søndag 27. september 2009

On Dust of Dreams.




Seems 2009 and 2010 will be the years of the fantasy apocalypse. Bakker's books is about the second apocalypse in his world, while The Wheel of Time is being written off Jordan's notes by someone else, Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has a drawn out apocalypse for years now, and Erikson is doing one too at the end of his Malazan series. Makes Abercrombie all lighthearted, this does.

Dust of Dreams follows the tried and tested formula of the other Malazan book - it starts with short bits with every faction (it switches between characters in the same faction for various views of the same event), until you get bigger chunks of dialogue or action for a particular faction the longer into the book one gets. This time it's about the Bonehunters still at a loss in distand lands about what their commander is setting them up for mostly, but the major thing in this book is about setting everything for one grand finale, where all the gods, races, characters and empires all clash in the last book; Elder gods, elder races, undead, barbarians, conquering empires, lost empires, it's all coming together with a bang. There's some new places and characters too (neighbours to the Edur and Leatheras mostly), but compared to some other books in the series it's not much, just you get to know more about already existing ones, which is somewhat nice as it's on the verge of overdoing the amount of characters. And some gets killed off too, "luckily".

In the end, it shares pretty much the good and bad sides of all that came before. It's an interesting fantasy world, with mostly interesting characers that ends up showing good and bad sides at some point, well written that makes it easy to be a "fan" of various characters or just hope someone guts em sooner or later. It is also varied, between hoary old legends, dialogues and action. All of it entertaining, in it's own way. Mostly I enjoyed reading about the Elder Gods, I found them well crafted, between seemingly limitless powers, moral dilemmas, endless bickering and stories that made the world come more alive.

It was something of a letdown, however. The battle at the end of the book, seemed just pointless (although foreshadowed at one point to be that way I suppose), and it was more like an actionmovie with way too much effects instead of actually being thrilling. As the other Malazan book (and especially Crimson Guard) have got the right balance in this regard, it is dissapointing. Also there was a lot of "scrubtime" with characters that didn't really end up doing anything, so it feels like 50-100 pages was just... wasted.

But I guess it *can't* end up being as good as the other books in the series, it ends with a cliffhanger, and is explained as being the first half of one book sorta, so for all I know all the pointless characters will have a point in the next book. Or else the series will just end up just like Ice and Fire or Wheel of Time, wall of text where the point could have been reached ages ago, while one has to wait for years for the author to finish. All in all, it reminds me why I like stand alone books and trilogies so much...

Rated:
Entertainment: 7/10.
Thought Provoking: 2/10.

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