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looking for fantasy book about a medieval kingdom that is dying and starts with a farmstead under attack by a evil night creature from the forest... a passerby responds to the attack.

can't remember much else but their were multiple threats to the failing kingdom. it's suppose to be good read/ story line.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Where and when did you read this? Do you remember anything else about the book, like the cover art or if it was part of a series?
    – DavidW
    Jul 7, 2023 at 4:07
  • Sounds like Beowulf. Jul 7, 2023 at 12:10

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This is probably not the series you were looking for, but The Warded Man series by Peter Brett has a similar premise. Every night demons rise like mist from the earth, solidifying into beasts of nearly impregnable skin and claw that have reduced the world-population to a couple 100k living in a scattered, medieval society. With the coming of dawn, the demons return back to the earth as the sun is the only thing that can harm them. The only protection people have are defensive wards that can act as a shield against the demons as long as ring around you is unbroken. People live in fear of the night and any travel that can't be accomplished during the daylight is extremely hazardous and usually fatal.

This is one of my favorite series, and it is complete so no agonizing wait for the author to finish.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Does this match the way the question describes it starts with a passerby saving a farmstead from attack?
    – DavidW
    Jul 10, 2023 at 19:45
  • If you don't think this is likely to be the right series, I would've posted this as a comment directly beneath the question, rather than as an answer. You have enough reputation to do so. Jul 10, 2023 at 19:47
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There is an episode in Guy Gavriel Kay's 1990 novel Tigana, appearing in an answer I previously posted here, which matches this.

The character Baerd comes upon a village of people ("Night Walkers") who fight against an evil spreading across hills and fields. The fight happens in a dreamland once a year at the spring solstice. In the dream, the evil manifests as "The Others", evil creatures (which appear different to each person that sees them) spreading across the landscape. Lost ground in the dream-world translates to the real ground's loss of ability to grow crops. A death in the dream-world results in the real person's quick sickening and death.

The villagers have always been on the defensive and continually losing ground.

In the story, Baerd happens upon the Night Walkers on the precise night of the yearly battle, and joins in. His efforts turn the tide and drive the Others and their shadowy leader away.

Although this episode is seemingly disconnected from the main story, several things are implied in Baerd's conversations:

  • There seems to be a spiritual connection between the spreading evil in the dream and the physical evil happening in the Palm: Its division between Alberico and Brandin, and especially Brandin's ongoing genocide in Tigana.

  • The Night Walkers' driving back the spreading evil with the help of Baerd was necessary for the eventual outcome of the book.

  • the Night Walkers have an actual role in the final battle.

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  • The. Best. Fantasy. Novel. Bar. None.
    – Spencer
    Jul 7, 2023 at 22:09
  • Yes, even that one.
    – Spencer
    Jul 10, 2023 at 16:48

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