The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold
The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold is a collection of several novellas and short stories all set in universe of The Demon Cycle series. “Brayan’s Gold” is set in Miln during Alren’s first days as a messenger. “The Great Bazaar” follows him into Krasia, and also touches on Abban’s side of things. “Arlen” is the short story that started it all, and the cut chapter “Brianne Beaten” stands by itself as a nice Leesha short story. Rounding it out, there’s even a Krasian dictionary and a grimoire showing off some of the wards and detailing their effects and the demons they deal with. If you find yourself jonesing for some more adventure in the Warded Man world, this book will help sate your appetite.
The collection kicks off with “Brayan’s Gold”, the name of the northern most mining village in Miln. Arlen is ready to go off on his first trip as a messenger, and the town of Brayan’s Gold is in need of some thundersticks. A simple trip to Miln’s mines turns into a journey fraught with bandits, the one armed rock demon, and the new threat of snow demons. How does Arlen get out of this one alive? You’ll have to read it to find out, but suffice to say it’s great little tale.
“The Great Bazaar” follows things up with a trip to Krasia. This one is set before Arlen’s rift with Jardir, when he was still a messenger free to roam about and in search of the forgotten combat wards. It covers his trip to a hamlet famed for its ancient pottery and a fight with clay demons. Afterwards the story flips around to showcase Abban as he tries to get Arlen a copy of a map to the fabled Anoch Sun. All in all it’s a solid story.
“Arlen” is a short story which is very cool. It’s a short story Peter V. Brett wrote for a fantasy writing class. Lo and behold, Arlen and the demons of the core were born. From this spark of an idea, The Demon Cycle series was formed. Here, readers will get to see how it all started. It also provides another glimpse at Arlen’s early life as a child.
“Brianne Beaten” is a cut chapter from The Warded Man that showcases Leesha and her skills as a herb gatherer. As with all the stories in this book, Brett shares what this one was about, and in this case, why it was cut from the book. It stands pretty well by itself as a nice little Leesha story.
At the end of the book is a short Krasian dictionary (the one included with The Skull Throne is 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.