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Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Three Short Novels of the Malazan Empire, Volume One (Malazan Empire Novels) Paperback – September 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of edgy and violent narratives tied to Erikson's Malazon Empire series pushes the boundaries of epic fantasy with morally ambiguous protagonists, bloody altercations and gritty world-building. Bauchelain, a cultured necromancer; Korbal Broach, his eunuch companion with an intense desire to procreate; and their luckless manservant, Emancipor Reese, find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery in Blood Follows, a shipboard battle against unearthly powers in The Lees of Laughter's End, and the politics of a fascist kingdom in The Healthy Dead. Through short, clipped chapters, a focus on gore-filled action and an economy of words, Erikson moves the plots quickly. A bit of ironic dark humor adds needed levity to otherwise disturbing, even sordid stories enthralled with the seedy side of human nature. (Sept.)
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About the Author

Steven Erikson is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His Malazan Book of the Fallen series, including The Crippled God, Dust of Dreams, Toll the Hounds and Reaper’s Gale, have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. The first book in the series, Gardens of the Moon, was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award. The second novel, Deadhouse Gates, was voted one of the ten best fantasy novels of 2000 by SF Site. He lives in Canada.
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Product Details

  • Series: Malazan Empire Novels (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324221
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

STEVEN ERIKSON is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His previous novels in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series--Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides, The Bonehunters, and Reaper's Gale--have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. He lives in Canada.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Evil Hat (evilhatDOTblogspotCOM) on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Manservant required. Full time. Travel involved. Wage to be negotiated depending on experience. Call at Sorrowman's Hostel."

Steven Erikson's Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas are at once everything you'd expect and nothing at all like what you think you're getting. In Memories of Ice, we're briefly introduced to the enigmatic Bauchelain and the mildly sociopathic Korbal Broach. One is tall and suave; one is short and kinda insane. Both are incredibly powerful. What we get in Memories of Ice is never more than a taste, and it was obvious there was far more under the surface. I came to this collection expecting to have the cloth pulled back. I wanted to see figure out who these people were, and I wanted to see what they got up to when they weren't messing with caravan guards. The second is satisfied in spades. The first...not so much.

Erikson's style here is fairly different from his more epic works. The novellas are, by necessity, far more focused than their gargantuan brethren, and Erikson proves himself more than capable at telling a concise story. In addition, his talent for easily understood, yet chaotic, action is present in full force, abetted by his usual grasp of atmosphere.

"'Every child should know terror, and are not my little ones terrible?'"

Though humor has always been a part of the Malazan books, it's never played nearly as central a role as it does here. In addition, while the jokes in Midnight Tides, etc, are almost wholly dependent on clever phrasing and wording, here Erikson takes a far more slapstick approach. If you're easily offended, you might want to stay well clear. Erikson knows what he wants to convey, and he spares no punches when doing so. You'll laugh, but you also just might feel the tiniest bit queasy as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Moose on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though sometimes not for the more squeamish readers, these stories are excellent side jaunts off the popular Malazan novels. This is a collection of the the three short books about Bauchelain, Korbal Broach, and (who can forget!) Emancipor Reese. The three books that this collects each sell for over $10, so as a collection, it's an excellent bargain.

It tells the story of how Emancipor is hired by the duo of necromancers (Blood Follows), an adventure during their sea voyage (The Lees of Laughter's End), and an adventure in the city of Quaint (The Healthy Dead). There is so much detail possible from more of the back story, or even the sea voyage, it's easy to see why this collection is called "Volume 1". We should all hope that more works are in progress.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Flash on October 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a neophyte to the Malazan series, I've read Gardens of the Moon and I'm just about finished with Deadhouse Gates. Between those two, I took time to read this book (Bauchelain and Korbal Broach) and Night of Knives by Ian Esselmont (also set in the Malazan world). For this book, my opinion is as follows:

The first story in this collection is very very good. The character building is full of mystery and suspense. The whole lead up of how the characters meet, the things that are going on in the city and the way it ended was pleasantly entertaining. Upon finishing it, I was thinking that these two "evil" characters were pretty cool.

But then I read the next two stories and was extremely disappointed in what the characters became. Gone was the sense of mystery, the eerie deeds, and the thought out plot and action. All of a sudden, the two characters kinda became like a creepy Laurel and Hardy. The situations become outlandish and vaudevillian (one on a boat, the other where a whole city goes crazy). These stories are so out there and silly, that they don't even seem like they fit in the Malazan world I know from the primary books of the series.

In the end, it's part of the series (a prequel of sorts) and I own it. By the way, Night of Knives is much better story. Read that one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lee Dunning on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of the Malazan Empire books, but was concerned that novellas would not work well with the writer's generally verbose style. I was wrong. His characters are just as sparklingly entertaining as ever - clever, witty and oh, so prone to getting into trouble. I very much enjoyed the expanded exploits of these three characters, and look forward to "Volume Two".
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Format: Paperback
My take on the three books in this collection.

Blood Follows

This is the first novella in the `A Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach' series. This is a secondary series to the `Malazan Book of the Fallen', whereas The Malazan books are huge and epic, this book is a little murder mystery that shares the same world as The Malazan books. Currently two of the books are available, but it's been three years since the second book. I hope Steven continues this series as it's a nice departure from his epic warmongering novels, and we just get a little story, but we get all the atmosphere of the world setting. Bauchelain and Korbal Broach actually show up in Memories of Ice.

All in all it wasn't a great novel, but it was enjoyable. It was a dark story, as usual, and because of the small scope in comparison to his usual novels, I really like the idea, and await reading further adventures from this series.

The Lee's of Laughter's End

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach have taken passage with a ship and within the mystic waters of The Lees of Laughter's End, they try to raise a lich. Well, that's not all that got raised, a god also decides to make an appearance. And the hapless crew pretty much all get slaughtered, except the one poor fool who has an ear chopped off, then the second ear, then his nose, and finally his toes. It was funny to see what body part he was going to lose next. Black comedy for sure, but Erikson weaves a fun little black story with our two favorite necromancers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. A fun read.

The Healthy Dead

This actually is a re-read. I picked it up and noticed that I've read it before, but hey it's a short book and I wanted to read it again, so I did.
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Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Three Short Novels of the Malazan Empire, Volume One (Malazan Empire Novels)
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