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Thread: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

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    Default The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    I wrote this about one year ago:


    On many lists, this epic high fantasy series ranks among the two or three best ever written. On others, it’s further down. But nobody questions Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen as being one of the most thorough, unique and descriptive worlds ever created.

    I have decided (to at least try) to review every book I read, right here for my imaginary audience. I read often and I read quickly, so this could be a big undertaking. Normally, I will be reviewing books as soon as I complete them. But for my first review, I wanted to tackle this huge series that I finished last summer. But because so much time has passed, the individual books tend to blend together. So it’s easier to just tackle it as a whole.

    Recommendation
    I would recommend this book to you, if you are all of the following:
    1. Very patient
    2. An absolute die-hard of the high fantasy genre
    3. Are skilled at skimming parts in which the author rambles. Because Erikson is very detailed, particularly about his characters (of which he introduces hundreds to us).

    The series begins in the middle of a war – an interesting decision in itself. The reader is thrown right into it and is almost expected to play catch up with what is going on, as if you maybe missed a book and started Book 2 by accident. But the picture is painted gradually, with the back story slowly being filled in, interspersed with the current story. It is a tale of war and magic, of gods both old and new. The characters that are introduced are fantastic and you will have more than a handful of “favorites”. By the middle of the 10-book set, you will have a hierarchy in your mind as to which characters are more powerful than others, a firm understanding of feuds and potential battles, and your anticipation of the ensuing climax is very real.

    And when Erikson runs out of characters to make you love, he shifts the scene to another continent and brings you an all new cast. The final books combine both tremendous casts as the elite (but banished) forces of the Malazan Empire travel to the other continent to do battle there.

    While there are easily a dozen characters in these books I would call ‘favorites’, plus a dozen more whom I love to hate, Erikson introduced to me my favorite character, possibly in any book – Karsa Orlong. The entire 11,000 page story is worth the read just for Karsa’s story. He was first introduced in the second novel Deadhouse Gates, known then only as Toblakai (which is actually his race – a race of savage giants standing about nine feet tall). But his backstory comes two books later – in House of Chains – which may be my favorite book thanks to that back story. I only wish he had a bigger role in later books.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Great summery!
    I thought the series was quite varied. It didn't get dry in the middle, and each book had enough different things to keep it from becoming monotonous.
    In the first book, you are introduced to Kruppe. I loved him when I started reading these books!
    Last edited by austeane; June 23, 2014 at 8:41 PM.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Ive thought about giving this series a go a half a dozen times...ok, colour me convinced. This review pushed me over the edge, starting tonight. Thanks Dobbs

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    I've read the first two books. I love the world and the story, but I have to admit, his writing style can be so dry at times that it just kills me to read through it at times. I do love how his archealogy background and stuff really plays out as he's got some amazing ideas.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    How many Dobber heads would you give it out of 10?

    I'm reading "The Name of The WInd" by Rothfuss, which is too Harry Potterish for me. Malazan more like Game of Thrones?


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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    I picked the first book up on the weekend at the library and then put it back down again. Might have to rethink it. It's been quite a while since I read pure fantasy like that.

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    The Name of the Wind is a good book. And really nothing like Harry Potter. Not sure where you get that. I guess when he's at school it could feel that way, but story-wise it's very different. Malazan is very expansive. I'm not even sure if that gives you a true understanding. You will follow characters from around the world and learn of factions between militaries, countries, deities, etc. There are some cool characters and some great ideas in it. I just don't care for his writing style. I will try to finish it in this lifetime, though. lol
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Okay, with Christmas coming up, and along with it some time off, I picked the first book up at the library yesterday. Wish me luck!

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by doulos View Post
    Okay, with Christmas coming up, and along with it some time off, I picked the first book up at the library yesterday. Wish me luck!
    Good luck! For what it's worth, the first book is good, the second book is great, and that's where the series really took off for me.

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Def. on my to read list just after the "Dark Tower" series.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by CascadeFilly View Post
    Good luck! For what it's worth, the first book is good, the second book is great, and that's where the series really took off for me.
    So I made no progress on the book (about 100 pages is all) over Christimas, but our city library is shutting down for 10 weeks for renovations and so I was allowed to renew it for that time period. grabbed the second book as well. I like what I've read so far and I leave for Maui tomorrow so I'll have some beach time to just sit and read in between pool/ocean trips with my kids!

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Well, I only made it through about 250 pages of the book and got sidetracked by Atwood's new short story book. Having a real hard time getting into the story or really caring much about the characters, but I'll give it another 50-100 pages before I decide whether to finish it or not.

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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    It continues to get better and better. I started it quite young, and just devoured it (boring parts and all). If you are really not liking it, no worries, but I'd wait until the end of the first book before giving up.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    I have read the entire series, it is easily one of my favourites due to the sheer depth of the world and storyline he has created. There are old gods, new gods, ancient races, alternate realms, and mortals who become as powerful as a god through the series... it's just insane how he has created such a detailed world. There are also several side stories written by Ian C. Esslemont, who's writing style is not as detailed but they are good stories that tie into the main one written by Steven Eriksson. If you like fantasy on a grand scale, this is a great series. Definitely be good at skim reading or really love detail though.
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    Default Re: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by doulos View Post
    Well, I only made it through about 250 pages of the book and got sidetracked by Atwood's new short story book. Having a real hard time getting into the story or really caring much about the characters, but I'll give it another 50-100 pages before I decide whether to finish it or not.
    The third book, I believe that is Karsa's back story, was where things went from good to awesome in an awful hurry. If you can hang in there and skim the slower parts for two books, the payoff is great
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