I probably don't need to mention this again, but I love the Demon Cycle by Peter Brett. It just gets me. It's not perfect, but there are so many great things about it that I can easily dismiss/overlook/completely ignore any shortcomings. I keep reading and I can't get enough.
Brett has created literary crack.
The Great Bazaar and Other Stories [US] [UK] [Kindle - only $4.99] takes place somewhere in the middle (time-wise) of The Warded Man, book one of the Demon Cycle. Our hero, Arlen Bales, is working as a messenger -those who brave the night and accompanying demons to bring messages to different towns. Brett explains in the introduction that this was a hugely fertile ground for stories that were mostly skipped over in the main sequence of novels because they would have taken a toll on the timing and pace.
Let me just say that I greatly appreciate authors who do this, streamlining the main sequence and releasing other stories, less important stories, that fans will read anyway, but that drag down an otherwise excellent book. Something I wish other authors would replicate...*looks to Erikson*.
So what's included in The Great Bazaar and Other Stories you may ask. Well, let me tell you...
The Great Bazaar is the main bulk of this book, as you can imagine, but also included are deleted scenes (one of which was the original beginning written for a writing class project), a Krasian Dictionary, and a Ward Grimoire.
The Great Bazaar is an excellent story of one of Arlen's visits to Krasia. Having already built up a name for himself as the only non-Krasian to enter alagai'sharak, the Krasian's nightly fight against the demons, Arlen learns of places that haven't been visited in ages, but which are supposed to contain many riches.
Sadly, they neglected to mention the clay demons, against which Arlen had no protecting wards. The Great Bazaar also delves into Arlen's relationship with the kaffit (essentially means coward), Abban, who helps Arlen out in The Warded Man.
The Krasians are a very interesting, hardly putting any value in anyone who can't fight, which means women and the weak are not much thought of. While I loved the action and adventure that was Arlen's trek through the desert, my favorite parts were probably in the bazaar where a former warrior picks a fight with Abban and Arlen.
I have to say I enjoyed The Great Bazaar more even more than I did Brayan's Gold. While Brayan's Gold was high in action, there wasn't a whole lot of incite into the story, Brett's intention being only to showcase Snow demons and that's about it. Go read it, it's great.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
City of Mirrors
2 hours ago