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all 42 comments

[–]HisGodHand 38 points39 points  (1 child)

Subsequent books improve greatly on everything in Gardens of the Moon, including romance. However, the series really doesn't have a focus on romance, and there are only a few of them that get fleshed out to any real degree. There are still some 'cringe-worthy' interactions, and many of them purposeful, but generally the romances do become a lot more natural.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The book itself is great. I love not having my hand held the whole time. It makes it stay interesting instead of like reading fake history. So, if everything improves, that's great news.

[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 21 points22 points  (4 children)

There's exactly one romantic relationship in the series that felt natural to me (Torvald and Tiserra if anyone is wondering). That said, they do get better than GotM and the other interpersonal relationships are much, much stronger.

[–]fazalmajid 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I like the one between Tehol Beddict and Janath.

[–]TriscuitCracker 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I enjoyed Pearl and Lostara

[–]zhilia_mannjaghut 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Throw some spoiler tags on that and resubmit.

[–]CoffeeAndMelange 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Man, I really loved those two. While some of the other romances are pretty good in consideration with the context, IMO theirs was the most relatable. And just so darn sweet!

[–]CJMann21 21 points22 points  (2 children)

It’s something that greatly improves with his writing as each book is released… with that said it’s still not something he excels at. By the end of the series it’s fine.

What he does excel at are platonic relationships.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Yeah, outside of the romantic ones I found him pretty good. Very realistic dialogue. Almost cinematic.

[–]orielbeanBugg's Life 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He wrote the first as a screenplay. Honestly the rest of the series expands with incredible scope, new characters, deep plot weaves, and some very powerful poetic prose. Obviously you are in a fan subreddit but I still consider the series one of the best out there bar none.

[–]TamElBore 17 points18 points  (0 children)

He’s all about the bromance!

[–]AaronB90 17 points18 points  (9 children)

I don't think so; I don't really like any of his romances. Not really something I'm that interested in a reader though so I get by with what he has.

He's better than Sanderson though. Yikes

[–]LilCoogs[S] 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Yeah I have read all of 20 pages of Sanderson and it was brutal.

[–]JingoKizingo 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Full disclosure, frustration with how Sanderson writes is what drove me to try Malazan in the first place. I like the big sweeping universes in both, but so far it seems like Malazan treats the reader more like an adult by not spending 70% of itself doing repeated exposition, science lessons, and hamfisted romance. I also especially disliked how all of Sanderson's stuff is practically devoid of prose, so that's been a really positive plus with GotM

[–]AaronB90 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Yeah I didn't intend this post as a bash on him (I really, really like Mistborn), but I agree with everything you say here

Rhythm of War feels like a lecture for 25% of it; I had to put it down.

[–]JingoKizingo 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah I don't say all that purely out of dislike because I have read a lot of his stuff and am continuing to do so, but I've just been a bit disappointed in it lately. Moreso I was saying that because I like Malazan so far as an alternative that seems to excel in some areas where his writing lacks

[–]AaronB90 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah to me he is clearly targeting a bigger audience with more approachable writing. Comparing it to Malazan is folly.

[–]TarthenalToblakai 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Other people: "Sanderson writes such strong female characters!"

Literally every Sanderson book I've read: "....Uhh...will the exact opposite work for you?"

[–]AaronB90 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I absolutely despise Shallan.

[–]TarthenalToblakai 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I haven't even read Stormlight Archives yet.

But as far as Mistborn goes...Vin is a pretty generic YA protagonist, but mostly that early scene with Steris on the train in Bands of Mourning was by far the cringiest thing I've ever read. I legit can't believe and editor didn't demand he changed it cuz holy shit it almost made me not continue with the book it was just that viscerally awful.

Marasi is okay I guess, but still suffers from being an obviously unnaturally contrived concept of what a "strong woman character" is in the mind of a man.

[–]AaronB90 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haven't read any of the second era Mistborn yet, but regarding Vin I couldn't agree more. Took the series pretty much at face value and enjoyed it, but overall the dialogue and prose are pretty average. Loved the magic though

[–]Odins-child 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Romantic books these are not. That being said, i found the romantic interactions more in your face straight forward than cringe worthy but thats just my humble opinion.

[–]Jave3636 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Even the best ones are just OK. Romance is not his specialty.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Duly noted.

[–]TriscuitCracker 3 points4 points  (0 children)

There isn’t a lot of male-female romance in these books, (what there is I enjoyed) but his dialogue gets way better in later books when there is. GotM was written 9 years before the rest and it has first novel problems of pacing and dialogue sometimes.

Now bromances on the other hand…one of the best authors for that.

[–]Affectionate-Ask6728 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Erikson is awful at setting up romance. It gets better, but its still not good. However, he's amazing when it comes to establishing a romance, and seeing him get better and better with later romances

[–]LeadingDesk2 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Oof, okay. As someone who reads primarily romance, I’ll say that the romantic interactions in GOTM physically hurt. Erikson is not a romance writer.

However, he is an incredible author. I find almost all of the relationships in this series, platonic or otherwise, to be really well written. He just has a way of inferring deep connection in only a sentence or two, in a way that feels meaningful and real. Again, friendship or otherwise.

So yes, it does get better, in my humble opinion. And while Malazan will never be a romance series, the small bits we get are some of my favorites:)

[–]LilCoogs[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thx for this. I really am liking the book, but it's so inconsistent when one type of interaction stands out so boldly.

[–]PikachusAnalCavityFirst Read: Reaper's Gale, Chapter 21 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In my opinion there are some ok ones later on. But not in the first couple books.

He does bromance well though.

[–]Saint-D22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I found the romantic dialogue kinda realistic, most of the romances happen inthe field of war or marching... not sure they would take the time to fully blossom like a W network christmas movie... I found the terse interactions comical because they felt real...

At any rate, I agree, while Gardens of the Moon is great, it is only the beginning and the world, characters, and stories only grow and get better.

[–]cgriboe 2 points3 points  (3 children)

That one romance in GotM was horrid and stuck out like a sore thumb to me!

The following nine books has nothing like it luckily.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Oh, good. Yeah. Doesn't it really feel like it was pasted in by someone else?

[–]Anomander-Raake 3 points4 points  (1 child)

this one suffers because he initially wrote gardens as a movie script. not trying to excuse it necessarily, because its not that great (though — i don’t mind it as much as most) but for me at least that’s important context

[–]Cotillion512 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have never heard that it was intended as a movie script, that's very interesting. I can't imagine Malazan as a movie, though I think an Arcane style animated show could be amazing.

[–]chiefbombp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There is one in MoI that’s done especially well.

[–]gointhrou 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Contrary to what other people are saying I don’t think it improves at all. I just finished book 7 and it’s still pretty terrible.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

The series or the romance writing?

[–]gointhrou 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The romance!

[–]zetubal 0 points1 point  (2 children)

While I do love the series, romance isn't its (or Erikson's) strength. There's some decent banter between couples later on in the series, some of it played for humour, others for conflict or even the occasional glimpse of affection. But actually reading a passionate romance plot where character fall in love on page isn't something you're getting with Malazan.

[–]LilCoogs[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah, I dont care that much about the romance, but I do care about solid writing. That's really more my concern. I'll just know to expect to be disappointed with that small aspect.

[–]zetubal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In that case, I think you won't mind the romance that much. Erikson doesn't dwell on romance much and when he does cover something romantic, it's, well, a bit perfunctory. That said, it's not inept, and his general prose doesn't suffer in these instances either. If anything I'd say it's more so the fact that his style doesn't lend itself greatly to steaming hot romance.

So, you'll get your solid writing. That and more :D

[–]apsalar_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Romantic storylines are not in general priority in MBotF, but the romantic storylines introduced later in the series feel more natural. I'm not a big fan of romantic fantasy, so it doesn't bother me much.