les différents personnages au lecteur d'une façon alternative, par gros blocs de pages. Ce n'est pas très agréable à mon sens (je trouve même que les auteurs s'y complaisant ne manquent pas de culot !) et je l'aurais sans doute mieux supportée au début du livre si j'avais su que les trois protagonistes n'étaient pas destinés à se rencontrer avant les dernières 50 pages.
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