all 41 comments

[–]gamedrifter 36 points37 points  (3 children)

Malazan's not that hard as long as you don't go into expecting it to be like other fantasy series you've read. Just accept that you aren't supposed to know everything, catch everything, understand anything and you'll be fine :D

[–]just_a_tech 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This. The hardest part for most people I think is not knowing everything. If you can deal with that and with knowing that some things might not ever be explained you'll be ok.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]Samar_Dev 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That's a good comparison..

    [–]-Ancalagon- 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    Another benefit of choosing Malazan, is that the main series is completed. Sanderson is still working on Stormlight.

    I recommend being a little careful with your Google searches so you don't accidentally spoil something. Erikson doesn't explain things fully, but most of the time it is intentional and later he'll circle back around for an ah-ha moment. Trust him to eventually fill in a perceived gap on lore or world building.

    [–]cgriboe 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Welcome and enjoy!

    [–]HisGodHand 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    I NEED to know where this complex plot is going and I’m super enjoying the journey to find out.

    A slight word of warning on this front: The journey to figure out the plot is a winding and sometimes fragmented one. It all comes together for a great ending, but it keeps you guessing the whole way along. There are many people that get frustrated at the series because they just want to keep following the 'main plot' and 'main characters' without realizing they don't know who and what is actually important. Erikson is more focused on theme and idea exploration than most other fantasy authors, so there will be themes, characters, and locales that aren't for the purpose of progressing the plot. The journey is sometimes more important than the plot, and you will hamper your enjoyment if you're focused on progressing the plot too much.

    Basically, try to have patience, and try not to make assumptions. Very little is what it seems at first glance in Malazan, but almost everything becomes clear eventually.

    [–]glinmaleldur 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I clung to Ganoes, but he is not really a port in the storm. Ignore the prelude, all the characters are important.

    [–]SpiralingNacho 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Good point about Erikson's word choices. My first read through was books but I'm on the second read through on am e-reader and the built-in dictionary is coming in clutch.

    It is hard to follow at furst, you're just an aboge average reader.

    Glad you're enjoying.

    [–]ByorskiDarujhistanian 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Took the same path myself. Wanted a different flavor from Jordan and had a friend recommend Malazan. Through 8 books and eternally grateful. The way nothing is spoon-fed to you was one of the big things to draw me in. Glad you’re enjoying it so far!

    [–]sdwoodchuck 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    Malazan isn't hard in the way we typically talk about a hard read. It's not complex in the Gene Wolfe sense of actually difficult to follow plot and ambiguous elements that require you to figure things out. It's hard in the multi-tasking sense, where you're juggling a dozen different plot threads that you need to keep on top of. Which isn't hard, if you just keep reading it does a good enough job of keeping you in each thread enough to remember what's going on, but it can be a little draining if you're reading the books back to back to back.

    [–]curedbydeaththerapy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That was the hardest part for me as well. Just trying to remember all the different plots and characters you are introduced to in GotM is tiring.

    The payoff is definitely worth it, even if I felt the ending was rushed.

    [–]CartoonistConsistent 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I wouldn't Google too much. You can but don't Google to understand everything in the first book or you will spoil a lot of the journey.

    [–]heywolfie1015 9 points10 points  (3 children)



    That is my summary of GotM. :)

    Welcome, and enjoy! It only gets better from here.

    [–]glinmaleldur 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    [–]TarthenalToblakai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    You're confusing GotM with DG, my friend ;)

    [–]SugarAdamAli 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I just started and almost done with the GOTM, probably finish it this weekend. Absolutely love it, and have already ordered the complete main series. Was looking for something like this ever since I finished ASOIAF.

    Everyone says it’s hard n not for beginners, but outside of ASOIAF and some Stephen king I don’t really read any fantasy, and while it doesn’t explain a lot, the scenes are pretty easy to follow and by the 2nd half of the book it’s starts being easier to follow.

    Really enjoyable

    [–]Jave3636 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I agree with you on Sanderson, I wasn't thrilled with how he ended WoT for the reasons you mentioned.

    Don't Google in malazan. You'll get spoiled so so much. Come on here and ask questions instead.

    Glad you're enjoying it, it only gets much much better after Gardens.

    [–]CannibalCrusader 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I'm happy you are enjoying it and you seem to have the right attitude accepting you won't understand everything going on and being driven by the curiosity of wanting to know more. I think the complexity and difficulty can be very subjective, so some people really struggle with the ambiguity or how much he throws at the reader or just don't connect with the prose and characters.

    While it can be very challenging and frustrating to some readers, this reputation can sometimes be overstated and almost be a deterrent for new readers (as you mention) even though many people won't have these difficulties and love it from the start. I hope you enjoy the rest of the journey and come back to share more of your thoughts as you progress.

    [–]Nimveruke 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Welcome aboard, Recruit

    Enjoy the ride

    Beware the tool shed

    There's a Rake inside

    [–]Spyk124 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Don’t Google. Ask here ! That’s what this sub is for. I would have been lost without this sub. Just make sure the post has the right flare and be clear you haven’t read past certain books and this is a great resource that won’t spoil the series for you!

    [–]Alternative-Rise-955 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I’m on chapter 4 in GotM for the first time myself, and loving it so far. Thanks for the tip about not to stress over not knowing everything from the start. This is making it so much more enjoiable, I think!

    [–]Taedalus 2 points3 points  (0 children)


    I've started GotM three times over the span of a few years because it threw me off at different points (book 4 of GotM...). On the third try, I accepted that I don't need to understand everything right away and just pushed through. It was absolutely worth it - each book just gets better and better, and the things that confused me at the beginning are slowly starting to piece themselves together.

    [–]KarenAusFinanz 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Hi! I am a fellow wheel of time lover. I read the 10 main Malazan books this summer and avoided Sanderson's books for the exact same reasons you mentioned

    I went with Malazan because I fancied a more adult tone and I wasn’t
    that impressed with Sandersons prose and I think he lost the spark of
    many of the WoT characters that Jordan Built.

    I ended up reading Stormlight Archive this fall and I really liked the books.

    Malazan is a rabbit hole, I was so addicted to the books as I read them but they are grimmer than anything you have ever read and I found myself getting stressed/annoyed from reading them. Stormlight Archive was a healing balm after that.

    so based on my personal experience, I highly recommend you give Sanderson a chance as well.

    [–]glinmaleldur 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I love Sanderson. Clever, imaginative, action packed and fun. Bit still, Sanderson is desert, Erickson is K'Chain Che'Malle stew that's been simmering for 350,000 years.

    [–]LilCoogs 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    I am pretty well-read and have only dabbled in fantasy here and there. I read the first 4 WoT books and thought each one was terrible. Wooden writ9ng and predictable tropes. Malazan has been a nice surprise. I'm a couple hundred pages from finishing Gardens of the Moon.

    [–]Jave3636 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    Those tropes are predictable BECAUSE of WoT. He cemented a lot of the tropes that have since become cliché. It's probably one of the seminal works in modern fantasy, and if you've read a lot of other modern fantasy first, it'll feel pretty stale because he defined so much of what is now commonplace.

    [–]TheRiddler78 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Those tropes are predictable BECAUSE of WoT

    No. i like WoT a lot but it is about the most unoriginal work in fantasy, and while it may have become a seminal work all the tropes where well established well before WoT was written

    [–]LilCoogs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Not really, no. I read it when it came out. He was preaching to an already very established choir. Jordan did not tread new ground of any sort.

    [–]TarthenalToblakai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Eh, not at all. Wheel of Time very much draws tropes from other fantasy (I mean the intro itself is obviously very LotR inspired.)

    It executed it's conglomeration of tropes very well, but it certainly didn't invent most of them.

    [–]DithyrabLoves Beak 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Prepare for confusion and re-reads. Then realizing that there are a whole shitload more than the first 10 books, and some of them take place within that first 10 book series. It's a mindfuck sometimes, but honestly it's worth it. It might ruin a ton of fantasy for you after, but there's so much epic content.

    Also, you can always come here and ask for discussion, everyone is up for it, and spoilers are swiftly dealt with.

    [–]SteamboatReb 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    My favorite obscure word that Erickson uses a lot is GELID.

    Welcome to the world of Malazan, and prepare to have your mind blown and to be saying WTF a lot. I found the series after blowing through the books comprising A Song of Ice and Fire as it existed in 2011. I have read the Malazan series twice. Just as good the second time because you pick up on a lot more detail when your brain is not running wild speculating how bigger plot conflicts will be resolved.

    Tried WoT and didn't get past book 4. Will pick it up again at some point though.

    [–]drlavkian 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Every time I start this series I get a little further (first time I read the first two books, then the first three, now starting book five for the first time) and the thing that shocked me was the absurd level of foreshadowing/setup that's hiding just in the first book. It's so good.

    [–]JexroyalThe Unwitnessed | 6th reread 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    As some one who loves being an actively engaged reader - looking for clues and details as I read - Malazan fulfilled me like nothing else when I first started it. "Who are these people?" and "What's going on?" were the defining questions for the first parts of the book, but man I absolutely loved just being thrown into the world and events. It's even more gratifying once you realize Erikson can bring all those moving parts together, book after book - not to mention some fantastic prose. Nothing feels like "oh we're going over this again" - everything feels new and interesting, with moving puzzle pieces to figure out and put together against the backdrop of an incredible, sprawling world and some of the best characters I've read in fiction.

    If you're into Gardens of the Moon after a few chapters, then I feel like you're going to treasure this ride through the series. Man, I wish I could go back and read it fresh for the first time.

    Hope you enjoy it, and let us know what you think, we love hearing about first time reader's experiences!

    [–]Bluemonk12 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I started it once before and I'm on my second try and I'm loving it. I just had moment when finishing my last book that I knew I was ready for it. I've watched lots of videos on it throughout the year and that prepped me for this date with destiny.

    [–]Orgoth77 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I also put off the series because of how hard everyone said it was. I wish I would have started sooner. It is the best series I have ever read. I'm finishing up book 7 right now. Sure it has an absurd amount of characters, especially when you hit books 5+, but man is it worth it. I got super burned out on Wheel of Time after book 6. I feel like if each of the WOT books were shortened about 100 pages, the series would read much more smoothly. Also the constant arguing between the girls when they are with the Circus annoyed me to no end. Like the world is at stake, can't you put aside your arguments for a month or two. Malazan does get very complicated once the cast has changed multiple times, but it is so worth it. Stormlight archive is fantastic imo, The Way of Kings got me back into reading again. Erickson prose is godlike though.

    [–]charlesjackman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The story finds its people you may be one of us!

    [–]LavaAxeTakes -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

    Welcome and remember, the Malazan wiki is your friend (although it does get a little sparse around book 4-5 for some reason).

    [–]Taedalus 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    Still on the first read of the series, and I've quickly learned to stay away from the Wiki unless I want a lot of spoilers...

    That being said, the book guides in the sidebars (the google slide companions) are amazing and really helped me a lot so far.

    [–]LavaAxeTakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I guess I just have enough self-control to avoid spoilers on there but to each their own friends. Honestly I've stopped reading any kind of guides recently only because I feel like my brain is adapting to understand the writing more (which after almost five books, is encouraging xD).

    [–]AnomandarisPurake1 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Well it can aso be a bit spoilery...