Review: Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson

The Malazan Book of the Fallen series consists of ten novels and is written by Fantasy author Steven Erikson. (He’s also written some other novellas taking place in the same world of the series.) The novels that make up the series are:

  1. Gardens of the Moon
  2. Deadhouse Gates
  3. Memories of Ice
  4. House of Chains
  5. Midnight Tides
  6. The Bonehunters
  7. Reaper’s Gale
  8. Toll the Hounds
  9. Dust of Dreams
  10. The Crippled God

I first came into contact with the series when I was about 14 or 15 years old. My English teacher loaned me the first book. I must say that back then I really didn’t like it. I liked the plot alright, but the many characters and twists in the story made it very hard for me to concentrate on the story itself. Which was a shame, as it turns out.

In August 2011 I decided I wanted the whole series for my birthday (which I surprisingly got), and as I started once more with the first book, I was hooked. Unfortunately I couldn’t read the entire series in a row – which I usually do with series – because I had to read some other books for my minor Books and More. I was only able to get back to the series in May 2012. (And I was pretty pissed about that. I still have a book I bought myself for Christmas in 2011 and I’ve still got to read it.) Anyways, here’s my review of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series!

Plot:

In a world where the Gods use humans as pawns and playthings, one Empire refuses to be treated like that. The Malazan Empire with its unbeatable army. Made up by extraordinary humans one and all, who excel at one particular thing. Tenacity. Mages, regulars, heavies, marines, cavalry, sappers: all of them persistent. All of them survivors. Survivors of wars and battle and sometimes even death. Their names go down in history. The Bridgeburners. The Bonehunters. The Unwitnessed. They fight their way through distant lands, warrens and other dimensions, fight against and amongst Gods, demons and ascendants and die in horrifying numbers. All for one thing. To live their lives, without the continuous prod and pull from the Gods and without a higher power to blame for their own mistakes.

Opinion:

As I mentioned before; when I first picked up Gardens of the Moon, I was eager to put it back down. These days, that is no longer the case. Steven Erikson is a weaver of extraordinary tales of woe and wonder, often keeping me up at night to read just one more chapter. He has brought me to tears on many occasions, as I witnessed the deaths of people I became attached to. Not characters. People. Living, breathing people, who live in a harsh world where war and slaughter and sacrifice are common things. Where Tyrants and usurpers and Dragons seek to rule. Where Gods play games, just because they can. Where Elder races fight each other into oblivion.

Fiddler, WhiskeyJack, Quick Ben, Kalam, Toc the Younger, Icarum, Bottle, Mappo, Apsalar, Coltaine, Duiker, GRub, Gesler, Stormy, Anomander Rake, Cutter, Cottillion, Ganoes Paran, Karsa Orlong, Udinaas, Torrent, Seren Pedac, Tehol Bennedict, Brys Bennedict, Trull Sengar, Mael and many more. All of these people, human or no, captured my heart.

When I finished the last novel, The Crippled God, I found my heart aching and my chest tightening. So many deaths, so much sorrow. And yet it ended right. It ended as it should. In real life not everyone gets a happy ending. And so it is with this series. Your favorites may fall early. Or they end up alive at the end of the book, finally getting the peace and quiet they deserve. Steven Erikson spins gigantic tales, with an enormous cast and so many twists you will end up speculating at the end of every page. No angle is overlooked, no twist unsurprising. It takes a lot of concentration to keep your mind from wandering at times, but this is one of the best Epic and Military Fantasy series I’ve ever read. Perhaps even the best.

The only thing I’d liked to have seen unraveled, was the fate of Grub. And where he came from; who he really was. I have my suspicions, but unfortunately they’ve not been confirmed. But that is the only thing I missed in the series.

Rating:

10/10

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