From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Battle dominates the gripping third installment of Canadian Erikson's projected 10-volume series (Gardens of the Moon
, etc.), set in the land of Malazan and featuring a host of gods, grunt soldiers, wizards and undead. Ganoes Paran is now captain of the Bridgeburners, part of Dujek Onearm's army that's trying to fight off the vile forces of the Pannion Domin. The author vividly details the horrors of hand-to-hand combat along with the cannibalistic tendencies of the Tenescowri (or peasant) rabble that fight for the Pannion Domin. The most intriguing new character is Itkovian, a commander of the mercenary Grey Swords who finds, after the battle of Capustan, that his god has deserted him. For a giant fantasy series, this is tightly written, with no repetitious dialogue or exposition. Erikson ranks near the top of the epic fantasy pantheon.
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On the continent Genabackis, a postapocalyptic society is ruled by the Pannion Domin, who include an excess prophet, the Panion Seer, and an empress worse than Leona Helmsley. Necessity is making allies of mercenaries and semiregular armies that once, under such rubrics as Dujek Onearm's Host and Whiskeyjack's Bridgeburners, fought to the death. To survive, these warriors need not only to keep peace among themselves but also to make peace, despite numerous bloody battles, with other bands, hosts, and ethnic groups. And they need to address the matter of an entire race of the undead, the T'lan Imass, on its way to do battle, besides which there are yet more potent and unnatural factors threatening survival. The long volume is the third in a saga that owes a good deal to Tolkien, but many may find the size of its canvas and cast, its vivid details, and the emotional intensity of its action appealing in ways that Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is appealing. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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