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February 20th, 2013, 12:00
Went ahead and started with Steven Erikson's
Malazan Book of the Fallen
. I recently finished book #1,
Gardens of the Moon
Erikson demands a lot of the reader: the entire first half of the book felt like your usual prologue in that you're thrown right into the middle of a big story with no beginning and have no real grasp on what's going on, who is who, and what everything means. I read that people usually quit before they have read the first third or continue until the end (10 massive volumes). Well, I think I'm going on, because after the initial confusion and overall lack of emotion (see below) I was hooked by the world and happenings.
The Malazan books are considered "Military Fantasy", since they focus on war and the life of soldiers. I have no idea why this series is compared to GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire so often — the only similarities are a huge cast of characters and a "gritty" presentation; otherwise the Malazan world is totally different. GRRMs books are much more character driven — you kind of bond with each of them. Erikson's characters seem more distant, at least so far.
All in all, however, it does start feeling quite epic in a classical sense: You've got High Mages, soldiers, assassins, Gods (Ascended), Elder races, dragons and demons all scheming against each other and battling it out. Looking forward to the next book.
"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where."
~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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