By Steven Erikson
I’ve seen this book on countless lists as one of the best fantasy books and series. So, I picked it up off of PaperBackSwap so I could check it out.
It’s an epic fantasy set in a fantasy world. The book follows several different groups of characters. A group of veteran warriors called the “Bridgeburners” who are on the cusp of being eliminated by their own leadership. A group that’s comprised of a odd, round talent, an assassin, a thief, and a displaced noble. And a few others for good measure.
Erikson does a wonderful job of world building and an especially good job of building the system of magic in the world. But, that’s about where my enjoyment of the book ended.
It’s been a long time since I’ve found a book that I’ve contemplated putting down and not finishing. This was one of them. The book dragged on and on. I found parts of the book eternally slow, and in my opinion, unnecessary. Whole sections of the book could have been cut and not detracted from the story at all. Everything else seemed extra wordy as well. Many of the more subtle plot points and plot point revealings were almost too subtle. In fact, I’m sure I missed a few.
Most books, despite being in a series, have an ending that ties things together and seals off some of the points. But this book was very clearly meant to lead directly into the second book. Only about half of the plot arcs seemed to be finished or, if they were, were finished in a very vague way.
To be fair to the book, I’m not an epic fantasy fan. So, maybe fans of Tolkien might enjoy this book. And perhaps they do considering how widely this book is recommended. One things for sure. It’s not for me.