The reviews keep on rolling in for Peter V. Brett’s fascinating and thrilling THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD.
Photo: Karsten Moran
Every fan of Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series should check out this collection. I promise you won’t regret it! Not only does The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold contain two excellent short stories, it also features fun little extras like “outtakes” from earlier versions of The Warded Man and a ward grimoire complete with illustrations of the wards themselves. While longtime readers of the series will likely be the ones to get the most out of this volume, I believe it can also serve as a great introduction and the perfect jumping-on point for newcomers to the Demon Cycle.
Not usually being one to pick up short stories outside of main novels, I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It probably helped that both The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold take place during my favorite period of Arlen Bales’ life; that is, back when he was still a humble messenger traveling the world and going on his adventures, and before he was corrupted by demon’s flesh (and Renna Tanner – hey, I’m only being honest here) to become the Warded Man and the Deliverer.
While this one certainly isn’t required reading, the story Brayan’s Gold alone probably makes this book worth picking up.
This edition of The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold is a wonderful contribution to the world of the Demon Cycle, packed with bonus content-like material that enhanced my experience with the setting and characters. Filled with goodies for fans of the series and yet still accessible enough for new readers, this volume both thrilled and fascinated me. Highly recommended.
At the end of the book is a short Krasian dictionary (the one included with The Skull Throneis bigger) and something really cool: a grimoire of wards. This section includes pictures of fourteen wards, detailing their uses against demons, as well as some nice descriptions of each of the different kinds of demons. So not only is it a guide to wards, but it’s also a guide to demons.
Having recently finished reading The Skull Throne, I was left in the aftermath of another great emotional epic of adventure. It also left a void of needing something else to read. How can anything compare to Peter V. Brett book? Well, the answer is simple, another Peter V. Brett book. Thus I dove into The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold and was pleasantly surprised by how well Brett was able to capture the same magic of the series in these short stories. It’s a must read for fans and I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.
For hardcore fans of the Demon Cycle series — especially those trying to track down earlier versions of the two titular novellas — this one’s a no-brainer. More casual fans will probably get a kick out of the two longer pieces, while newcomers can probably pick a better place to start. Still, Tachyon is doing readers of Brett’s work a service by putting this short collection together, and its intended audience will no doubt receive it warmly.
Writing interstitial short stories between novels is becoming increasingly popular among fantasy authors–a trend I couldn’t enjoy more (I love a little snack between courses). While these were originally (I believe) written after Brett’s first novel, I read them just now (in the gap before Brett’s last novel in the Demon Cycle series). But my enjoyment wasn’t lessened having read them so “late.” It’s nice to revisit Arlen as a young Messenger full of passion and eagerness to take the fight to the demons, Leesha when she’s just getting a handle on her new authority, and Abban when he was just a small-time schemer. More importantly, as someone who’s very interested in process, I really liked the introductions and commentary by Brett.
I had to travel recently for work, and I hate being cramped on planes. Having this to read definitely had me smiling throughout my flight. Anyone who has enjoyed the Demon Cycle so far would enjoy these stories. It’s a perfect little treat while waiting for the next novel. But for those who have never read Brett, I’d suggest picking up THE WARDED MAN/THE PAINTED MAN first. Just jump right in. You’re going to love these stories and these characters.
For more info about THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story.