Sometimes, it is unreasonably hard to keep up, for no particularly good reason. The upshot of all the happenings in my life (and various irrelevancies that also slowed me down, mind you; I’d never claim after being more than a week late that it was exclusively the fault of how busy I am) is that I have far less to say about Erikson’s fourth tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, House of Chains, than I feel like I ought to have.
Four books is a long way into a series to feel like one finally has a handle on what’s going on, it’s true. I can completely see why it would put people off. And it’s not like I can explain the first book well enough to talk people into reading it, so far. What I do know is this: despite consistent four-digit page counts and a real struggle to figure out what’s up, these are the only new books in the past several years that have made me want to drag them out and avidly reread them, despite a hip deep to-read pile. (As opposed to, say, the Martin series, which I feel like I should reread to know what’s up, but the task fills me with dread.) Mind you, I won’t be doing so for some months yet, but my point is, I resent that I don’t have time to.
In summation: it’s nice to read a book where the human emotion and the sweeping events are balanced well enough that readers looking for either one as their key ingredient will think this is the right fantasy series for them. Gardens of the Moon is available in America these days, which means (as I probably already said once before when I did book three) people should start reading these now. Lots. (Caveat: Yes, the cover is terrible. But it looks like all the other books are being published with their original covers instead of stock fantasy crap covers, so don’t let that fool you.)