The Crippled God by Steven Erikson. Book review

The Crippled God by Steven Erikson. Bantam Press ’20

Reviewed by Karen Stevens

The remains of the Malazan army, led by Adjunct Tavore, make their final match into the previously uncrossed Glass Desert. If they can survive the trials of the desert and treachery from within their own ranks, they face a deadly enemy ‘ the Forkul Assail, a ruthless race which intends to scour humanity from the face of the world. Elsewhere an army of refugees stand at the gates of the lost city of Kharkanas to face the Tiste Liosan who are breaching their way through Lightfall while the three Elder Gods plan to release the Otataral Dragon from her prison.

It’s impossible to write a more detailed description of The Crippled God because it’s a huge book (900 pages) with many parallel plot-lines to follow. This is the last of Erikson’s Malazan Books of the Fallen series and a direct sequel to Dust of Dreams. Don’t read it without reading the previous books first or you’ll be lost amongst its twisting plots and huge cast of characters.

Erikson is an excellent writer and has created a massive fantasy world, alien but still believable and with a hard edge of realism lacking in many novels. His characters aren’t traditional heroes but fighters and survivors drawn in many shades of grey, grim and worn-down by all they’ve been through, who are repeatedly kicked down but keep getting back up again. The action scenes are brutally realistic, with plenty of dazzling sword-play but also an unflinching description of the gory carnage of the battlefield. 

I recommend this book. This is heroic fantasy that’s been dragged through the mud and kicked a few times. It’s gritty and it’s bloody. And it’s all the better for it.

The Crippled God by Steven Erikson. Bantam Press ’20

Reviewed by Karen Stevens

The remains of the Malazan army, led by Adjunct Tavore, make their final match into the previously uncrossed Glass Desert. If they can survive the trials of the desert and treachery from within their own ranks, they face a deadly enemy ‘ the Forkul Assail, a ruthless race which intends to scour humanity from the face of the world. Elsewhere an army of refugees stand at the gates of the lost city of Kharkanas to face the Tiste Liosan who are breaching their way through Lightfall while the three Elder Gods plan to release the Otataral Dragon from her prison.

It’s impossible to write a more detailed description of The Crippled God because it’s a huge book (900 pages) with many parallel plot-lines to follow. This is the last of Erikson’s Malazan Books of the Fallen series and a direct sequel to Dust of Dreams. Don’t read it without reading the previous books first or you’ll be lost amongst its twisting plots and huge cast of characters.

Erikson is an excellent writer and has created a massive fantasy world, alien but still believable and with a hard edge of realism lacking in many novels. His characters aren’t traditional heroes but fighters and survivors drawn in many shades of grey, grim and worn-down by all they’ve been through, who are repeatedly kicked down but keep getting back up again. The action scenes are brutally realistic, with plenty of dazzling sword-play but also an unflinching description of the gory carnage of the battlefield. 

I recommend this book. This is heroic fantasy that’s been dragged through the mud and kicked a few times. It’s gritty and it’s bloody. And it’s all the better for it.