It is quite difficult to shortly describe this story thought up by Steven Erikson as there are so many different story lines being told and so many characters that play a role in the books. If I have to give it a try, I would say it is a story about Gods and humans and the wars they fight and games they play. In the middle of all that, the Malazan empire, expanded over several continents, is slowly collapsing. As a reader you mainly follow a group of Malazan soldiers and their battles against incredible powerful wizards, scary demons, ambitious ascendants and scheming Gods while at the same time you also look at the world and conflicts from the point of view of the enemies of the empire.
Besides the enormous quantities of magic and action in the series, another great aspect of The Malazan Book of the Fallen is that on the one hand, no one in these series seems to be without some kind of ability while on the other hand everyone, even the most powerful, are vulnerable in some way. And the Gods are probably more afraid of mortals than the other way around.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is my all time number 3 favorite fantasy series and for a good reason. Written by Steven Erikson, according to many, including myself, one of the finest fantasy authors around, it is fantasy to its extreme, epic, overpowering, almost more you can handle. Everyone is special and everyone is flawed. A character in a book of Steven Erikson will have no clue as to what will be waiting for him around the next corner as is the case for you as a reader.
The series can be seen as a bit over the top but personally I love it. Especially the last 100 pages of each book are simply fantastic.All in all, the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is one of the greatest fantasy series around.
1. Gardens of the Moon (1999)
2. Deadhouse Gates (2000)
3. Memories of Ice (2001)
4. House of Chains (2002)
5. Midnight Tides (2004)
6. The Bonehunters (2006)
7. Reaper’s Gale (2007)
8. Toll the Hounds (2008)
9. Dust of Dreams (2009)
10. The Crippled God (forthcoming)