Malazan Book of The Fallen

This is without a doubt my favourite fantasy series. I read Gardens of the Moon years ago, and oddly it seemed to me to be the easiest to read. Things seem to get more convoluted in later stories, but they are still thoroughly enjoyable. One thing I appreciate is that he has absolutely no problem with

Spoiler:
killing off main characters.
The first time it happened
Spoiler:
when Whiskeyjack died
I was gobsmacked.

I need to see if any of them are available for the Kindle. It would certainly be easier than lugging around the various tomes, even the smaller paperback version - never mind the big and heavy hardbacks I have.

garion333 wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
I think that Erikson is scheduled to write a Malazan atlas after The Crippled God.

Thank god.


Seconded.

Rallick wrote:
This is without a doubt my favourite fantasy series. I read Gardens of the Moon years ago, and oddly it seemed to me to be the easiest to read. Things seem to get more convoluted in later stories, but they are still thoroughly enjoyable. One thing I appreciate is that he has absolutely no problem with
Spoiler:
killing off main characters.
The first time it happened
Spoiler:
when Whiskeyjack died
I was gobsmacked.

I need to see if any of them are available for the Kindle. It would certainly be easier than lugging around the various tomes, even the smaller paperback version - never mind the big and heavy hardbacks I have.

garion333 wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
I think that Erikson is scheduled to write a Malazan atlas after The Crippled God.

Thank god.


Seconded.

I'm really holding out for a pen and paper RPG set in the world. Maybe something along the lines of Paranoia, where you expect your characters to die frequently and horribly and plan for it.

Edit: Woohoo! Junior Exec - soon I'll get a key to the posh bathroom!

Count me in on the 'love it' side. I loved these books so much, that I bought the Subterranean Press version and can't wait for them to ramp up to the rest of the series.

FYI, about half of the books are available on Kindle. More used to be, but I think they got pulled because of the disputes Amazon is having over ebooks (thanks a lot Apple!). I have all of them but book 8 (Toll the Hounds) on Kindle.

For those that haven't started, the way I always describe Gardens of the Moon is that he throws you in the deep end right from page one. Most fantasy has an 'outsider' protagonist that needs to have things explained to him/her. This allows the author to explain the world to the reader as they explain it to the hero. Hence so many 'heroes with amnesia' in games. Erikson starts on page one at a point where most new fantasy would be page 200. I remember spending half the book wondering what the hell a "Warren" actually was, because it was apparently multiple things, and he never outright explained it.

Sounds mildly intimidating perhaps, but if you get through the first half of Gardens you will get to enjoy one of the best fantasy series around. It is positively epic, in a way most fantasy never manages.

JohnnyMoJo wrote:
Erikson starts on page one at a point where most new fantasy would be page 200 of book 12.

FTFY...

polq37 wrote:
I've been reading the books over the last year or so. I'm mid-way through Dust of Dreams right now and I've really enjoyed the whole series.

But, I think the books are a classic example of an author losing control of his story (or, perhaps in this case, tearing off the steering wheel and throwing it out the window). I'm convinced that he's just writing down whatever seems cool to him at the time and he just can't resist moving on to the next nifty storyline. The events of the very first book have very little bearing on what comes later and the characters who have survived from the beginning haven't developed, they've been remade to serve a whole new narrative arch. When Erikson does tie up loose ends, the resolutions seem perfunctory and forced.

As the books progress, he does develop a little more plot discipline. But, if you're the kind of reader who NEEDS George R.R. Martin's hyper-rigorous, chessmaster story development, you may have some problems with the series.

It does feel at times like he roles a die (20d of course) to make choices, but that is exactly in line with what I expect from Erikson and his adapted campaign

polq37 wrote:
But, I think the books are a classic example of an author losing control of his story (or, perhaps in this case, tearing off the steering wheel and throwing it out the window). I'm convinced that he's just writing down whatever seems cool to him at the time and he just can't resist moving on to the next nifty storyline. The events of the very first book have very little bearing on what comes later and the characters who have survived from the beginning haven't developed, they've been remade to serve a whole new narrative arch. When Erikson does tie up loose ends, the resolutions seem perfunctory and forced.

As the books progress, he does develop a little more plot discipline. But, if you're the kind of reader who NEEDS George R.R. Martin's hyper-rigorous, chessmaster story development, you may have some problems with the series.

I don't get that sense at all from Erikson. Actually, I get more of that feel from A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF). My understanding was that originally ASoIaF was supposed to be just a trilogy and has not ballooned out to 5+ books (and is also taking an increasing amount of time between books), which gives me much more of a feel of a story bloating and running away from the author. The beginning of ASoIaF definitely did feel as you describe, with A Game of Thrones in particular probably being the most compelling book of the series so far, but the later books have not given me that same feeling.

Conversely, the Malazan series was conceived originally as a 10 book series, and Erikson is sticking to that, and producing them at a steady clip. To me that suggests much more that he had this all generally planned out and is just following through on the execution now. And the story definitely has been pulling things together as it went along in my opinion. Even when a whole book is spent going off to the sidestory of the Tiste Edur (Midnight Tides), in the books that follow that is tied back in, and it seems apparent why it was done.

Oh well, reasonable people can disagree (as long as we agree both series are pretty good ).

Certis wrote:
It's worth mentioning that Erikson had outlined a ten book series from the start and has been following an impressively stringent release schedule for them. He's going to wrap up the final book by next year and then he'll be done. Impressive.

Well, that's good to know. I tend to grind my axe for any long series since Wheel of Time, so knowing there is a plan makes it appeal a lot more.

So I'm just curious, what were people's impressions of Dust of Dreams? Frankly, I thought it was the worst book yet. It had what felt like the most trudging pace, with essentially nothing happening up until the very end. I normally really enjoy Erikson's pacing, with a slow buildup to an epic climax that can last for several chapters - but dust of dreams didn't feel like it was building to anything until the climax happened abruplty and ended just as quickly - on a cliffhanger, no less.

I also wish he would fast-forward a bit when the armies are on the march. Erikson has often written about armies on the march, and its far more interesting when they're doing something (Chain of Dogs being constantly hounded, Bonehunters guerilla warfare) than when they're just walking from one place to another (Bonehunters marching against the whirlwind, bonehunters marching into the wastelands). He had previously broken such marches up fairly nicely, too - the Yghatan sequence was phenomenal - but Dust of Dreams was fairly drab in that treatment.

Dysplastic wrote:
So I'm just curious, what were people's impressions of Dust of Dreams? Frankly, I thought it was the worst book yet. It had what felt like the most trudging pace, with essentially nothing happening up until the very end. I normally really enjoy Erikson's pacing, with a slow buildup to an epic climax that can last for several chapters - but dust of dreams didn't feel like it was building to anything until the climax happened abruplty and ended just as quickly - on a cliffhanger, no less.

I also wish he would fast-forward a bit when the armies are on the march. Erikson has often written about armies on the march, and its far more interesting when they're doing something (Chain of Dogs being constantly hounded, Bonehunters guerilla warfare) than when they're just walking from one place to another (Bonehunters marching against the whirlwind, bonehunters marching into the wastelands). He had previously broken such marches up fairly nicely, too - the Yghatan sequence was phenomenal - but Dust of Dreams was fairly drab in that treatment.

I haven't read it yet - I'm about 70 pages into my re-read of Gardens of the Moon to get in the mood, but I think Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God were conceived of as a very large two part book, that needed to be in two parts for editing purposes. This may have had an effect on the pacing.

Tanglebones wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:
So I'm just curious, what were people's impressions of Dust of Dreams? Frankly, I thought it was the worst book yet. It had what felt like the most trudging pace, with essentially nothing happening up until the very end. I normally really enjoy Erikson's pacing, with a slow buildup to an epic climax that can last for several chapters - but dust of dreams didn't feel like it was building to anything until the climax happened abruplty and ended just as quickly - on a cliffhanger, no less.

I also wish he would fast-forward a bit when the armies are on the march. Erikson has often written about armies on the march, and its far more interesting when they're doing something (Chain of Dogs being constantly hounded, Bonehunters guerilla warfare) than when they're just walking from one place to another (Bonehunters marching against the whirlwind, bonehunters marching into the wastelands). He had previously broken such marches up fairly nicely, too - the Yghatan sequence was phenomenal - but Dust of Dreams was fairly drab in that treatment.

I haven't read it yet - I'm about 70 pages into my re-read of Gardens of the Moon to get in the mood, but I think Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God were conceived of as a very large two part book, that needed to be in two parts for editing purposes. This may have had an effect on the pacing.

This is indeed the case. Don't quote me on this but I seem to remember Erikson saying somewhere to have patience with Dust of Dreams for that very reason. I'm a big fan of the series but man it can certainly take a toll on the pysche.

I'm getting close to the end of Memories of Ice. If the pattern holds, the next book will jump to some completely different location, with new characters, and a story that I assume will eventually become apparent as to why we should give a crap.

That sound about right?

Tyrian wrote:
I'm getting close to the end of Memories of Ice. If the pattern holds, the next book will jump to some completely different location, with new characters, and a story that I assume will eventually become apparent as to why we should give a crap.

That sound about right?

Not so much - new characters are introduced in a very confusing way, but much of the action follows the characters and events of Deadhouse Gates

So, favorite characters or character sets? I can never get enough of Tehol + Bugg. I also havent finished Dust of Dreams...

Spoiler:
and I hear they tie that plot line up from a friend.

Blotto The Clown wrote:
So, favorite characters or character sets? I can never get enough of Tehol + Bugg. I also havent finished Dust of Dreams...

+1 for Tehol + Bugg. Trull's story was epic, and I was weepy at the end of it. After reading the novellas, I'm eager to see what Bauchelain, Korbal Broach and Mancy Reese's next adventure will be.

Rallick wrote:
One thing I appreciate is that he has absolutely no problem with
Spoiler:
killing off main characters.
The first time it happened
Spoiler:
when Whiskeyjack died
I was gobsmacked.

I don't know about this.

Erikson is seriously in love with his characters.

Spoiler:
He couldn't even bring himself to kill off Apsalar, even though he clearly set it up.

And there's a pretty robust after-life in Erikson's world. Lots of dead people make a reappearance.

No one seems to die! They just 'asend', becoming ultimate ass kicking zombies... or ghosts?

Spoiler:
or whatever happened to Rake when he died by his own sword

in Toll the Hounds

I believe today is the US release date for Return of the Crimson Guard.

I finally figured out the difference between Soultaken and D'ivers. Things make a bit more sense now.

I do so love these books, but I'm afraid to look for info online because I don't want things spoiled for me. I figure that I'll understand a lot more the second time through. And it'll be safe to read more stuff online about the books.

garion333 wrote:
I finally figured out the difference between Soultaken and D'ivers. Things make a bit more sense now.

I do so love these books, but I'm afraid to look for info online because I don't want things spoiled for me. I figure that I'll understand a lot more the second time through. And it'll be safe to read more stuff online about the books.

I'm about halfway through Deadhouse Gates in my re-read of the series. It makes vastly more sense than the first time, though there's something horrible about knowing when tragedies are going to hit characters well in advance of when they actually do. Feel free to ask questions here, and I'll try to make spoiler-free replies!

I made it through Gardens and Gates, but now I've all my momentum. I loved the tactility of the Chain of Dogs and the clarity of the battles, while other subplots feel far too nebulous in their realizations, particularly when things get really fantastic. I'm sure I'll pick up the torch again at some point though.

Wow. Wow wowwowowowwowowowwow WOW!!

Just finished House of Chains. Wow. Springtime is kicking me down a little bit, so I thought I'd take it easy and do some reading. I ended up reading almost 400 pages of this book today, which is not something I've done with Erikson before considering how dense his writing is, but I could not put this book down. I've really only got one word to say about this book and why it completely blew me away and has possibly dethroned the Fire & Ice series as my favorite series: Karsa. Man, I didn't understand why the first couple hundred pages were devoted to him, but it moved fast and was an easy read (considering it was following one plot line). By the end of this book, however, the character just blew me away. As do Trull and Onrack. And, of course, Strings and the like.

I just pulled Midnight Tides off the shelf and looked it over. Looks like it's a completely new area of the world and focusing on the Tiste Edur. I get the feeling this is basically going to be, in a way, Trull's telling of the Edur history. On one hand I'm a bit dismayed, but on another I'm excited. But alas, I won't be starting this anytime soon. I promised I'd read a couple other books before getting back to Erikson and this seems like a good place to take a break. Still, I look forward to getting back to this series as I've now finished four (only four!!!!) books in the most epic series I've ever read. Totally blown away. I love books.

karsa is a favorite for me... but nothing NOTHING compares to Tehol and Bugg... just you wait!

I really enjoyed the first book. Keep meaning to read the second, which I actually own, but it keeps getting pushed aside for the new hotness on my ever growing pile of unread books. This thread has prompted me to maybe start it once I finish The Windup Girl and Bitter Seeds.

Blotto The Clown wrote:
karsa is a favorite for me... but nothing NOTHING compares to Tehol and Bugg... just you wait!

Yup, you're correct. Tehol and Bugg are probably the only reason I'm still reading Midnight Tides is because of them. Well, that's not entirely true, but I'm having a hard time staying interested in the story. It's not bad, it's just not engaging and I'm a good 300 pages in.

For those who find the first part of Gardens a hard trudge, I remember reading that there was something like a ten year hiatus from when Erikson started that book and when he came back to finish it. His writing style greatly improves at about the halfway point.

Not surprised to see some Erikson fans reading Abercrombie. Very similar types of storytelling, as in awesome

Nearly finished with Dust of Dreams

Spoiler:
This man is breaking my heart, over and over and over again. Trull's death is nothing compared to some of the gut-blows Erikson is dropping here.

Just started House of Chains, and it is gonna have to be good to top the last quarter or so of Memories of Ice !

AcidCat wrote:
Just started House of Chains, and it is gonna have to be good to top the last quarter or so of Memories of Ice !

HoC has a slow start, but it build to some amazing momentum around halfway through, IMHO.

I am having a really hard time finishing dust of dreams. The book is so depressing that I 'dread' reading it. I love his writing style and his frenzied pace, but its seems to all tailed off. I really want to like it

Two questions about Midnight Tides.

1) Did Erikson's philosophical exposition take a bit of a leap in its frequency in this book? Seems like half of the text are musings.

2) What's up with the Letherii being a blatant critique of American/western society? Seems like the most shallow civilization he's come up with (and not just because the Letherii themselves are pretty shallow) and is a bit of a letdown compared to the other civilizations he's created.