Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told.... It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power...and even death is not quite eternal.
The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumours of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold....
Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut, Gardens of the Moon. Now he returns with the first novel in a trilogy that takes place millennia before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness. It is the epic story of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in shaping the world of the Malazan Empire.
©2012 Steven Erikson (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
The trouble with splitting up an epic many-threaded story into two is that you have a first volume of relentless introductions and scene setting with relatively little actual story.
The reading is outstanding and deserves great credit for making a huge cast sound distinctive and recognisable.
I find that I cannot listen to this slow enough to not be distracted by interpreting the form of English used. At times I have found the narrative to have excessive details and leaving me bewildered by what I should be remembering versus that which is just trying to paint a picture. I will persevere with it till the end of this book and see if it becomes clearer.
I would really want to read the coming two books before rating (given Erikson's track record of slow first books).
The story is close to a 5. The reason I don't give it that is because I lacked some of the epic clash between giants feeling I got from the Malazan books. This book has a very promising ending, but reaching that there were a bit too many whiny/uninteresting characters introduced.
Will be painful having to wait for the next books ... :)
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