The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honour refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a saviour and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.
In the south, Inevera, Jardir's first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for enough glory to make a claim on the throne. In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.
Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton - rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest. All the while the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them.
Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared....
"Peter V. Brett is one of my favourite new authors." (Patrick Rothfuss)
"I enjoyed The Painted 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." (Terry Brooks)
"The Painted Man works not only as a great adventure novel but also as a reflection on the nature of heroism.' (Charlaine Harris)
"[Peter V. Brett is] at the top of his game. I give this my highest recommendation." (Tor.com) "[Brett] confirms his place among epic fantasy's pantheon of greats amid the likes of George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, and Robert Jordan." (Fantasy Book Critic)
"The most significant and cinematic fantasy epic since The Lord of the Rings. Inspired, compelling, and totally addictive!" (Director Paul W. S. Anderson)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Robyn on 29-09-15
The stuffing in the middle?
I listened to books 1-3 again before listening to this one. Am not sure what it is about this 4thbook that left me feeling almost a little bored, possibly the lack of time given to Arlen? Or maybe that the majority of this book is given over to introducing and giving the back story to yet more characters. Leesha seems to have more time devoted to her than any other character in this book, and I think I may be getting a tad bored with her character.
I found the different pronunciation of main characters names rather annoying in this version.
Either the author is building to an outstanding final instalment, or this was stuffing in the middle, which is my pet peeve when it comes to any book series.
That said, I did enjoy it, and I look forward to the final instalment.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Pat on 23-06-15
This may well be the case of a book too far, however it was not helped by the change in narrator who pronounced a lot of names differently. Also, as mentioned by other reviewers, there were strange pauses throughout the narration. I am not sure if I will bother with the next one as not a lot seems to have happened in this and it was almost as if the author ran out of steam - or perhaps has split a longer book into two parts. It will be interesting to see if the next installment takes as long to be released as this one did..
6 of 6 people found this review helpful