The OF Blog: Filling in the gaps of my Malazan reviews

Friday, September 21, 2012

Filling in the gaps of my Malazan reviews

Earlier this week, after talking about the series with a friend of mine and also having received an unsolicited review copy of the just-released Forge of Darkness, I decided to re-read the entire Malazan fantasy series of novels/shorter fiction by both Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont.  It had been a year and a half since I finished reading The Crippled God and I thought that it would be interesting to see what a re-read of the ten main series books, the four novellas/short novel, and Esslemont's contributions might yield.

I have already read Forge of Darkness and while I don't plan on writing a formal review until I have finished re-reading nearly twenty volumes (so maybe 1-2 weeks from now?), I have found certain connections between that and the second Malazan book, Deadhouse Gates, that were intriguing.  The level of planning seems to belie some of the complaints I've read elsewhere in the past about Erikson's "sloppiness."  But I want to hold off on commenting on all of this until I have finished reading each volume for a second (third, fourth, fifth...) time.

In the meantime, for those volumes that I have not written formal reviews before, I will at least write a short commentary (if not a longer one) on these volumes:

 I wrote at various times reviews/commentaries of the following books:

And the incomplete Kharkanas Trilogy:

Although there are very few epic fantasy series today that I would invest so much of my time reading/re-reading, I think it is worth making an exception for the Malazan setting, as it contains elements that I think are superior to most other epic fantasists writing today.  That's not to say I won't be pointing out flaws as I perceive them over the course of my reading.


Roland said...

Which are these superior elements you speak of?
I wonder, as I am thinking about whether or not to start reading the entire series.

Larry Nolen said...

Mostly in thematic treatment. Looking back at my older (2008, 2009) reviews in light of what I've recently read (FoD) and am re-reading, I might have to reassess the plotting as well. There was something mentioned in passing in DHG (the Imass attack in the past of the First Empire) that isn't really understood until another passage in FoD. Some of the "sloppiness" that I perceived in the latter books could prove to be something else indeed.

Mike said...

shit was tight yo!
I agree, I think I found in reading the 'smaller' setting, it made me rethink the larger series and how our perspective of it and its themes is much harder to grasp.
Because I'm too lazy to search, did you ever read/review Crack'd pot trail? I'm still in awe of that book...

Larry Nolen said...

I'm going to be re-reading/reviewing that one sometime in early October. In the next couple of days, I'll have a commentary on Midnight Tides up (am about 1/3 into the re-read now).

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