Messenger’s Legacy

Peter V. Brett. Subterranean (www.subterranean-, $25 (136p) ISBN 978-1-59606-698-4
Brett’s slight novella introduces Briar Damaj, a character slated to appear in the fourth installment of the Demon Cycle (The Skull Throne), which takes place in a world populated by a variety of nocturnal demons. This expansion of an earlier short story, “Mudboy,” purports to be Briar’s “story in full,” and it contains plenty of material that could be used to construct a compelling coming-of-age novel: a tragic accident, a six-year-old boy forced to live by his own wits and survive through cunning and bravery, and a savior from the boy’s past who appears to hold the promise of a life restored. But Brett fails to pull the pieces together. Briar is present for less than half the narrative, with the rest told from the perspective of Ragen, a sort of glorified mail carrier who comes out of reluctant retirement to search for the long-lost boy. Incorporated into a larger work, this might pass muster. As a standalone novella, however, it is unbalanced and unsatisfying. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 101 pages - 978-0-00-811470-1
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