Why did I love this book?
First things first, I could make this thing really easy for myself by simply selecting any five books from this masterful 10-book series and be done with it, but I won’t do that to you. Were I asked to name my top five favorite books of all time, however, ‘twouldn’t be a lie to do just that. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is, in my opinion, the single greatest example of Epic Fantasy in all of human history. As I said, it’s 10 books long, about 1,000 pages each. Erikson creates not merely a continent, but an entire world—worlds, in fact—populated by hundreds of fascinating characters. Perhaps the most beloved character in the series, Karsa Orlong is not even introduced until the beginning of book four (that’s ~3,000 pages into the tale, for those of you keeping track).
When you reach this point in the series, you will likely go through the five stages of Erikson's manipulation: 1. Irate that you're stuck with this new guy when you just want to read about the characters you know and love. 2. More irate when you skip ahead to see that this new guy’s introduction takes up the first 265 pages of the book. 3. Grudging respect for Erikson when you find yourself completely enveloped in this new guy’s tale. 4. Dismayed that your time with your new favorite character is coming to a temporary close. 5. Irate again when you reach the end of this new guy’s section and discover you have hundreds of more pages to read before returning to his tale. This perfectly encapsulates and crystalizes the genius of Erikson. Every character he writes is deep and rich, and you’ll love them with all your heart, until you’re introduced to the next, even more engrossing being.
Disclaimer: This series is very mature, definitely not the lighthearted Young Adult Fiction I wrote. Liking one is no guarantee you’ll appreciate the other, though they are both technically fantasy. Plus, he’s a much better writer than I.