Book Review: The Malazan Book of the Fallen

The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a series of heroic fantasy novels written by Steven Erikson, it is a 10 book series starting with Gardens of the Moon and culminating with The Crippled God.

This is without a doubt the best series of heroic fantasy I have ever read. Period.

The chartacters are unique and engaging and the writing style is lyric and stylish. The world (or worlds, I guess) in which it is set has to be one of the most complete visualisations of a fantasy setting that has ever been attempted.

I’m also really, really, really (seriously – I can’t overstate this), really, impressed with the magic system in this series. It’s unique (which is very difficult to do with the sheer amount of novels in the genre) and plays a large role both in the overall plot and in keeping the reader guessing as to exactly how everything fits together.

So what’s the catch? Well… besides being a beefy 10 books long (and the books themselves might be better described as tomes), this is not a series that is intended for novices of the genre. I would suggest that anyone interested in picking up these books be quite comfortable the standard elements of the genre (mages, multiple worlds, various races and such) because the story itself is so intricate and emotionally fraught that it could be easily overwhelming if you’re trying to absorb the basics too.

This isn’t a series that can be easily paired down into a brief plot review, so I’m not even going to try. I will tell you that the characters are alarming powerful (these guys will really mess you up) while at the same time maintaining and communicating heart-wrenching human emotion… it’s just incredible.

Also, keep an eye out for my two favorite characters Quick Ben and Andromander Rake… I almost wish the series had continued longer so that I could keep reading about them, but on the other hand I’m glad it didn’t drag out ala Wheel Of Time.

From start to finish this is a masterpiece of literature. Do yourself a favor. Read it.

-Odd

“Name none of the fallen, for they stand in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.” -Duiker

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