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 Post subject: Malazan
PostPosted: February 1st, 2009, 10:34 am 

Joined: May 30th, 2007, 1:51 pm
Posts: 40
I'm surprised no one has brought up Erickson's Malazan series. It's a planned 10 book series (up to book 8 so far) which I think is some of the best fantasy out there today. It's basically a big series with enough warring empires, soldiers, assassins, demigods, dragons to make your head spin, but it all works in a good way. Also has a fairly magic system. Book 1 is Gardens of the moon, which can be somewhat slow to get into but picks up near the end. Book 2 (Deadhouse Gates) and book 3 (memories of ice) are probably two of the best fantasy books ive ever read. The rest of the books in the series are also great. I'd compare the series very favorably to a song of ice and fire, except erickson publishes about 1 book a year vs. martins 1 every 6 or so.
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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: May 21st, 2009, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: May 30th, 2007, 10:48 am
Posts: 444
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
I've been trying to start this but am honestly having a hard time getting through even the first few pages of Garden's of the Moon. It just seems so horribly convoluted. Do I just need to push on, or is the whole series like that? It seems like every other page has introduced a new element without any explanation of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: May 21st, 2009, 10:09 pm 

Joined: May 30th, 2007, 1:51 pm
Posts: 40
Gardens of the moon is by far the hardest book in the series to follow and the least well written of the series. It's definitely worth it to stay with the series though. Books 2 and 3 are some of the best fantasy books ive ever read. A lot of the concepts in the series are explained later on, GoTM does kind of drop you in right in the middle of things so the beginning can be hard to follow.
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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: May 25th, 2009, 11:50 am 
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Joined: May 30th, 2007, 10:48 am
Posts: 444
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Well, I was so frustrated and bored by the first two hundred or so pages of Gardens of the Moon that it took me four or five sittings to read to that point. The huge chunks of skipped time, as well as the somewhat reversed sentence structure that permeated those pages made it quite difficult to deal with, not to mention the lack of anything (or any character) to latch on to in interest. However, once past that point, and once the story itself began to be told, the latter portions of the book actually proved quite interesting. I understand to some extent the need for a portion of a book particularly in a multi-part series to devote itself to background, but having such an arduous path as the opening act seems a poor choice. I can't help but wonder why Erikson doesn't simply rewrite parts of that first volume, so as to entice more readers, instead of turning them away as it nearly did me. That the stylistic changes in his writing midway through the book are so readily apparent seems an indication of recognition (by the author himself) that the former somewhat contrived method was no boon. Anyways, now onto the rest of the series and hopefully a continuation of the sensation provided by the end of the first.

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(2:15:52 PM) Lazloth: i want
(2:16:04 PM) Lazloth: ...
(2:16:05 PM) Lazloth: something
(2:17:16 PM) Rael: Me too
(2:17:41 PM) Rael: But where do I find a car battery and a duck at this time of day
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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: June 30th, 2009, 4:36 pm 
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Joined: May 30th, 2007, 10:48 am
Posts: 444
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
I guess as long as I'm writing update comments to other books I'll say something here too. I read a bunch more of these books, up to...I dunno, maybe the fifth installment in the series, but overall my opinion isn't really much changed from my original disillusionment. I guess I just don't really think him a very interesting writer. Each book is quite long, but on top of that they all really tend to drag. Being more apt toward brevity would really improve the quality of the books. Beyond that, I don't really feel like he writes people very well. As an example, all his "romantic" encounters are written as I would imagine a virgin might write; with no real clue or experience as to how things actually work. As a result nearly all his relationships are very drab and do next to nothing to draw the reader into the story, and quite frankly add to the general tedium of the story. That however, is not to say that the story itself is bad. In fact, it is quite the contrary. The world itself, the magic, the races of people, is all incredibly intricate and wonderfully crafted, with deep roots that explain the aspects of things most authors leave out. Personally, my split feelings with regard to those aspects make it particularly difficult for me to stomach the extremely long and tedious build ups to climax, and the inevitably short lived and anti-climactic ends. For me at least, that disparity between how incredible the books could be based on the world Erikson creates, and the reality of how he writes them, really ruined the whole of the series for me.

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(2:15:52 PM) Lazloth: i want
(2:16:04 PM) Lazloth: ...
(2:16:05 PM) Lazloth: something
(2:17:16 PM) Rael: Me too
(2:17:41 PM) Rael: But where do I find a car battery and a duck at this time of day
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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: July 5th, 2009, 12:36 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2009, 1:49 pm
Posts: 55
The first 200 pages of Gardens of the Moon are pretty rough, yYThou're just dropped in the middle of it with no explanations, and you have to figure it out on the run. If you made it as far as book five and it's not clicking for you, I wouldn't bother going any further.

I published three novellas in this series, all about the two serial killers that were first introduced in book three (I think? Been a while.) Korbal Broach and Bauchelain. Blood Follows, The Healthy Dead, and The Lees of Laughter's End. I don't know that I'd bother with them if you aren't already a solid Malazan fan, but they're a lot of fun.

Steve co-created this series with a friend of his, Ian Cameron Esslemont, who also has Malazan novels out. Night of Knives and The Crimson Guard are both out, and definitely must-reads for any fan of the series.
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 Post subject: Re: Malazan
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 4:30 am 
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Joined: May 29th, 2007, 9:47 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Canada : Ontario : Toronto
The first book, nay, the series was a total wash for me until I met Karsa Orlong. I hope you find your totem demigod to cheer for.

That being said, I think it should be pointed out that this series (written by a Canadian!) was originally intended to be turned into a tabletop role-playing game, and I believe the writing style (or lack thereof) really reflects this.

I'm eagerly awaiting book ten. A few of the characters are very memorable and even made me LOL, something I haven't done since Tyrion Lannister disappeared down a sewage main.
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