Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers in 1999 with his debut, Gardens of the Moon. In the span of just 10 years, he completed his epic telling of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, collecting hordes of fans along the way. Now Erikson returns with a place for new listeners to enter the Malazan world, a trilogy that takes place at a time before the events of the concluded series.
Forge of Darkness takes listeners to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, and tells of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in the fall of the Malazan Empire and surrounds one of the Malazan world’s most fascinating and powerful characters, Anomander Rake. It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, where Mother Dark reigns above the Tiste people. But this ancient land was once home to many a power...and even death is not quite eternal.
The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, longs for ascendency and Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but she has taken another Consort, Lord Draconus, from the faraway Dracons Hold. The idea of this union sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of an inevitable civil war burn through the masses, something emerges from the long-dead seas. The Vitr - an ancient power that shakes the dormant and dying powers of the past. Caught in the middle of it all are the Sons of Darkness: Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold.
It’s a time of great strife as the past and the present of this warren boil with unfathomable alliances, great deceptions, and even greater passions...of both love and hate. This ancient tale within the world Erikson introduced in the Malazan Book of the Fallen should appeal to fans of George R. R. Martin for its characters and intrigue, but goes leaps further in the realm of the imagination.
©2012 Steven Erikson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I read constantly. I love Jordan, Sanderson, Weeks, Lukyanenko, Erikson, Butcher, and Michael J. Sullivan.
Steven Erikson is probably the best fantasy writer it has ever been my pleasure to read or listen to.
Kadaspala ripping out his own eyes in grief.
Anomander Rake meeting Caladan Brood for the first time.
It doesn't start how you think it does.
The audio on this book was recorded far too low. I was straining to hear for over 1/2 the book.
The audio version allows the reader to hear difficult names pronounced. The reader is excellent and makes the story flow beautifully.
Ooh, tough question. There are so many inigmatic characters that tickled my curiosity, I guess Triss got my attention the most. Her amazing power combined with a somewhat peaceful personality really made her god-like.
The first encounter with the dragon corpse by the sea.
Not really, but the prose was so perfectly presented that is felt Shakespearian at times. I think that was a combination of reader and writer.
Wonderful writing. I bought the Kindle version of book one of the Malazan series immediately after finishing this.
The series Malazan Book of the Fallen is the best I have ever read. Now Erikson expands around this amazing world he built and we get to know more what came before.
What a shame. This book is a missed opportunity to be a new starting point for new readers of the series. Instead, this feels more unapproachable than Gardens of the Moon by far. There are vast sections of boringness, with near endless thought monologue involving minor characters that we've never met and frankly don't care about. If you were hoping for character viewpoints of your favorites, such as Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, Caladan Brood, and Draconis, you'll be disappointed.
As the name implies, this book is dark. It's full of sex, grotesque sexual references, rape and brutal violence and gore. Nearly every new scene gets around to the topic of sex, in which it is crudely discussed, then either had, implied, or forced. This gets old really fast, for me.
The problems with this book are the same ones in all of this series. There are several things that stand out in this series that are totally unrealistic. First, every soldier is a philosopher. We get pages and pages of philosophical imaginings by small nobodies and line soldiers. Doesn't anyone have a more simplistic view of life in this world? It's a big mistake to make so many characters so similar.
Secondly, I think it's a mistake to make all of the elder gods, and the ascendants and ancient characters from the Malazan series, to all be contemporaries in this book. I feel that it cheapens the history when we're basically told that the Malazan series was just the same characters from this book getting back together to make war upon each other again. There is very little revealed about any of them, making it feel lacking in terms of payoff.
Finally, all the women in this series are voraciously oversexed. The women in the Malazan series have more sexual appetite then the men in most fantasy series, and in fact they actually act more like men instead of real women. Those who do not, who are in the least bit clean and unsullied, are brutally raped and murdered as a general rule. In fact, there is so much atrocity, child slaughter, and rape-fests in this book I wonder if his was some kind if catharsis for Erikson's dark side, where he could envision the most terrible things happening that he dared write down on a page.
Even if you're a fan of the main series, I don't recommend this book. There are certain cases where the image in your kind of what happened long ago will always be better than the book/movie depicting those events. This is one of those cases.
Just flat out boring, there is some decent dialog in some parts but that is basically the entire book, just different static scenes with 2 people talking. No tension, or climatic build up.
I would recommend the text version of this book, not the audio version, to a lover of the Malazan world. This mispronunciations made the book almost impossible to get through.
Either one of the two narrators for the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Or someone who at least bothered to listen to the 1 audiobooks of the series already in existence so that they could learn how to pronounce the word Tist, considering they are the main characters in this book.
The word is pronounced Tist (rhymes with list) and not Tiest. It is inexcusable for a narrator to mispronounce the name of the main race in the entire book. As I mentioned before there are 10 audiobooks in this series read by two separate narrators that this narrate could have listen to so he could learn how to pronounce the words if he was unfamiliar with them. Also, his selection of voices for man of the characters is just ridiculous. The narrator makes many of the characters sound like fools and/or winners. In addition, with the potential for so many stories coming out of the Malazan world, I feel that a better tale could have been told. There are so many amazing characters to focus on and I wish Erickson had selected something other than the Tist to write about in this series.
Fairly high, though not my favorite Erikson novel, still much better than a typical fantasy. This certainly is not a book for those who want fast pacing, lots of action, and quick resolutions.
Because this book is a prequel which delivers the promise of lore made mostly in Erikson's Malazan books, the most memorable moments are those that reward you for having seen the future, and how these events will shape it.
Philpott is not my favorite reader of Erikson, and his pronunciation of certain fantasy words is... disappointing, but he does the character dialogue justice. Anomander Rake and Lord Draconus in particular.
The pacing is (by normal standards) *very* slow, and the plot is driven by almost glacial forces of divine interference, political intrigue, and personal ambition. Because of this, I only recommend this book to those who appreciate this approach. Speaking personally, I can't get enough of Erikson's contemplative philosopher kings and warriors.
Anyone who enjoys 32 hours of immortal self respective. Teases u enough to keep listing with a tid bit here and there. He sucked me in all the way to the end. Just more circumspect! And mental agony.
I enjoyed the first two books and will listen to the third.
The narrator did a fine job
More magic, less characters, less psychological sessions usually one character self analyzing!! The language he uses tends to make ur mind drift. Written in words used 100 years ago , and a lot more action!!
If I could stop dozing off from being bombarded with philosophy it might have been a good book. You will find yourself saying "GET ON WITH IT!!!!!!"
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