Short Story Reviews: Brayan’s Gold and The Great Bazaar by Peter V. Brett

The Reviews:

I hadn’t originally planned to write reviews for these short stories, but I have a few more opinions than anticipated lol. Here goes:

Brayan's Gold by Peter V. Brett

The Book Info: Brayan’s Gold by Peter V. Brett

The Overview: Arlen Bales 17, apprentice Messenger in brand new armor, is ready for the first time beside a trained Messenger on a simple overnight trip. Instead Arlen finds himself alone on a frozen mountainside, carrying a dangerous cargo to Count Brayan’s gold mine, one of the furthest points in the duchy. And One Arm, giant rock demon, hunts him still. Novella. -Goodreads

[3 stars] Of these two, I liked Brayan’s Gold the most. It was a true tangent from the middle of The Warded Man and had nothing to do with the overall arc of the main story (more so than usual, anyway… this author definitely has his own unique way of getting to the point). But I did enjoy it, mostly because I thought the snow demon was pretty cool. While I feel it was worth my time, I can’t say the same about the next one.

The Great Bazaar by Peter V. Brett

The Book Info: The Great Bazaar by Peter V. Brett

The Overview: Humanity is nearly extinct after 300 years of hungry demon corelings. A handful of Messengers brave the night between the increasingly isolated populace behind protective wards. Arlen Bales will search anywhere, dare anything, to save the world. Maybe Abban, a merchant in the Great Bazaar of Krasia who purports to sell anything, has the answer. -Goodreads

Great Bazaar [1.5 stars]: I didn’t get a single thing out of this short story that wasn’t already presented in The Warded Man. The first few pages were promising, but it was all downhill from there. I was hoping for more cultural immersion or at the very least some character development, but all I got was an expansion of a minor plot element for which I’d already known the outcome. I’d say pass on this one and move right along to The Desert Spear – it’ll give you cultural immersion tenfold.

Overall, I’m really excited to read more from this author, despite the hit or miss with the short stories. I find his unconventional story construction oddly refreshing. I’ve been warned about the second and third books by multiple people, so we’ll see how it goes. XD

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes


Coming Soon: Arcanum Unbound by Brandon Sanderson

November 22, 2016

Title: Arcanum Unbounded

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: The World of Cosmere

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: November 22, 2016

The Overview: Brandon Sanderson’s first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more. Originally published on and other websites, or published by the author, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Shardworlds and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect.

 The collection will include eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor’s Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain a currently untitled Stormlight Archive novella which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere!!!!! -Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

I love Brandon Sanderson books so much that I’m almost as excited about this compilation as I would be for a new novel. First of all, the short stories that I’ve read from it (The Emperor’s Soul and Shadows for Silence) were amazing, so I am thrilled to have them in a beautiful hardbound copy to add to my shelves. Second of all, there are all NEW STORIES that I haven’t read yet that will hopefully help hold me over until the new Stormlight Archive book comes out next year. I’m definitely going to have to fudge my 1500 for 1 book-buying ban to pick up a copy of this one ASAP! :-)

What book are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes


Book Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

shifting shadowsTitle: Shifting Shadows

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson (Short Stories)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger… A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories… “Silver” / “Roses in Winter” / “Redemption” / “Hollow”

…and reader favorites “Fairy Gifts” / “Gray” / “Alpha and Omega” / “Seeing Eye” / “The Star of David” / “In Red, with Pearls”

shifting shadows 2

The Review:

Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite urban fantasy writers, and the fact that she usually only comes out with one novel per year has me feeling perpetually impatient. I completely devour her books as soon as they come out and am always left craving more. While that speaks volumes of Briggs’ talents, I’ll admit it hurts my heart a bit every time I realize I have a full year to wait before finding out what happens next. So, the release of Shifting Shadows – a compilation of short stories set in Mercy Thompson’s world – felt like the ultimate treat to this uber fan!

Every single story did one of two things (and in some cases both): 1) allowed us to delve a little deeper into the lives of some of my favorite secondary characters (we essentially got treated to their fascinating backstories while viewing the world from their perspectives) and/or 2) expanded on the world-building within this already brilliantly-conceived universe. It was amazing, and I now want to go totally fangirl and start blabbing about Bran and Samuel and how cool it was to see their origins, or perhaps Warren (my favorite member of the pack) and the chills I got while learning about his strength of character, or even Kara and Asil, the stars of my favorite short story of the collection, and the wolves I’m now most eager to read more about. And that’s just to name a few!

Patricia Briggs is such an amazing writer. This is something I already knew, but Shifting Shadows made me appreciate her even more. She is just so great at characterization that you always feel like you’re reading about real people. It probably helps matters that Briggs considers the characters her imaginary friends, to the point where these fully-formed people in her head are mostly responsible for driving their own stories. She gives them a problem and then sits back and watches how they all deal with it. At least, that’s what she said during the Q&A of one of her book signings, and I’m inclined to believe her. 

It’s one thing to fall in love with characters and get to know them over the course of a multi-book series, it’s a whole other ballgame to get to know them within the confines of a short story. I’m seriously going to go back and study these stories for tips on how to make my own characters stronger – it was that good. Writing aside, there wasn’t a single point in this entire book that I wasn’t highly entertained, which is saying something because I don’t usually have the patience to pick up short stories (yes, I realize how ironic that sounds). As I said before (but it warrants repeating) every story either gave me insights to characters I’d been curious about or made Mercy’s world more vibrant… in fact, many of them did both.

All I have to say is, if you’re a fan of Mercy Thompson, these short stories will knock your socks off! If you’re not yet a fan, you’ll probably enjoy them because the writing is that good, but I think already having a deep connection with most of these characters is what took the book from great to amazing. Along those lines, if you haven’t read them, I highly recommend picking up the book that started it all, Moon Called.

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by Niki Hawkes


Book Review: Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede

64108Title: Book of Enchantments

Author: Patricia C. Wrede

Series: N/A

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a story, set in the Enchanted Forest, about Queen Cimorene’s Frying Pan of Doom; a zany yarn about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts; and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier’s daughter into a wolf.

64108 2

The Review: 

This collection of tales by the author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles was every bit as engaging and whimsical as the stories that captured my imagination as a kid. From a writer’s standpoint, it was also a great study of composing short stories – she even includes authors notes at the end sharing her inspiration behind each story.

My review today is going to be a bit short because, from a reading standpoint, this is one of those books that you don’t analyze, you just have fun with! Reading it really did bring me back to my childhood. I enjoyed all of the stories and appreciated just how different they were from one another. There was everything from a humorous werewolf tale to a haunted castle to a conceited unicorn… And they were all as good as they were different; a little something for everyone. My favorite was the cover story about a wizard who accidentally summons a little blue chipmunk god – adorable!

Overall, since I already had planned on sharing The Enchanted Forest Chronicles with my kids one day, I am delighted to have even more from this author to pass along.

Recommended Reading: for fans of the Enchanted Forest, fairytales, and whimsical short stories!

by Niki Hawkes

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