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Other => The Reading Lounge => Topic started by: caster on November 28, 2009, 09:25:46 am



Title: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on November 28, 2009, 09:25:46 am
I just started reading them and im past half of the first "Gardens of the Moon".

So far its not bad at all. Its High fantasy with realistic bend to it.

The story of the first book revolves about old Emperor being killed and replaced with Empress who, while continuing to wage wars on different independent cities also attempts to kill off all former Emperor armies and key personnel in them.
Which seems kind of stupid and im hoping by the end it will be revealed it isnt so simple.

A few survivors of Fifth army called The Bridgeburners decide to turn the game against the Empress, led by  former general and now sergeant Whiskyjack. His companions are a former Claw (uber assassins of the Empire), a wizard named Quick Ben (has very interesting past) and few soldiers, healer and a young girl named Sorry who is actually being taken over by one of the Gods. But there are also Elder races in the play: Tiste Andu and their Lord  Anomander Rake, a warrior mage of great Elder power, floating on their small Moon from besieged city to besieged city, warring against the Empire; Tlan Imass an undead army working for the Empire and the Gods themselves using them all in their own duels.

Gods are in fact very powerful beings who ascended to new levels of power, some probably human once.
In this book the God conflict is between the Twins who govern luck and chance and God of Assassins and shadows.

The story is action packed, unbelievable magics are wielded constantly, demons are let loose on armies, there is a mage that escaped death by transferring his soul into a puppet which drives him insane and is turning him into one of the major dangers for everyone, etc etc.
Its all very bloody and grim and cruel even though its really, really fantastic.

Good enough to waste time on until "A dance with dragons" finally comes out.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Nehan on November 28, 2009, 10:43:29 am
It's one of my favourite book series. While it's full of magic, the setting is amazing and described thoroughly over thousands of years. The debut book is, well, debut - the whole world isn't that colourful and the writing is a bit sloppy at times. However, the second one 'gates of the house of the dead' is bloody fantastic.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: arem on November 28, 2009, 11:08:03 am
One of most boring fantasy book series I have ever read.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on November 28, 2009, 11:47:22 am
Thank you for that enlightening comment.
How about you explain why exactly and give some examples of ones you liked better in contrast?


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on November 29, 2009, 07:58:25 am
One of most boring fantasy book series I have ever read.

Idiot.  Seriously.  This series is complex and action packed.  Go read the Bourne books or something (Ok those were ok too, but you get the idea) you tool.  Ok..I'm a harsh fucker..just got home...


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 07, 2009, 06:42:04 pm
Finished the first one.
Moderately satisfied. mostly because of a few good characters such as Whiskyjack and his crew of malcontents, fishermen, road repairman or occasional bodyguards at noble parties.

Deep into second one now,..
Some further tangible reasons were provided for Empress decision to basically kill off most of hard core ex Emperor troops but it still seems a very rash move.

This one moves the story onto the territory of once free Seven cities that rebel against the empire. Basically a desert type, tribe - nomadic culture led by a female prophet.

The event itself is actually a convergence of several power plays on higher godlike levels, and prophet and her unleashed apocalypse play only a part in it.
Vast slaughters happen when rebelled population and various desert warriors burn and sack the cities killing any Malazan people there.  

Only in one city a Malazan newly appointed Fist manages to resist attacks and even save about forty thousand people and escape into desert
Then a long great trip begins where they not only retreat but constantly fight all the tribes and holy warriors at their heels, even inflicting loses, winning battles.

- which was all done in a very convincing way.

On the other hand, again, hilariously good small group of soldiers teaming with some other characters forced by events... have a... great part. :)
Different characters this time, the crazy bastards all three of them, Corporal Gesler (role of the life for Hugh Jackman) and soldiers Truth and Stormy. I cant escape the feeling of Night watch in them :D
They kinda all barely escape with their lives with a boat after much troubles and near death experiences and storm of sorcery (caused by a mage being overwhelmed by magic power in the battles all around) following them around on the sea for days.
With the overtaken mage still often visible in the clouds of unleashed raw power (actually a mages warren escaping his control and spilling all around into the world) - as a burned puppet trashing in the vortex.

Then they sink just before an old boat just standing there in some weird sludge on the ocean.
Then they go on a more interesting journey.
But, that deserves to be read. :)


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 08, 2009, 02:56:31 am
Keep reading man.  Great books, still can't believe I haven't got the newest one (Book 8 or 9?) but I have so many book backlogs and it came out in the UK first which is a bitch on shipping costs...good stuff.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 08, 2009, 09:14:15 am
I like the Doggies.
;D

And the writer has some proper goddamn respect for Engineers.
Great, great miniature woven into the story.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 08, 2009, 10:58:29 am
Yeah he was an archeologist I believe, so makes sense.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Gareth on December 08, 2009, 12:42:53 pm
Fantastic, fantastic series. Also, to echo :

Quote
The debut book is, well, debut - the whole world isn't that colourful and the writing is a bit sloppy at times. However, the second one 'gates of the house of the dead' is bloody fantastic.

Totally lurved 'Deadhouse Gates'.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 09, 2009, 08:17:16 am
Finished it.

Does this story continues in other books in any way?
Things are left somewhat unfinished in regards to Apocalypse and new "reborn" Felisin. And pretty suddenly too.

And i quite liked the concept of Divers and Soletaken.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 09, 2009, 10:50:23 am
The main story arc is basically continued in all of the books, although in one book (Im not good with names...) they are on a totally new story...that merges with the main in the next book...man I really need to go order the new book now.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 09, 2009, 11:01:12 am
I meant specifically what happens with the prophet and the holy war and stuff.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 09, 2009, 01:16:38 pm
I meant specifically what happens with the prophet and the holy war and stuff.
That's continued in House of Chains (book 4). The third book, Memories of Ice, takes you back to the Genabackis continent where the first book took place. Both MoI and HoC are awesome.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 09, 2009, 01:30:39 pm
Ok, great. Ive started reading the third but i may skip onto fourth directly.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 09, 2009, 01:51:02 pm
Ok, great. Ive started reading the third but i may skip onto fourth directly.

I dunno, I think the series works well in the order it was written. It's been some time since I read the early books but jumping straight to the fourth one might spoil a lot of stuff from book 3.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Nehan on December 09, 2009, 05:04:21 pm
Fantastic, fantastic series. Also, to echo :

Quote
The debut book is, well, debut - the whole world isn't that colourful and the writing is a bit sloppy at times. However, the second one 'gates of the house of the dead' is bloody fantastic.

Totally lurved 'Deadhouse Gates'.
oh snap. that's what happens when you read in your own language :salute:

anyway, the sixth part ("Bonehunters") is definitely my favourite. the whole action
(click to show/hide)
as to the main story arcs:
genabackis 1st->3rd->8th
seven cities 2nd->4th->6th
5th and 7th in Lether - I consider it to be the worst  plotline, but the dialogues between Tehol and Bugg absolutely save the books.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 10, 2009, 10:04:33 am
Yeah I think they flow pretty well, but I have a crazy memory.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 10, 2009, 10:18:55 am
Ive hit some of those spoilers. Hood`s leathery balls... that was not an easy piece of news to take.
But again, they seed a curiosity in me that will pull me back to the third one.
Its just that this whole thing about seven cities, Chain of Dogs, Coltaine, Duiker and Gesler and his crew was too damn interesting not to follow.

Which was not an easy thing to pull off after first two books.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 11, 2009, 08:12:52 am
Yep, that's why this mofo is on my top 5 list easily.  Complexity AND entertaining? Craziness I say.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: suibhne on December 11, 2009, 02:20:16 pm
How many of these books are there? Looks like at least nine so far... Is the series complete? I sometimes prefer to wait till something's pretty much finished before I dive in.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 11, 2009, 02:25:23 pm
How many of these books are there? Looks like at least nine so far... Is the series complete? I sometimes prefer to wait till something's pretty much finished before I dive in.

The next volume, The Crippled God, is the final one. Erikson's been churning these doorstoppers out on an annual basis, which is quite astonishing considering the scope of the project. His friend Ian Cameron Esslemont is writing another series (the first book of which is called The Return of the Crimson Guard) that tells what's happening elsewhere in the Malazan world.

 


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Nehan on December 11, 2009, 03:00:30 pm
The ninth is out already? damn, I wonder when it'll be published in Poland.

the last one was veeeery slow up to the ending, which was brutally awesome.

(click to show/hide)


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: dx__ on December 15, 2009, 12:10:53 am
This is a series of books I keep meaning to read. I finished reading the Prince of Nothing trilogy a few months back, and have heard that if I enjoyed that series, I'd love the Malazan books. I was also told that I should drop reading Martin's song books, and go to Malazan. What do you think? Is it worth it? Do they compare well? I loved the PoN novels (except for the ending of the third book... I didn't like that one so much) and the Song books (the first three, though it's losing its appeal the deeper I get), so I'm wondering (I'm low on cash, and I need to figure out my Christmas books this year) if I should grab it.

Edit: Fixed it. I didn't like the way I wrote the original post. It didn't read well, I found.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 15, 2009, 02:36:26 am
You shouldn't drop Martin if you're still reading the fourth book. Opinions on the quality of the three authors vary: some people hate Erikson and consider him to be a glorified Forgotten Realms novelist, others think Martin is the only competent author of the bunch etc. etc. I like them all for different reasons.

Malaz is very different in style to Bakker or Martin. It's like a high-level D&D campaign novel series, only with a good, extremely complex plotline and the most detailed and massive setting in epic fantasy. Erikson also has a vast imagination that is able to come up with very cool and creative concepts. Definitely give it a chance when you're done with ASoIaF.

Oh, and the first sequel to Prince of Nothing is out. It's called The Judging Eye. The overall reception has been rather lukewarm but I liked it very much. The plot doesn't make much progress but Bakker writes fascinating characters and developes his ideas further.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 15, 2009, 06:56:51 am
I hate bakker series, i find them totally unconvincing and very cheap.



Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 15, 2009, 07:20:06 am
Cheap? What do you mean?


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 15, 2009, 09:58:10 am
I also like Bakkar, or whatever his name is, and isnt there a new book on that?  I think there's 4 in that world setting now?  I could be wrong.  If there is a new one I read it though...



Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 15, 2009, 11:08:45 am
Quote
Cheap? What do you mean?
Well, setting aside obvious rehashing of Dune-crusadewars-bit of Tolkien theme mix i find his main protagonists are just a bunch of posers.
Especially the main character the almighty himself.
And the way he interacts with others and their reactions to him are infuriating.

The guys strolls in, says something more or less irrelevant and everyone bends over immediately. Women, men, children, goats.. makes no difference.
He is supposed to be someone who can influence others right?
Well his lines and their reactions make no sense whatsoever.

Which is especially obvious in his dealings with women  in the story.
He never says anything that would cause their reaction in a believable or even realistic way.

It goes like this:
He says something to some girl.
She then starts thinking and comes to completely unrelated conclusions that have nothing to do with what he just said and those conclusions are that she madly loves him and wants to have his babies.
Men do the same except they dont spread their legs immediately.
Its complete bollocks.

And he gets everything served to him by the writer himself, which is something i cannot stand.



Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: SnallTrippin on December 16, 2009, 08:10:57 am
I'd say your only half right and that you just have to BELIEVE that he knows these things and that manipulating people is that easy for him.  I don't see it as that far a stretch myself.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: dx__ on December 16, 2009, 03:23:30 pm
You shouldn't drop Martin if you're still reading the fourth book. Opinions on the quality of the three authors vary: some people hate Erikson and consider him to be a glorified Forgotten Realms novelist, others think Martin is the only competent author of the bunch etc. etc. I like them all for different reasons.

Malaz is very different in style to Bakker or Martin. It's like a high-level D&D campaign novel series, only with a good, extremely complex plotline and the most detailed and massive setting in epic fantasy. Erikson also has a vast imagination that is able to come up with very cool and creative concepts. Definitely give it a chance when you're done with ASoIaF.

Oh, and the first sequel to Prince of Nothing is out. It's called The Judging Eye. The overall reception has been rather lukewarm but I liked it very much. The plot doesn't make much progress but Bakker writes fascinating characters and developes his ideas further.

Well, I'll give the first three books a try, then. *cough* But... what's wrong with being a Forgotten Realms novelist?  :(


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Tuomas on December 16, 2009, 03:32:32 pm
Well, I'll give the first three books a try, then. *cough* But... what's wrong with being a Forgotten Realms novelist?  :(

The first one isn't that great but books two and three are excellent. As for Forgotten Realms, there's nothing wrong with it in theory, but most of the stuff just is below mediocre quality.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 17, 2009, 03:48:31 am
Whatever!

I would trade all of that bullshit for this anyway, anytime:

"
Coltaine, his face gaunt and lined with exhaustion, strode down to where Duiker, Nether and Gesler waited near the awning. Behind the Fist came Bult, captains Lull and Sulmar, Corporal List and the warlocks Sormo and Nil.

/'Hood's breath!' Lull swung to Coltaine. 'Fist, we've got two of the Emperor's Old Guard here… as Coastal Marines.'
'It was a quiet posting, sir, until the uprising, anyway.'

Bult snorted. Captain Lull's scowl deepened. 'Where—oh, don't bother.' He addressed Gesler again. 'As for you and Stormy—'
'If you promote us, sir, I will punch you in what's left of your face.

And Stormy will likely kick you while you're down. Sir.' Gesler then smiled.
Bult pushed past Lull and stood face to face with the corporal, their noses almost touching. 'And, Corporal,' the commander hissed, 'would you punch me as well?'
Gesler's smile did not waver. 'Yes, sir. And Hood take me, I'll give the Fist's crack-thong a yank too, if you ask sweetly.'
There was a moment of dead silence.

"
 :)



Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: dx__ on December 20, 2009, 09:20:02 pm
Well, I'll give the first three books a try, then. *cough* But... what's wrong with being a Forgotten Realms novelist?  :(

The first one isn't that great but books two and three are excellent. As for Forgotten Realms, there's nothing wrong with it in theory, but most of the stuff just is below mediocre quality.

Don't worry. I've heard my fair share of criticism for being an R.A. Salvatore fan. Yes, Drizzt is a Mary-Sue, but it's easy reading, and fun to read on a boring afternoon.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: caster on December 21, 2009, 12:51:38 pm
There must be some other threads where you can talk about that, so please, kindly take it there.



Im close to finishing the sixth book "Bonehunters", following the Seven cities tale.
Things are getting satisfactorily complicated again, and the whole lore has a sensible progression in most cases. Im not finding all the strands difficult to folow at all, which was often mentioned in critiques i found of the books.

Sure its a little wider but not something hard in any way.
Out of a lot of things you could talk about in these books i find his handling of the undead theme really good.
Tlan Imass most of all, even though there are many other "undead" as such.

I cant recall any story where undead were given so much sense and reason, motivation to their "behavior" as in this case. He created something new out of the... very old, heh.
And he seems to be doing equally good job out of other older races too. Wonder what the Forkrul Assail will be like... :)

Im not that much into whole Tiste thing though, Anomander Rake and his huge sword just create unwelcome images of Anime characters.

But on the other hand there are always Doggies.
>And even more Doggies who are even worse, naturally.
There was this beautiful scene of them hunting a Divers seven bodied demon... what a pleasure to read.

I found description of how those first Doggies actually adopted early tribes of humans and raised them really funny in the context of their whole story. And their shadows.  >:D




Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Moose_and_Squirrel on February 07, 2010, 12:42:15 pm
You shouldn't drop Martin if you're still reading the fourth book...Malaz is very different in style to Bakker or Martin. It's like a high-level D&D campaign novel series, only with a good, extremely complex plotline and the most detailed and massive setting in epic fantasy. Erikson also has a vast imagination that is able to come up with very cool and creative concepts.
I switched from Martin to Erikson, mostly because I got tired of waiting for Martin to write (He sure takes his time, doesn't he?).

I agree that his stories are like D&D campaigns.  He's admitted as much, hasn't he?  Erikson is a veteran P&P RPGer, and his books are based on those adventures.  And it shows.  For instance, "high-level" individuals ascend to god status.  Or they refuse to ascend and "retire" somewhere.  In one of his books, a god wanders into the wrong house and gets his ass kicked by the homeowner, an unheard of mortal.

I'm a big fan of Erikson's imagination and sense of humor.  His books work due to his fascination with fantasy-adventure role play.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Max Roguespierre on September 29, 2018, 05:41:56 pm
I recently decided to read Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

After wading into the first two hundred pages of Gardens of the Moon, for the time being I am shelving the series. (I may pick it up again at some future date but for now I am moving on to trying N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth and Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.)

As far as Gardens of the Moon, it's not a horrid or even an especially poor read, it just isn't compelling. As far as I could tell there is something of a story trying to get out of the writer's tortured prose. Unfortunately, Erikson provides little depth to his characters in the early chapters (presumably to preserve dramatic tension later in the story). This then makes it appear that the author is not quite equal to the task of world-building while also creating interesting characters in an engaging narrative.

Had I known that Gardens of the Moon is the first novel that Erikson has written, I might have persisted with it to the end because there are aspects of it that show promise. The world-building stands out with an intriguing, multi-dimensional, magic system that is really what kept me uncertain about putting the book down.

Oh well... the backlog of my reading list is still plenty long.   

 


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Mosely on November 04, 2018, 09:24:30 pm
First off, I know how ridiculous this is going to sound, but trust me on this. If you can get through the first book and half of the second book, then you are in for an amazing series. The first 1200 pages are not the strongest you will ever read; though GotM does have a strong ending, and there are some good parts in the first half Deadhouse Gates that make it just bearable. However, once you get past those, you get a ton of great characters and stories. 

I completely understand those that have other things to read first that are more immediately entertaining, but if you are looking for a series to last you a long while that doesn't lose steam towards the end, I highly recommend this one.


Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Gareth on November 26, 2018, 01:12:40 am
Gardens of the Moon was a slog, completely understand people who gave up midway through that book.

And I particularly hated Anomander Rake, he's as bad as Drizzt, for the same reason - feels like a teenager's first DnD character, an angsty, edgy "dark" badass with a cool magic sword. Bleaugh.

BUT.

Deadhouse Gates was a joy, particularly the second half. And from that point, the series is great. (Rake continues to annoy me every time he appears in later books, though thankfully that is only intermittently. You can go whole books without him).



Title: Re: Malazan Empire books : Steven Erikson
Post by: Max Roguespierre on January 01, 2019, 08:21:27 pm
Thank you for the encouraging feedback Gareth and Mosely.

Thanks in part to your input, I ended up circling back and finishing Gardens of the Moon.

My appreciation for the novel definitely improved this time around. Enough so that I am now moving on to Deadhouse Gates.

I don't necessarily think that the writing in Gardens of the Moon noticeably improves after the first two hundred pages or so. Rather, the characters, and through them the narrative, began to engage my imagination after a number of passes. I believe that my initial difficulties with immersion were not primarily due to stylistic and narrative coherence (as problematical as they occasionally are) but rather to the way characters are established - or, more to the point, are not established - by the author.

Incidentally, Gareth, I suspect that Anomander Rake and his uber sword are more likely to have been modeled on Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone than Drizzt (though, truth to admit, my experience with the latter is limited to computer games and random snippets from the Internet).