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Forge of Darkness (Kharkanas Trilogy) Hardcover – September 18, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The creator of the vast and vastly popular Malazan Book of the Fallen now launches a trilogy intended to provide the background for the original 10-volume epic. In Kurald Galain, the Warren of Darkness, Mother Dark herself is supposed to reign and, incidentally, keep all the various magical forces at least minimally under control. But she has married a foreigner, Lord Draconus--always a questionable move when there’s a rival for her hand. In this case, the rival is the hero of the people, Vatha Urusander, and this rivalry is generating tension and intrigues on an alarming scale. Not the least alarmed are the three Sons of Darkness, who wonder whether their heritage, Purake Hold, will survive the time of troubles. Readers who have survived the original saga (more than a few) will certainly jump into this one, and new readers may besiege the libraries because of Erikson’s epic’s resemblance to George R. R. Martin’s best-selling Game of Thrones. --Roland Green


"Forge of Darkness is brilliant and far exceeds any and all expectations that readers of 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' could possibly harbour...I think we all wondered how Erikson could possibly follow up arguably the best fantasy series of all time. Forge of Darkness will dispel any and all doubters (if any do indeed still exist out there) that Steven Erikson is the best writer on the planet." SFSITE "Forge of Darkness is, quite frankly, remarkable...Erikson should be raised up as a standadrd bearer, representing the best of the best of those books we would love to be more loved - those that are intellctually nutritious as well as artistically delicious." TOR.COM --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Kharkanas Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323569
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,526 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

Tremendously rich narrative full of intrigue and characters which are well developed and easy to picture in my imagination.
dave wawrzynski
With the notable exception of Anomander Rake, I never found the Tiste characters or the plot pieces dealing with them particularly interesting.
CJ in Buffalo
Highly recommended for any reader of complex fantasy, but especially for anyone who's read the Malazan series at least once through.
M. Gondek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It is more than a quarter of a million years before the time of the Malazan Empire. In this ancient age, the Tiste race is divided between noble families and bickering militias, trying to find their place in the world following the devastating wars against the Forulkan and the Jheleck. When the Tiste ruler, Mother Dark, takes the obscure Draconus as lover and consort, the noble houses are incensed and the seeds are sowed for civil war and religious conflict.

Forge of Darkness is the first novel in The Kharkanas Trilogy, a prequel series to Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. This trilogy will chart the splintering of the Tiste race into the three sub-races seen in the main series book (the Andii, the Liosan and the Edur) and explain much of the ancient backstory to the series. Some characters from the main series - such as Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, Hood and Gothos - appear here as much younger, far less experienced figures. However, those hoping for I, Anomander Rake will likely feel disappointed. Rake is a central character in the events unfolding and appears a few times, but much of the action takes place around new, much less important characters. Also, while the story is set more than 300,000 years before Gardens of the Moon, this isn't the alpha-point of the entire Malazan universe. Tiste society is many thousands of years old when the story opens and Rake, Mother Dark, Ruin and Draconus are already important characters with significant histories in place.

Instead, the trilogy is much more concerned with clarification of events in the main series books and explaining why certain things are the way they are.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My personal experience with prequels has been that too often they have a going-through-the-motions feel to them, as if the author is mechanically connecting the dots, reverse-engineering the novel from characters and events laid out in the original story: " Explained why they call that thingamabob a "graggle"? Check. Explained why everyone wears red now? Check. Why Character A is a jerk? Check." While this may result in some readerly satisfaction--"Oh, so that's why it's a graggle. Cool!"--it seldom creates an organically compelling storyline or rich characterization. These problems are compounded by the fact that we know where story and characters are heading, thus robbing the prequel at the outset of narrative tension and reducing the opportunities for those joyful moments of discovery.

So how does Steven Erikson deal with these potential pitfalls in Forge of Darkness, the first novel of a trilogy set before his massive Malazan Book of the Fallen (MBoF) series? He sets the prequel so far in the past--thousands of years--that any lines connecting the dots have either long since faded out of sight over the horizon (because events and people have been forgotten) or have curved out of joint (because events and people were distorted into myth), thus freeing himself from the plot/character constraints that dog so many prequels.

The truly brilliant twist in Erikson's method, however, is that many of his characters are so long-lived that they actually span that time period. You loved Anomander Rake in MBoF? No problem, he's still here. But because time has lost and/or distorted so much, you can still be surprised by him because a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong or wasn't the full story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Timothy C Allison on November 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Forge of Darkness is the first book in the Kharkanas Trilogy. It is a prequel trilogy, taking place hundreds of thousands of years before the immense Malazan Books of the Fallen. Its focus will be the splintering of the Tiste people--what happened and why.

Structurally, this seems to be a real change from how Erikson wrote all of the MBoF. In that series, even though there were continuing storylines, each book seemed to be more self-contained, with climaxes built into each volume. So, for example, we got the Chain of Dogs story, which climaxed and had resolution within a single volume, although there were characters and storylines which continued into subsequent volumes. The Forge of Darkness, however, is structured more like the first volume in a traditional fantasy series. When it climaxes, it is rather a setup for the next volume in the series. There is no resolution to the storylines found here; this is buildup to the larger storyline.

In many other ways, this is a typical Steven Erikson novel. There is a massive pool of characters, with revolving POVs from many of them. Even though it is set hundreds of thousands of years before the MBoF, there's already lots of hazy backstory that we learn about through rumor and speculation. Characters are prone to rumination and philosophizing.

Many familiar characters appear here: Gothos, Draconus, Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, just to name a few. No, we don't get POVs from any of these high level characters. That duty falls to numerous other friends, relations, vassals, etc who live and act around these familiar names.

If you've made your way through all 10 books of The Malazan Books of the Fallen, then absolutely you'll want to read this.
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