I died for your sins, so accordingly, here are some inane musings to contemplate...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I was introduced to the Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by my friend Betty at the start of 2007. That year I powered through the first 7 novels almost all in a row and loved every second of it - here was a complex and stunningly realised storyline filled with fascinating characters and situations; Steven Erikson quickly became one of my favourite authors ever.

So I just finished Toll the Hounds, the 8th novel in the 10 book series and it did not fail to deliver one iota. I'm not really a person who likes to "review" moofies or books or anything really - if I like it I'll tell you and then you can make up your own mind. But I just have to say here that this man really knows how to write humour and sadness and wrap it all together in a compelling and beautiful story. I am constantly amazed at the complexity of the plots and the deftness that he switches between story lines within not only a novel but in the series as a whole.

While reading the Malazan novels I am always asking myself if he had actually planned all that I have been reading from the very beginning, maybe not every single detail, but certainly the general gist of each of the major stories and how they interact and intertwine around each other. If you're a fan of Fantasy or Science Fiction then you just have to read this series - although the first novel, Gardens of the Moon, can actually be quite hard to get into as it starts half way through a war and you just have no idea about anything that is going on, but persevere and I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed. Even if you're not a fan of Fantasy as a genre, try and give this series a go.

The other great thing about Erikson is that he has been releasing a book each year, unlike certain other authors, he can stick to his vision and write a fascinating and complex story and keep it all together and still release books on a regular basis. George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is probably on the same complexity scale but bugger me doesn't he take a while to write his books! But I suppose you can't expect all authors to have the same rate of output and I prefer to wait for GRRM so long as he releases quality product.

I loved this book and its stunning conclusion that sets up the grand finale of the final two volumes - bring on Dust of Dreams!


Alex said...

Erikson is also my top fantasy author, but he's not without his flaws. With each new novel in the series, his descriptions become longer and more convoluted. Like he can spend a whole page describing the scenery-- that gets annoying quickly, and distracts from the action. But it's inarguable that he's one of the best out there at constructing a detailed world, which IMO is what epic fantasy is all about.

What brought me here one of your comments over at speculative horizons in which you mentioned a list of books you're planning on reading. It seems like we have similar tastes: epic fantasy, Song of Ice and Fire, Malazan book of the fallen, Lynch. Do you have this list online somewhere? I'd given up on fantasy for a while now, but recent events have convinced me that there are some worthwhile books out there, I just have to get proactive.

Jebus said...

I'll have to post up a list of my "to read" pile and intentions. I actually had a very long list on my iGoogle homepage but it's been deleted somehow so I've lost a few. But suggest away and I'll be happy to research and place them on there if they sound like something I'd like.