Stefan Stefan's Comments

Stefan's comments from the Fantasy Book Club group.

Note: Stefan is no longer a member of this group.

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10915 It's nice to see so much discussion about this series. I'm a relatively recent convert myself, having just started reading the books with the lovely re-releases from Harper Voyager last year and this year. I'm on book 4, Fugitive Prince, right now, and have the rest of the series sitting on the shelf to read when time permits. Loving it! My favorite novel by Janny is, at this point, still To Ride Hell's Chasm (one of the best standalone fantasies I've ever read), but the series is nothing short of stunning and may end up beating out Hell's Chasm as my favorite.
10915 Read it and loved it.
10915 Ha :) That's more or less how I felt, preparing for the re-read on - read through the novel twice last month! Since our start date got pushed back a bit, I decided to give the rest of the series a quick re-read too, to take more notes. I'm almost done with Memories of Ice now, and am hoping to make it through all 9 books before we get started.
10915 I don't own or want one, but I just have to ask here: the Kindle doesn't have a search function? Yikes. I actually wrote a blog post in the past, saying the Malazan novels would be perfect for ebook readers because (I thought) you'd be able to search for occurrences of specific names to refresh your memory.

(Sorry for the off-topic post, but this really surprised me...)
Apr 07, 2010 11:36AM

10915 Simple answer: you need to call the bookstore and ask them. I've been to a ton of book signings, and the rules vary greatly, even from author to author in the same bookstore. Sometimes you can only get the book you purchased in that store signed, sometimes that book and one more, sometimes they're okay if you bring some back catalog books. I've seen people bring every single published item by an author (including stories in magazines!) and no one complained, but that wasn't a big name like Butcher, so I doubt that would fly in your case. You won't know unless you check with the bookstore, so instead of posting your question here I'd pick up the phone and find out before you lug 20+ books there...
10915 I'm currently on my second re-read this year (third reading overall) in preparation for the discussion Janny mentioned on It's absolutely stunning how much material is included in this novel, some of which only makes sense once you've read the later books in the series. It's far from my favorite book in the Malazan series, but it gets much, much better when you re-read it after reading further into the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, so for those people who are on the fence about re-reading it, I strongly recommend it. I look forward to the discussion here, and hope some of it transfers over to the re-read.
10915 This was a fascinating discussion again, Janny. Thanks for taking the time to participate! I think we need to get more of your books nominated for book discussion...
10915 I agree completely, Janny. Jorge Luis Borges once said that, as a child, he was allowed to read whatever he wanted, and never forced to read anything he didn't want to read. It worked out for him!
10915 Excellent point, Chris. I also loved how the dwarves were the comic relief at first, but later on gained tremendous depth when their plight as a race took center stage.
10915 Janny, I know music is important for you when writing. Can you let us know which artists/pieces you were listening to when you were creating The Master of Whitestorm, and if any of it has special significance for the story or parts of the story?
10915 Janny wrote: "How could the connectivity of this story have been strengthened without tipping the cards before-time?"

To be fair, I have no idea how that could have been done - plus, please understand, I didn't mean this so much as a criticism, more as a description of my reading experience. I did catch some of the hints, minor and major, but I think it's still impossible to grasp the full extent of Korendir's trauma until it's fully explained about 3/4 into the book.
Presenting his adventures first, then providing the psychological motivation, simply means that Korendir is initially a very mysterious character, even to his friends, so it's no surprise the reader doesn't know either what drives him.

When you wrote "D&D era", it definitely clicked for me - if anything, those early sections of the book reminded me separate campaigns, satisfying in and of themselves, but it's only later that they connect and (for want of a better word) transcend to a deeper story. If Moorcock had started his Elric stories without explaining why Elric left Melnibone, and how Stormbringer was affecting him, then explained everything later on, it would have had a similar effect, I think.

My dad used to say that a book not worth reading twice isn't worth reading once, and I think that applies here. On a second look, the book will have a harder impact. That's not a bad thing at all - the start of a novel should have a different meaning once you've read the ending.
10915 Just checking in to report that I finished reading the novel a few days ago, and am ready to jump into the discussion.
10915 Amelia wrote: "I really started to connect to the story when he met the sorceress (which really bugs me that I can't remember her name). Perhaps it was the first glimpses into Korendir's struggles and personal demons that really pulled me in. "

I had exactly the same experience. I enjoyed the start of the story, on the slave galley, but after that the episodic nature of the first few missions or adventures made my reading experience a bit disjointed. I didn't see much of a common thread yet. But when Ithariel enters the book, and we gradually learn more about Korendir's history and motivations, it all pulls together. The ending is tremendous. In a nutshell, I didn't like the first half of the book nearly as much as the second half. I think this may change upon re-reading - I expect that I'll have a new perspective on those first adventures, knowing more about Korendir now, but upon a first reading I didn't have much connection with the hero at that point.
10915 I'm starting the novel today! Hopefully I'll be done by March 1st. This'll be the 5th novel by this author I've read in the last 6 months.
10915 I will read this one in the next week or two! Somehow I thought this discussion was for March, not February - if I'd known, I would have read it already.
10915 I've read this a few times since it was originally released. Excellent novel with some very memorable scenes.
Dec 22, 2009 12:48PM

10915 I read this one when it just came out, and thought it was the weakest of his books by far. My favorite is still Elantris, followed by the first Mistborn book.
Nov 11, 2009 07:33PM

10915 Vlad Taltos from Steven Brust's Dragaeran series

FitzChivalry Farseer from Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies

Havelock Vetinari (the Patrician) from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels

Oct 19, 2009 09:52AM

10915 I've been stuck in Dawnthief by James Barclay, which is okay in a mindless sort of way, but lacking depth and originality. I never read reviews of a book before reading it myself and writing my own review, but I have to say that I'm very curious about how other people reviewed this book.
Oct 09, 2009 10:48AM

10915 I just finished The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology - an excellent collection of short stories.

Next up is Warhost of Vastmark by Janny Wurts.
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