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Editorial Reviews

“The kind of epic narrative that will have you scrambling for more.” —Stephen R. Donaldson

“Extraordinarily enjoyable… Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics.” —Salon

Publisher's Summary

All is not well in the Letherii Empire. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, surrounded by sycophants and agents of his Machiavellian chancellor, while the Letherii secret police conduct a campaign of terror against their own people. The Errant, once a far-seeing god, is suddenly blind to the future. Conspiracies seethe throughout the palace as the empire edges closer to all-out war with the neighboring kingdoms.

The great Edur fleet draws ever closer. Among its warriors are Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer - each destined to cross blades with the emperor himself. A band of fugitives seeks a way out of the empire. One of them, Fear Sengar, must find the soul of Scabandari Bloodeye. Yet traveling with them is Scabandari’s most ancient foe: Silchas Ruin. His motives are anything but certain, for the wounds he carries on his back, made by the blades of Scabandari, are still fresh.

Fate decrees that there is to be a reckoning - a reckoning on an unimaginable scale. This is a brutal, harrowing novel of war, intrigue, and dark, uncontrollable magic; this is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most thrilling.

©2007 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • Evergreen, CO, United States
  • 08-30-14

This series just keeps getting better!!

One of my favorites of the series so far. I won't give any spoilers, but many of the disparate and far flung characters are starting to converge. I am so glad I stuck with Gardens of the Moon (book 1) as that book didn't really "grab me" until its second half. Since then it has been an absolute pleasure to take Erikson's tour of Malazan and the rest of this incredible world.
I assume most of those reading this review are already fans (its book 7 for goodness sake). Rest assured that this installment continues at the pace and quality you have come to expect. I am amazed at how long Erickson can sustain his climactic portions of the book. Seems like for the last several (many) hours the pace of the story goes at absolute breakneck speed. I am really looking forward to the rest of the books being released on Audible. I am resisting the urge to go out and buy the already completed books 8, 9 and 10 (the finale) - I've decided to stick with the audio.


For New Readers:
Start with Gardens of the Moon. This series is a very gritty military fantasy with a huge cast of characters. Point of view characters include Gods and mortals and ghosts and shapeshifters and the (seemingly) insane. Less a High Middle-Ages analogue than a mix of Greek/Roman/Eastern cultures (only vaguely reminiscent of even these - but it gives you an idea). It goes to places you will not see coming - at least I didn't. Book 2 introduces a nearly complete new cast of characters. Highly recommended for those looking for challenging fantasy fiction. Erikson does not dumb down his writing - part of the reason the first half of book one was difficult for me was that Erikson writes as if his reader was already familiar with this world, its magic systems, history, politics and religions - trusting that you will learn and self-translate as you go. Erickson is also not afraid of humor - and writes his more witty characters extremely well (Quick Ben, Kruppe, Tehol Beddict - all have made me laugh out loud). He also has a keen sense for tragedy.

Each chapter is separated by a historical snippet and/or poetry - I only mention this as it may be confusing or jarring in an Audio only context. The print books feature large maps and glossary sections. I actually picked up the books at a bookstore for these features - this was probably unnecessary as there are many resources on the internet.

Especially recommended for fans of Martin, Abercrombie or Glen Cook.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I've never loved being so confused, so much.

An amazingly complex story. So many observations of the best and the worst of humanity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • mcleansville, NC, United States
  • 12-06-14

There Will Be A Reckoning!

Those words, written across the book's back cover, epitomize the events that transpire in this seventh volume of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Continuing and concluding the storyline begun in Midnight Tides and continued in The Bonehunters, this book brings a climactic conclusion that brings resolution to so many open threads, bringing down justice on so many who deserve it, and generally giving us a satisfying moment of reprieve before the last push to the end.

I always say this, but the sheer scale of the storyline in this book is almost beyond believe. It puts other "epic" fantasies to shame, as there can really be no serious comparison to this series. The storyline in this novel begins over a hundred thousand years in the past, and despite that unimaginable scale Erikson is able to make you feel like it really has been that much time that has transpired. When I look back at the thousands of pages since the story of the Sengars and the Tiste Edur began, and the betraying of Silchas Ruin by Scabandari Bloodeye, and so many other things, it's awe-inspiring. Certainly this is what epic fantasy really should be. Absolutely unforgettable.

And there are many reckonings in this book. This is ultra-violent, no-holds-barred storytelling, chock full of political machinations and bloody war. There are several stand-out fights, especially involving Quick Ben, Fiddler and Hedge. And of course, Karsa Orlong continues to kick more ass in this novel, making me beam with pride at who has become probably my favorite character in the series.

Yet there's a lot of tragedy here, too - which you must surely expect by now. A few key deaths are going to be hard to take; I know they were for me. It's things like that which don't sit very well with me in the end, especially when so many of them could be avoided to the point where you can see the author's hand and it feels a bit contrived. Yet the ending is pure Erikson awesomeness as usual. My only complaint is, as usual, that I didn't get as much "screen time" with the major characters and major players of the book. As typical, Erikson introduces new minor characters and spends a lot of time with them and with the front-line grunts of the army. I don't know if part of this reason is if he didn't feel comfortable or confident enough to write the harder characters, as ancient as many of them are. Certainly we haven't seen Anomander Rake since book 3 and that just baffles me. But at any rate, this book series still deserves to be on any epic fantasy reader's bookshelf.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book mediocre narration

here are my fifteen words that i am required to include even tho my title is sufficient

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • gjm
  • round rock, TX, United States
  • 10-13-14

Michael Page kills another epic series

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone who enjoys poor, naive, simplistic narrators.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Reaper's Gale?

How the publishers ruined potentially the finest fantasy series with a catastrophically poor decision to remove Ralph Lister.

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Page’s performances?

Never. This is the fifth or sixth fantasy series ruined by either thIS narrator or the audiobook publisher replacing with similar narrators.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Over the last decade it has become obvious to me that professional, sophisticated, and dynamic narrators in fantasy and science-fiction writing may be the finest, most pure forms of entertainment available.

Narrators that set the standard and make for exciting, compelling audiobooks:

Ralph Lister, Steven Pacey, Rupert Degas, Roy Dotrice, Christian Rodska, Steven Brand, Peter Kenny, Toby Longworth, Simon Vance (sometimes).

Any additional comments?

PUBLISHERS PLEASE TAKE NOTE. MIRROR FUTURE NARRATORS ON THE MEN ABOVE. THEY ARE THE ONLY GOOD NARRATORS.

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

just great

Once again Mr page is phenomenal. The story fantastic. I loved it. Now on to the next one.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

tedious and sophomoric

I wish I hadn't promised my wife's brother that I'd listen to these. I might have to divorce her. but the narrator is amazingly good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How does he do it?

These stories just keep getting better and better. Michael Page is ok. He keeps changing voices throughout the story so it throws me off occasionally, but it would take a truly terrible narrator to ruin how good this story is and Michael Page remains above terrible so far.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heart-wrenchingly glorious

I know not all books have to be happy in every way, I swear this man was going through some sort of trauma when he wrote this. That being said this book was amazing. The way the author builds up these stories into a beautiful climax of love, hate, despair, and Hope is simply breathtaking. Hardley ever does the written word move me to a physical reaction, yet I shed tears for this book.

I'm looking forward to the next in series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Malazan book by far

I devoured this book. Fantastic characters, great action, heartwarming story.
Pros: (SPOILER) The fact that this narrative brings Karsa, Trull, and the Bridgeburners (Bone Hunters) together finally is great. Well narrated and incredibly directed.
Cons: (SPOILERS) Sometimes it feels like Erikson introduces characters almost by mistake. Both Red Mask and Silchas Ruin are fantastic characters who don’t really effect the finale of the book. Will they be back? The narration is one of the best, but I feel like Michael Page needs to slow down and/or pause at the end of each chapter or when the story traditions to other characters in different places. Often I am listening and don’t even realize that he’s shifted - unless he is voicing a very unique character like his amazing Karsa Orlong.