Peter V. Brett - The Painted Man

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Peter V. Brett - The Painted Man

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:55 pm

IMP: Spoilers Beware

So I read the book a couple days ago. It started off really low-key, and picked up gradually. But I'm not too sure about some of the things in the book.

e.g. The focus on child-marriage in the early sections of the book, the rape aspects early on, the willingness of several village women characters to tumble with the next man to come along, etc etc. The rape of one of the lead characters really killed the mood as well, given all the... expectations that were being built up prior. It was all just too jarring.

The character of Roger. Seemed superfluous all the way till the end. He doesn't really do anything and his arc is little more than setup for the next 2 books. He was pretty much deadweight.

I did like the concept of the ward-magic though, that was really good. And Arlen was a great character, but it seemed as if the entire setting was geared to give a really hellish time whenever things looked up for him. Poor guy.

More thoughts, and a proper review soon.
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Re: Peter V. Brett - The Painted Man

Postby Erunanion » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:14 pm

I've just picked it up, and am just about to finish it. And I have to say, it is a very simple story, told pretty well.

I've raced through it, but that isn't to its detriment. The warding premise is cool, and the setting interesting, if simple (City X has lots of stone, but not much wood; City Y has wood, but needs stone...), and the characters are interesting enough to draw me in. The prose is simply put together, and the story itself put me in mind of the early Wheel of Time books and, unfortunately, The Name of the Wind (a book which is like The Painted Man, but staggeringly, monumentally better).

The whole thing is very, very simple, but I've enjoyed the story. There haven't really been any surprises, aside from the occasional harsh decisions: re: Leesha being raped off-camera towards the end. It did indeed jar, quite a bit, but otherwise the pacing is fairly good (the decision to allow Arlen to become the Painted Man completely off-camera was a good one, I think - everything was in place for it to happen, we didn't need to see any more from his POV to believe it).

In general, I think The Painted Man is a lesson in basic storytelling - make us like the characters we are reading about, then hurt them. I do wish it was longer, and told with more depth and detail, moving way from the simple to investigate and examine the world and warding a bit more. I will almost certainly pick up The Desert Spear, because I am interested in the story and where it goes, but by the same token there are other books - The Name of the Wind - that does this type of thing better.
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Re: Peter V. Brett - The Painted Man

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:46 pm

Yeah. It's a straight enough story, all things considered.
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Re: Peter V. Brett - The Painted Man

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:53 am

My review is up.
http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/02/pa ... hadowhawk/

I think overall that I like the novel slightly better now than I did when I read it. A bit weird I suppose.
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