Malazan: Book Of The Fallen

Hekotat

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After 3 years I finally finished this shit, it was a good read but I think Books 1 and 2 were by far the best out of everything else that followed it.
 

Deathwing

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Deadhouse Gates is obvious, but explain your pick for Gardens of the Moon. I wouldn't consider there anything redeeming or memorable about it. I liked Memories of Ice, House of Chains, and Reaper's Gale much better.
 

Hekotat

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Deadhouse Gates is obvious, but explain your pick for Gardens of the Moon. I wouldn't consider there anything redeeming or memorable about it. I liked Memories of Ice, House of Chains, and Reaper's Gale much better.
It's been so long since I started the damn series maybe I got it wrong. Book 1 was incredible and whichever book had Coltaine, I thought it was 2.
 

Ritley

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Gardens of the moon is much better on a reread after having read the rest, but the first time I’d hardly say it was great.

I really liked midnight tides and reapers gale, and the obvious choices of dead house gates and memories of ice. The last couple of books had their moments but the story went off of the rails a bit
 

wormie

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Having recently finished this I think Deadhouse Gates and Midnight Tides were the best. The quality went down hill after Midnight Tides imo.
 

OU Ariakas

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Yeah, I lIke the series and truly loved the world but they get so fucking convoluted and dense that they get exhausting to read. Like half a book about kids starving as they snake their way through a desert was not fun to read.
 

Brahma

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Yeah, I lIke the series and truly loved the world but they get so fucking convoluted and dense that they get exhausting to read. Like half a book about kids starving as they snake their way through a desert was not fun to read.
This. Dense is a great word to use.

The height of the series was the Coltaine march IMO.

Also if an avid reader needs to go back and forth thru pages to of a book to keep track of the story, or an obscure fact. That's a pain also.
 
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Pemulis

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I dunno, Kalam vs the Claw across the rooftops of the Mouse Quarter was one of my favorite sequences of the whole series

Edit: forgot to mention this was in the Bonehunters
 
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Hekotat

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Yeah, I lIke the series and truly loved the world but they get so fucking convoluted and dense that they get exhausting to read. Like half a book about kids starving as they snake their way through a desert was not fun to read.
I 100% agree with this, it was a chore to get through and why it took me so long to finish. They could have wrapped it up in 7 books I think.
 
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Hekotat

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This. Dense is a great word to use.

The height of the series was the Coltaine march IMO.

Also if an avid reader needs to go back and forth thru pages to of a book to keep track of the story, or an obscure fact. That's a pain also.

There were a few characters that weren't even mentioned for like 9 books. I had to stop at the end of the last book to figure out who the fuck they were.
 
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Randin

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Dense, and reluctant to actually explain things. Book one's whole conflict is resolved by an Azath, which doesn't get an actual explanation until like book seven. So until you make it to book seven, book one's ending is, "The bad guy entered the city, and then a house burst out of the ground and ate him. The end." For that matter, be honest, how many of the various races in the setting could you actually physically describe with any degree of specificity? Maybe four, of the twenty-some-odd races that show up?

Loved the series, but I wouldn't have minded if they had explained things a little more than not at all.
 

Pemulis

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Goddamn, this thread made me pick Gardens of the Moon up off the bookshelf last week, and now I'm starting Deadhouse Gates. The reread is on!
 
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Intrinsic

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SubPress just opened up pre-orders for The Crippled God. Need to build a bookshelf to put all these in then maybe I’ll start a reread but there’s 1,000 other things on my list too. Think I’m like 3 new published Erikson / Esselmont books behind also.
 

Valorath

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I dunno man. I really liked Return of the Crimson Guard. The Crimson Guard are sort of an unknown in Erikson's work. You know they exist, and you know the Avowed are pretty bad ass. Outside of that and their vow against the Malazan empire, you don't learn much about them in Erikson's ten books. Learning more about their inner workings and their hierarchy was enough for me to thoroughly enjoy that one.

I didn't care much for Blood and Bone or Kellanved's Reach, but otherwise enjoyed Esslemont's stuff.

Dense, and reluctant to actually explain things. Book one's whole conflict is resolved by an Azath, which doesn't get an actual explanation until like book seven. So until you make it to book seven, book one's ending is, "The bad guy entered the city, and then a house burst out of the ground and ate him. The end." For that matter, be honest, how many of the various races in the setting could you actually physically describe with any degree of specificity? Maybe four, of the twenty-some-odd races that show up?

Loved the series, but I wouldn't have minded if they had explained things a little more than not at all.
This gripe of yours is the thing that drew me into the series and world more enthusiastically than I had previously been with other fiction. The first chapter of Gardens of the Moon drops you into the aftermath of a massive battle, where sorcery has wreaked havoc across the battlefield. Instead of explaining the ins-and-outs of the Warren-magic system, Erikson has the characters discuss things among themselves without a care in the world about whether the reader understands what they're talking about or not. The characters aren't there to explain the intricate details of the world around them to the reader.

This is where I start when I talk to others about how this series is different than anything they've read before, and why it is so good. The storytelling is so different than what most readers are used to. The characters don't sit around and talk about things that they already understand in detail for the reader's benefit. Instead, they live in the world and talk about things to one another as if that person understands what they're talking about. It's up to the reader to piece together the information given to them, to try to more fully understand what's happening in the story.

Yea, the bad guy entered the city and got swallowed by a house that burst from the ground. But at that point in the story, the reader is still wondering what a Jaghut Tyrant is. What's up with the T'lan Imass vs Jaghut thing? Are all Jaghuts tyrants, is tyrant a title or a descriptor? Whoa, whats with the red dragons and that dark elf dude turning into a black dragon, why are they so willing to drop everything to fight this thing? These questions are what draw the reader in.

When Anomander first shows up in Baruk's room, and Baruk feels a massive pressure on him, Erikson could have explained it in detail: Baruk was just chilling when a hundreds-of-thousands-years-old dark elf showed up in his room, carrying a sword with the souls of all those slain by it trapped in a magical realm and attached to a wagon which they are pulling away from a gaping maw of Chaos, and Baruk was like "bro ur giving me a headache!" Instead you're left with more questions than answers, and with a desire to learn more and continue reading.

I've rambled a bit, but I guess I'll sum it up by saying this: Yea, they could've explained things a bit better. If they had, though, it may not have been as engrossing. The first two Kharakanas novels answer a lot of questions about the origins of things, but thus far also create more questions. I'll read every book published in the Malazan world by both Erikson and Esslemont. I love this world and these books.
 

Jovec

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Coltaine obviously, but Beak's mini-story hit me right in the feels.

I think the whole Forkrul Assail book 10 stuff probably could have been expanded on more earlier in the series. I know it was alluded to a few times throughout, but for what ends up being the main plot of the series, with practically everybody and every race converging for the finale, the Assail and their actions could have used more book time. The Crippled God also needed a bit more story to help the transition of how the reader is supposed to view him over the series too.
 
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Deathwing

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Originally, I was like fuck the Crippled God, he got Whiskeyjack killed. By the end of the series, I was confused what I was supposed to feel. Resurrected Crippled God and Antagonist Crippled God were almost two separate characters.

The Assail are just plot devices, change my mind.
 

Rezz

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Hah, I'm about halfway through Deadhouse now in a current re-read.

I'll agree with Valorath, mostly. When someone I know wants to read the series, I tell them to just keep going through the first book, and just store away questions for later. It -does- kind of suck that a lot of stuff isn't really answered until 5-6 books later, but it doesn't change the fact that not knowing makes for some pretty interesting mysteries to keep track of.

It's easily my favorite fantasy series, even though the ending is a bit on the weaker side of the books. Still great, but The Crippled God isn't as good as the other books.
 

Captain Suave

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The Assail are just plot devices, change my mind.
IMO, a lot of the complaints listed here can be attributed to Erikson basically making it up as he went along. The power levels and backgrounds of characters were whatever they needed to be to service the story. Antagonists more and more epic? Quick Ben gets converted into the next best thing to an Elder god, etc.

Erikson's got a gift for atmosphere and allusion, so he was able to get away with a lot of moves that would have come of as sloppy by other authors.
 
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Deathwing

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IMO, a lot of the complaints listed here can be attributed to Erikson basically making it up as he went along. The power levels and backgrounds of characters were whatever they needed to be to service the story. Antagonists more and more epic? Quick Ben gets converted into the next best thing to an Elder god, etc.

Erikson's got a gift for atmosphere and allusion, so he was able to get away with a lot of moves that would have come of as sloppy by other authors.
Sure, but Quick Ben at least has some character. I'm not saying Erikson did it anywhere near correctly, but when a character changes power levels, you can at least attribute that to organic character development. There were no Forkuul Assail characters.