is the fifth book in Steven Erikson
's immense fantasy sequence The Malazan Book of the Fallen
, which began in 1999 with the much-praised Gardens of the Moon
. In successive volumes the action moves around the world of the Malazan Empire
, linked by a back-story as ancient and complex as Tolkien's. Here a prologue in "The Time of the Elder Gods" shows clashes and betrayals of gods, dragon shape shifters, demons, ice mages and more. In modern times, some very old characters survive under other names, and history has been seriously misremembered... Now there's an impending clash between the recently-united barbaric tribes of the Tiste Edur and the adjoining Kingdom of Lether, whose capitalistic decadence would make it quite sympathetic if not for policies of ruthless expansionism and slavery. We come to know people on both sides: the Tiste Edur are driven by fierce honour and have strange, fascinating customs (Erikson is an anthropologist). But their Warlock King has, so to speak, switched gods in midstream and allied with a distinctly dark power while seeking a potent "gift" from another unreliable deity. Ironically, despite the provocation of Letheran seal-poachers on his coast, the Warlock King wants a safe, unassailable peace. His supernatural allies have other plans, and the tribes find themselves following a fearsome but also pitiable new Emperor into war. Oddly enough, an old, ambiguous Letheran prophecy about an emperor is about to fall due. Meanwhile this kingdom has internal enemies, including a master financier plotting ruin while living in abject poverty with his resourceful manservant: this double act provides a vein of Jeeves-and-Wooster
comic relief. There are complex manoeuvres in court circles. The undead walk--but that's normal in Lether. Restless stirring is felt in the ancient Hold where dark magic has long been confined. Then comes the clash with the Tiste Edur, and sorcerers' weapons of mass destruction are unleashed on both sides. It's a big, complex, satisfying blockbuster, crammed with horrors, humour, spectacular effects and devious twists. Loose ends will presumably be picked up in later volumes. --David Langford
--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
From Publishers Weekly
Those with a taste for massive high fantasy epics will welcome Erikson's fifth entry in his Malazan
Book of the Fallen saga (after 2006's House of Chains), though it largely deals with the calm between storms. In the north, the Warlock King has united the tribes of Tiste Edur into a formidable realm, though his four feisty sons may yet cause problems. In the south, the still more formidable kingdom of Lether is using both bribery and military threats to intimidate its neighbors and rebuild its ancient empire. Tiste Edur will have none of this, however, for reasons going back to bloody feuds of centuries past. The author has a rare talent for building character by internal dialogue without slowing the pace. The large cast may daunt new readers, but maps and a glossary help fill the gaps. The ending suggests there'll be a lot more action in the sixth book (out of a projected 10).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.