This book is very hard to start as the author does not explain many of the concepts. Do not let this deter you though. Your patience will be greatly rewarded.
The narrator does an excellent job, although there are some pronunciation inconsistencies and odd character voicings.
The story was amazing epic fantasy. But the real enjoyment of the story was by the narrator. I simply could not believe how talented he was and how he was able to handle over 20 different voices seamlessly. I'm just amazed and I enjoyed every second of this long book and I cannot wait to finish off the series
Though I had some trouble really investing myself in this series because of the way you're dumped into the story, it was worth slogging through the first half of this book. It will introduce you to a world and story of incredible depth. The books continue to get better and better with brilliant twists and turns and so many layers it can almost become too overwhelming. I believe that these books will be celebrated years from now as one of the finest examples of literature from our time. A warning to those who want the simple, light hearted experience of the typical cookie cutter fantasies that are a dime a dozen these days, you will not enjoy these. The books are deeply intellectual and you will be tossed from character to character, region to region, and story to story between books that all tie together as you progress. The only complaint I have is that there is a change in the Narrator after the third or fourth book in the series but both do a very respectable job of bringing the story and characters to life. I'm eagerly awaiting the publishing of the eighth through the tenth book in the series into audio.
I might try another book by Steven Erikson, and I think Ralph Lister did a good job.
Steven Erikson's intelligence and creativity come through... Its the way he executes it that I have trouble with. This is about writing style - or in the case of an audio-book, story-telling. I would have preferred clearer understanding of who people were and what was going on. I found myself "getting it" but much of the "wow factor" of the big reveal was lost on me because either it had been too long, or there had been too many plot jumps for me in order to understand the real significance of each "big event".
I think Ralph did fine. He might have gotten a bit better towards the end - or I might have just understood the "flow" better. It would help a LOT if Steve Erikson could have put in small "scene-changes" so listeners could follow easier. Even something as "silly" as a sound or "Meanwhile in a small Chamber overlooking Daruijistan, Barook studied a scroll...." Its not the narrators fault - in fact I think he helps the story the best he can - it's the writing style.
None - I think...
Despite not wanting to continue with the series, I do see it's appeal. The depth of the world, and some of the imagery is fantastic. The high-level of magics and the way Gods and the beings in the story interact - is really great fantasy. I REALLY enjoy that aspect - but its too much struggle to listen through it. I would absolutely LOVE a well produced "Game of Thrones" style TV series to tell this story. In fact, if I could "see" this story it would probably convince me to go back and listen again - and perhaps continue the series.
As other reviewers have said, if you are a fantasy fan, you should give this book a try. If you are new to fantasy or prefer a lighter listen, I'd recommend avoiding it.
I decided to gice this title a try after finishing the Game of Thrones series, and it did not disappoint. It took a little while to become invested in the characters only because there are so many. By the end, I hated for the story to close abd have already downloaded the next book.
** If you have ever wanted to read a history book about another world, I think this is your book.
The chances of you caring what happens to the characters in this book are low. So low. This is partly due to the fact that the author doesn't outright demonize one side or the other, and partly due to the fact there are so many characters you will have a hard time keeping them straight.
** If you ever wanted to read a book that is confusing and dragging the first time but makes more sense each time you read it, I think this is your book.
Most of the time you have a hard time following what is going on. It's hard to understand what the characters are trying to accomplish half the time. The author LOVES to write confusing scenes that will likely keep you from realizing he is talking about one of the main characters. In fact, he seems to go out of his way to keep you from realizing he is talking about someone you know. One way he does this is with sudden viewpoint shifts in new scenes to people that don't know the main characters.
The author LOVES to obscure the significance of a scene so that chapters later you go... Ahhh... okay now that makes sense. The downside to this is, you say that, but you couldn't care less that it happens because there was no promise of it happening.
** If you like unneeded violence that leaves you numb and uncaring about a world filled with brutality, this book is for you. The author LOVES to spell out intricate details about a person's pain in this book.
** If you want a long fantasy series to follow, give it the first book. DON'T go to the second book if you didn't like this one. It's more of the same. In my opinion the second has a weaker plot than this one. I stopped the series on the third one when the audible app malfunctioned and sent me chapters forward (like it does from time to time) and I didn't notice for 30 minutes of audible book. Really? I can advance 30 minutes in the plot and not even notice. Hardly a cohesive plot that has a gradual progression.
**** In summary... I hated this book and series. I really wanted a new fantasy series to follow so I gave it three books. It's all the same. If you want a better choice, try Wheel of Time, Mistborn, Way of Kings... those are better in my opinion.
This book has no story, confusing plot.
There wasn't a defined good side or bad side. No plot. Just a bunch of made up funny names of creatures that you didn't know what they were or what they did.
The reader was very good.
I don't have time to read printed books . Thank goodness for audible !!
The layers of time and the never ending struggles between gods and mortals
Gods have there plans and think because they are immortal that the puny short lived humans will do there will !!! If there's one thing the malazan shave done it's taught those gods a lesson not to mess with mortals our short lives lead to hasty decisions that muck up there plans. I love all these books . They are confusing the first time through but the author is a genius and will open ur eyes at every turn but u must use ur brains as well as ur eyes
Many giggle with the sappers of the bridge burners
Be more diligent in explaining the characters in the beginning of the book
I loved Ralph performance too bad the story was so hard to follow