Re-read which prologue?
I think most of the prologues are worth re-reading, before you finish the book. I found myself doing it often with MoI, and also again with HoC.
Memories of Ice's prologue is what I meant. It's heavy in at least 3 storylines that you'll only understand by a 1/3 of the book. A reread clears the mental mist.
Ah yes, the prologue with the Rent. Yeah, now would be a good time for me to do that. I'm at the point in the book where Toc is being tortured by something, and it looks like the Rent thing is a key to that.
Erikson writes horrific stuff better than most horror writers, I've noticed.
Other important things in the MoI prologue include the introduction of Kallor and 3 Elder gods, the wolf creature/god that follows the Elder gods into a warren, the T'lan Imass and 2 Jaghut children.
They all have resolutions by the end, so don't worry if you don't understand after a thousand pages, you'll see. Old deities are returning and new folks are falling. The balance is shifting, and it's fun to see these so-called executives as vulnerable as any fruit flie to airspray. And Quick Ben's arrogance to the crippled hag is a nice redemption answer.
Sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around the longevity of these characters. Once I figured that out, it helped. It's not just another character with the same name -- it's the same character!
Living for thousands of years -- I dunno, I think it warps you a little bit.
Plus, you start thinking that they're truly immortal and can't be killed, and when that happens, it's sorta stunning.
Here I am, just starting the Bonehunters. I think it's been 2 years since I last read Erikson, when I read HoC and MT back to back.
I have such a love-hate relationship with Erikson! I love the series, and am truly mind-boggled by the scope... I don't think any other modern fantasy authors have created anything on this scale...
But it is always SO DARNED CONFUSING! 100 pages into Bonehunters, I find myself CONSTANTLY scratching my head and wondering what the hell is going on. I have a pretty good memory, but after all the epic series I've read, by so many different authors, it's so hard to remember what's what. So many characters, so much confusing backstory, and it is never properly explained. I find myself getting a headache, even when I try to read one single chapter.
I keep feeling like a re-read of the entire series is in order... but I also don't feel like i have the time or energy to embark on such a re-read. I don't know what to do! I love the series... I want to keep reading... but after this 2 year break, I am really having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Maybe I need to read some synopses online?
You could do, but the online synopsis aren't that great. I have struggled to put together good, concise ones that hit all the major plot points and it's only possible for Gardens of the Moon. After that you end up with 5,000-word summaries for each book (at a minimum) which still fail to address everything.
I read the first four books back-to-back in 2003 and then MT when it was released in paperback in 2005 and then TBH and RG on release in 2006 and 2007, and spent some time on the Malazanempire forum in the meantime keeping up to speed with everything. Even so I found a re-read of the first four books in 2006 was still very worthwhile and helpful. I'm also of the opinion that you need to read Gardens of the Moon again after reading the other books to really appreciate it, which is more work than most people I think are prepared to put into a series.
I actually read GoTM once, then took a break, realizing that I wasn't ready for such a huge new series. I eventually went back and re-read GoTM, before proceeding on with the rest of the books.
I definitely think that Erikson would be worth a re-read, and I have re-read quite a few of my favourite authors (Tolkien, Hobb, Martin, and recently Jordan). I would absolutely love to re-read Erikson's series... I just don't know when I'll have the time or energy. I think I might keep reading, as they are published, and then re-read the entire series in the future.
Okay, last night I had a breakthrough... I read from page 100 to 180 (of The Bonehunters), and things really started picking up! The return of some familiar faces, plus some awesome action sequences, have really made things start to come together!
I read a great post about Erikson on another forum which I think sums up a lot of people's dissatisfaction with the series:
I still enjoy the series and its huge scope, but there's a lot of truth to this criticism. Every other squad mage is an uber-wizard in hiding in the ranks to avoid the Empress' attention. Every peon is capable of holding philosophical discussions with Camus. Every other plot is solved by magical deus ex machina being pulled out of someone's backside. Why the hell do we not know substantially more about what's going on in the main storyline in Book 7 of the series than we did in Book 3?But the most disappointing book for me this year has to be Reapers Gale. Its been a while coming; i wasn't happy with the two before it either and i have finally decided that i will never pick up an Erikson book again.
Because every time i read his books i feel cheated. There has been seven bloody books out already, we deserve to know what is really going on; not just some vague ever-shifting hints from the shadows. Every time you think you have a hold on the world it changes, characters die in ridiculous ways (and come back) or do ridiculous things but what really got to me is the ever present nihilistic internal monologue. How is every character in the book a philosopher/historian focusing on the human condition ?
It just seems to me that Erikson wrote these books with the word "Epic" in mind rather than setting out to tell a tale that just so happens to be epic. And, to me at least, its ringing false.
Seriously, take out the whole Tiste Edur story which spanned Books 4-7, which from the end of Book 7 seems to have been a colossal sideshow anyway, and we don't seem to have advanced very far from where we were at the end of Memories of Ice: The Crippled God is up to no good, the T'lan Imass are getting their butts kicked on Assail by some unknown force, the Warrens and the pantheon are not in great shape, Kalam can take on the entire Claw by himself and survive (sort of), Quick Ben is capable of handing everyone on the planet their asses, even elder Ascendants, and Laseen is still a moron.
This is why I'm looking forward to getting back to some old favourite characters and locations in Book 8, which I think has the potential to restore some of the lost zest in this series, although Erikson's talk of using 'experimental' new storyline methods to do this is not entirely encouraging (like when you're favourite rock band suddenly announces their next album is going to be an experimental beat-poet-influenced jazz record).
Loved Martin, although the fourth book fell off a bit (hopefully it was pumping a horde of backstory and facts for a stellar fifth book). I digress, this is a Erikson forum after all. I just got GoM and clicked through, carefully I might add, 130 or so pages...I feel this is a "must try author." My point, so was Jordan and I tried Jordan to the fifth book or so and quit. Wasnt my type of epic, although the books at first were very addictive, from talking with people and reading on....I could tell they were starting to kind of ramble on.....
Erkinson on the otherhand, has many of the similarties that I love about Martin. While being totally different, it is a great excersice for both my ADD and OCD (just half kidding, but you get the idea). You have to pay attention, and from what I can tell so far you are rewarded for it....
Again, this is my initial impression of him.....am I far off?
Last edited by matthuckaby; December 29th, 2007 at 07:48 PM. Reason: mistype, corrected by evil agent