The Crippled God: Book Ten of The Malazan Book of the Fallen
by Steven Erikson
Cover Artist: Steve Stone
Review by Steve Sawicki
Tor Books Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765316561
Date: 01 March 2011 List Price $19.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is the final book in the 10 book series of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. After 3.5 million words, the best fantasy series in the past twenty years comes to an end. The Malazans are marching to the ends of the known empire and just have to cross an uncrossable glass desert in order to fight one final battle to save the worlds and everyone on it. At the same time the Forkrul Assail prepare for final judgement and the cleansing of everything living. Elsewhere the gods are active, moving, motivating, manipulating, and working to make their own ends come to fruition. Meanwhile the dragons have returned, to battle each other one last time and to decide the fate of all mortal life. Everything is coming to an end and the Malazans are right in the middle of it, exactly where they want to be.
Steven Erikson has brought his series to a close and the final book moves from the first page to the last toward a final conclusion that pulls together every single loose end in all of other books and ties them all up in a battle that is so large and complex that it takes 500 pages to set up.
As with the other books in the series you should not become too attached to the characters because Erikson has no problem pulling the plug on them if the plot demands it. And let's be clear, there is a great deal of death in this book. Also as in the previous books there is a great deal of dark humor here. The only complaint I would have is that my two favorite characters--Tehol and Bugg--are in the book so little.
I truly enjoyed this series and I'm not a big fan of extended series since so few authors are able to pull off a long plot but Erikson does it with masterful skill and expertise. Simply put, this is great stuff. And it's great stuff that takes a few months to read. The plot is incredibly complex and the characters run into the hundreds and there are more than a dozen plot lines running simultaneously.
I can't recommend this book and series highly enough. It probably won't win awards because long series almost never do, but it should. This series is, essentially, the definitive epic fantasy.