Series Review: Mazallan, Book of the fallen

01 Aug 2012

‘Gardens of the Moon’ and ‘Deadhouse Gates’ are both books by Steven Erikson and are the first two in the series: Mazallan, Book of the Fallen.

Though the books are classified as Fantasy and have all the usual elements such as sorcery, magic and strange creatures, I didn’t feel like I was reading fantasy novels. They are more on the lines of books such as ‘A Bridge too far’ which recounts the experiences of a British force that went too far into German held territory during WW-II.

The emphasis in both books is on strategy. The author mentions in the preface that he did not want to insult his audience’s intelligence and that becomes obvious as you read on. The events that occur are not immediately explained (if at all). Loyalties, perceptions and people change continuously.I started the book ‘knowing’ who the good guys were and which ones were bad. But by the end, my opinion had completely changed.

Both books are also packed with lots of action and twists. I’d rather not reveal too much of the story. Recommend them highly.

If you like reading fantasy - get this series. I’d written a small review after reading the first two. But the others had me enthralled. After reading 2 or 3 books by an author, one can usually predict how the others will read. Its true of this series too but that doesn’t take anything away from the sheer ‘size’ of the story. It is an epic. In case you are interested, the pattern in his books is to build up different threads. Reading the book is like listening to a drum beat - which becomes faster and faster until it reaches a crescendo - where all the threads meet. As I’d mentioned in the last review: the one thing that strikes you is the fact that there are no strongly defined ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people. Each is moulded by his/her circumstances and you often find yourself pitying the very person you thought of as the ‘villain’ a few pages ago.