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Reapers Gale – The Malazan Book Of The Fallen 7

I’ve already posted a brief rundown of the Malazan Empire series up to this novel, so it makes sense to continue. If you haven’t started reading it yet… maybe there’s hope here 🙂

Reapers Gale is the seventh massive novel in the Malazan Books Of The Fallen by Steven Erikson. It continues the story set out in Midnight Tides and The Bonehunters, and brings us back to Letheras and the Letherii Empire.

I’m happy to announce that Erikson has not run out of steam. The beautifully realised world of this series is unparalleled in it’s richness, from it’s characters and races through to the geography and settings. I had my doubts starting the series whether the momentum could continue. Well… it hasn’t flagged yet 😀

The novel will take you on a rollecoaster of emotions. Excitement, horror, dismay, sadness – these characters have been through a lot by now. You will really connect with them, and share every moment with them.

Sometimes there seems to be a lot of setup, then not much of a payoff, but in fact this suits the story even though the reader might be dissapointed. And other times the author seems to spend too long in other areas, but again… it fits. Erikson even changes his style as needed (the Toblakai passage in previous books is one well discussed example).

I cannot write any more without spoilers, so mouse over below to read more. I’ve installed a cool spoiler plugin into WordPress (WP_Censor) so this should work better than over reviews I’ve posted!

The Letherii empire has won the war. The Tiste Edur king Rhulad sits on the throne, but he is little more than a figurehead – slowly eaten away by madness. The Letherii way of life of is smothering the Edur.

Tehol Beddict plots from within, setting up companies with his co-conspirator Bugg to take in all the wealth of the empire.

And the Patriots roam the streets, attacking any dissenting voice and locking away and torturing innocent civilians.

Into this sad situation comes Adjunct Tavore and the remains of Malazan Army she runs. The last time we seen her she had a showdown with Empress Laseen and abandoned the empire, taking with her some important allies.

The main plot lines in this novel concern the advance of the Malazans on Letheras. This takes up a fair part of the novel, with long passages following seperate detachments of marines – including those commanded by Fiddler, onto the empire. Unfortunately, Tavore misunderstood the situation. She expected the Letherii to help the marines, and defeat their invading force.

One moving part of this section of the story concerns the mage Beak. An extremely powerful, self-tought sorceror yet plagued by doubt and a simple need to be loved. Needless to say he saves the day, but at the sad cost of his own life. Even Hood welcomed him to the gate.

We also have the story of Fear Sendur, Silchas Ruin, Udinass and others who seak to find Silchas’s nemesis and betrayer: Scabandari Bloodeye. This turns out unexpectedly, and no – I didn’t see it coming!

We also see Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer transported to fight Rhulad – the undead emperor who seeks to find he that can defeat him. Again, this has an unexpected conclusion, though this time not one I’m sure I liked. There was a lot of setup to this final confrontation – but the meeting does fit the story. And who knows, perhaps Karsa and Icarium will meat again.

And thrown into this mix we have another invading force attacking from the other side of the Letherii Empire, with a story concerning that of the Awl. But even that is not the end, for yet another army arrives at the end – old friends from the previous novels.

It’s worth noting the return of Toc The Younger – he has a smaller part in this novel yet his story is moving, and a classic tale of his saviors arriving too late.

As you can see Reapers Gale has a lot going on. The rich plot continues to twist and turn, and Eriksons style of multiple story arcs pays off. The next novel – Toll The Hounds – is the series as published so far. I’ve started reading it, it brings us back to Darujistan, and rather enticingly the cover notes suggest that Hood has major part to play.

The only problem with reading long running series as they are written is the fact you have to wait for the next to be published. Luckily, I’ve got this far – and if you’re starting the series now maybe you’ll even stretch to the next novel 🙂