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Default Steven Erikson - overrated or insane?

May 6th, 2020, 20:25
Intentionally provocative title I do like the guy. But Dust of Dreams (book 9) has me thinking he slid from brilliant to either overrated or insane. Spoilers:

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Frankly that level of abstraction and obscurity on the major plot conclusion for the book is as bad as the rubber band puzzle in Wizardry 7. You just can't do that kind of silliness. After doing some quick searching I realize I'm in good company giving this book a big WTF. I'm glad I'm about to start the final book in the series because I think Erikson was losing his mind writing wrapping this saga. Introduce LESS pointless characters and have LESS camp banter and MORE clarity in your books! Otherwise its the usual brilliant Erikson creativity but I mean DAMN
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May 6th, 2020, 23:23
I have always thought he was both, so the answer to your question is yes.
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May 7th, 2020, 00:33
He tends to go quite philosophical. Especially in the later books. I never did mind it but I can see it might bother people. For me it mostly added to the atmosphere and the 'heaviness' of the story (especially storylines of the immortals).

I was also finished with all the references and philosophical ramblings for a while after finishing book 10. Sometimes the ramblings border insanity, as it in fact loses it meaning and becomes incomprehensible (or I'm just too stupid) with its complexity.

The spin-off books seems to be much more direct. At least night of knives, but that one wasn't written by Erikson. They pumped out a lot of books since then I see. I wonder if they are any good?

Edit: my answer: no
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May 7th, 2020, 08:57
I must confess than I am a huge fan of most of his books so I am very biased.

Ian C Esslemont who is the writer of Night of Knives is not as good, that is clear, but he gets much better with his later books like the Path of Ascendancy. Night of Knives was a really messy book..

As for Erikson, I really liked the whole Book of the Fallen in my first read but I felt I had missed stuff. So I did something I usually never do, I reread it and .. wow..

I mean you just miss so many things the first time, because there is no way you can make all the links and tie all the knots but rereading it was full of 'aaah ok..' moments.. It was really a brillant and pleasing experience, as you go along you add more and more details. It's like looking at a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The guy is a genius.

I did not really like his most 'philosophical' cycle the 'Kharkanas Trilogy' though but I really advise to read the books of Bauchelain and Korbas Broach, the 2 necromancers.
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May 7th, 2020, 10:58
I'm only now in Book 6, and so far it's been the Dark Souls of literature: you have to piece the story together yourself :-) It's funny since allegedly Dark Souls was inspired by Miyazaki reading fantasy in English and understanding only bits and pieces…
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May 8th, 2020, 14:30
I was still in love with the series back in book 6. Except Tolkien I've never read a series that has such an ancient sense of world building. The lore is incredible and it permeates the whole saga. Ancient ruins and dead races and mysteries. Love it. That said its a huge investment to read this stuff and IMHO it drops off a very large cliff towards the end of book 8. No spoilers - the whole Icarium story which is massively essential just gets unintelligible which is a extremely disappointing to me. But that doesn't mean its not worth reading. Of his usual 1000+ tomb there are 500 great pages to absorb. The other 500 must be endured I guess. No WAY I'm quitting after reading 9K+ pages so I'm off to book 10.
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May 9th, 2020, 02:14
Sorry no opinion as his books always lost my interest. I tried but always moved on and read other books. Maybe I'm missing something or I just don't like his writing.
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