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Forge of Darkness Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
Readers will journey to Kurald Galain wherein we find the birth of all the events that take place within Malazan Book of the Fallen. One look at the Dramatis Personae should speak volumes to those who are familiar with the Malazan Empire. Welcome back Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, Mother Dark, Spinnock Durav, Sister Spite, Sister Envy, Draconus, Hood, Gothos, Kilmandaros, etc. The list of characters is long and impressive and the story contained within is even more so.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen The Malazan Book of the Fallen The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Dominic Cilli
The Malazan Book of the Fallen has single-handedly raised the bar for fantasy literature. Its full impact upon the world of writing in general probably won't be felt for several years, but for fans of the genre and of the series, its impact is immediate and world changing. After Dominic finished The Crippled God, he closed the book and reflected back upon what he had just read and realized that this series of books is surely the best fantasy series that has ever been written. In fact, he couldn't think of anything even close. However, he took it one step further and asked himself if this once obscure series genre writer from Canada has created the crown jewel of fiction? The answer is, arguably, yes and why not? If you don't believe him, read it and then you tell him the work that you believe surpasses it. Dominic dares you.

Dust of Dreams Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
From its start, everyone from the Malazan Adjunct Tavore to the Letherii King to a group of Elder Gods to the lizard-like K'Chain Che'malle and several other persons and peoples have a plan or plans to pursue. The problem for the reader is that all those plans point to a big conclusion coming up in The Crippled God, the tenth and final volume of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The problem for the characters is that none of their plans work out the way they expected.

Reaper's Gale Reaper's Gale Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
This seventh volume in the Malazan Book of the Fallen returns to the Empire of Lether and the characters first introduced in Midnight Tides. In that volume, the Tiste Edur led a successful rebellion against the Letherii and actually took over the Empire. Now, although the Tiste Edur Emperor Rhulad still sits on the throne, the institutions of Lether have remained intact. And while the Tiste Edur hold a privileged place in society, the Letheri secret police are terrorizing the populace, there are revolts along the border, and the Chancellor plots to overthrow the Emperor. With all this going on, it's no big surprise that members of the Emperor's court are not paying much attention when another momentous event takes place.

The Bonehunters The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Neil Walsh
In this sixth volume of Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the events of the Malazan campaigns on Genabackis and Seven Cities, the Tiste Edur conquest of the Letherii Empire, the machinations of the Malazan Empress, her allies and enemies, assassins and wizards, soldiers and priests, gods and ascendants, foundlings, slaves, refugees -- almost everyone we've met so far and everything that has happened is pulled together in this book. You won't find answers to all your questions, but you will be left with a sense that all these events we've been treated to thus far are not going to pass by without an even more profound impact on the world than we had already anticipated.

Midnight Tides Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
The fifth novel in Steven Erikson's ongoing series, Malazan Book of the Fallen, marks a slight departure from his earlier work. The vivid and imaginative world-building and myth creation remains, as does the indelible cast of characters informed by forgotten history and racial memory. But unlike past books, where one could expect a carry-over of characters as well as some temporal link between multiple and diverse storylines, this novel appears superficially to be a clean break with what has preceded.

The Healthy Dead The Healthy Dead by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
In this sequel to Blood Follows, we return to the exploits of thats necrotic duo, the refined yet diabolical conjuror, Bauchelain, his silent, corvine partner Korbal Broach, and their reluctant, world-weary servant, Emancipor Reese. First appearing in Memories of Ice, where they caused all manner of undead havoc, four years have passed since events in Lamentable Moll, where Reese first met his dubious employers, itinerant masters of the dark arts. Their arcane studies and investigations have kept them ever on the road, one step ahead of the armies pursuing them from the past town they frequented.

House of Chains House of Chains by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Neil Walsh
This is the fourth book in the massive epic, Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Unlike the previous novels in this cycle, it begins as a clear, relatively straightforward narrative following one central character. It is so linear, in fact, that it almost reads like another author altogether -- albeit, an equally talented one. But by the second quarter of the book, we return to the multiple inter-linked story lines we have come to expect.

Blood Follows Blood Follows by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
Taking place in an extended realm of Malazan, this novella moves backward a bit in time from events in last year's remarkable Memories of Ice, to the origins of Emancipor Reese. Set within his native home of Lamentable Moll, one of several city-states on the island of Theft, Moll is a port town built upon ancient barrows, whose mounded remains litter the city, and whose liches are reputed to haunt the streets. Emancipor Reese is dogged by a sequence of events that has inadvertently led to the death of every employer he has had, as well as harried by a wife who has born him children he suspects are not his.

Memories of Ice Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
reviewed by William Thompson
If any work is truly deserving of the accolade epic, it is the writing in Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen.  Vast in scope and imagination, spanning continents and cultures as diverse and multifaceted as any to be found in fantasy, the author readily towers over every other author writing military fantasy today, or for that matter, from the past.  Possessing in a single volume the equivalent storylines and action found elsewhere within a trilogy or three, events happen here with such kinetic energy, so compellingly and dramatically rendered, that the senses threaten to become overloaded with a surfeit of vivid imagery and deed.  Nor is this simply superbly written drama or gripping conflict told through a cast of likeable if often deadly combatants, but also an allegorical hunt through themes as large and sweeping as his panoramic and painterly vistas, complex as the winding labyrinths of The Warrens, or alternatively as secretive as the portal House of Azath.

Deadhouse Gates Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Neil Walsh
If you're looking for a low-calorie dish of light fantasy, this ain't it. If you're looking for a nine-course riot of taste and texture, exotically spiced to make your eyes water, your heart pump faster and your brain do cartwheels inside your cranium, I know a great little Thai place downtown. Or, if you want something analogous to that in your reading, stop at the 'E's and pick up the latest from Steven Erikson.

Gardens of the Moon Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
reviewed by Neil Walsh
This is an astounding debut fantasy novel. The world is fully realized and the characters are people you want to spend time with. The world history is tremendously complex, spanning hundreds of thousands of years. The character histories and interactions are equally complex and interesting. Unsurprisingly, it's only the first of The Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. There are 10 books planned in the "sequence," but each is intended to be a stand-alone story.

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