On the Letherii continent the exiled Malazan army commanded by Adjunct Tavore begins its march into the eastern Wastelands, to fight for an unknown cause against an enemy it has never seen.
The fate awaiting the Bonehunters is one no soldier can prepare for, and one no mortal soul can withstand - the foe is uncertainty and the only weapon worth wielding is stubborn courage. In war everyone loses, and this brutal truth can be found in the eyes of every soldier in every world.
Destinies are never simple. Truths are neither clear nor sharp. The Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen are drawing to a close in a distant place, beneath indifferent skies, as the last great army of the Malazan Empire seeks a final battle in the name of redemption. Final questions remain to be answered: can one's deeds be heroic when no one is there to see it? Can that which is unwitnessed forever change the world? The answers await the Bonehunters, beyond the Wastelands....
"This novel and all others in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series follow my own pronunciations of 'Malazan' words and names. My thanks to Michael and Jane and everyone at Brilliance Audio." - Steven Erikson, Victoria, B.C. Canada, January, 2014
©2009 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Audible appears to have released books 8 and 9 in the wrong order. As of writing this book 8 isn't out yet. Just a warning for people.
Audible released in the wrong order. Can't get a straight answer from Audible as to when Book 8 will be released
Obviously writing a review of the ninth book in a series is going to be preaching to the choir. If you've kept up this long, you won't be stopping now because of anything you might read. But for those who haven't picked up this series yet, I'll tell you: it's still good after nine books! There's only one book left after this, so pick this series up now. By the time you get to this one, the last audiobook will have been released!
As far as the book itself goes, it's a fantastic read. I can't say it's my favorite of the series (Memories of Ice) but it's not my least favorite (Midnight Tides). The one big difference here, of course, is that this was never meant to be a complete book. Each previous volume ended with a conclusion that pulled together the loose threads and wove something meaningful out of them. This is - by the author's own admission - halfway through the final volume which was split for publishing costs (and for the sake of the readers, according to Erikson). So perhaps when I finally get around to The Crippled God I'll be able to further appreciate this story which was - all things considered - a good listen (minus a few unpleasant moments in the book that might be hard to stomach for some readers).
A few minor complaints about narration: Steven Erikson writes that this novel uses the original pronunciation of names, peoples, magic, etc that he intended when he first wrote them down. And that's fantastic that this audiobook can reflect that. But there have been 8 previous audiobooks that have Quick Ben's full name pronounce Ben [a-DAY-fon-DEH-lat]. Now it's pronounced Ben [AH-deh-fon-deh-LAHT]. When Ralph Lister performed Memories of Ice, "Hetan" was pronounced "HEE-ten"; now it's pronounced [heh-tan]. The word "Mhybe" was pronounced [MY-bee] now, it's pronounced [muh-HIBE]. It took me a second to figure out what they were saying when I first heard it, this being a word from a fictional language.
I get that Erikson wanted the audiobooks to be, well, books read out-loud, not dramatic adaptations, but after nearly 400 hours of audio I think it would have been easier on us, the listeners, for the pronunciations to have remained consistent.
Finally, while Michael Page does a stellar job reading this, he has this generic eastern-European-meets-Arab voice that he uses for a lot of characters. There's literally nothing I can hear that distinguishes Kalam from Gall (a supporting character we're introduced to in this book). It doesn't ruin the book by any stretch, and Michael Page was just following his director, but it was jarring enough to lose a star (I bet Messrs Page and Erikson just fret about that at night).
Totally appreciate every aspect of the ability Steven Erickson has for creating characters that live and breathe and feel in ways more alive than most living, breathing people.
Unbelievably shoddy customer support from Audible.On Monday of last week, Brilliance Audio confirmed with me (multiple times after multiple phone calls... same story every time) that book 8 (Toll The Hounds) was complete and Audible was telling them "It should be done this week". Well, still can't an answer out of Audible and one week later, no book.Who the heck releases book 9 before book 8? Who won't give the fans any sort of straight answer on a release date? Audible apparently.
Michael Page's best performance yet. Unlike the previous book this one moved along very quickly, developed the new characters well, and helped solidify the previous characters. It was to stop listening at the end.
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