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.
Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.
Steven Erikson challenges the traditional fantasy genre' with his "Book of the Fallen" series, and again, more so, with this first book in his new precursor Kharkanas trilogy, "Forge of Darkness."
First, a brief review: A stirring, powerful, thought-provoking, wonderful "must read."
Now, a bit more info.
I've read this before I listened to it. It's HUGE. Just as in his "Fallen" works, this requires you to think. AND. It's setting the groundworks for a strong, amazing trilogy down the road. If you liked "Gardens of the Moon," which I've already reviewed here at Audible, you'll love this book. "Gardens" carries it's work somewhat herein, so you'll be comfortable. The descriptions are astounding, the plots and storylines immense, and the fantasy element is superb. A powerful mix of fantasy, machiavellian plots and engaging characters.
No spoilers here, as usual. I WILL tell you to look at my review of Erikson's "Gardens of the Moon," so you can get a better idea, if you need one.
This is EPIC. Strong fantasy at it's finest. And just like "Gardens," it's not a casual listen.
This is fantasy on par with NOTHING else out there. It's unique and refreshing. And again, anyone who knows Erikson's works will agree: He's preparing us in this first book for very great things.
Right at the top. The production is great, the narrator is engaging and consistent. Erikson is at his most philosophical and his prose is deliciously dark, but at times still warm and humorous.
Draconus. He is the beating heart of the book for me.
The most important thing about a narrator for me is that they make it easier, not harder, to follow the storyline. Philpott does this.
The only way to rank it higher is if I could get my Credit back.
Burn it before he sent it to the publisher.
Never heard him before, but he's quite good.
It took several hours before it got to anything resembling a story. It sort of carried that story on and off from then on, but there are so many Peoples, Lands, Houses and Myths that it was nearly impossible to keep track of who's who. Sure, keeping track was my responsibility, but I ended up having to go to a wiki to figure things out because the author did such a poor job.
Rather than tell a Fantastic story, the author was more concerned with making people sound like they're at a renaissance fair. Rather than keeping the story moving, the author stops everything and has the characters try to understand the universe through faulty reasoning and sophomoric philosophy. I'm totally fine with being immersed in the story's universe and trying to see it through the character's eyes. But do they have to be stupid! Do they have to resort to bad poetry that doesn't even come close to (succinctly) expressing that world view?
So, I could skip the slow bits. But I can't skip every other sentence! The author regularly uses bad similes and metaphors (on top of the bad poetry). But what drove me absolutely bonkers was that he decided to compound the problem by trying again, and again to get it right! Rather than using the delete key, backspace button. I felt as if I were a fish in a bowl, a container. Filled with water, a translucent liquid. But unlike a fish questing, ever discovering anew, I was a fish with a memory, a retention of the past. ...and worse yet, there's be a scratched record playing that would sometimes skip, sometimes not.
Don't be fooled by others who say this is a great story.
They're just trying to avoid having to admit they wasted their money.
I had hoped that in ten years the author would have learned to write a less disjointed plot. He has not. I still found myself forgetting who the characters were and where they fit into the plot. This book, like all of this author's books, demands attention, and getting distracted for a few minutes leaves you lost in a land of square pegs and round holes. Obfuscation is not art.
However, the joy of this book is also its weakness. The command of the English language displayed in this book is stunning. It merits the comparison to Jack Vance's Dying Earth; the very complexity of the language creates a sense of other-worldliness that, combined with imagery, creates a captivating world and a captivating story. Like Vance (or like Shakespeare for that matter), this book is a high-effort, high reward read.
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.
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!!
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.
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