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The Malazan Book of the Fallen Thread

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Stonewielder, the new MALAZAN novel by Ian Esslemont

 

Thirty years ago the Malazan Empire launched a devastating invasion of the island continent of Korelri. With the north-western approaches denied by the ferocious sea-dwelling creatures known as the Stormriders, the Malazans swung wide to the east and invaded the island of Fist, at the furthest edge of the archipelago. There, under the command of Greymane, a grinding war of attrition was fought across decades to no end, for the islands of Korelri are protected by a goddess known as the Blessed Lady. Her very presence inhibits the operation of Warren magic, the cornerstone of Imperial tactics. Eventually Greymane abandoned his post and the war effort faltered.

 

Now things are changing. In the wake of a devastating civil war on Quon Tali, a new Emperor sits the throne of Malaz, and he has determined that the time has come to take Korelri once and for all, despite the power of the goddess. A new invasion force is assembled, its task formidable but its soldiers keen. As war erupts once more, the stoic soldiers of the Stormwall keep to their task, holding the alien Riders back from their shores. Amongst them is a new champion, a warrior beyond compare, a soldier who cannot die...but his comrades are coming for him.

 

Stonewielder is the third novel by Ian Cameron Esslemont, the co-creator (along with Steve Erikson) of the world of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Stonewielder takes place on that world, slotting into the timeline a few months after the events of Return of the Crimson Guard, roughly around the same time as Toll the Hounds. Familiarity with the Malazan novels is a major asset in reading this book, but only really Return of the Crimson Guard is needed to fully understand what is going on: several character and storylines begun in Return continue directly here. I also strongly recommend reading this novel before tackling Erikson's The Crippled God in a few months, as the ending of Stonewielder appears to be a direct set-up for that novel.

 

The island-continent/subcontinent (as we learn in the book, different governments and geographers argue as much as fans do about which it is) of Korel/Korelri/Fist (and we get another explanation why the place has so many names as well) has been discussed in hushed terms ever since Gardens of the Moon was published more than a decade ago, but curiously Korelri natives have been thin on the ground in the published novels and every character seems to have heard something different about what was going on there. Stonewielder clears all of this up, exposing secrets the Malazan Empire has been keeping about the place and the original invasion for some time. The first surprise is how small the place is: based on the map at the front of the book, it appears to be less than half the size of Quon Tali, itself a small landmass. Why hasn't the Malazan Empire outflanked and conquered it? As the book continues we learn why, and the frustrations of the Malazan high command become easier to understand.

 

Esslemont continues to develop and grow as a writer although, pleasingly, not in terms of word-count. Stonewielder is actually shorter than Return of the Crimson Guard and, whilst you'd never call a 620-pages-in-hardcover novel 'short', it's the shortest novel in the entire combined series bar only Night of Knives. At the same time it's as epic and vast as any of Erikson's novels, packing in a huge amount of story, major events and characters and still finding time for moments of comedy (Manask may now be my favourite Malazan comic character) and high tragedy. There's even some amusing metacommentary about fan discussions about the series: at one point two Malazan soldiers get into a discussion not about high philosophy, but about if the Malazans could beat the Seguleh in a stand-up fight, a discussion that feels like it's come right off the Malazanempire discussion boards.

 

Esslemont's characterisation is strong, stronger than his previous books, with characters like Suth (our resident new 'ordinary soldier' POV) set-up and well-motivated economically and skillfully, whilst Hiam, commander of the Stormwall, is an interesting character whose arc is full of pathos. Kyle, the callow youth soldier POV from Return of the Crimson Guard, has matured into a more interesting protagonist as well, whilst the Crimson Guard are more fully-rounded individuals this time, with better-established motivations. The action is also well-depicted, with both major land battles and naval engagements (featuring the occasionally-mentioned Moranth Blue doing some impressive things against the storied armada of Mare) showing that the Malazan Empire is still capable of kicking ass, even after its recent catastrophes.

 

On the weaker side of things, there is a lengthy subplot involving Kiska and a sojourn into the Warren of Shadow which is basically just set-up for future events (both in Esslemont's novels and possibly in The Crippled God and Erikson's planned Toblakai Trilogy as well). This section is well-written and features and the unexpected return of a fan-favourite character, but it lacks a defining climax.

 

Still, Stonewielder (****½) is both a gripping, bloat-free military fantasy which further illuminates and explores this intriguing world, and one of the strongest books in the series since the mighty Memories of Ice. The novel is available now in the UK and will be published in May 2011 in the USA.

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The Malazan Book of the Fallen #10: The Crippled God

 

A hundred and fifty thousand years ago an innocent god was pulled out of his home realm and scattered across the world. His spirit was chained to prevent him from destroying the world in his insane rage. Since then, the world has known misery and fear as, every few millennia, the Crippled God has tried to escape his prison.

 

The former 14th Army of the Malazan Empire, the Bonehunters, now marches to resolve the problem once and for all. But for Adjunct Tavore and her battered troops, who have already crossed a world and toppled an empire, this will be their greatest challenge. The heart of the Crippled God has been imprisoned by the formidable Forkrul Assail, the most lethal of the Elder Races, who are tapping its energies so they may pass judgement and destroy humanity once and for all. The Elder Gods are playing their own game, one that will either result in the destruction of everything or merely the annihilation of the warrens of sorcery. And amongst the Bonehunter's most stalwart allies, treachery and doubt is growing.

 

In a remote corner of a forgotten continent, the fate of the Crippled God and the entire world will be decided. Unthinkable alliances will be forged, ancient secrets will be unveiled and many will die before the end is reached and the Bonehunters fight the final battle of their desperate campaign.

 

The Crippled God is the final novel in The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson's monumental epic fantasy series that began twelve years, three and a half million words and 11,300 pages (roughly, in paperback) ago with Gardens of the Moon. In that time Erikson has reached the heights of writing two of the very finest fantasy novels of the last decade (Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice), but there has been some growing scepticism over later novels in the series, which have tended to open up more confusing storylines then closing down or clarifying old ones.

 

The Crippled God has been billed as the second half of Dust of Dreams, the previous novel, with Dreams described as all set-up and Crippled as all-resolution. That's something of an exaggeration: Erikson spends the first three hundred pages or so setting things up and clearing his throat rather than cutting to the chase, but at the same time that's less than some of the other books. We still get lengthy philosophical discussions between lowly grunts which are rather unconvincing, but frankly the people for whom that's a major problem will have dropped the series long ago. Fortunately Erikson is somewhat less obtuse in this novel than in any previous ones. On occasion he even resorts to - gasp! - actually telling us what the hell is going on. This new, more reader-friendly Erikson who respects traditional narrative techniques a bit more than previously takes a little getting used to, it has to be said.

 

The Crippled God is also the book that stands alone the least well out of the series, understandable as it picks up after a huge cliffhanger ending. Erikson seems to enjoy the fact that he doesn't need to do (by his standards) as much set-up as normal and throws in everything including the kitchen sink and the kitchen itself into the mix. Previews and author interviews suggested that quite a few storylines and character arcs from previous novels would not be addressed here, which is mostly focused on the Crippled God, Otataral Dragon, Jade Statue and Bonehunter arcs, so it's a surprise that as many characters and events from previous novels (including some of Esslemont's) show up as they do, and most of the few who don't are at least mentioned.

 

There's also a growing circularity to events. A reread of Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates before reading this one might be valuable, given the number of characters and events from the start of the series that are brought back into play here at the end (though events from quite a few other books, most notably The Bonehunters, are also heavily referenced). This appears to be Erikson's way of showing the readers that the Malazan series wasn't as incoherent and chaotic as it has often appeared, but there was a masterplan all along. He mostly pulls this off very well, with some storylines and characters which initially appeared very random now being revealed to be integral to the series.

 

Erikson's biggest success in The Crippled God is with avoiding the nihilism that has occasionally crept into previous books by emphasising the overriding theme of the Malazan series, which has always been compassion. Heroism and self-sacrifice, amongst common soldiers and gods alike, abounds in this book. Erikson pushes forward the message that true heroism is reached when it is performed unwitnessed (which recalls a line from Babylon 5: "Here, in the dark, where no-one will ever know.") with no singers or writers to celebrate it later. There is tragedy here, as each victory only comes at a tremendous cost, but less so than in earlier volumes. With everything on the table - the warrens, the gods, the world, humanity and ever other sentient being on the planet - the Bonehunters and their allies simply cannot afford to fail, even if it means crossing a desert of burning glass, facing down betrayal or forging alliances with old enemies, and Erikson has the reader rooting for them every step of the way.

 

His prose skills are as strong as ever, and in fact are strengthened by not having as much time to pontificate. There's a clarity to Erikson's writing here which is refreshing. There's still some knowing glaces, enigmatic pronouncements and other techniques apparently designed solely to drive fansites nuts for the next few years, but less than in prior books. Erikson's battle mojo is also back in full swing, with the engagements described with an appropriate amount of chaos and desperation.

 

Character-wise, Erikson is back to being a mixed bag. Some of the soldiers are ciphers but others come through very strongly (Silchas Ruin's motives and actions are a hell of a lot more comprehensible now). The Shake in particular are much-improved here. Ublala Pung serves as great comic relief, and, whilst they don't appear as such, the presence of both Tehol and Kruppe are felt, lending much-needed moments of sunshine amidst the darkness. Erikson's choice of which characters to build up in depth and which to skim over during the preceding nine books makes a lot more sense here as well, as it's some of the best-realised and most intriguing that bite the dust here. Characters die, and, mostly, it hurts when they go. If one in particular doesn't trigger at least a lower-lip tremble amongst most readers, I'd be shocked.

 

There are weaknesses. After all the set-up, the actual grand finale is appropriately epic (eclipsing even the gonzoid-insane conclusion to Dust of Dreams) and Erikson chainguns down a surprising number of still-unresolved storylines, more than I think most were expecting. At the same time a number of other side-stories are still not fully resolved (though most of these have already been earmarked down for Esslemont's novels and Erikson's future trilogies). Depending on the reader, this will be either okay or infuriating. More problematic is that we go from the grand convergence to end all grand convergences though the multiple epilogues to the final page in a very short space of time: there is little time spent on the aftermath and a few more mundane questions about what happened to certain characters are left unanswered. There is also the problem that, at two key points in the narrative, Erikson reaches outside the scope of The Crippled God to basically tap other characters from several books to do something vitally important to the resolution. It's not deus ex machina - it's all been set up quite well, in one case from nine books back - but it does feel a bit odd that everything comes down to relying on a character who is only in the novel for two pages.

 

There's also a fair amount of scene-setting for Esslemont's next few books (particularly the next one due later this year, set in Darujhistan after the events described in The Crippled God) which is a little incongruous, though it does feel good to know that the world and the saga will continue. Erikson resolves enough that a primary fear - that this is merely Book 10 in a 22-book series rather than a grand finale - is averted, but not enough so that there won't be some grumbling.

 

Particularly well-handled are the final events in the book. Some may accuse Erikson of sentimentality here - though he's never been as dark and nihilistic as say Bakker - as he gives a few characters some happy endings and closes the vast circle that began so long ago, but it is a fitting and affecting ending.

 

The Crippled God (****½) marks the end of this crazy, awesome, infuriating, awe-inspiring, frustrating series, but fortunately not the end of this crazy, awesome, infuriating, awe-inspiring but frustrating author's career. The Malazan Book of the Fallen bows out in fine style. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.

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I am almost finished with my Malazan re-read, and then I shall start The Crippled God. I am anticipating finishing Dust of Dreams by this weekend. Then, with great eagerness and anticipation of reading an excellent book with a satisfying conclusion to the series, I shall begin carefully reading Book 10 of the Malazan Books of the Fallen: The Crippled God.

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A couple of days ago, I finished The Crippled God.

 

Now this is the way that an epic fantasy series should end!!!!

This book was the perfect ending to the Malazan Books of the Fallen series. Erikson takes his time, like he always does, to get the action moving along and the various plotlines towards their endings. However, at about the halfway point through the book, I get the feeling that I am riding a savagely powerful bull named Bushwacker from the Professional Bull Riders in North America.

 

http://www.pbrnow.co...fm?bullid=12484

 

http://www.morenoliv..._Lasvega_nv.jpg

 

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At the halfway point of the book (approximinately), Erikson writes a stunningly awesome series of battles and character heroics for The Shake fighting to survive against the Tiste Liosan.

Then, we get to the heart of the book, and the near apocalyptic conclusion for the fate of The crippled god himself. Forkrul Assail with their enslaved human armies of Kolansii face off against the k'chain che'malle, human armies allied with the Adjunct and the Bonehunters, the Jaghut, the T'lan Imass with the heart of the crippled god the prize of this epic battle.

 

I have not even begun to talk about the otataral dragon and her fate after she is freed by a trio of elder gods. Needless to say, the fight for survival and the destruction that she wages is awesome... as well as what was done so that she could survive while at the same time preventing the ultimate chaos dragon, T'iamat from permanently emerging into the world.

Finally, the best scenes of the whole book is when the last remaining marines and regulars of the Bonehunters fight to defend the Crippled god as the Forkrul Assail and their Kolansii slave army go crazy with bloodlust to slaughter the Adjunct, the Bonehunters, and anyone standing in their way to reclaim the heart of the crippled god out of the newly animated body for that alien god.

Edited by Vambram

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I am making this post in response to a request by Vambram as to why I hated the Crippled God and the Malazan Series at large now since reading it. Part of this post was taken from a thread I started on the Malazan forum (shortly before I departed those shores). Those of you who wish to read more about the thread (which includes a hell of a lot of people disagreeing with me), can find Malazan Empire forum in the Crippled God section it's titled "Utterly Disappointed".

 

Please Beware There Are Spoilers for The Crippled God and Other books in the series in this post.

 

 

I know I'm probably going to get a lot of disagreement to this post but this is just my opinion and I felt compelled to write it.

 

Like many people on the forum I have very much looked forward to the release of The Crippled God to see how this epic series ends and where the twists and turns of the plot will eventually take the characters. I came in search of answers, of explanations, of closure. And for the great majority of the book I got absolutely none of it.

 

 

 

Most of the things I liked about the book were that the Shake storyline was quite well ended and I found myself far more drawn to the characters of Yan Tovis and Yeddan Derryg than in any previous book.

 

 

 

Among the things I hated about this book were:

 

* The much anticipated meeting between Ganoes and Tavore was pathetically short lasting a mere third of a page.

 

 

 

* Characters such as Karsa, Kruppe, Heboric, Cutter/Crokus and Apsalar were relegated to blink-and-you-miss-it parts, particularly in the case of the last 2.

 

 

 

* Other characters such as Leoman, Felisin Younger, Korbolo Dom and Mallick Rel and many others aren't even in the story at all. In fact the whole Seven Cities and Malaz City stories are simply forgotten. Maybe SE says that they are all finished but it really didn't seem that way to me, and it is an exceedingly disappointing end to so many interesting developments.

 

 

 

* Tavore and Ganoes again. Because Ganoes isn't given nearly enough time in the story. Somehow him and his army manage to magic their way to the other continent (yeah real convenient that) to eventually join with Tavore. But for a major character who's been away so long Ganoes isn't given nearly enough detail in the book and as far as I can make out we have no idea what the heck he's been doing between Bonehunters and The Crippled God.

 

 

 

And Tavore again because she has always been a character that could put the German enigma to shame (along with Quick Ben to some degree). But this is the end of the series I would have been nice to know what exactly was going on in her head instead of just more cryptic hints and clues. And we still don't even know for sure if she knows she killed her sister. Even Hood's not telling when asked he says 'irrelevant'. I felt like dropping a large heavy object on him after reading that.

 

 

Also Grub's character seemed to fizzle out but end of the book. We hear it's vital that he be protected and not die as he is the hope for the future. But he doesn't really do anything to justify that and we never really find out why he knows all that information that he shouldn't. Some people say he took command of the army and saved the day and blah blah blah. But all he really did was tell them to retreat. It's hardly the same as when Mat takes command of the Band, it's not even close.

 

For the series as a whole, things I hated were:

The way Characters died and came back to life then died again. Seriously what's the point of that? I liked characters like Toc the Younger and Tool but the two of them just continually dying then coming back then dying again then coming back again. What's the point of killing any characters off if half of them are going to come back a few pages later. Containe was another in that area. He was one of my favourite characters in the whole series (despite only appearing in 1 book.) But there was absolutely no point in killing him off then saying he's been reborn, and then never heard or seen again.

 

I also hated the way that SE seem to continually quickly kill off what I felt was the most interesting and well developed characters in the series. For example Coltaine, Felisin, Beak, Whiskeyjack Ceda Kuru Qan, The Bridgeburners as a whole. In favour of caracters like:

1. Tavore. I know she was going for the whole strong silent--got the weight of the world on my sholders and smiling is for normal people. And at first that was ok but after three books I just lost interest in whatever it was she was NOT saying or NOT doing. Ultimately it just made her flat and boring compared to her siblings, and that little outburst to Ganoes in the end of CG came way to late in the day. If SE wanted to do it that way it should have happened in Bonehunters or Reaper's Gale. I mean assuming it's Felisin she's referring to that all happaned 8 years and 6 books ago, that really mutes pretty much all of the emotional impact of that scene for me, there's been way too much water under the bridge since then

 

2. Kruppe. God I hate that guy soo much I'm not sure if I can even put it into words. Why the hell does a guy like that have a god looking out for him. He just talks for hours and hours nothing but utter nonsense going on for pages and pages. And you have to trawl through all that just to find ONE important sentence. That kind of thing got old very quickly for me, and those monologue style bits he has in Toll the Hounds made that the worst book of the entire series for me.

 

3. Karsa. I honestly don't understand the point of a character like Karsa in a series like that. I mean he's pretty much a "superman" character. Nothing can beat him, defeat him. kill him or stop him. We have all these other characters dying from single wounds and some in very meagre circumstances and he's able to defeat an entire army single-handed just becuase....well becuase.

 

 

I also didn't like the way comedy characters were seemingly immune to death. There was all this backbreaking tragedy throughout the whole series (was ALL of that really necessary?) but we had these comedy characters to lighten the mood (or at least I think that's what they were meant to do). But for 90 percent of the time it was like they were in a completely different book. Bad things hardly ever happened to them, they never died mostly becuase they had some gods or whoever on bodyguard duty, and tragedy just seemed to run off them like water from a duck's back. The closest to breaking this was when Tehol nearly died in Midnight Tides. But even then his manner doesn't change and he doesn't even seem that upset when he learns both his borthers are dead. Its as though the "Comedy Characters" are unable to do anything except comic relife. Possibly because then the tragedies in the rest of the books would spread to encompass the whole series.

 

I'm not trying to get into some massive argument. Nor do I consider myself a troll. I was not an absolutely devoted fan of the series. But I bought and read all of the books after reading books 2 and 3 of the Book of the Fallen, which were 2 of the greatest novels I had ever read at the time. I also very much liked books 1, 5, 6 and 9. But after reading the end of the Crippled God I just feel that the whole series is completely lost to me. And I take no pleasure in that knowledge because it has made me feel I have wasted all the years of my life I have spent reading it.

 

 

 

I curse the day I laid eyes upon the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

 

 

 

And I hope that the rest of you do not feel the same way.

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Other characters such as Leoman, Felisin Younger, Korbolo Dom and Mallick Rel and many others aren't even in the story at all. In fact the whole Seven Cities and Malaz City stories are simply forgotten. Maybe SE says that they are all finished but it really didn't seem that way to me, and it is an exceedingly disappointing end to so many interesting developments.

 

Containe was another in that area. He was one of my favourite characters in the whole series (despite only appearing in 1 book.) But there was absolutely no point in killing him off then saying he's been reborn, and then never heard or seen again.

 

You need to read Esselmont's books. "Return of the Crimson Guard" covers most of this. Dom, Rel, and Coltaine are all in it. Esselmont essentially picks up the Malaz Empire where Erikson leaves off and Return (and from what I understand Stonewielder) show you what happens to the Empire after the 14th leaves.

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First, I thank you for responding to my request.

Now, I shall reply to your post.

 

I am making this post in response to a request by Vambram as to why I hated the Crippled God and the Malazan Series at large now since reading it. Part of this post was taken from a thread I started on the Malazan forum (shortly before I departed those shores). Those of you who wish to read more about the thread (which includes a hell of a lot of people disagreeing with me), can find Malazan Empire forum in the Crippled God section it's titled "Utterly Disappointed".

 

Please Beware There Are Spoilers for The Crippled God and Other books in the series in this post.

 

 

I know I'm probably going to get a lot of disagreement to this post but this is just my opinion and I felt compelled to write it.

 

Like many people on the forum I have very much looked forward to the release of The Crippled God to see how this epic series ends and where the twists and turns of the plot will eventually take the characters. I came in search of answers, of explanations, of closure. And for the great majority of the book I got absolutely none of it.

 

 

 

Most of the things I liked about the book were that the Shake storyline was quite well ended and I found myself far more drawn to the characters of Yan Tovis and Yeddan Derryg than in any previous book.

 

The Shake storyline was very powerful and compelling in this last book. I agree. In Dust of Dreams, I was wondering what was the point for even having the Shake in the book, but in The Crippled God, the author satisfied my doubts concerning them.

 

 

Among the things I hated about this book were:

 

* The much anticipated meeting between Ganoes and Tavore was pathetically short lasting a mere third of a page.

 

 

To me, their reunion and the way that Erikson handled it was very appropriate. The only thing more I would have liked to see from the Parans would be in the Epilogue with a "what are they up to now?" segment like we had for Fiddler.

 

 

* Characters such as Karsa, Kruppe, Heboric, Cutter/Crokus and Apsalar were relegated to blink-and-you-miss-it parts, particularly in the case of the last 2.

 

I would have also liked to see more of them in this last book. However, you cannot deny that Karsa, Kruppe, and Heboric played very important roles in The Crippled God.

 

 

* Other characters such as Leoman, Felisin Younger, Korbolo Dom and Mallick Rel and many others aren't even in the story at all. In fact the whole Seven Cities and Malaz City stories are simply forgotten. Maybe SE says that they are all finished but it really didn't seem that way to me, and it is an exceedingly disappointing end to so many interesting developments.

 

Personally, I don't care whether or not those four characters are in any of the rest of the Malazan books that are yet to be written.

 

 

 

 

* Tavore and Ganoes again. Because Ganoes isn't given nearly enough time in the story. Somehow him and his army manage to magic their way to the other continent (yeah real convenient that) to eventually join with Tavore. But for a major character who's been away so long Ganoes isn't given nearly enough detail in the book and as far as I can make out we have no idea what the heck he's been doing between Bonehunters and The Crippled God.

 

 

I disagree, and perhaps you ought t read again the parts in this book that features High Fist and Master of the Deck Paran. Please remember, that as the Master of the Deck, he could literally create gateways into warrens big enough for large amounts of soldiers to travel. Ganoes and his army played extremely key roles in stopping the Forkrul Assail and the Kolansii armies.

 

 

And Tavore again because she has always been a character that could put the German enigma to shame (along with Quick Ben to some degree). But this is the end of the series I would have been nice to know what exactly was going on in her head instead of just more cryptic hints and clues. And we still don't even know for sure if she knows she killed her sister. Even Hood's not telling when asked he says 'irrelevant'. I felt like dropping a large heavy object on him after reading that.

 

In this last book, we actually did get a good look at what was going on in Tavore's head. Look back at when she was confiding in private with Fiddler, Banaschar, the Fists, and the Captains of the Bonehunters there in The Crippled God. Again, look at what she said to the regulars of the Bonehunters as they prepared to make their last stand against the Forkrul Assail and the Kolansii army.

Finally, when she told Ganoes, "I couldn't save her," I believe it is very clear that she is talking about her sister, and that she knows it was Felisin whom she killed.

 

 

Also Grub's character seemed to fizzle out but end of the book. We hear it's vital that he be protected and not die as he is the hope for the future. But he doesn't really do anything to justify that and we never really find out why he knows all that information that he shouldn't. Some people say he took command of the army and saved the day and blah blah blah. But all he really did was tell them to retreat. It's hardly the same as when Mat takes command of the Band, it's not even close.

 

I will agree with you about Grub. I wish who and what he was could have been explained much better.

 

 

 

For the series as a whole, things I hated were:

The way Characters died and came back to life then died again. Seriously what's the point of that? I liked characters like Toc the Younger and Tool but the two of them just continually dying then coming back then dying again then coming back again. What's the point of killing any characters off if half of them are going to come back a few pages later. Containe was another in that area. He was one of my favourite characters in the whole series (despite only appearing in 1 book.) But there was absolutely no point in killing him off then saying he's been reborn, and then never heard or seen again.

 

I also hated the way that SE seem to continually quickly kill off what I felt was the most interesting and well developed characters in the series. For example Coltaine, Felisin, Beak, Whiskeyjack Ceda Kuru Qan, The Bridgeburners as a whole.

 

Erikson brought back characters whom are dead, and whom were dead in order to show that death is not necessarily THE end. Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners ascended and after Hood, the Lord of Death, abdicated his godhood, then you saw just how very important that Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners still were to the story.

 

 

In favour of caracters like:

1. Tavore. I know she was going for the whole strong silent--got the weight of the world on my sholders and smiling is for normal people. And at first that was ok but after three books I just lost interest in whatever it was she was NOT saying or NOT doing. Ultimately it just made her flat and boring compared to her siblings, and that little outburst to Ganoes in the end of CG came way to late in the day. If SE wanted to do it that way it should have happened in Bonehunters or Reaper's Gale. I mean assuming it's Felisin she's referring to that all happaned 8 years and 6 books ago, that really mutes pretty much all of the emotional impact of that scene for me, there's been way too much water under the bridge since then

 

To me, it was The Crippled God that finally allowed me to understand and even like Tavore. Before this novel, she and her motives were almost like a blank slate.

 

 

2. Kruppe. God I hate that guy soo much I'm not sure if I can even put it into words. Why the hell does a guy like that have a god looking out for him. He just talks for hours and hours nothing but utter nonsense going on for pages and pages. And you have to trawl through all that just to find ONE important sentence. That kind of thing got old very quickly for me, and those monologue style bits he has in Toll the Hounds made that the worst book of the entire series for me.

 

Fans of MBotF either love Kruppe, or they hate him. I am in the camp who loves Kruppe. To me, he was always a welcome bit of humor, and when Quick Ben as well as K'Rul both put huge amount of stock in Kruppe's intelligence and trustworthiness, that made me like Kruppe even more than just as comic relief.

 

 

3. Karsa. I honestly don't understand the point of a character like Karsa in a series like that. I mean he's pretty much a "superman" character. Nothing can beat him, defeat him. kill him or stop him. We have all these other characters dying from single wounds and some in very meagre circumstances and he's able to defeat an entire army single-handed just becuase....well becuase.

 

Karsa Orlong had a HUGE impact in the series. He was pivotal in more than just a couple of books. To me, he was my third favorite character next to Fiddler and Ganos Paran. And where did Karsa defeat an entire army by himself? I don't recall that happening in the books at all.

 

I also didn't like the way comedy characters were seemingly immune to death. There was all this backbreaking tragedy throughout the whole series (was ALL of that really necessary?) but we had these comedy characters to lighten the mood (or at least I think that's what they were meant to do). But for 90 percent of the time it was like they were in a completely different book. Bad things hardly ever happened to them, they never died mostly becuase they had some gods or whoever on bodyguard duty, and tragedy just seemed to run off them like water from a duck's back. The closest to breaking this was when Tehol nearly died in Midnight Tides. But even then his manner doesn't change and he doesn't even seem that upset when he learns both his borthers are dead. Its as though the "Comedy Characters" are unable to do anything except comic relife. Possibly because then the tragedies in the rest of the books would spread to encompass the whole series.

 

I'm not trying to get into some massive argument. Nor do I consider myself a troll. I was not an absolutely devoted fan of the series. But I bought and read all of the books after reading books 2 and 3 of the Book of the Fallen, which were 2 of the greatest novels I had ever read at the time. I also very much liked books 1, 5, 6 and 9. But after reading the end of the Crippled God I just feel that the whole series is completely lost to me. And I take no pleasure in that knowledge because it has made me feel I have wasted all the years of my life I have spent reading it.

 

 

 

I curse the day I laid eyes upon the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

 

 

And I hope that the rest of you do not feel the same way.

 

 

The Malazan Book of the Fallen is my second favorite series of all time. I have read nearly a thousand novels, and the only series I like better than MBotF is the Wheel of Time series.

 

 

 

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The Malazan Book of the Fallen is my second favorite series of all time. I have read nearly a thousand novels, and the only series I like better than MBotF is the Wheel of Time series.

 

Huh ok. Well at least we can agree that WoT is better. I've no idea how many books I've read cause I don't keep count. Though (no offense) but I find it interesting that you hold TMBOTF in such high regard yet think WoT is better because the majority of people on the Malazan forum seemed to hate WoT. The only series I like as much as WoT is A Song of Ice and Fire, though I'm hoping I can add The Kingkiller Chronicles when the next book comes out.

Edited by SingleMort

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Most of the things I liked about the book were that the Shake storyline was quite well ended and I found myself far more drawn to the characters of Yan Tovis and Yeddan Derryg than in any previous book.

 

The Shake storyline was very powerful and compelling in this last book. I agree. In Dust of Dreams, I was wondering what was the point for even having the Shake in the book, but in The Crippled God, the author satisfied my doubts concerning them.

I still don't really see the point in having them. It was a fine storyline in its own right, but didn't really connect to anything else in the book. So why was it in the book?

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I skipped to the end of this thread because I wanted to avoid spoilers. I love WoT, but found GRRM boring. I have tried 3 times to get through the first in the series, and I just don't like any of the characters, so end up not caring what happens to any of them.

I bought Gardens Of The Moon because I love Stephen Donaldson's work, and he recommended it. I tried to get into it, but failed.

So based on that, should I give it another go?

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I skipped to the end of this thread because I wanted to avoid spoilers. I love WoT, but found GRRM boring. I have tried 3 times to get through the first in the series, and I just don't like any of the characters, so end up not caring what happens to any of them.

I bought Gardens Of The Moon because I love Stephen Donaldson's work, and he recommended it. I tried to get into it, but failed.

So based on that, should I give it another go?

 

Yes. You might have to force your way through the first 200-250 pages but after that you won't look back, and by the end of the first book you won't regret it. The second book is much easier to get into then the first, but I wouldn't exactly suggest skipping to it. But yes, give it another go. I started and stopped on GotM three times before I made it through. By the time you get to Darujhistan he'll have you.

Edited by Kadere

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i second this!! ASoF&I is one of those series where its a slow start but hooks you half way through the first book. try to make it to Kings Cross; if the book doesn't have you hooked by then, you probably can safely say it wont have you hooks at all *nods*

 

 

kinda like with me for the WoT. it took them getting to Shadar Logoth in EotW before i got hooked on the series *grins*

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I think one of the problems is that I am so invested in both WoT and The Thomas Covenant books, and have been for so long, that I find it hard to bring another one on board. Saying that, I tore through Mistborn and a few other series. I feel like the odd one out for not liking GRRMs stuff. I really want to like it...but I just dont.

Still, I will give Gardens Of The Moon another go, and maybe wait a year or so before trying GRRM again.

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Reeve, you are not the only one around here whom is not a fan of ASoIaF. I know many WOT fans think highly of GRRM's fantasy novels. But even though I though I read the first four books, I would not place those books anywhere NEAR my personal TOP 10 fantasy series of all time. On the other hand, with my highest possible recommendations, I urge you to read the Malazan Books of the Fallen. If you enjoy the WOT, and if you don't mind it too much if an author waits seemingly forever to explain the mysteries in his characters and plots, and if you enjoy powerful magics, great battles, and unforgettable characters, then the Malazan Books of the Fallen are for you, Reeve.

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Reeve, you are not the only one around here whom is not a fan of ASoIaF. I know many WOT fans think highly of GRRM's fantasy novels. But even though I though I read the first four books, I would not place those books anywhere NEAR my personal TOP 10 fantasy series of all time. On the other hand, with my highest possible recommendations, I urge you to read the Malazan Books of the Fallen. If you enjoy the WOT, and if you don't mind it too much if an author waits seemingly forever to explain the mysteries in his characters and plots, and if you enjoy powerful magics, great battles, and unforgettable characters, then the Malazan Books of the Fallen are for you, Reeve.

 

Would be interested to see, what would the top ten include before ASoIaF in your opinion?

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Reeve, you are not the only one around here whom is not a fan of ASoIaF. I know many WOT fans think highly of GRRM's fantasy novels. But even though I though I read the first four books, I would not place those books anywhere NEAR my personal TOP 10 fantasy series of all time. On the other hand, with my highest possible recommendations, I urge you to read the Malazan Books of the Fallen. If you enjoy the WOT, and if you don't mind it too much if an author waits seemingly forever to explain the mysteries in his characters and plots, and if you enjoy powerful magics, great battles, and unforgettable characters, then the Malazan Books of the Fallen are for you, Reeve.

 

Would be interested to see, what would the top ten include before ASoIaF in your opinion?

 

 

My personal favorite Top Ten fantasy series of all time

 

 

1. The Wheel of Time

 

2. The Malazan Books of the Fallen

 

3. The Death Gate Cycle by Margret Weis and Tracey Hickman

 

4. the Shannara books from The Sword of Shannara all the way through The Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks

 

5. the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist

 

6. The Serpentwar Saga by Raymond Feist

 

7. The Last of the Renshai Trilogy and The Renshai Chronicles by Mickey Zucker Reichert.

 

8. The Icewind Dale Trilogy, The Legacy of the Drow series, and The Hunter's Blade Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore

 

9. The Dragonlance Chronicles and The Dragonlance Legends

 

10. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

 

 

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Finished Bonehunters (Loved it) But I'm stuck. Heard the Reaper's Gale is depressing, not the plot as such, but the events.

Hope to God somebody gives a different opinion so that I find some inspiration to pick up the book.

So did a detour and am reading Night of Knives. Hoping to start RG in a couple of days though.

Also the timeline issue, I may not get it full as I'm still at 6-7. The Bridgeburners live in Darujistan for years before we meet Paran in Book 6.

Somewhere the timeline was mentioned as : 23rd year of Laseen's rule.

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Finished Bonehunters (Loved it) But I'm stuck. Heard the Reaper's Gale is depressing, not the plot as such, but the events.

Hope to God somebody gives a different opinion so that I find some inspiration to pick up the book.

So did a detour and am reading Night of Knives. Hoping to start RG in a couple of days though.

Also the timeline issue, I may not get it full as I'm still at 6-7. The Bridgeburners live in Darujistan for years before we meet Paran in Book 6.

Somewhere the timeline was mentioned as : 23rd year of Laseen's rule.

 

 

To me, The Reaper's Gale was NOT a depressing book. In fact, I enjoyed reading it very, very much.

 

Night of Knives is also an excellent book.

 

 

 

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I tried to start this series about a year ago and didn't make it through the first book, but I think I am going to have to give this series another shot.

 

I think the fact that it started out by throwing you right in the middle of things and not really knowing what was going on and not really getting proper introductions to the characters made it hard for me to get into.

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The characters as well as the book are a trial at the start. But its really worth it if you can make yourself go thorugh the first book. It gets easier from the 2nd book onwards. Then you may very well love it

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I just recently completed the second book, and I am now reading the third. Good stuff. The first is good too once you get into it and straighten out who is who and stuff like that. I had trouble putting the second book down it was so good. A lot of new characters(most of them, actually)and completetey different setting and storyline. The third is just as good but is back with the orignal set of characters for the most part. I guess the events in book 2 and 3 are happening at the same time. Just read it and enjoy. It is definitely worth it.

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The real value of this series is in the payoff--both in each of the books, but even more so in the overall series. People complain about the elements unanswered, but the answered elements--they aren't what you're expecting, but they ARE awesome!

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