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Adequate ending for a meandering series.
on 2 September 2014
I've read all these novels and also the "main" series by Erikson, the differences in style are interesting: Esslemont has a more approachable, reader-friendly style, but Erikson at his best is considerably better in terms of vividness. This whole series of six books has struggled to get away from being a sort of (disjointed) addendum/"tying up" exercise to the main 10-book series, and hasn't really done so. There's a climax of a sort, which is interesting, but just a little bit of damp squib for a series of 6 or 16 books, and although the getting there in this book was readable, it wasn't often thrilling or exciting. The reader might well wonder why 6 books were necessary: All through these books there are sub-plots and minor characters who appear, have an interesting scene or two, then are never heard from again: the reader might easily assume some of these are padding. What happened to Kiska, for instance? I was looking forward to more of her story.
I decided a couple of books ago in this series that Assail would probably be my last Malazan book, unless it were excellent as in parts of the first few books in Erikson's sequence, or (arguably) ICE's Return of the Crimson Guard. It isn't; being merely adequate, thus I have decided not to buy any more Malazan books. They just aren't getting any better, and I don't want to spoil the memories of the best sequences.