A pair of reviews for Peter V. Brett’s highly recommended THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD.
[BRAYAN’S GOLD] also has demons. Lots and lots of demons. Arlen manages to spend quite a bit of his time trying to avoid getting into a fight with a demon, and also somehow managing to fail. There’s some fairly hectic chase scenes, and some genuinely raw and impactful combats. Brett writes fast-paced, gruesome fights, and they’re entirely believable. His non-protagonist characters don’t have quite the same depth, but this is more of a stricture of length than anything else – they’re certainly excellent foils for Arlen, and the reader does get a broader understanding of both the world and Arlen’s character from the narrative. It helps that it’s a page turner; the spaces between action are less lulls, and more necessary breathers.
As with Brayan’s Gold, this story gives us a great deal of fast-paced action. Arlen manages to do some incredibly stupid things and get away with them, at least partially through luck; but the chases, the fights, they’re page-turners, every one. At the same time, the reader is getting more context for the larger trilogy. Arlen as a younger man, possibly less angry, more easily thwarted perhaps, and not as cunning as he might be – but still driven, still recognisably the protagonist of Brett’s larger series. His careful, respectful relationship with Abban is fleshed out a bit more in this text than it has been before, and gives a new layer of meaning to their interactions in other slices of Brett’s narrative. The Great Bazaar is less of a journey story than Brayan’s Gold, but it feels like it puts a bit more meat onto the bones of extant characters, and it’s a lot of fun to read.
Overall, if you’re already a fan of Brett’s Demon Cycle books, this is an excellent adjunct to that series. If you’re coming to it fresh, these are perfectly fun standalone novellas – you actually don’t need to have read the rest of the series to ‘get’ them; that said, I’d recommend you do, because if you have, there’s more understanding to be had. In either case, this collection is entirely worth your time.
Defensive ward against: Snow Demons
First appeared: Brayan’s Gold
Ward by Lauren K. Cannon, copyright by Peter V. Brett.
I don’t want to delve too much more into the story, as you can see from just a few quotes Brett’s writing is unique, descriptive and poetic like to every detail, which is why he would rather use these novellas to describe events of gaps within his books where in his books he will skip years to keep the continuation at a speed more suited for a reader and balance out the parts of his characters within the books.
I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading the novellas and would highly recommend them to readers who love fantasy but do not fancy the longer books and especially to fans who have read the books and want to fill in some of the gaps.
For more info about THE GREAT BAZAAR & BRAYAN’S GOLD, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story.