Here’s an admission, in terms of the vastness of the world , merged with character building Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of Fallen are absolutely the best that I have read.
Deviating from the main storyline and the ongoing timeline , this book takes place some time before the events of Memories of Ice and focusses on the back story of Tiste Edur’s involvement in the present Malazan world conflict . The tale introduces readers to the Edur’s culture as they crown a new ruler who sets them onto the path of war against humans in his attempt to become the Emperor .
What I Liked :
This book featured 82 characters and just 2 of those characters were recurring characters and yet by the final pages of the book it didn’t feel like an arduous task , but felt more entertaining and made me more interested in these new characters
2 characters in particular, Tehol and Bugg , were absolute show stealer . Their conversation even about mundane topics such as what they will have for dinner were hilarious and entertaining . The pages with the duo were the most entertaining ones in the whole series for me. Not to mention both characters also held some mysteries and those revelation later turned out to be fantastic .
Erikson has a habit of creating the tribes and world so masterfully and with so many fine details that you almost think that you are actually reading some archaeologist’s note or watching a Nat Geo documentary . This is probably his 10th such creation and each of his creation remain distinct and diverse , be it the Edur , Andii , Crimson Guard , Letherii , Malaz , Daru, etc etc . The Letherii in particular fascinated me , since their role was similar to the Malazan empire as they kept conquering but while the Malaz did it to bring peace and order , Letherii did it for greed . It showed the wrong side of the Malazan purpose.
The plot itself is filled with countless twist , turns , and action ending with a magnificent convergence that brings many characters to finally live upto their potentials , while others to show their growth . The action scenes in particular remain some of the most graphic and yet well detailed with the military tactics told with a vivid imagination and intellect .
What I didn’t Like:
As stated the number of new characters may feel like a lot to keep track of for some and at the same time may make some feel cheated , since the story deviates big time from the main plot from the previous book
Many of the chapters featuring the Tiste Edur storyline were also dull at times , I think part of the reason for it being dull was the fact that this storyline was always preceded with the Tehol and Bugg storyline and they stole the show with wit, quick thinking & humor, whereas the Edur chapters for large portions appeared mundane. This also in turn led to the events in this book taking some time to start gearing up , making it an unusually slow start for this book
And the final thing that bugged me was the unusually abrupt attraction that appeared out of nowhere between Seran Pedac and Trull Sengar . It just felt weird and very sudden .
I can probably write pages upon pages about this book , but in fear of losing readers interest and attention ,I’d just say that this is another splendid addition to the series and as I have repetitively said about this series , those who love Epic Fantasy , MUST give this series a read
Reviews of Previous books in the series: