Monday, 6 August 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: The Kharkanas Trilogy 1: The Forge of Darkness - Steven Erikson

Release Date: 31/07/12


Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told...It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power...and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut "Gardens of the Moon". Now he returns with the first novel in a trilogy that takes place millennia before the events of the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness. It is the epic story of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in shaping the world of the Malazan Empire.


As a huge fan of Steven I was wondering for a while what he’d hit back with after the completion of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I shouldn’t have worried as in this, the Kharkanas series, he’s travelled to an earlier period to bring the tales of that to the reader. Whilst a few of the cast are known to readers of the Malazan series its refreshing as you get to see how their personalities have changed alongside finding out how the events played out that shaped them in the future.

As with Steven’s other work it’s an epic scale, it has more threads than a tapestry and when added to his solid prose and cracking world building skills, really makes him one of the modern names that will be remembered for a very long time. Finally throw into the mix, a huge cast list, political double-dealing and of course combat on a global scale and all round the readers in for another epic treat. Great stuff.

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