Thursday, 26 August 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Bauchelain and Korbal Broach Vol 1 - Steven Erikson

Release Date: 26/08/10


Blood Follows - In the port city of Lamentable Moll, a diabolical killer stalks the streets and panic grips the citizens like a fever. As Emancipor Reese's legendary ill luck would have it, his previous employer is the unknown killer's latest victim. But two strangers have come to town, and they have posted in Fishmonger's Round a note, reeking of death-warded magic, requesting the services of a manservant. The Lees Of Laughter's End - After their blissful sojourn in Lamentable Moll, the sorcerers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach - along with their manservant, Emancipor Reese - set out on the open seas aboard the sturdy ship Suncurl. Alas, there's more baggage in the hold than meets the beady eyes of the crew, and unseemly terrors awaken. For Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, and Emancipor Reese, it is just one more night on the high seas, on a journey without end. The Healthy Dead - The city of Quaint's zeal for goodness can be catastrophic, and no one knows this better than Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, two stalwart champions of all things bad. The homicidal necromancers - and their substance-addled manservant, Emancipor Reese - find themselves ensnared in a scheme to bring goodness into utter ruination. Sometimes you must bring down the name of civilization.


Fans of Erikson have for years been chomping at the bit to get their hands on this offering. Why? Well it was originally published by PS Publishing as a limited edition Novella and became so hard to get without parting with major readies that many a reader was left out in the cold. Luckily enough this has now been re-released in the UK by Steven’s publisher Bantam and as such gives the tale an availability once only dreamed of. The major question is, does it live up to the fans hopes?

The short answer is yes. It builds upon the characters that appeared in the early Malazan Book of the Fallen, it gives more flavour for the world, and if you’re a fan, you’re more than likely getting impatient waiting for the final part in the first series. (Steven has been signed for more Malazan titles.) It’s beautifully priced, it’s available for all and with it being a collection, you know damn well that whilst those who purchased the other ones in the original printing, they’re currently going cold turkey waiting for that final title whilst you can bask in back catalogue. However this said, don’t read this title if you’ve missed this series, in particular the earlier novels. If you’ve only just made book three, then you can probably get away with it.

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