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*Starred Review* The second of the projected 10 volumes of the Malazan Book of the Fallen raises the stakes set by Gardens of the Moon [BKL My 15 04]. From the Holy Desert Raraku, in the land of the Seven Cities, the seer Sha'ik sends her followers out on a holy war known as the Whirlwind. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the current violent Islamic jihad, but Erikson's scholarship is sufficiently thorough to enable him to avoid simpleminded likeness making. His imagination is also sufficient to bring the setting of the Seven Cities vividly to life, although his realism is rather literally gritty, including a great deal of sand and gravel that will inevitably recall for some readers a country in which American troops are now fighting. The opposition to the Whirlwind is varied but includes the inevitable mercenaries, limned in the manner that stems from David Drake's sf and in fantasy is practiced particular skillfully by Glen Cook. Erikson is making his dark characters and grisly battles very much his own, however, and fantasy readers with a strong appetite for world building and action ought to enjoy his efforts. Whether they'll stay for all 10 volumes is another matter, but so far, so good. Roland Green
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Give me the evocation of a rich, complex and yet ultimately unknowable other world, with a compelling suggestion of intricate history and mythology and lore. Give me mystery amid the grand narrative. Give me a world in which every sea hides a crumbled Atlantis, every ruin has a tale to tell, every mattock blade is a silent legacy of struggles unknown. Give me, in other words, the fantasy work of Steven Erikson. Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics on a scale that would approach absurdity if it wasn't so much fun."--Andrew Leonard, Salon.com on The Malazan Book of the Fallen
"Steven Erikson afflicts me with awe. Vast in scope, almost frighteningly fecund in imagination, and rich in sympathy, his work does something that only the rarest of books can manage: it alters the reader's perceptions of reality."--Stephen R. Donaldson on Deadhouse Gates
"I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of imagination may be the high water mark of epic fantasy. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Vance's Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowings of this dark dragon's hoard."--Glen Cook on The Malazan Book of the Fallen
"One of the best fantasy novels of the year."--SF Site on Deadhouse Gates
"Rare is the writer who so fluidly combines a sense of mythic power and depth of world, with fully realized characters and thrilling action, but Steven Erikson manages it spectacularly. The books are reminiscent of Tolkein's scope, Zelazny's cleverness and wit, and Donaldson's brooding atmospherics; yet all combined with dazzling talent into a narrative flow that keeps the reader turning pages. Some writers open windows on worlds, Erikson opens worlds and makes them so real, so magical, you're not sure if you can escape-and I don't want to."-Michael A. Stackpole on Deadhouse Gates
"Such is the impact of the first book in Erikson's monumental Malazan saga, Gardens of the Moon, that the achievement of this sequel is doubly surprising. Not only is the vigour and sweep of the earlier book effortlessly captured, the complex plot is simultaneously deepened and accelerated, with a grasp of tempo that has the reader inexorably gripped . . . Roll on, book three!"-The Good Book Guide on Deadhouse Gates "Gripping, fast-moving, delightfully dark, with a masterful and unapologetic brutality reminiscent of George R. R. Martin. Steven Erikson brings a punchy, mesmerizing writing style into the genre of epic fantasy, making an indelible impression. Utterly engrossing."--Elizabeth Haydon on Deadhouse Gates
Rich, complex...Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs. (Andrew Leonard Salon 20050717)
Vast in scope, almost frighteningly fecund in imagination, and rich in sympathy. (Stephen R. Donaldson 20050717)
This masterwork of imagination may be the high water mark of epic fantasy. (Glen Cook 20050717)
One of the best fantasy novels of the year. (SF Site 20050717)
Reminiscent of Tolkein''s scope, Zelazny''s cleverness and wit, and Donaldson''s brooding atmospherics. (Michael A. Stackpole )
Gripping, fast-moving, delightfully dark, with a masterful and unapologetic brutality reminiscent of George R. R. Martin... Utterly engrossing. (Elizabeth Haydon )
In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha'ik and her followers prepare for the long-prophesied uprising known as the Whirlwind. Unprecedented in size and savagery, this maelstrom of fanaticism and bloodlust will embroil the Malazan Empire in one of the bloodiest conflicts it has ever known, shaping destinies and giving birth to legends . . .
Set in a brilliantly realized world ravaged by dark, uncontrollable magic, this thrilling novel of war, intrigue and betrayal confirms Steven Erikson as a storyteller of breathtaking skill, imagination and originality--the author who has written the first great fantasy epic of the new millennium.