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!
I read the print version of this book over 10 years ago. I remember enjoying it, but for various reasons had to read it in bits and pieces and lost track of the story. I decided to come back to it again and am so glad I did. The story is compelling and the narrator helps to make the already intriguing characters come to life. Thoroughly enjoyed this listen! Just waiting for DeadHouse Gates now. How about it Audible?? I hope Ralph Lister is working on it.
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought it was right up my alley. Epic fantasy, complex plot, large cast of characters, intrigue etc, etc. Unfortunately, the book itself did not live up to expectations.
Indeed, the only reason I stuck with this book to the end was due to the large number of reviews saying that it would be worth it.
I've read and enjoyed titles by Jordan, Martin etc, so don't get me wrong I know a complex storyline when I hear it.
There is no doubt that this book is complicated. At the start we are thrown in head first to, what seems on the face of it, the middle of a story. We are introduced to a large number of characters very quickly. We know nothing of their history, allegiances or motivations. Over time things do settle down a bit and by the middle of the book you feel that you are finally getting to grips with things.
Unfortunately the problem is that things just don't develop from there. The story just seems to drift on with no obvious goal. Various gods and mythical characters make cameo appearances, and at times it just feels they were introduced just for the sake of it.
There seems to be several different magic systems in use, but none of them are ever properly explained ... it just seems to happen.
Another significant problem I have with the book is there isn't really one character that you particularly like. Its always difficult to invest time and effort in a book when you don't really care all that much what happens to the protagonists.
Finally, the narrator really doesn't help the book at all. His interpretation of female voices is just awful and he has a habit of fading away at the end of sentences which makes hearing what he is saying quite difficult.
So, all and all, I won't be continuing with this series.
Hello, My name is Levi Brousseau. I'm on a life long mission to find stories that blow my mind.
Yes i would. this story was full of surprises. lots of things going on. Very engaging.
Croppa. He's just an very interesting character. Sorry is pretty awesome to.
Ralph Lister did a great job bringing the story to life.
Yes. It was hard to push pause.
This was a Great listen. I really enjoyed it. I will be checking out more stories from the series. Check it out.
If you found me reading this many pages, it would be at gun point.....lol. That's why I have 400+ books on Audible.
Probably the thief in the bedroom that gets caught. Don't want to give it away.
I have to be honest, while I loved this book I had to listen to most of it twice. This is a good thing, because there is so much going on when I doze off at bed time and lose my spot.....a lot....you can miss a lot!. If you like epic fantasy thought this is the way to go. Click helpful for me so I have one....lol.
As stated by other reviewers, this is a complex book. Even after starting over several times and skipping back, I never felt like I knew who was who, what they were trying to accomplish, so I finally lost interest... moving on to a new book without finishing the first part. Yes, I tend to do busy work while listening, and always have, but this is the first book I felt like I just couldn't care enough to keep trying.
Don't know that a change in narrator would make a difference.
I don't know that I found any.
Pay attention to what others say, unless you plan to take notes, or intend to reference a print version, you might find yourself wondering if you entered a new chapter, every few minutes.
but, guess i'm not smart enough to keep all the 'who, what, where, and why's' in order.
it's been at least 5 days and i just got to the 2nd part last night. all that rewinding to try to pick up and put together the story...and i still don't know what's going on.
a book shouldn't be so difficult to follow.
the narrator was fine, but even with that, the book was too convoluted for me to connect with, try as i might...
The stylish narrative keeps you hooked. Although the book is intense reading with hundreds of characters and parallel story lines , individual characters are perfectly sketched to give you a real sense of the story as a whole.
Ralph Lister 's reading style actually helped me identify the many different characters and made what might otherwise have been an arduous audio book experience, extremely enjoyable.
Student: part time, accountant: full time, listener: all times.
The wealth of characters, all of which had amazing voices from Lister, made this a very fun listen.
I enjoyed a lot of slight details the author threw in, my favorite example is a bit of a spoiler, but Erikson definitely knows how to link the various stories occurring in the book.
Kruppe is the best for sure, he's more or less that one crazy friend we all have, really fun to listen to.
Tattersail's fate is fairly emotional, don't want to spoil anything though!
It will take you some time to get into (like most Fantasy/Sci-Fi) but if you can stick with it, you'll enjoy yourself immensely.