This book series is on my top 10 list. Be careful though as the books are very complex and take some effort to appreciate. Think I started on book one three times before I finally got through to it and it was only around book three that I really started understanding what a gem these books are.
The books are read very good. There is a nice distinction between the characters (which is impressive considering how many they are). I would give it a 4.5 if there was an option for it only because I might not agree with some of the voice/character pairings.
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
Steven Erikson has a great way to merge several different magics into his novel. the magic is called warrens, most people can use there one warren. there is also his own version of taro cards called the deck of dragons. each warren is tied to a house in the deck.
what happens when the ascendents of the warrens start to mess with the empire of Malazan? the house of shadows seems to be the main opposition to the empire. Oponn the twins of chance are up to something as well. Anomander Rake, with all his power is playing games from his moon. Why are the ascendents so interested in the empire, and why are the bridgeburners wanted to be eliminated.
plots found inside plots, men fighting ascendents, ascendents fighting the empire. alliances are made and broken. and you can never trust anyone. This book has you listening to it over and over again
Masters in Fiction from Johns Hopkins, aspiring science fiction/humor writer. Give me the unexpected with a bit of grit and humor, please.
I returned the book.
It is so . . . ignorable? I found myself rewinding most passages several times, but the passages were just too mundane despite the subject matter. The characters are easily forgettable and interchangeable (except for Cropper, who is much like Falstaff, a character borrowed from Shakespeare). There are LOTS of characters and lots of names. But, unlike other authors who make each one memorable, most times the name and profession is all we’re given.
It's like the author is TELLING a story, (SIMPLY telling) and not taking the reader along on the journey. The reader never has a sense of place, never quite knows where he is are or how he got there Things happen, but it's hard to care about the events when the reader has no frame of reference.
Part of the Hero's Journey is establishing what is at stake and the motivations for the characters. I'm all the way through part one and I still have no idea. People fighting for the sake of fighting. That's it. This book is like reading an instruction manual, with lists of dry details. It reads like part II of a series where the reader is already familiar with the background of the characters so the author has no reason to show depth.
Here's an example:
I still don't know what Moonspawn, the floating fortress, looks like. Is it round like an actual moon? Is it a floating hill or a construct of brick? I don't know where I missed it, but looking for a particular description, if one even exists, within an audio book is all-but impossible. I'm leaning toward the assumption that Erikson mentions it in passing long before it had any relevance to the story, as with most of this book. I think it's too much to ask that I memorize irrelevant details in hopes that they may become important later. How am I to tell what’s important and what isn’t?
In my re-reading while looking for what the heck Moonspawn is, a character mentions, "A sapper named Fiddler took me down" (into the tunnels). Fiddler is a character that is described in some detail MUCH later in part I. How is a reader supposed to reference one un-memorable line, seven chapters ago? In re-reading, I have a frame of reference because now I know who fiddler is, what he looks like, etc. This happened again and again and again with many details. It's like Erikson is writing backward.
After reading Blood Song and realizing that the release date is over 12 months away I read about Steven Erickson's series on the Malazan Empire. Most of the reviews were universally good so I spent the $ 24.95.
I struggled through about 4 hours of the first book- one character after another until I lost count- with absolutely NO character development. NONE. Very little scenery of other descriptives - Erickson is trying to copy Black Company (a favorite of mine) with none of the humorous sarcasm and funny asides. The world is intricate for sure- intricately BORING- after a while I realized I was PRAYING for this book to end - HOPING beyond hope that one of the weird Gods of the Erickson's imagination (that I neither cared about or understood) would DESTROY the entire world, universe and everything in it and relieve me of the tedium of listening to his audio anvil I spend $ 24 bucks on. Really Erickson owes me $ 24!!!
Yes his world is intricate- and intricately b o r i n g!!! despite the B o r i n g none stop action- but none of the characters are developed, I could not keep track of what in the hell they were doing and who they were- and even if I could have - I really did not want to since they barely existed for me.
Okay if you like fireballs and demons and blood- this is your book. But if you want stories, characters that are human (0r hell I would take an alien with a personality) then STOP and save you $$$.
Much better choices abound: from Red Country (Joe Abercrombie) to Prince of Thorns Series (by Mark Lawrence) to Blood Song by Anthony Ryan to the old standby Brandon Sanderson. Scott Lynch "Lies of Lochlomara" blows this away. Each is different but by God they write decent stories. I am NOT the agents of these guys nor in any way associated with them- other than a fan who appreciates the craft these guys exhibit.
I read later that this novel grew out of a Dungeons and Dragons game in 1982. I should have guessed because it has the literary content and meaning of something 14 year olds pushing minature figures around a table and rolling strange dice about. But most DMs don't charge money (or they did not the last time I changed D&D in 1978)
Four thumbs down- and where is my $ 25 bucks!!!???? Really I feel like my pocket has been picked!!!!! This book should come with a warning on it!
For the life of me I cannot understand how this guy has sold a book much less won all these awards. I did read that one either loves this stuff or Hates it. Count me as the latter as you might guess.
Ralph Lister does a very good job as a narrator - but he can no more rescue this junk heap of a book than Sauron could rescue Saruman.
The structure of this book make it stop and start from now where. While I have read reviews about this problem I thought it would be something that would prove worth while. It has not been.
I gave this book two attempts. One in normal daily situations, cutting the lawn or going for a walk. That sort of thing. I could not get in to it.
I went camping deep in the hills where I would not be disturbed. Tired and ready for a peaceful night by the fire, I was bored to tears.
choppy - slow
sure. Good narrator.
I have no idea. Maybe have a reading guide to go along with it.
The story is good if you can understand what is going on however it seems to skip around and follows too many characters without piecing them together. All in all if you have the time to listen and re listen to the book a few times it is a good story the reader was very good i have the book in paper form as well and it is also hard to follow.
It was good and it leads you to the next book in the series
he give the characters depth and is very creative with distinguishing each character
it would make a good series but not a movie it has too many different roles and i am unsure who to put in what role.
Fifty something, small business owner, married, no children. Love travel, beaches, tropical isles, classic cars and listening!
I tried, I really did, I'm 4 hours in and have absolutely no clue, I don't know, maybe it's my listening style but I continually reset and listened again. Perhaps it is the narration or my habit of listening in short bursts, I'm totally lost, after 7 days of trying, many resets and no idea of the plot or ability to follow the characters, I finally gave up.
Of course, "your mileage may vary"
I love fantasy, and I like listening to complicated and dry things. Honestly, I found this book kind of a slog, and I can't decide whether I'll tune in for book two.
Interesting, well drawn world. Unique and compelling use of the supernatural. Tons of promise in the relationship between deities and mortals. Potentially interesting story. Really comes alive in the third act, and by the end I completely believed that a lot of the foreshadowing and hinting will bear interesting fruit in future books. A few characters were well drawn and interesting (loved Kruppe, like Tool).
I don't believe the society at all. It feels like an excuse to house various fantasy tropes.
I don't believe the motivations of any of the characters, seen or unseen. The author doesn't seem to know how to write for deep emotions, or how to realistically grow relationships among characters. Sometimes, bam, they're in love. Sometimes, bam, they're angry at each other. Bam, angst that we're supposed to relate to somehow. It's just out of the blue more often than not.
Often, characters simply deduce things they could not possibly know to advance the plot. This could just be me missing things, but I feel like the book doesn't always take the time to explain things when it should. For example, we hear the word "Otataral" as an adjective for several hours before anyone tells us it's a special mineral. Took me forever to figure out that a Jaghut Tyrant was not a Jaghut that happened to be a tyrant. Is a hound bad? What's a finnest? What's a Bridge Burner, and why do I care? What's a Tiste Andii? Could we spend a little time on how warrens work, and what a path is? Things like that. Robs many scenes of drama until you can piece together what's what. Some of this stuff would be easier if you could read what was capitalized.
Writing is sometimes suspect.
On the reader side:
One major problem here. The book shifts from character to character without headings. Instead, there's an extra line between paragraphs marking the end and beginning of a character perspective. The reader does not pause at all at these transitions (in fact, he goes a little faster), and so it's easy to miss them.
Separately, sometimes, I think the reader is unsure of what the character is feeling when it talks. I don't think he pulls off "Sorry" for this reason.
This is the best fantasy series ever, hands down. I have read the physical books at least 5 times, and I have been awaiting an audiobook since my first time. Ralph Lister does an amazing job with the many, many characters, whose voices are often described in the text, and he reads the story with the drama it deserves. I highly recommend this book, and this audiobook, get both!