Getting Left Behind

Sometimes it feels as though I have fallen asleep and missed so much of the world. I love my reading and in particular I love reading Epic Fantasy, so there is a part of me which has to wonder where I have been for the past few years that I have missed so much. 2010 marked the year that I started to read George R R Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice and Steven Erikson’s Fallen Book of the Malazan. They’ve been available here in South Africa for quite a while, so it’s left me questioning how I only managed to find them last year. The finale to Steven Erikson’s series comes out on 1 March 2011 and I can’t even look forward to it, because I’m still all the way back at the beginning of the series.

I think that it’ll still take a while for George R R Martin’s saga to come to its conclusion so I might have some time with that one to catch up. But the Malazan Empire series caught me more than the Song of Fire and Ice. I think that it took me a grand total of two weeks to finish Gardens of the Moon and with my schedule and how much time I have available for reading, it would’ve normally taken me more than a month to get through a book of the same length. The characters and the conflict in the novel caught me and I wanted to find out what was happening and where it was going.

What I found nice about the Gardens of the Moon as well was the fact that it was a self contained story. Sure, it ended so that you wanted to find out what was going to happen in the next novel. But you had a conclusion and weren’t dragged through four books trying to find a magical bowl which would correct the climate of the world. Obviously, I prefer it to the series to which I alluded. I have read a little up on the series and know the deal was for a series of ten novels and Steven Erikson has delivered his story in the promised number of books, instead of stretching the number to twelve and then fourteen and then we’re up at book twenty.

I have the second book in the series, The Deadhouse Gates, in my pile to be read but I’m currently busy with Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings and don’t want to change novels right in the middle. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the Way of Kings as much as Gardens of the Moon. I ordered a copy of Way of the Kings from the US and have been devouring it since it arrived. The UK version arrived in stores the other day and I have to admit that I’m happy I got the US version which looks much better.

To be at the beginning of the series can be both frustrating and a blessing when the series comes to an end. It means that while everyone else is happy to get the final book and has already crossed the territory before you and you have to be careful not to find spoilers (and be strong not to go onto Wikipedia and just read the synopsis). But it also means that you don’t have to wait any longer than you want before you cross over onto the next book and on until the end.

A blessing and a curse.