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

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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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: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324221
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Each installment in the travels of Erikson's necromantic duo builds upon the foundation of the previous stories to deliver the reader to a literary vista of strange wonders. The Healthy Dead provides morbid humor and sordid action in heaping measures, leaving the reader twitching with delight! Highly recommended!
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Enjoyable if you are a fan of the malazan series but I wouldn't read this unless you are a major fan. The writing style isn't as rigourous as the main malazan novels and is more tongue and cheek. You can skip these books without missing anything substantial to the main malazan stories.
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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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As other Eriksons novels, this is very well written, intellectualy rewarding, The best one in my opinion is the last one, I couldn't stop wondering about the insights of Erikson. It is very funny as well.
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It was entertaining and a fast read. Not the most in-depth look at the world of Malazan but it was well worth a purchase.

If you love the Malazan series then buy this. If not, or you don't know what that is, then pass on this.
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By qcp on May 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These three short novellas are great. I was familiar with the three main characters from Memories of Ice so I picked up this book. I was pleasantly surprised. These stories are hilarious and you can tell Erikson had a blast writing them. Do yourself a favor and read this.
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