Malazan: Are the Esslemont Books Required?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by bossfan2000, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. bossfan2000

    bossfan2000 Nashville Reader

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    I know that sounds like a weird question, so let me explain. I've been reading the Malazan books for what seems like 2 years now (while mixing in other things). I am nearing the end of Reaper's Gale, and had planned on jumping to Return of the Crimson Guard per Wert's recommended reading order. However, I'm getting a little burned out by the length of each book and the fact I've spent 2 years on them so far. And I am trying to read the WoT books to be ready for the final book in January 2013.

    So, I am wondering how much I will miss if I stick to just the Erickson books for now and skip the Esslemont books? I own ICE's books, and will continue to buy them when released. But I would really like to "wrap up" my Malazan reading soon. And the best way to do that would be read all 10 Erikson books, and come back in a year or two and read ICE's books. While I know there is more to the story than those 10 Erikson books, I would still feel like I accomplished (COMPLETED) something if I could get through his part of the series.

    For those of you who have read all the Malazan books: how much would I miss by reading only the Erikson novels for now, and revisiting the ICE books at a later time?
     
  2. T77

    T77 Registered User

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    Well, I'm not finished yet, reading DoD now, but there is a major plot event in RotCG that I think can't be missed. Not sure about Stonewielder as I have not read it yet.

    I had the same feeling reading Malazan during the first 2 books - every book is so long and there are so many, you tend to rush them and dread them. But, then I realized how much better they are than most fantasy novels and decided to take my time and enjoy them and it has helped tremendously.
     
  3. Malthar

    Malthar Reek rhymes with geek

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    If you focus on the main 10 novels by Erikson, you won't "miss" anything from the Esselmont books.

    ICE provides some good background into things, dropping more elements of the overall worldbuilding mystery, but nothing that would reveal secrets in the MBotF. While they might happen chronologically in an overlapping timeline, the events are very much independent. Rumor of faraway events mentioned by SE in one book are described in detail by ICE.

    But definitely come back - the books are all good reads.
     
  4. Malthar

    Malthar Reek rhymes with geek

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    Really? Maybe I'm misremembering because I didn't read them close together. Aside from the shared characters, what was the event? (put in spoiler text if need be)
     
  5. kcf

    kcf Nobody in Particular

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    I would say the answer is both yes and no. Erikson's series does stand on its own and ICE's books ar not necessary. So it can be done.

    However, ICE's books do provide a lot of info for the fans, they do expand on plot threads that are introduced, hinted at or otherwise left behind in the main series. And the plan for ICE's books taken together is to provide something of an epilogue to the main series. (I'm still not entirely confident that ICE can pull it off to my satisfaction)
     
  6. bossfan2000

    bossfan2000 Nashville Reader

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    thanks everyone...I think I'll either skip all the Esslemont books (again, just for now), or read just RotCG and wait on the rest. Reading these Malazan books takes me like 3-4 weeks each, so I am getting super backlogged in my reading. But I want to feel a sense of completing them sometime soon, so sticking with the Erikson books is the best way to make that happen.
     
  7. End Of Disc One

    End Of Disc One Registered User

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    If you're only reading the series for completion sake then no they are not necessary to understand what's going on in Eriksons books. But if you actually care about the Malazan Empire and related characters then yes RotCG is a major chapter in that story
     
  8. T77

    T77 Registered User

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    Maybe this is covered in another book and RotCG is not necessary. Don't know as I have not finished the series. But, it seems like a major event to me.


    Sorry, don't know how to add a spoiler.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  9. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    you just do this without spaces

    [ spoiler ] I read the Bible and he dies at the end... [/ spoiler ]
     
  10. homicidalbworm

    homicidalbworm homicidalbookworm

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    Orb, Scepter, Throne

    The 4th Esselmont novel is well worth reading as it takes us back to Darujistan. In my own opinion its the best of the books by Esselmont though the others and too bad. this might be 'cos the 4th book focused on what I think of as Erikson characters and not new ones that Esselmont has introduced us to.

    [possible spoiler - The one problem I have with it is just a bit more info on who the Tyrant actually is]
     
  11. T77

    T77 Registered User

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    Thanks saintjon. The RotCG important plot thread is...

    Laseen is killed.
     
  12. Claireness

    Claireness New Member

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    This isn't true, as lots of information is revealed that completes the storyline- as in, characters who have faded in and out come back and what not. So yes, if you want the 'whole' story for Erikson's novels then you have to read ICE.

    BUT! And for me this is a big but :| ICE is not as good as Erikson. He doesn't write as well. His characters have been done and dusted. The story is quite predictable. I think that you can cut your losses and just read Erikson and have most of the plot summed up for you, with loose ends.
     
  13. End Of Disc One

    End Of Disc One Registered User

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    What I meant was for the remaining Erikson books after The Bonehunters. You don't have to read any Esselmont books to understand Erikson's 7-10.
     
  14. Claireness

    Claireness New Member

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    Maybe, I'd have to reread them all to check and that's a lot of reading. I wonder whether they'll be any future tie-ins though. He is meant to publish another book this year (Erikson that is)
     
  15. T77

    T77 Registered User

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    I've only read NoK and RotCG and I agree, from those two books, ICE is no Erikson. However, I do think he is better than most other fantasy authors and I did enjoy NoK and RotCG, more so NoK.
     
  16. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    Agree completely. NoK is a great backstory. It's also good for filling in some gaps that SE purposely created. RotCG is great. And has some major plot points that you should know. If you liked hearing about the Crimson Guard. You have to read ROTCG!! SW, I'm reading now. It's good so far! They are all good reads that provide some good info, and a great story.

    But it sounds like you just want to get this series over with. You don't want to miss anything since you've put in the time, but want it ended. If that's correct...Just read SE's books. Honestly I would skim a lot. If you aren'y enjoying them, why read so much?

    For me, I just finished RG and I'm pretty sad that I only have like 5books left. I don't want this journey to end! I love this world. Finishing the series will be both rewarding and depressing.

    For any Malazan fans out there. I don't want to promote another forum..but over @ http://forum.malazanempire.com/ - They are trying to get a Malazan card game going. Sounds like it'll be pretty cool if it can go live and official.
     
  17. C-1

    C-1 Registered User

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    On the bright side, we will get another two new Malazan books later this year, so it isnt like the ride is over yet. :D
     
  18. T77

    T77 Registered User

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    Yes, I believe SE is writing a trilogy about Rake. One of the reasons why I am focusing on Malazan is I want to read the new ones as they come out. I think I'm going to break publication order and read TCG next. Then take a break and catch up on Glen Cook and then read SW and OST.

    I'm loving DoD so far (about 15% in), the scene with the deck of dragons was awesome! One of the best page turners in the series so far. The whole plot thread seems like it will be great.