A quartet of reviews for Peter V. Brett’s intriguing THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD.
Photo: Karsten Moran
‘Brayan’s Gold’ being a novella, I don’t want to give any more of the story away. Suffice to say, it’s as a good a read, with plenty of action and adventure as well as another look at Arlen’s keen sense of justice.
What makes [ The Great Bazaar] worth the read is the opportunity to spend more time with Abban, the merchant Arlen befriends in Fort Krasia. The scenes from his point of view offer a unique insight to a culture that obviously fascinates the author as much as it does Arlen. There is also plenty of excitement.
While this collection of stories may serve as an introduction to ‘The Demon Cycle’, I do think they’ll be more appreciated by fans. For me, they bridge the gap nicely between the first and second books of the series, even if the stories are all set during the time period covered by ‘The Warded Man’. I hope Peter V. Brett is inspired to write more short adventures for Arlen and his companions.
These two novellas were my introduction to Peter Brett and his Demon Cycle, and I must say, they were pretty great.
There are just enough references to the greater series for existing fans, and enough explanation for new readers to make it perfect for everyone, regardless of whether you’ve read the series or not. And really, if this is your first exposure and you don’t want to read more afterwards, you may be a little crazy.
My favourite of the two was The Great Bazaar, Arlen is a bit older than in Brayan’s Gold, and has settled into himself a bit more. Plus, it was just a good story.
If you’ve read the series and want to know more about Arlen’s history: grab this book.
If you haven’t read the series and want to know whether it’s worth your time: grab this book.
It will be well worth your time.
Also included are a Krasian Dictionary and a Ward Grimoire. The dictionary seems superfluous, as any foreign terms were recognizable from context within dialogue or description. On the other hand, the Ward Grimoire is very useful. Not only does it provide a history of ward usage and the delineations of those wards — usefulness against which demons and whether it’s intended for offense or defense — but each ward’s entry is accompanied by a picture of the ward and a detailed description of the affected demon’s habitat and appearance. I was particularly glad that this was included because it’s further evidence of the care and thought which Brett has invested in these books.
The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold is a good introduction to Brett’s style for new readers, as well as the larger world of his DEMON CYCLE series. Readers who are already familiar with that series should also enjoy the extra glimpses into the life of Arlen as he battles demons and wanders the world. I’m intrigued enough to add The Warded Man to my to-be-read list, but not enough so that it’s going to zoom straight to the top.
Defensive ward against: Snow Demons
First appeared: Brayan’s Gold
Ward by Lauren K. Cannon, copyright by Peter V. Brett.
If you are new to the Demon Cycle series like me, both Brayan’s Gold and The Great Bazaar make up for a very good an clear introduction/teaser for the bigger series, they can be easily read and understand as standalone books.
The strength for me in these two stories really are the protagonist Arlen, he is a cool guy, as I said a bit naive but when he has to do things he will make sure the job gets done, and most importantly he sticks to his guns, no matter how dire the situation is. Another thing is the part of the whole demon fighting and the bigger idea behind it. I am a big fan of cool fighting scenes and unique systems with advantages/disadvantages and limitations and this is precisely what Peter. V. Brett utilizes in these two stories. This short omnibus edition featuring Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold has definitely wet my appetite for more!
For more info about THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story.