Reaper’s Gale

Reaper’s Gale cover

I may be getting a bit over-excited, having post-reading euphoria and all, but Reaper’s Gale is a just mind-blowingly amazing. But I won’t say it is the best tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen— each volume I read (or re-read) seems to be the best, until I start reading (or re-reading) the next.

I have made up my mind: if I ever get stuck on a desert island and can have just one set of books to bring along, I’ll bring the whole Malazan series. I’d be happy for a couple of months at least.

For all intents and purposes, you can consider the Malazan books to have three major plot lines—on the continent of Genebackis (Books 1 and 3), on the Seven Cities continent (Books 2 and 4), and on the Letherii continent (Book 5). Book 6 makes some headway in combining these myriad threads. Reaper’s Gale merges the plot lines from book 5 and 6, and one starts getting a picture just how freaking huge the world is, just how many interconnections are possible.

Many of our favorite characters are back. There’s action aplenty (the Malazan marines rock). The sorcery keeps getting heavier (Quick Ben has ‘grown’). The stakes are of course higher (Eleint Soletaken, The Crippled God, The Azath, The Elder Gods, et cetera. Can’t explain all this to outsiders anyway, so will just scare you with the names). And even more gallows humour (I loved it most of all).

A lot of the characters come into their own in this book; it comes results in an actual climax, almost gives one a decent sense of closure. Which just means that Erikson will spend the next two books building-up, at which point all bets are off as to what will happen in the final book.

If you’re as into fantasy as me, there is no other series as satisfying as this. Some books are better written, some are more innovative, but nothing comes close to the Malazan Book of the Fallen in terms of sheer scale and audacity (as far as I know).

I love distributing these books among my friends, hoping someone will end up loving them as much as me. My copy of Gardens of the Moon is battered from the three times I’ve read it and the three people I’ve lent it to. Reaper’s Gale is the only decent edition I have, a trade paperback; all the rest are mass-market paperbacks. I think I’ll probably end up buying a whole hardcover set when the series finishes—there are bound to be some special (collectible) editions. It’s money well spent.

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