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Sunday, April 4, 2010

"The Great Bazaar and Other Stories" by Peter Brett (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)

Official Peter Brett Website
Order "The Great Bazaar and Other Stories" HERE
Read FBC Review of "The Painted Man"

Peter Brett burst onto the fantasy scene in 2008 with The Painted Man (UK) aka The Warded Man (US, 2009). I was a little skeptical about it based on the blurb, but the glowing reviews and then reading an excerpt online made me eager to try it and I posted my opinions in the review above. When I received an arc of "The Great Bazaar" I took a look but since the main novella deals with the Krasian culture, I decided to wait for when I will have a copy of The Desert Spear and start that warming up with the
"The Great Bazaar" so to speak, so I checked only the glyphs at the end of the book and the scenes deleted from the first novel that complete "The Great Bazaar".

It was a very inspired decision since the first 200 or so pages of The Desert Spear that deal with the Krasian culture and recount the tale of Jardir and Abban from early childhood friendship, to how their fates separated and then reunited later put both the title novella of
"The Great Bazaar" and the relatively short time that Arles spends with the Krasians in clear focus.

As a tale in itself "The Great Bazaar" is very well done with great local color, adventure, danger and a great twist ending, but its full power shows itself if you read it after you read the first 100 or so pages in The Desert Spear up to the moment that Arlen makes his appearence in Krasia and goes from a relatively despised "cowardly foreigner" to a brother in arms that fights the demons every night in the killing pit alongside the holy warriors that Jardir leads. Of course the events from "The Great Bazaar" lead to the happenings in the next chapter of Jardir and Arlen's complicated relationship that are told first in The Painted Man and recounted from the Krasian point of view in The Desert Spear too, so I would suggest to reread the relevant pages from The Painted Man after you read the novella and then continue with The Desert Spear.

The rest of the "The Great Bazaar and Other Stories" consists of some deleted scenes from The Painted Man with author's notes on the whys of that, scenes that I liked though I did not find them essential to the general series and then the other piece of resistance of the book is formed by the glyphs at the ending which are just superb. There are some minor spoilers there for The Desert Spear but those glyphs add a lot to the depth of the series by providing a visual guide to the demon world of Arles and Jardir.

Overall "The Great Bazaar and Other Stories" is an excellent addition to the Peter Brett canon, though I strongly recommend reading the title novella after those pages from The Desert Spear since that way you will get the most out of it.


La'Von Gittens said...

WOW! I love this cover! Extra creepy!

Jon Connington said...

I'm in the middle of reading "The Warded Man" right now...excellent author!

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