My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers and continue on at your own risk!
I read this one night when I could not sleep, and it was almost if I had dreamt reading it. I am going to review the main story ‘The Great Bazaar’, although this collection does include other stories that were cut from The Warded Man (which is one of the BEST books ever.) I waited to read this until before the 3rd book in this series is released (it’s coming Feb 12). It was a reminder of characters, settings, and plot that I have forgotten since it’s been a while since the second book was released.
Arlen goes into the dessert to find a dead city so he can gather it’s treasure. It’s at a point in the series where he doesn’t have offensive wards, so the trip is particularly dangerous. He trades his find with Abban (at the Great Bazaar) for information on another dead city that is rumored to contain offensive wards.
Plot Score: 4/5
Location, Location, Location
I always imagine this world as a future earth, where these demons come at night for destruction. The concept is that man once conquered the demons with wards, but the demons when away, we forgot our defenses, and stopped believing in the demons, then they returned and reek havoc. There are various settings in this world (forest, small towns, mountains, island folk) but this short story took place in the dessert. The dessert people is like our middle east, and Brett does a good job of showing the cultural differences between Arlen (from more of a forest area) and Abban (from the dessert area).
The demons are location specific- there are clay demons in the dessert, snow demons where it’s colder, on top of the wind, mind, rock, etc. demons. And the wards needed against the demons need to be specific to the demons for maximum effectiveness.
Location Score: 4/5
Characters and Relationships
We learned more about Abban and how he gets his merchant role at the bazaar. We also saw Arlens intolerance of the caste system. I would not say Arlen and Abban are BFF’s, but their relationship is mutually beneficial.
Characters Score: 4/5
Hmmm…I can’t really say there is a bigger meaning to this short story. It was pure entertainment.
Bigger Meaning Score: 0/5
Reading Peter V. Brett, is always a contradiction for me. On one hand, I want to read as fast as I can to find out what happens. On the other hand, I want to slow down so that the book never ends. Brett edits his stories with love and precision. The stories here that were cut from the book, are better than other authors entire novels.
Style Score: 5/5
– Reading Brett’s writings feel so effortless- I blink and the book is over. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s masterful.
17/25- This was a great refresher before the next book comes out.