This series is so god damn good, I cant believe I waited this long to pick it up. Just started book 5.
Lady Envy? How do I love thee. 80% done with Book 3 now. Soooo good!
This series is so god damn good, I cant believe I waited this long to pick it up. Just started book 5.
Shiiit - was just about to start a thread on this. This is by far my favorite fantasy series of all time. Can anyone recommend any novels that are equally as good?
this. It's the same type of gritty fantasy, where mages are just schmucks with magic instead of being all-powerful, or over-the-top.
On topic, the new ICE novel is out (Blood and Bone) and it's the K'azz/Skinner/TCG story ark. About halfway through it now and it's pretty solid.
I'm getting towards the end of book 3 now. It's so hard to put down! These books blow ASOIAF out of the water, imho.
Heh the young Envy/Spite/Malice stuff in Forge of Darkness is one of the best parts of the book. Seeing who their mother is explains a lot.
I felt pretty hollow after finishing the 10 Erikson books in the main series after spending like a year and 1/2 reading at least a portion of them every day. Hoping the Esslemont ones can fill some of the void and then a reread at some point. I bet the series is great the second time through.
A full series re-read is very helpful, especially now all of the series is available so no need for enforced breaks while waiting for a book to be published, really helps place all the characters better. Can't wait for the other 2 forge series to be released as the first gives some great background to some of the familiar faces and I'm hoping the series continues with this.
Last edited by Kalaar Kururuc; 12-14-2012 at 11:26 AM.
I ended up quite disappointed with these with the exception of books 1-4 which i would put at the top of any list I ever make for sheer brilliance. After that I felt they just kind of meandered on for the sake of it for far too long, plot lines were introduced that added little to me and the ending was just bleh. Not even gonna mention the whole lets not resolve a thousand and 1 story arcs......
Which story arcs weren't resolved?
MalazanEmpire.com . Guess I loved it for how open and not tied up everything was, and knowing that the world continues in future books. But it does make sense how frustrating it can be to not know. Also, the snake was the worst part of any book I've ever read.
Many of those were answered in Esslemont's books or Forge of Darkness. Many of them I just don't care. And many of them don't count. Like Dassem Ultor and Hood. That's a side story at best, but it's relevance to the Chained God is very little, so I don't think story arc that requires resolving.
I'd much rather it was explained what the Shake had anything to do with the Chained God story. Or that stupid fucking Snake. Or how did Tavore know she had to do what she did? Or did anyone else notice that Ascendant's plan to deal with the Chained God required Kerafyrm(sorry, I can't remember the dragon's real name)? Yet, we're to believe they depended on Errastas acting like a petulant little child to release it?
Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God, while good and awesome(battle) books, was chock full of meaningless coincidence. The short tails pick NOW to come back and oops, there's a Malazan army in the way. Big battle awesomeness! Influence on the main plot: zero.
So I'm about halfway through Blood & Bone. I never had much of an problem with ICEs writing - or at least, I didn't dislike it as much as a lot of people in the old thread, but this book is getting a bit ridiculous with the foreshadowing and the saying_shit_but_not_saying_anything. It's a cool story and I like any of the stuff involving the Avowed, but half the time I have no idea who the fuck these people are, and there is a LOT of stuff like this:
"He looked at the thing. The thing You, Reader have been reading about for 5 chapters. And then he realized... what it was..." (end of chapter)
"He talked to some_character. The character that You, Reader have been reading about for 10 chapters. And then he realized... who he was...." (end of chapter)
"Again he was reminded of the deed. The deed that you, Reader have been reading about for 10 chapters. And then, he realized.. what the deed was....." (end of chapter)
My Malazan history is as good as the next guy, but for once I'd like him to just come out and fucking say who or what the hell he's actually talking about instead of assuming that the reader has all ~15 or so books in this series committed to memory.
Malazan books are easier to read if you just assume everyone is a Screamfeeder alt.
Or on a tablet where you can easily google character names.
Has to be my favorite series as can be evidenced by my user name! Has anyone read the new ICE book? I know it's out in the UK but has anyone imported it to the US yet?
Has anyone listened to the audiobook that would recommend it? The sample doesn't sound great, but I've grown to like other narrators that I wasn't a fan of out the gate.
It's taken me ages to get though Toll the Hounds, after plowing though the series so far and loving it, don't know, its definitely my least favorite so far. I'm moving on to Return of the Crimson Guard, which I understand now was a mistake and you should read it before ToH, do things improve with Dust of Dreams as well?
TTH is the worst in the series, so yeah, DOD is better.
Just finished Blood and Bone, couple questions:
Finished Blood and Bone as well. 7/10 overall. Had some decent moments, but way too many typical mysterious references to some other part of the fiction that happened in SE's story arc 8 books ago.
Not a bad book all in all but probably my second least favorite of the series as a whole, behind Crack't Pot Trail which I tried three times to slog through but just couldn't finish.
Last edited by Seventh; 01-01-2013 at 07:36 PM.
I think it helps emphasize the EPICness of the series.
Just my take on it...
The first eight books (up until TTH) are available as audio books published through the Libary of Congress' talking books project.
Narrator is named John Nash(?) and personally I think he does a very good job at narrating the series (probably biased from listening to 200+ hours) considering the complexity of the Malazan series. The books were available on Demonoid but they're probably floating around on various sites still.
Brilliance audio books is publishing "regular audio book" versions of the Malazan series, but as mentioned above their schedule currently indicates that the 10th volume (TCG) will be released sometime in autumn 2015.....
Have not seen the last two volumes (DOD / TCG) as Library of Congress editions, though I'd be surprised if they do not exist...
I have the Brilliance audio edition of Gardens of the moon but have not listened to it yet. If and when I do, I can let you know how I think it compares to the Library of Congress edition.
Last edited by 9veh; 01-11-2013 at 07:35 PM.
Forge of Darkness was just as bad ass as I hoped it would be. Can't wait for the rest of it.
Well with all the enthusiasm I guess ill have to pick the series up thanks
Great series. Ending is not nearly as good as the begining.
i hope he dose more stuff with whats left of the bonehunters
Starting this series once I finish my current book! Stoked that there is 10 books, I've been chowing through tons of series lately.
I too have recently been reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.
Finished the 10 books and started reading Night of Knives by ICE.
Just amazing.. !!
Well, you guys convinced me to start this series. Will let you guys know how it goes.
The series, as mentioned above, really benefits from a re-read. I am going through a second time and it has become so apparent that Erikson was working from a master plan. Little things mentioned that you didn't get the first time through, but with a 10-book perspective are little strokes of genius. Love the depth.
I echo a previous poster - this is my favorite IP. Amazing, Amazing.
I'm planning on starting the ICE novels here soon but instead of just reading them all together I think I'll combine them in chronological order with an Erikson reread. I honestly finished The Crippled God and wanted to immediately pick up Gardens of the Moon and start all over again. Throwing in the ICE novels will help vary things up a bit I think.
Best part of this series besides its awesomeness is that it is completed. While the overall quality might be slightly lower than GRRM, Erkison is a writing machine with very little of the bloat and prolonging of series that comes with money/fame.
I have just re read the series and it was much, MUCH more enjoyable. I was lost the first time around trying to figure out names and places but after the second go it was much more fluid and dynamic. Great re-read.
Not reading through this thread for fear of spoilers, same reason I am avoiding using Wikipedia to look up anything about the series... spoilers everywhere. Just finished Memories of Ice. It seems that I have a hard time getting through the first 100 or so pages, then it is smooth sailing until the last 200 or so, when I am not able to put the book down.
I have heard that some people had trouble with Chain of Dogs, though I have a hard time imagining why. That has been one of my favorite books in the last few years and so far, out of the series. My only gripe with it was theSpoiler:
And you said you just finished Memory of Ice, that should explain where and why the Trygalle Trade Guild showed up. Memory of Ice and Deadhouse Gates take place at the same time.
Deus ex machina
I don't see how that is a deus ex. Unexpected intervention, sure, which is even explained a book later. But what part of the plot did it move forward that wouldn't have otherwise?
It was just disappointing that the Chain had little to no help at all, relying on themselves, up until the near end, when they had help suddenly pop out. It did not ruin the book, it was just a part that made me shrug and go 'eh, whatever'.
So just to be clear here, the Chain of Dogs relates to Coltaine's 7th and is the most bad ass thing I've ever read in my entire life and the very reason Deadhouse gates is my favorite book ever. What you're referencing, with the D'Ivers/Soletaken, the trade guild, Filder, etc. is called the Path of Hands.
Edit: aw shit. I completely forgot that the guild shows up with Coltaine and whatnot too don't they? Yeah makes sense. My bad.
Anyway the Chain of Dogs is my favorite part of the whole series.
Last edited by Slaythe; 02-01-2013 at 08:50 PM.
The Chain of Dogs was one of the best things I have read in any sort of literature in many years. Even the way it ended felt satisfying and left me nodding my head. Like I said, the guild was just a part that made me shrug, because it felt slightly out of place to that particular story. While I understand why and where it came from, when reading it, it felt like a hug let down.
Stuff (plot points, information, characters, sudden help) coming out of nowhere is kind of Erikson's thing...is it a good thing or a bad thing? I've never decided one way or another. But it's his thing.
Anyone had any luck finding audiobooks for 9 and 10? I've scoured the internet with no luck so far.
Started this series from the recommendation here. Been reading them mostly during downtime at work since. About to finish up Reaper's Gale. I love these books so much! I don't want it to end!
Yeah...after spending more than a year reading at least a portion of the series every day, I definitely felt a little lost once things were done. I still have the Esslemont books to go back to which I will at some point.
After going through the Malazan series back to back, then jumping in to Dresden Files back to back, the feeling of reading a single contained story in one book is very odd. Following the May book of the month thread with Shadow of the Wind, and maybe disconcerting isn't the right word, but knowing that everything will be wrapped up in 500 pages is forcing me to digest things faster than waiting for 13,000 pages til payoff.
The series started out really strong and finished poorly. I was generally uninterested in a lot going on in the later few books. He creates characters with a lot of potential, but few of them ever get to achieve that potential. So it's a constant case of blue balls. The Coltaine arc paid off, and that's pretty much it.
dust of dreams, the crippled god... fuck the redmask storyline
Seriously, I love how long he takes to fully develop characters and make them interesting but when he keeps introducing whole new groups in the last two books I just knew that they were going to be means to an end and not the great characters like Toc, Whickey, Sorry, and the Parans. BTW, you may have hated Redmask but the worst reading for me was The Snake. Fuck those kids and I wish they would have all died.
Draegan's bitch ass sold us out to MMORPG.com
Exodus underway to ReReRolled.org - A Gaming Community
Yeah the only guy I feel kind of let down with his ending arc is Karsa but is he involved in the Esselment books somehow? I thought I read that somewhere.
Uh, did we ever figure out the purpose of the Snake anyway?
Oh, that might be it. Either way, the ending to the series convoluted and kind of a letdown. Way too many people knew to be in the right spot at the right time.
The whole time, I was under the impression the jade statues were full of the spirits of the crippled god's believers from his home planet. The were travelling to this planet to be with him, or whatever the fuck. So let's contrive this elaborate plot to put the crippled god back together so we can kill him.
Oh, jk, it was just some pissed off thaumaturgs who got all sandy about Kallor coming back to their retarded jungle island.
Aren't those two things essentially the same though?
I don't think so? Not following you.
I guess I don't get the "oh jk" part of your post. TCG was brought down because of Kallor, but the Jade Strangers or whatever were his believers that followed through the rift. I don't have 100% of the context here because I haven't read the Esselmont books and I know some of this is explained in there.
Oh, you haven't read the Esslemont books yet?
Haha. Ok. My bad. I'll get to reading those.
Well, I guess blood and bone came out recently. Should I spoiler that?
No you're all good. I knew when reading Erikson and deciding to skip Esselmont that I would run into spoilers. No big deal.
I did that though because it was my understanding that the Esselmont stuff was significantly lower quality, but the reviews of the last couple of his have been pretty good. Is that how you guys feel too? I know I start Night of Knives and ended up switching to something else pretty quickly.
Night of Knives was bad. Quality picked up after that though. I wasn't too happy with Blood and Bone because how it contradicts the perceived narrative in the main series.
As for the last half of Blood and Bone...not really? There's a whole lot of pointless characters who really never play any role in the story other than to just exist. Which is fine, but some of them are noteworthy characters. Crimson Guard group could have easily just been 1-2 people.
Honestly, Esslemont and Erikson are at their best when the story centers around Malazan marines.
Blood and Bone isn't great but I did enjoy The Crimson Guard resolution.
Seriously though, we going to have to go over the Snake again? I get most people didn't like how it was portrayed but it was a necessary plot piece not only for the D'rek summoning but to put a reason to the Bonehunters for being there in the first place. It gives the story its moral centre.
And the Bonehunters knew to be there how?
Yeah, that's precisely what I didn't like. Tavore knowing what she did was the linchpin for way too many plot devices. And of course, Erikson pissed away the opportunity to explain that way. He could have written it that she was actually in contact with her brother all along(him not mentioning to Tavore that she killed her sister). The Master of the Deck knowing all this stuff makes sense. But nope, they finally meet up in writing and she breaks down about not being able to save their sister. So, obviously they weren't talking.
And the Bonehunters knew the Forkrul Assail had to be dealt with how?
See, you're just dancing around the real issue here. Tavore was this magic box where plot holes got lost and explained away. No explanation as to why a mere mortal knew about this grave danger(Forkruul with a god's heart).
I always figured T'amber (being Eres'al in disguise) set Tavore on her path with the Bonehunters. Eres'al being an elder goddess she knew how it should all converge in the end, so she guided her towards her destiny. They spent a lot of time together in Tavore's tent, that can't all have been to eat each other out, so I figure T'amber gave her a lot of info.
I'm only starting with TtH now though, so I could be missing something, since I'm just aware of a few spoilers but far from all.
Last edited by DiddleySquat; 05-22-2013 at 05:50 PM.
T'amber was possessed by Eres'al, not the same as being Eres'al. Especially since T'amber was killed in their visit to Malaz. Quite a lot to go on, taking an army halfway around the world on some monkey godess' word.
Well Eres'al must have had some reason to take over T'amber and then befriend Tavore. Only reason for Eres'al to do that I can think of, is to direct Tavore. And to be able to do that, she must have spilled some serious info to Tavore, else Tavore would never have done what she did. What T'amber told her we'll never know word by word, so we have to deduce it from what Tavore did after T'amber was killed/Eres'al left her presence. Hence the trip to Lether, and everything after I haven't even read yet.
Hm, counterpoint to my own argument: Grub told Lostara Yil to never tell Tavore that T'amber was Eres'al. Ok, /throw hands in the air, I dunno either then.
Last edited by DiddleySquat; 05-22-2013 at 07:15 PM.
Cover blurb for Assail released. It is coming out in November of this year in the UK. Can't wait!
The final chapter in the awesome, epic story of the Malazan Empire.
Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings. Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers to mysteries that Shimmer, second in command, wonders should even be sought. Arriving also, part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. And with him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and who cannot remember his past life, yet who commands far more power than he really should. Also venturing north is said to be a mighty champion, a man who once fought for the Malazans, the bearer of a sword that slays gods: Whiteblade.
And lastly, far to the south, a woman guards the shore awaiting both her allies and her enemies. Silverfox, newly incarnated Summoner of the undying army of the T'lan Imass, will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail is the final chapter in the epic story of the Empire of Malaz.
So, does anyone else feel that Esslemont keeps getting better...Whereas Erikson starts strong and gets weaker?
Yup. Esslemont gives you steady 8.0-9.0, where Erikson wanders all over the scale. Really had to force myself to finish Forge of Darkness.
Eh, Blood and Bone was a setback for Esslemont. Pointless subplots and whole groups of characters that were nearly useless. Also, Blood and Bone contradicted the Crippled God's main plot.
However, it looks like Assail will be set AFTER the Crippled God since Fisher was in OST. No idea who the Tiste Andii and Whiteblade are.
I found this on the intertubes, seems to be a synopsis for Assail:
Edit: damn someone posted like 3 posted above me. Hah.
Late to the party, but I finished Blood and Bone a few months ago. Overall I enjoyed it, but mostly for the insight into Kallor, the crippled god, and the crimson guard. I guess I feel the same way about Night of Knives, where the actual writing and structure was pretty weak, but because it was filled to the brim with old guard, I ate it up. I still like to go back and read the sections with Dassem and when Temper meets Dancer in Mock's. I guess the same can be said of most of ICE book's.
But back to Blood and Bone, there are a couple things that I'm not quite clear on.
Yeah, that makes sense for Whiteblade. Not terribly excited, boring name and boring character.
As for your other spoiler:
I've not read the Malazan series (past a third of the garden of the moon) and am currently reading the forge of darkness. I am enjoying it very much, so much so that I intend to try getting into the main series again. I have only really one complaint, but it's pretty big, I am not enjoying the 20 or so different POVs all giving their own multipage accounts of the meaning (or lack of) of life. Does the main series do this too? Because I don't want to read 10 books of it.
Oh yeah. If you don't like multi-POV stuff then stay away from Malazan.
I've read basically every major fantasy epic series ever...except this one. It's about time, based on the positive comments here, which seem to mirror the positive comments everywhere else!
Chrisd, I'm honestly surprised you were able to start at Forge of Darkness. I had assumed the book was written with the assumption that the reader had read at least some of the main series.
As for the philosophizing, this seems to be a trait Erikson picked up later on. Toll the Hounds(book 8 of the main series) is probably where it surfaces most obviously, and it doesn't go away. But, don't let that scare you away. I think books 2 and 3 are something everyone should read even if you don't intend to finish the series.
Would definitely agree with Deathwing. Erikson seemed to really get deeper and deeper in to the philosophizing about life and the meaning of everything towards the end of the series. TtH is probably as good a place as any to draw the line, and honestly it only gets worse from there. Well, worse if you hate it, probably more accurate to just say it gets more intense.
Still at the top of my favorite fantasy series ever though and yeah 2 and 3 are phenomenal. If you can browse through the thread to get some history about how the series was written and where Esselmont's books fall in the time line it may be helpful.
Starting with Forge would seem really strange to me after having read everything. But I don't guess you'd be any more confused going that direction than the other way. From our point of view all these Gods, Demigods, Ascendants and what not just existed. From yours you'll read about them before all that crap so starting with BotF you'll know the "history." Would be an interesting thing to compare. Of course you'd have to wait for the next two books to be released before starting BotF.
Pussy bitch Draegan sold us out to MMORPG.com
Exodus underway to Rererolled - A Gaming Community
Oh and sorta fuck Tuco too.
Oh, one thing I forgot to add. The Malazan marine squad. You won't get this from his current trilogy obviously. But Erikson is the first author I can remember where I was excited not to read about a character(not to say there aren't some good ones in this series) but a group of characters. Chapters with the Malazan military, especially considering how imperialistic they were, were almost always my favorite. Maybe only Karsa or Bugg/Tehol chapters were as good. Characters already marines don't count in this comparison.
You also have to realize that much of Forge is from the POV of characters who either live for thousands of years or who are essentially ageless. (their lifespan is greatly enhanced by the events of the book but they still have lived for much longer than a human) Their entire way of thinking is meant to be strange and abstract.
Any Azath POV is meant to be confusing. Well, more confusing than the rest of the series.
The fun part about Forge is how practically everything people in the Malazan era thought about the past, gods, and how shit worked was of course completely fucking wrong. And you are hit with mountains of it within the first few chapters. (whatthefuck all these places are on the same continent now? Mother Dark is just a regular Tiste who came to power and not, you know, the literal darkness? and so on..)
Last edited by Kreugen; 12-10-2013 at 03:41 AM.
I'm a huge fan of this series and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get into epic fantasies. I'm on my 2nd read through and I can honestly say that it's better than the first time I read them just because of all the lore I didn't understand or some key events that I didn't catch onto the first time around. I've also read that more than a few people weren't all that impressed with the first book - Anomander Rake vs. Hounds of Shadow - Rake vs. Tayschrenn and the Bridgeburners mage cadre - Jaghut Tyrant vs. Silanah and a few black dragons - Rake vs. Demonlord to name just a few of the great battles in Gardens of the Moon. WTF is there not to love about that book? Deadhouse Gates was my favorite of the series though.....that book is about as epic as it gets. Memories of Ice is incredible as well but I was not disappointed at all with books 4-10 either. The series isn't perfect - there's a lot of philosophical bullshit but I pretty much skimmed past it all on the 2nd read through.
Deathwing I'm finding it far easier to follow and more engaging than when I tried to read the Garden of the Moon. This time coming in I knew Erikson's style so I kept on top of who was married to who and people's titles/positions as characters were introduced expecting it to get all very difficult to follow, but it's not really been hard at all. Only detail I wish was more thoroughly explained is the Tiste's aging process, from what I can tell they age to young adulthood as a human does, and then age slowly over hundreds of years and then dwindle out after a thousand or so years?
Finding these books in hardback with dust jackets is a pain
Was like, Book 7? Before his fan-base really started expanding, so all the early printings were pretty small. At least we don't have to order all his books from Amazon.ca and Amazon.uk any more...
I attempted to do a full reread leading up to The Crippled God, but I lost the will during Reapers Gale and skipped the rest in between. The highlight of the series for me was Kalam vs the Claw in the Bonehunters
I read all the books the old fashioned way, but I'm mainly an audiobook guy these days. Audible has the first four, but they seem to have stopped there for some reason.
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