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Editorial Reviews

The masterful audiobook The Painted Man is Book 1 in The Demon Cycle series written by highly-acclaimed fantasy writer Peter V. Brett and narrated by voice artist Colin Mace. The darkness of night has never been so frightening. Death is upon anyone who ventures into the haunting demonic mist that encircles the village at night. It is up to one young boy and two unlikely comrades to set out bravely and save the entire human race from the clutches of evil. This is a pure feat of fantasy writing at its best. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

The stunning debut fantasy novel from author Peter V. Brett. The Painted Man, book one of the Demon Cycle, is a captivating and thrilling fantasy adventure, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes.Voted one of the top ten fantasy novels of 2008 by amazon.co.uk.

Sometimes there is very good reason to be afraid of the dark…Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents on their small farmstead, half a day's ride from the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook.

As dusk falls upon Arlen's world, a strange mist rises from the ground; a mist that promises a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness, for hungry corelings - demons that cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - materialize from the vapours to feed on the living. As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn.

When Arlen's life is shattered by the demon plague, he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path.In the small town of Cutter's Hollow, Leesha's perfect future is destroyed by betrayal and a simple lie. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.

Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night.Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.

©2008 Peter V. Brett (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"I enjoyed The Painted Man immensely. Action and suspense all the way." (Terry Brooks)
"An absolute masterpiece… literally unputdownable, and deserves to be the next Big Thing in dark fantasy." (www.ozhorrorscope.com)
"A very accomplished debut fantasy. Recommended." (www.sfrevu.com. Readers Reviews)
"If the next two books in this series live up to this one it will be one day named as a classic fantasy series." (Joanne Horsley)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Listen instead of reread

First audiobook I listen to, had to get used to it, but turns out to be amazing! Much easier that reading it again, so I am listening to it during work while I organize paper!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Without this ending should be great

Nice story, innovative, interesting. Good plot, well delineated characters, but the end !!!! Reminds Rambo or the worse superheroes !!! Anyway I'll buy the second book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic you will want to continue to the next

Fantastic, you will want to continue to the next book. very well narrated. worth the money.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A genuinely good and well thought out book

A smart, well written book, lots of thought has gone into making the role feel real.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Hilde
  • Bergen, Norway
  • 10-18-17

It is a good book, but skips a lot.

I have tried this book before and didnt like the monsters so never finished.
I tried it again after a friend revomended it.

It is a good book.
It does go on and I feel it is a bit to plodding and has unessecary bits and characters, but it is still not bad.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Strongly recommend to magic lovers!

Great story and magnificent performance. I bought next volume at very next minute I finished this one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pure awesome

I was unsure about this series due to the review some idiot have it. But I was pleasantly surprised, the concept was original, the characters were intriguing and the fighting was exciting. Would definately recommend this to any fantasy lovers looking for a new series to jump into. It took me two days to finish this book and there was not a dull momment. Can't wait to jump into the next one!!

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  • Dave
  • 06-01-15

Gripping and Original Fantasy

I usually listen to audible books while travelling to work and doing housework and gardening etc. this book was so good i read it over the course of a weekend - finding excuses to keep listening by getting extra jobs done I had been putting off for months :)

If you like fantasy from the likes of Brandon Sanderson and George R R Martin you owe it to yourself to try this book.

Now - on to book 2.





10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 12-20-14

The start of the Story

i found the story compelling. The narrator using an unexcited tone which works very well for me, because at times the scenes are fast and furious especially during battle scenes. The three main characters of this story each have their own tale and they are interwoven expertly. A great novel

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pablo
  • 08-18-15

Very good performance and story. Highly recommende

It takes a while to get into the story as it describes the beginnings of 3 different main characters. But once you are in it, it's difficult to stop listening.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe
  • 07-09-15

Fantastic

Loved this from start to finish. Classic fantasy at its best. Demons come out at night and prey on humankind, only to be banished when dawn comes - OK not the most original idea ever but PVB has still created a wonderfully captivating world that will have you totally drawn in. The 3 main characters are very well fleshed out and all very unique and engaging. You follow them all from childhood into early adulthood and its interesting to watch them grow and change as characters. They also have the likeability factor that make you keep "turning the page".

Colin Mace's narration is good, not the best I've heard but he does a decent job of differentiating between the characters and i quite liked the smooth tone of his voice. After finishing i immediately downloaded book 2 and am currently half way through it. I'm glad to have a new fantasy series to loose myself in for 70+ hours :)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 07-01-15

One of the best audiobooks I've bought!

Any additional comments?

What a superb story. A simple premise but unique in the world of fantasy books that I have discovered so far. It captivates you from the start and I was eager to carry on listening as soon as I could. Colin Mace is perfect for this narration. He gives the characters their own voices and reels you into the story. Very well performed! I am so happy that there are 3 other books in this series - I can't wait to listen to them!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 03-05-15

So good, I listened to it twice


Story – 5/5

I have actually listened to this audiobook twice due to the change in narrator – and I can say that it was just as enjoyable the second time around, which just goes to show how absorbing this really is.

The characters and world building are where this series really stands out; they are amongst some of the best in fantasy. He starts by following 3 children from independent backgrounds, and tells the story from their point of view – which can seem a little “young adult” in places as a consequence. The years quickly progress though, and the story develops very well as their age, skills and experience do. There are some more harsh scenes near the end that are even more brutal when described due to this approach (you’ll know when you get there).

The story is a bit derivative of other concepts done before, but Peter V Brett just writes it so well, making it smooth and easy to follow. There wasn’t a single moment that I got bored or lost concentration. I haven’t enjoyed books 2 & 3 quite as much as this one, but I am definitely engrossed enough to finish the series off.


Performance – 4/5

Although Colin Mace is an excellent narrator, I think Peter Joyce was a bit better. He may have mispronounced names (which I barely recognised the differences in the new edition), but he performed it a lot better. That being said, don’t be put off by Colin Mace – he may be a bit plain and dull here and there, but he does describe the action well, and the characters do have distinct voices. If you are picking this version up for the first time, you will no doubt be very happy with Colin Mace.


Overall 4.5/5

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 07-22-15

Best use of a credit..EVER!!!

If you could sum up The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) in three words, what would they be?

thoroughly enjoyable book that's draws you into the story and livers of the 3 main characters and a world where demons rise at night to claim your flesh for their meal,

What did you like best about this story?

the whole book is a great read but I am particularly drawn to the story of Arlen Bayles and his hate for the demon which drives his longing to set his fellow man free from fear of their power of the night.

What does Colin Mace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is a great narrator, who is excellent at bringing out each individual character, whilst keeping the pace of the story. He is an English narrator, which works well as I feel an American accent would overshadow the story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Can man stand once again with man to claim back the night for their own?

Any additional comments?

A great book that's really satisfied a craving for a good epic story, which this is!. I am now on the 2nd book and have already bought the final two books in the series as I am now listening to the series from start to finish. I am officially hooked.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 11-04-15

Fantastic. Couldn't Stop Reading

Where does The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best. Everything about this audiobook is top notch. So much so that I've felt the need to write a review for the first time.

What did you like best about this story?

The world is very well realised. I listen to a lot of fantasy and it is important to me that any magic/supernatural systems in the world are consistent and 'believable' and the world in which these systems exist reflects the supernatural. Brett's world ticks this box for me. The cultures have all adapted to world in which they exist. This is not a generic 'medieval Europe' like setting with wizards and monsters.

The characters are three-dimensional and grow as the story progresses. Character development manages to avoid, for the most part, jarring jumps in traits, abilities and relationships

Have you listened to any of Colin Mace’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've not listened to any others before this and after reading the reviews I was a little hesitant.

But...

The performance is fantastic. Characters are well voiced and distinct (odd bit part characters sometimes sound similar, but the main ones are instantly recognisable) and he manages to convey tension, action and emotion very well.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

COME AND SEE THIS FILM ITS BLOODY GOOD!!!1!1!!!1!

Any additional comments?

I listened to this in record time, and then downloaded the rest of the series (so far). I can't recommend this book enough.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Euan
  • 04-07-15

Rompingly good book!

An enjoyable listen - lots of intrigue and interest - excellent character development as book progressed a little slow to get going - but when it did it hit he mark. Excellent

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Natasha Ely
  • 03-12-15

loved it

Found the story, from start to finish riveting. couldn't wait to listen to the next bit of the story! on to the next !

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Graham
  • 12-28-16

Addictive and Unique

Any additional comments?

I'm always worried about getting a new audio, will the performer sell the story, will I become immersed in a new world, will I feel a connection with the characters?Collin Mace's voice takes a while to get used too, but soon he wraps you the brilliant tale by Peter V. Brett. The lore presented in the book while drawing on classical representation of demons and magic still feel unique and interesting and I soon found myself reading in anticipation for more and more information from the author about the books mythos. While I enjoy the two male characters are great, the female character Leisha is deeply interesting and each time a chapter from her POV rolls around I put my feet up and am unreachable for the next while, the events that happen to her in the book because of her gender alone are more then enough for a book by it's self!
Over all, as you can tell I really enjoy the book and I am excited to move onto the sequel !

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alexandra Kennedy-Clark
  • 08-10-15

great series

I've read the first 4 books so far. Nothing negative to say. Not as good or as well performed as GoT or Joe Abercrombie's 'The Blade Itself' read by Steven Pacey but a good listen none the less .

Three and a half stars

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-20-18

top wrighter <br />i recon this Writer is tops

top stuff got me sucksd in,an helped me in hospital it made the nights go quicker

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-18

Incredible

I couldn't stop listening. This book is absolutely incredible and I am so looking forward to the rest of the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Hawkins
  • 08-02-18

Brilliantly inventive and compelling story.

I wish I could have given this a 6 star rating. binge listened and finished in 2 days. as soon as I finish this review I will download book 2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mardy
  • 07-22-18

Great story with emersive characters

I was looking for another fantasy Novel that would be along the lines of Robin Hobb and the fraser series or the Assasins apprentice and this is up there. Differnent story with good Characters. One of those reads you get through quickly because you want to know what happens next. Cant wait to read the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-18

favourite series, can't get enough.

Hoping to see tv series in the future. It would be great. Book is a masterpiece, it keeps you entertained

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-18

Awesome Series

A captivating book. I can't wait to go through the others and see what adventures wait.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-18

Surprisingly worth the time

I usually try something different with the monthly credits and this month I’m happy to say I lucked out while a tad slow to begin the story began to build and left me wanting more any fans of good fantasy especially those of Raymond E Feist should give this series a try

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Minh-Nhat Cao
  • 04-26-18

the book was really good<br />keen to read the others<br />

highly recommended book. good fantasy and conept story line. i am so keen to read other series