Amph Steven Erikson - The Malazan Book of the Fallen

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mastadge, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Canadian Steven Erikson (1959 - ) is one of the better epic fantasy authors out there right now, often compared to George R. R. Martin, though their takes on the whole military fantasy genre are quite different. In the end there will be 10 tales of The Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • Gardens of the Moon (04/1999)
    • Deadhouse Gates (10/2000)
    • Memories of Ice (12/2001)
    • House of Chains (12/2002)
    • Midnight Tides (03/2004)
    • The Bonehunters (03/2006)
    • Reaper's Gale
    • Toll the Hounds
    • Dust of Dreams
    • The Crippled God

    In addition, there's a series of novellas set in the Malazan universe, Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach:
    • Blood Follows (02/2002)
    • The Healthy Dead (07/2004)

    Further, there is an official Malazan book not by Erikson but by Ian Cameron Esslemont: Night of Knives.

    Erikson's also written several non-Malazan books:
    A Ruin of Feathers (1991) (as Steve Lundin)
    Revolvo and other Canadian Tales (1998) (as Steve Lundin)
    This River Awakens (1998) (as Steve Lundin)
    The Devil Delivered (2005)
    Fishin' With Grandma Matchie (2005)

    Anyway, discuss Erikson's work here!
  2. Blaine_The_Mono Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2005
    star 2
    I heard about these books through ASOIAF. They look very interesting. I think I'll have to try them out.
  3. emilsson Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    I have read the first three books. Gardens of the Moon is a bit too complicated for an introductionary novel. But it sets up many interesting characters. Book two and three were easier to follow.

    Erikson's grip on symbolism gets better and better with each book so far. I also like the world he's creating. Personally, I prefer series where the attention to details makes the story come alive. Book three, Memories of ice, added a lot of depth to the gods of this world and I like the role humans play.

    I really need to start book four and five...
  4. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    What are these books about? I keep hearing about them from Excellence, and I'm curious.
  5. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    Epic fantasy with a military bent. Erikson does a great job of telling a story that is chock full of the gritty realism that comes with war despite the fact that the books are pretty magic-heavy. Definitely worth checking out if you?re a fan of the Martin style of huge casts and are willing to undertake a ten volume outing. Based of what I?ve read of the Malazan books so far, though, I?d have to say the series is a tad bit overrated. Though I definitely appreciate Erikson?s ability to elicit moments of stunning humanity with certain characters, moments like these are ultimately overshadowed by sense of plotting that lacks the cohesion and tightness of stronger, like-minded narratives. I would?ve liked to see a lot of the military banter and utilitarian plot movements replaced with development that painted various main characters in a more individual light. Still, the books can be very rewarding if you have the patience to sift through Erikson's preferred thick style, and are primarily interested in reading the tale of warring nations battling in a RPGesque background campaign.
  6. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Overrated? Those words are blasphemous. [face_mischief]

    Not only does he publish a book per year of an average 1000 pages, half of the 10 book-series is already paperback available. A few dollars more than the average price, but you're getting half a book more in size. New readers like me are lucky duckies!

    The Malazan series is military fantasy. Soldiers and citizens and religious mercenaries brawling away. The deities have problems of their own. Plenty of wizards and magic, assassins and spies, exotic wildlife . . . and stuff your precious Jedi, the T'lan Imass of the third and fourth books are a kicker.

    The first book, Gardens of the Moon, can give new readers the wrong impression. It's harder to understand and not light reading. Prologues won't make sense until midbook. It's learn as you go. But don't worry, the second book explains whatever you didn't understand first book, especially the cheap ending, even though it's on a new continent with new cast. The rest of the series is "easier" to to read.

    Each book is a self-contained story finishing at the end, but interlinked with future books. Book 1 continues in book 3, book 2 continues in book 4.

    Erikson and his silent co-partner Esslemont give you nonstop action, intrigue and more twists and surprises than you can burp after four glasses of apple drinks. Prose is simple and mature, the world rich and large. Every book has a new special intigue, like a secret identity or revelation. Deities, empires, people and even animals are all scheming. No character is untouchable; anyone can die at any time.

    That is, if you think they're dead . . .

    No rules or logic apply to him. He'll have you thinking things and then shocks you as you realise the truth. Like the endinds of books 3 and 4. Deadhouse Gates, the second book, is one of the finest emotional finales you could read.

    Welcome to the jolly Jaghut, lads, whom the skeletal Imass made themselves undead to hunt them the past 300,000yrs, and you haven't seen the half of it! Overrated? Pah!

    Warning! . . . Backcovers of future books reveal major spoilers and dead characters.
  7. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Is Paran in anymore books after book 3?
  8. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Sounds pretty interesting; I'll have to try them. Would they be classfied as fantasy or sci-fi?
  9. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Military fantasy. Paran's not in Midnight Tides, and the 6th, Bonehunters, seems to be following on the Seven Cities rebellion from book 4. But he's a central character, so he can't be left out, really.
  10. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I thought that he was going to ascend being the Master of the Deck and all. Plus the whole Dragnipur thing.
  11. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    He hasn't ascended yet, far as I know. Bossing the deities' Houses isn't an automatic ticket. He's basically a teleporter; he can visit any place, be it a Azath prison or even Rake's soul sword.

    I think . . . I think, based on the Chaos energy within that Dragnipur sword and that incomprehensible vision Heboric has in House of Chains, and "how" the Crippled dude fell to the world, I think I'ved worked out the real enemy of the series! [face_thinking]
  12. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I'm going to check the first book out from the library, In fact, in should be in in a couple days . . . Then I'll know what you're talking about! :p
  13. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Remember, the first book's not indicative of how hard the series is to read and understand. The rest he wrote a bit easier to read. :p
  14. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I'll keep that in mind :)
  15. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah Gardens will really you make you scratch your head alot!
  16. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Hopefully it won't confuse me too badly. At least I know it's the first book. I hate reading a book series out of order, and if I'm not positive when I pick a book up that it's the first, I worry about it until I either crack down and read it or do an internet search 8-}

    What's the best book in the series? Has he written anything else?
  17. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    He's published under Steven Erikson, but Mastadge up top gave a good compendium. He and silent co-partner Esslemont have done three short stories, featuring the two necromancers of the the third book. But they're limited stock and too expensive for their size. He's planned six, I think. Hopefully, they'll collect them in one anthology in time.

    I think the third book is an absolute thrill, it continues the first book and explains the mysteries of the second. The second book has an ending you just have to read. I cam as close to tearful as a gentleman can get, myself. :D
  18. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I DID get tearful at the end of book 2.

    I would have to agree that so far my fav is book 3. Granted I have only read the series up to that point because I am getting the American versions and they come out like every ten months. Book 4 is scheduled for august.
  19. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    This is what makes him so great, the surprises never stop. Whatever you think you see, nothing is cemented. Things an get . . . flexible.
  20. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Excellence what editions are you getting?

    Are they the same ones that are on Amazon?
  21. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    My paperbacks say Bantam Press Edition and Bantam Edition, the latter I presume is the paperback, all published a year after the former.

    America is several books behind Canada, Aust and UK I believe.
  22. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Funny story: I was getting some REALLY cheap books online, and I figured I'd get Gardens because I'd heard so much, and it was in hardcover for $6. Well, I'd forgotten that I'd bought it, so I got it from the library last week. So I get home that day and my books are waiting for me. I opened them and realized that I know have two copies 8-} Okay, not so funny as sigh-worthy.
  23. Darth_Smeagol Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 4
    Has anyone else read The Bonehunters yet?



  24. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    My UK contact informed me the paperback's scheduled for 5/3/07, Aust dating.

    It's a long yesr of wait . . .
  25. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    I just finished Gardens of the Moon. I must confess I wasn't really getting into it despite the good beginning with the Hound massacre, and I found it quite confusing. However it certainly picked up towards the end, and I was shocked when Lorn died. She seemed to be due for some development. I'll be on the lookout for the rest in the series now (and the PB of the Bonehunters will be out by the time I finish them most likely :p)