Apr 23, 10
Read from April 08 to 23, 2010
** spoiler alert **
Book nine of ten, and the end's in sight. The entire sprawling series is more or less an account of a few years of a comically high-powered fantasy setting. As you should expect from any ten book series, there's an awful lot of narrative twiddling and dithering--there's really no good reason for it to be as long as it is--but said dithering is usually pretty engaging throughout. In the last fifth or so of this book, one character says to another that it's time they start pooling information and knowledge, and my reaction was to laugh and think "if you idiots had done that from the start, this would be a five book series instead."
The strength of all the books is Erikson's flair for crescendo events; clashes of large armies, waves of sorcery turning thousands of soldiers into confetti, refugees who've crossed a wasteland making the final push to safety, etc, and this book's no exception there. The weakness remains interchangeable characters and a general lack of tension or suspense--in a world where death is "just another warren" and major players return from it multiple times, there really can't be.
Also, when I rule the world, one of my first edicts is that any fantasy or sci-fi author who uses apostrophes in anything other than standard contractions, possessive forms, and either quotes-within-quotes or UK-typographical dialogue will receive a mildly painful but non-debilitating electrical shock each time. You've got your T'lan Imass returning and the war of K'Chain Che'Malle versus K'Chain Nah'ruk and D'ivers and so on, and someone really needs to re'gul'ate that n'ons'ens'e.