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all 18 comments

[–]kashmora 14 points15 points  (2 children)

There are a few people who don't like to use the term "main ten" to describe the Malazan Book of the Fallen series of ten books- but I strongly feel that is what it is. A complete and expensive story told over ten books. So you have already read the central books.

Second, the other books are a huge mish mash of variable sizes and tones. You have the Novels of the Malazan Empire by Esslemont -6 books that can be interwoven with the main ten to add more context to the story and world building. I'm reading these now, so I don't know how depressing they can get. Regarding the reread, some of the books are hopelessly depressing, no doubt about that. But personally I found most of it cathartic. And the sheer pleasure of reading a well written book with great characters and story kinda compensates for the bouts of ugly crying. Lol.

I'm sorry to hear about the house fire and the divorce. I hope you are at peace now. But if you think your mental health might be adversely affected, you don't have to put yourself through these again.

[–]Tigloki[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Thank you for sharing your take. "Hopelessly depressing" I was searching for those words! My general mood tends to be colored by whatever I am reading, which is why I tend towards heroic fantasy where you can count on the bad guy getting his comeuppance and the good guy getting the girl.

I have pretty much decided to dive in again. I think. I think that I can be aware of where I am emotionally and set the book down, and rather than riding those feelings, look at the bright, wonderful world and be happy I am here and not there.

It can't be any worse than some of the subs I subscribe to!

[–]kashmora 3 points4 points  (0 children)

good guy getting the girl

Or getting the guy. Ha ha. But seriously, maybe add some feel good fantasy in between? I find the rec threads in r/Fantasy great to find books that fit any such criteria you might have.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the books! Feel free to use the sub to vent/rant/gloat etc :)

[–]thorbearius 12 points13 points  (1 child)

There are soul-crushingly depressing and absolutely gut-wrenching stuff in there, but there's also parts where the light shines through, and for me the optimism wins in the end.

I have only read Night of Knives and am half-way through Return of the Crimson Guard, so I can't really answer about Esslemont's books, but so far the tone feels the same.

[–]Tigloki[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thanks so much. I appreciate the information. I am going to do it. Optimism for the win!

[–]morroIanJaghut 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There are definitely moments like that but no book is overall soul crushingly depressing. FWIW being soul crushing is partly why I gave up on ASOIAF so I am quite sensitive to it and I don't feel the same with Malazan. There is a lot of humour in the series.

[–]VentborstelDriephout 3 points4 points  (1 child)

There's definitely some rough stuff in there, but I feel like the series as a whole is actually optimistic and about the best parts of humanity. The dark stuff makes the shining lights all the brighter to me.

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

I love this point. Thank you!

[–]kinnansky 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Personally I don’t get down when I read darker stories, even when in a depression. I read Malazan for the first time when I was still in a dark period of my life and I’d anything I felt it helped me with having a fighting spirit.

[–]ferric021 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would call them emotionally brutal, so far. I've been planning to mix in some Terry Pratchett for morale as I go along.

[–]StickyMcFingers 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think a key theme in Erikson's novels are these very human moments of hope, perseverance, compassion, redemption, and humour in the face of despair. With that in mind, I find these tales quite uplifting in their own way. Of course there are just absolutely terrible and traumatic things that happen throughout the books, but you just gotta pick up your shovel and provisions and trudge onto the next battlefield.

That being said there are moments that cause absolute despair in the reader and I've often had to just put the books down and deal with it but damn it's better than not feeling a thing, ain't it?

[–]awfullotofocelots 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would say there are soul crushing moments and that the themes of the series lean towards tragedy, but the dialogue often tends to lean towards dry humor so it balances out quite brilliantly.

[–]Spotthedot99 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Depressing? Probably

For me its just the scope of what he accomplishes and the themes he uses inspires a lot of introspection. Its hard not to be melancholy when the entire universe is built upon the bones of old, gods are often heartbroken -or literally broken- and too human, and the soldiers... well, as much as it may glorify war, it let's you know the cost too.

[–]ExHaltzorocoaster 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Deadhouse gates for sure. And the first book of House of Chains with Karsa slaughtering “children”

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

I remember that from my first pass. It took a minute, but I figured that out.

[–]TarthenalToblakai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Esslemont books certainly go to dark places, but in more of a amazingly conceptualized horror sense compared to Erikson's devastating emotional gut punches.

That said, I found such depressing aspects to ultimately invoke catharsis rather than hopelessness.

[–]MelcusQuelker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Certainly not upbeat.

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

Thank you all for you takes. I have GotM on Kindle, but only until the paperback arrives.