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One of my favorites of the series so far. I won't give any spoilers, but many of the disparate and far flung characters are starting to converge. I am so glad I stuck with Gardens of the Moon (book 1) as that book didn't really "grab me" until its second half. Since then it has been an absolute pleasure to take Erikson's tour of Malazan and the rest of this incredible world.
I assume most of those reading this review are already fans (its book 7 for goodness sake). Rest assured that this installment continues at the pace and quality you have come to expect. I am amazed at how long Erickson can sustain his climactic portions of the book. Seems like for the last several (many) hours the pace of the story goes at absolute breakneck speed. I am really looking forward to the rest of the books being released on Audible. I am resisting the urge to go out and buy the already completed books 8, 9 and 10 (the finale) - I've decided to stick with the audio.
For New Readers:
Start with Gardens of the Moon. This series is a very gritty military fantasy with a huge cast of characters. Point of view characters include Gods and mortals and ghosts and shapeshifters and the (seemingly) insane. Less a High Middle-Ages analogue than a mix of Greek/Roman/Eastern cultures (only vaguely reminiscent of even these - but it gives you an idea). It goes to places you will not see coming - at least I didn't. Book 2 introduces a nearly complete new cast of characters. Highly recommended for those looking for challenging fantasy fiction. Erikson does not dumb down his writing - part of the reason the first half of book one was difficult for me was that Erikson writes as if his reader was already familiar with this world, its magic systems, history, politics and religions - trusting that you will learn and self-translate as you go. Erickson is also not afraid of humor - and writes his more witty characters extremely well (Quick Ben, Kruppe, Tehol Beddict - all have made me laugh out loud). He also has a keen sense for tragedy.
Each chapter is separated by a historical snippet and/or poetry - I only mention this as it may be confusing or jarring in an Audio only context. The print books feature large maps and glossary sections. I actually picked up the books at a bookstore for these features - this was probably unnecessary as there are many resources on the internet.
Especially recommended for fans of Martin, Abercrombie or Glen Cook.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
An amazingly complex story. So many observations of the best and the worst of humanity.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful