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The Complete Malazan Book of the Fallen by…
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Erikson actually created a very vivid and interesting world with different races/species, gods,magic, huge epic battles, and a lot of history. However Erikson is a very inconsistent storyteller. On one hand there was never any central narrative drive to the series. Although the ending shows something that might have been an ultimate goal, we never even receive any vague hints regarding it as the series progresses. Nor was this really a character driven narrative because of the too many POV's, inconsistent characterisation and the plot. Most of the time the motivations of the characters are not really apparent at all. A lot of the character's inner monologues are actually the author's philosophical musings that don't give us any insight into the character or His/Her motivations.

While Erikson dealt with many interesting historical, sociological, and anthropological themes, they don't really make up for the deficiencies elsewhere in the plot and storytelling. The first book seems completely disconnected from the rest of the series. Its as if the author suddenly changed his mind and decided to take the story in a completely different direction. The series on the whole was a mixed bag for me. It was good in parts with some well crafted characters, but on the whole i feel like it could have been much better. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
It was exactly what it had to be.

The Complete Malazan Book of the Fallen is over 3.5 million words. It took me 8 months to read these 10 books, and at many times along the way, I cursed them and grew frustrated at the story lines. There was an entire book that I questioned the existence of–why was this necessary, and what did it add to the plot? There were names used that would then disappear for a thousand pages, only to resurface in a single sentence. I happened to remember the name, so the tie-in blew my mind, but I suspect many readers skipped right past it and didn’t catch the significance.

Reading it on Kindle, I gauge a book’s length by hours more so than number of pages. And despite my earlier frustration, the last 18 hours of the book kept me on the edge of my proverbial seat. I was enthralled and excited. And as I finished the last few pages and reflected on the book, I was satisfied. Everything I thought had been needless filler was justified. For each story line or character I had questioned, I was now able to trace them through to at least half a dozen impacts later in the epic.

And this is an epic. It probably deserves that title more than anything else I have ever read. It is beautiful and tragic and filled with wonderful characters and just enough comedy to keep us marching towards the end.

I cannot recommend this book because it is a significant commitment. To whom could I say, “You know what you should spend the next half a year doing? Here, read this.” I can’t ask that of anyone. And while the series is entertaining, it isn’t life-changing. I figure a half a year of time is sufficient to really change someone, and this book doesn’t do that.

What’s more, I think a good memory is requisite for enjoying this series. Other reviewers point out that Erikson doesn’t “highlight” things, or use flashbacks or callbacks to make it easier to remember what came before. Everything in the book is of equal importance to him, and it should all be remembered. This makes Malazan a very challenging series to read.

But if you like fantasy epics and aren’t intimidated by long novels/series, and you’re looking for something to pass the time, and you want to buy something you can be confident is well-written and cohesive and good, then yes, pick up this epic.

I wish I could write more about the book, but I am struggling to do so. It is a piece of art, and you have to experience it. The impact the series will have on you is likely different from the impact it had on me. But like all great fantasy fiction, it will have an impact, and that makes it worthwhile. ( )
1 vote dmmagic | Jun 4, 2016 |
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1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep
96th Year of the Malazan Empire
The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved’s Reign
The stains of rust seemed to map blood seas on the black, pocked surface of Mock’s Vane.
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