The Crippled God: Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, Book 10 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Savaged by the K'Chain Nah'Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods - if her own troops don't kill her first.
Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal.
In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long-lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.
Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas, and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will rise as a force of devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world.
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|Listening Length||45 hours and 21 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 09, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #10,722 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#39 in Military Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#87 in Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#187 in Military Fantasy (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Toll the Hounds slaughtered all momentum this series had, and it never recovered. Even if this book were as good as Deadhouse Gates, or Midnight Tides, it wouldn't have saved the series. Fortunately, this book is somehow just as bad. First book I have actively decided not to finish, while I was still reading it.
Mr. Erikson, if you ever read this: Things can happen in your story before the 1000 page mark.
I was excited for this book because I was told it read like a second-half, which is usually the best part of these books. Dust of Dreams was better, because things occasionally happened.
Fans will tell the uninitiated that "It's so unique." "It ruined other fantasy for me." Do not listen to this. Malazan has its own dull pattern, and it does not stray.
Step 1: Tell, don't show. "These characters are soldiers, and they're badass. Trust me. Please." "Here are some gods. Maybe they'll do something. Probably not."
Step 2: Walking. Lots of walking. For the first 900 pages, the author graces us with an accurate account of every step taken by every soldier, god, ascendant, animal and insect in this story's world. Don't worry. There's TONS of introspection which adds up to nothing in the end. I hope you like reading about dozens of allegedly-badass soldiers whining about how justice itself is somehow an evil thing. If you like that, knock yourself out.
Step 3: Solid finale with rampant spectacle. A Malazan book is one or two cool ideas cocooned in 1000+ pages of blank space. The first 100 and last 200 pages are basically all you need. Imagine what comes in between. It's more exciting.
That said, I'm only speaking for the first nine books. I could not finish this last one. Nothing in this last story had anything left that I could care about. All the previous, superior arcs had played out in full. I didn't have the energy to care about some far-off finale where everyone still had to walk across the continent to get there. No thanks. On impulse, I tore this book in half mid-paragraph. I think I was about 40% through, and literally nothing had happened yet.
I had read over 3 million words of this half-baked story, and couldn't bring myself to finish it, just to say that I could. It was that bad.
The most overrated series in print. This fanbase needs to take a step out of its ridiculous bubble.
Now, at the end of the final installment looking back, I couldn't be more pleased. Erikson delivered on his promise of an epic Fantasy series, and then went a little farther. This series has fixed itself atop the list of my favorite Fantasy series, and now vies with A Song of Ice and Fire to be ranked #1. I suppose we'll just have to see how that series ends (years from now) to see who is the true victor.
In any case, I couldn't be happier with how Erikson ended it. Was there loss? My god, of course there was. It's not called "The Malazan Book of Everyone Who Lived Happily Ever After". But beyond the Fallen, there is hope. There is love, and compassion. There are those who risked everything, to do what was right. And for no other reason than because it was right. There are characters in this series that I will never forget, moments of triumph that I will always remember, and of course moments of devastating loss that moved me to tears. And I do mean real tears, not just a wetness to the eye. I stand by my opinion that this series is the most cinematic I have ever read, Erikson has a way of painting a picture for his readers that is hard to find elsewhere.
The Crippled God gave me the conclusive ending that I was yearning for, but did not answer every question so directly that I cannot still wonder and theorize. I like that. And though I've reached the end of the road, the world of Malazan is still out there. In Ian Cameron Esslemont's novels, in Erikson's prequel trilogy. I will undoubtedly make my return someday but for now, I am content in having finished this massive series, and I will remember the Fallen.
Top reviews from other countries
It's a shame as the world invented was so rich, it just sort of whimpered out with some trite random deaths, and equally trite happy reunions.
This book itself was probably two stars, but overall you've got to admire the audacity of this creation.
The series as a whole is work of flawed genius. The scope of the world-building, the convoluted plotting, the massive cast of characters, and the inventiveness of the magic systems and races mean that this isn’t really comparable to any other series. There are scenes from these books that will stay with me for a long time, and a few characters that I really cared about.
On the other hand, there are a lot of characters who are quite two-dimensional, plenty of confusion, a large pinch of filler, and far too much philosophical waffling. Part of me wishes that each book had been ruthlessly edited to make it pacier; another part wishes that each book was split into ten so the sub-plots and characters could really be expanded (note – I haven’t read Ian C Esslemont’s companion books yet, so I hope they shed some light on things!)
The Crippled God concludes the series in suitable form. There was no way that Erikson could tie up every loose end in this book, although he makes a fair go at it, with most of the old characters bought back even if just for a cameo role. The ending is therefore as satisfying as could be expected, while simultaneously defying expectations, particularly with regards to the role of the Crippled God himself.
One gripe is that the “big bad” of this novel, the Forkrul Assail, have barely been introduced before this book, and seem a little more like a stereotypical evil fantasy race then Erikson’s other creations. Another is that, as the characters march ever closer to almost-certain death, the introspective monologues grow even longer.
The battle scenes are some of the best in the whole series, and you really get a sense of the consequences facing the characters, even if sometimes their motivations may seem unlikely. There are also some very touching moments and reunions at the end of the book, which is a nice touch as some of these characters have really been put through hell!
I still have about a thousand unanswered questions, and feel though at some points I’ve endured this series rather than enjoyed it, but at best it really is a masterpiece. I do feel that (when I feel up to it!) I will re-read these and a lot more things will become clearer. And of course, this series is really just the start, there are Esslemont’s books to read as well, not to mention Erikson’s new Kharkanas trilogy. A world as detailed as this certainly deserves more books, however I’m going to have a break before I venture back into the Malazan universe.