The Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1)
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The Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  2,202 ratings  ·  164 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 760 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Bantam Press (first published July 31st 2012)
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Adult Fantasy & Sci-Fi 2012
46th out of 409 books — 806 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aidan-Paul Canavan
Book one of Erikson's new prequel trilogy that provides an easier access point for new readers to his 10 book Malazan series. Forge of Darkness is a Shakespearean influenced epic narrative detailing family, politics and the approach of civil war to a decadent empire. Again Erikson uses multiple character points of view of seemingly disparate events to weave an elegant narrative tapestry. The focus of the story is of mounting tensions, political and familial, in the realm of the Tiste. Yet the fe...more
Lori (Hellian)
There is nobody NOBODY like Erikson. The only one who comes close in creating a world is China, even so I don't become as obsessed when reading him.

Whoa, we've got the ancient crew here. Draconus is the main character. Mother Dark is still a Tiste altho she has been to the gate so has transcended with power but she isn't a goddess until the end. She's lost in her darkness, reveling in it and having great sex with Draconus. Her children are dividing over this, they don't like Draconus. And who i...more
Hakan
This is not a review. This is sort of a praise.

First, a paragraph from the book:

"That said, he knew that he was a poor teacher. He wove his
histories as if they were inventions, disconnected and not
relevant. Worse, he preferred the sweeping wash of colour to
obsessive detail, ineffable feeling over intense analysis, possibility
over probability; he was, by any measure, a dreadful historian."

Oh the irony!

Apparently what Steven Erikson finds dreadful in a historian, I cherish in a fantasy writer. Let...more
Lee
Story: 5/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking


Wow, just Wow!
I have to admit, that when I heard that the first of the ‘new’ stories was going to be based on early Kharakas and Mother Dark I was disappointed and started reading with some trepidation. I am not a big fan of the Tiste Andii or Liossen, I really don’t like Anomander Rake (yes, really, I don’t) and prequels, regardless how far back to the beginning are never my fav...more
Mpauli
The Forge of Darkness is Steven Erikson's first novel after he finished his 10 book Malazan cycle. It delves into the ancient history of the same world and tells us about the struglles of a vast cast of characters set before the picture of a looming civil war in Kharkanas, home of the self-proclaimed goddess Mother Dark, head of the Tiste nation.

As typical for Erikson the novel goes far beyond the concept of characters, plot and setting. Often characters are just invented to present a philosophi...more
Benji Glaab
Who are you?
If you're thinking of reading this book you're one of two people. 1 you've enjoyed the Malazan universe immensly, and can't wait to delve into this new arc. Or, you've heard great things about this epic, and are a little intimidated about getting into these massive volumes.

If you're in this second group it seems to be a great place to start. There's just as much history, and mystery built into the Tiste era, and if anything Erikson's writing skills are more polished, this time ar...more
The Crimson Fucker
Sadness! It is over!


What can I say about Erikson's shit that I haven't said before?


That y'all fuckers need to stop reading your YA and your classics and your ironic shit and read some Malazan goodness?


That I don't understand how this fucker its not on those fancy award winning lists?



Fuck! This is fucking brilliant! So many questions answered only to raise twice as many! !



Anomander will come to understand that you cannot control anything

Andarist will known grieve.


Silchas still scares me.


Draconous...more
Clay
Wow. Having passed so much time since reading a Steven Erikson novel, I had forgotten what the experience was like. The Forge of Darkness has sat unread on my Kindle for almost two years and I'm not really sure why. I think it was because I dreaded starting it because that meant I would finish it. You see, finishing a Steven Erikson novel is one of the most bittersweet accomplishments one can experience. And now I have finished it. And it is indeed every bit as bittersweet as I remember the expe...more
David Sven
The Forge of Darkness takes us back into the distant past of the Tiste race. Here we get the story of how Mother Dark ascended and the beginnings of magic. We learn more about the history of Draconis and Anomander Rake and his brothers. And we see the beginnings of the fall of a civilization.

In the wake of a new peace, won by the Tiste military, elements in the Legion find themselves unwilling to lay down their swords to bend the knee to the Noble houses they fought for. They long for power of t...more
Razmatus
*reverent bow* :)))

simply awesome, a real review coming sometime I guess soon... but yea, pretty damn good and already cant wait for the next book :)))
Ruth
C2012. FWFTB: marriage, consort, ancient, conflagration, unfettered.I have no idea why I keep putting myself through this agony. Once again, I was frantically paging backwards to see what I had obviously failed to understand the first time I read it, paging backwards to the pitiful Dramatis Personae and looking things up on the net to see what my poor brain had not retained. My copy started to look like a hedgehog of post it notes in my attempt to highlight important events. But, the writing is...more
Clay
There’s a lot of reading ahead if you’ve never read any of Steven Erikson’s ten-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen, plus a three-volume prequel that begins with “Forge of Darkness” (Tor, $27.99, 662 pages) – but I’m not too sure about the “good.”

That’s not to say Erikson isn’t a good writer, because he is. His command of the voices of the various characters, and the narrator, is superb, and his ability to create characters with depth and texture is also way above average. The problem for me, thou...more
Matt Brady
I reached the 60% mark before I'd finally had enough. Either Erikson is writing more tortured melodramatic unconvincing philosophising than he did in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and less of the crazy stupid awesome fun that I read those books for, or I've just completely lost my tolerance for it. It's probably a bit of both.

Any sort of prequel has an inherent weakness - we know how the story is going to end. This is a big deficit for a writer like Erikson, whose strength lies in his f...more
Paul Nelson
As a big fan of the Malazan novels I was interested to see where the author went with this new series, set in the Tiste land of Kharkanas. The story centres on the civil strife caused by the various factions of the Tiste legion who are struggling to cope now war is at an end eventually leading to turmoil and civil war. The legion commander and hero of the people, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in...more
Terence
Mar 25, 2013 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of epic fantasy; Malazan groupies
Shelves: sf-fantasy
If you’re a fan of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, forget everything you ever thought you knew about the Tiste, the Jaghut, or anything or anyone else you encountered in that series. Better yet – since Erikson here and other authors in my recent reading have emphasized that the stories we tell ourselves are but simplifications, rationalizations and justifications to force the world to make sense – do remember what you’ve learned about the author’s world and weigh it against what you learn and wh...more
Burgoo
The Forge of Darkness is the first book in the Kharkanas Trilogy. It is a prequel trilogy, taking place hundreds of thousands of years before the immense Malazan Books of the Fallen. Its focus will be the splintering of the Tiste people—what happened and why.

Structurally, this seems to be a real change from how Erikson wrote all of the MBoF. In that series, even though there were continuing storylines, each book seemed to be more self-contained, with climaxes built into each volume. So, for exam...more
Leanne Ellis
The Forge of Darkness is one of three in a prequel to The Malazan Book of the Fallen series. In this we begin to flesh out the various Tiste Andii characters we will meet again. I was intrigued by the histories of Draconus and his family. I am again dismayed and frustrated as Kuruld Galain is torn apart by a race who seem bent on their own destruction. The land itself reflects the desolation, corruption and cruelty enacted out by these characters. This quote is a good summation "There is a madne...more
Jason


Erickson has a habit of having inner monologues or dialogues that tend to ramble for pages as he tries to get across some philosophical point. Normally these are interspersed with good scenes, and especially towards the end of a book, lots of action. In this book it has gone overboard. I struggled just to finish it. We'll see if the next in the series picks up. I sure hope so.
Rob
...Carrying on after completing such a huge series as the Malazan Book of the Fallen is quite a challenge and Erikson proves up to it with Forge of Darkness. He manages to create a new chapter in the story that is both fresh and different from what has gone before but retains the kind of messy complexity and immense tragedy that characterize his previous novels. I was quite impressed with the opening novel of the Kharkanas trilogy. Erikson is clearly not finished with the universe he and Ian C....more
Charlotte Bird
My experience of this book was a little bitty; Christmas shenanigans, work, and a new relationship (you know, the part where you actually want to spend time together) took up a lot of my time so Forge mostly got read for half an hour in bed, in waiting rooms before appointments, etc. I regret this, because it deserved undivided attention. Whenever I read a new Erikson book it is to be reminded that his writing is a thing of beauty. In terms of writing skill, Erikson is unmatched by any except pe...more
Susanne
Sep 04, 2013 Susanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All fans of the Malazan books. Especially those who are interested in the history.
Reading this I felt like I had already been given the biggest, bestest, tastied birthday cake EVER (the Malazan series) and then somebody delivered the icing. I loved this. LOVED IT with the fire of a thousand suns. It's no secret that I worship at Erikson's altar, but still, I was nervous to begin with (witness the fact that it sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year before I dared open it). I needn't have been. Erikson's voice is there from page one, and the more I read, the more I remembered wh...more
Kislay Verma
Excerpt from my review at SolomonSays:

Forge of Darkness is an intricate tale of dissolution of a society through unintentional conflict between dithering characters. Highly reminiscent of how World War 1 started (No one _really_ wanted to fight then either), it’s a story of how one thing can lead to another. For all the bitter irony, however, the book has greater depth and solidity than MBoF.

...chances events piled upon each other that lead the Tiste realm to civil war are enmeshed so realistica...more
Damian Dubois
I think I read somewhere that Forge of Darkness, being a prequel of sorts to the Malazan Book of the Fallen, could be considered a good starting point for any potential new readers out there. While I guess technically that could be true, I do believe that anyone coming in cold to this would really miss out on the foreshadowing and revelations that a Malazan stalwart would instantly pick up on. New readers just wouldn't feel that instant recognition of a name much loved or connecting some of the...more
Hrishi
When a world is young, its hurts are all the more grievous.

Steven Erikson brings to bear on his new trilogy, prequel to the Malazan Book of the Fallen, the same quiet mastery of tragedy that is a highlight of his work. If tragedy is catharsis however, this series is the prelude to catharsis - this is the wounding itself!

Fans will find many answers, and many more questions. The Elder Gods, Darkness and Light, Chaos and the Dragons, and many characters that lurked mostly in the background of the m...more
Pietro
Forge of Darkness is only the first volume in the Kharkanas trilogy, a prequel set hundreds of millennia before the events narrated in the Malazan book of the Fallen, and already it qualifies as a must read for any fan of the series.

This new volume abandons the traditional Malazan narrative structure (slow start->gradual buildup-> epic finale) in favor of a very strong first half that shows us readers the "new world" followed by a slower second half that sets the foundation for the two boo...more
Metatrone
The fact that I write a review is a measure of how thoroughly annoyed I am with this book.

Apart from the confusing and unnecessary wealth of characters, the lumbering plot, the multitudes of POVs that add very little to the plot, it is a mostly a collection of self-aggrandizing and pseudointellectual sophistry. If complexity of language was a measure of great literature we should surely enjoy dictionaries a lot more.

To be fair I would not mind the number characters if their povs had any persona...more
Michael Johnson
Easily the best fantasy novel of 2012, Steven Erikson's Forge of Darkness is simply stylistically and thematically miles ahead of any of his closest competitors. Imagine complex world-building with a heady dose of mythology, an ethnographer's attention to cultural detail, a philosopher's inquisitive nature, and prose that at times rises to an almost Shakespearean level of lyricism and tragedy. Erikson's 10 volume Malazan Book of the Fallen trumped any other fantasy endeavor of the 2000's. Forge...more
Tim Hicks
Nope, didn't work for me.

I've read maybe three of the Malazan series, so I knew to expect long, rambling sequences with a zillion characters, some weirdness, some battle stuff, ...

This is a tawdry combination of gloomy philosophy, implausible magic, and a large dose of violence porn in the Game of Thrones model. And mostly it's boring and confusing.

I can only assume that the high ratings here are from people who have read ALL the Malazan books, most of them more than once, and can recite the...more
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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the on-going series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/steven...
More about Steven Erikson...
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2) Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3) House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4) The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)

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“The wine is gone. Only sour wine fumes remain. Drunkenness pretends to resolution.” 2 likes
“Most bravery, dear little one,’ he said as he pulled the dog from the water and rested it across the back of his thickly muscled neck, ‘is marked by a strength less than imagined, and a hope farther from reach than one expects.” 1 likes
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