Here's another one for the list. I read this a couple of years ago, and it has stuck with me. I loved the world Brett created in this, a world where humanity lives in constant fear of corelings (demons that come out of the ground at night). At the time the story begins, most people live in warded cities and towns, hiding from the demons. No one travels at night. Few people travel at all.
This setting creates a tense atmosphere, and that's what drew me to the book. As I read it, I came to appreciate it for the character-driven story it is. Yes, there are plenty of demons and some good battles, especially toward the end. But first and foremost, this story revolves around the character Arlen, who becomes the titular Warded Man. It covers a long stretch of his life and shows how he has changed from an ordinary village boy to someone who might be the world's savior.
Yes, it's an age-old fantasy plot, but Brett does it very well. There's a lot more depth to it than you see in most stories of a similar nature. The characters and setting both feel real and nuanced. I also loved the magic system that you discover over the course of the book. There's a lot to recommend this book.
Now, I was a little disappointed by the sequels. They're still good reads, but they're not as good. However, some feel they do retrain the strength. Still, I strongly recommend this one.