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Old 07-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
jgaiser
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George R.R. Martin or Steven Erikson?

So.. I've not read either of A Song of Ice and Fire or Malazan Book of the Fallen, though I do have the first three volumes of each in the series.

I'll be finishing up the last volume of The First Law series sometime in the next month or so and the moderator of the Goodreads group that is reading the series is trying to convince me to join in on a Malazan read-along. Both the GRRM books and Erikson's books are a long series and I'm enjoying the Abercrombie book enough I want to continue with some grimdark.

So who's on first? Martin or Erikson? I'm actually leaning towards the Malazan books, but I'd like to hear some recommendations
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Well, I like them both but one thing I suppose Malazan has going for it is the series is "finished"*. I read Malazan through book six in paper (back when US folks had to get them from the UK), but then it kind of fell by the wayside. I keep meaning to pick the series back up, but would feel the need to start at the beginning again. An 11,000 (or so) page main series is a big commitment. Then there's the whole 'what order' arguments (chronological with the novellas & Esslemont's books mixed in or by separate series).

I've read Ice & Fire through book four, but haven't been super enthused about starting book five yet as I'm thinking of waiting for them all to come out, some day, and re-starting from book one.


* It's finished in the sense that the initial ten book series by Erikson is done. There are still likely to be more novellas and IIRC still one book in the "Novels of the Malazan Empire" by Esslemont to be done. Then there's the The Kharkanas Trilogy which Erikson is doing now (first book out already). Depends on how you look at 'series'.



Sorry. Probably doesn't really help you decide. Just the things I think about for myself when I think about jumping back into either series.

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Old 07-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #3
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Yeah.. My feelings about the books are that Malazan is finished and god know when Ice and Fire will be done. On the other hand, there's lots of complaints that Gardens of the Moon is a difficult book to get through. Some folks even recommend starting with Deadhouse Gates.

Still have about 1 1/2 books to go with The First Law series. I'm hoping folks will speak up on this thread.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:57 PM   #4
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On the other hand, there's lots of complaints that Gardens of the Moon is a difficult book to get through. Some folks even recommend starting with Deadhouse Gates.
I've seen comments like that. IIRC it took me a bit more time to get through Garden's than usual for a book that size, but I can't imagine not starting with book one.


I'll be interested to hear other comments too.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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Erikson's books hopp around chronologically when it comes to storylines which is kind of confusing http://onlythebestscifi.blogspot.se/...-included.html
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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I just plain didn't like Gardens of the Moon, so I'd recommend the GRRM.

You do know that here are three more Abercrombie novels in the same world as The First Law?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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I say neither.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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Both series are very good. In my opinion, these are the best fantasy books since the Lord of the Rings. So my advice would be, to read both series Since you have to start with one, I just tell you a little bit about the books.

Martin is more easy to access. His prose is more fluent and in my opinion better then Eriksons. There is also less repetition and a more strict structure to his books. His books are more grounded than Eriksons, much less magic and no super fighters, powers etc. It is also much easier to understand, what is happening and how the world works. The first three books are fantastic. The 4th and 5th not so great. And the series is not finished yet (okay, now that there is the tv-show, he is bound to write faster, hopefully). If you liked Abercrombie, you will like Martin. I have a few problems with the First Law's world in the original series, so I would say, Martins world building is much better.

Erikson is a different kind of beast. The world building is the best I know. But you will never get a objective view of the world or its history. All you know is what characters say or think about it. And sometimes they lie (in case of speaking) or their views are colored by emotions or self-illusion (in case of beeing in the heads of them). There is also a louder voice of a "narrator" in it, if I could call it so. Much more philosophical and sociological thoughts more direct in it, than in Martins work.
Erikson is sometimes a bit too vulgar, which can be distracting. But you get used to it. A little bit strange are the shifts between realistic and uber-powered scenes.
The first book is okay, but not so original as the later books. Maybe starting with the second book is not so bad. I would advice against reading the Esslemont novels in between. It is not needed and they are of very varying quality. The Malazan Books of the fallen are completed, what is a big difference to Martins books. Erikson writes at the moment the second book of a new trilogy, set in the same universe (and the first book was brilliant). Eriksons views on the world, war, culture, history etc. are very interesting and inspiring. The Letheri-books are a very good and interesting view at our society and economy etc. I could go on and on, but i have to finish sometime

So which to read? I don't know, both are brilliant
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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You do know that here are three more Abercrombie novels in the same world as The First Law?
Wow, I didn't know that! I liked the trilogy a lot. Will look into this asap. Hopefully it'll be finished, so that I can apply my "don't read series until they're finished" policy
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
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The first 400 pages of Gardens of the Moon were hard work, but I'd say read it first. Deadhouse Gates is excellent and very memorable, but I think part of that comes from the world- and chararacter-building done in Gardens of the Moon.

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Old 07-18-2013, 08:32 AM   #11
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Wow, I didn't know that! I liked the trilogy a lot. Will look into this asap. Hopefully it'll be finished, so that I can apply my "don't read series until they're finished" policy
The books after the trilogy are more or less stand-alone. They each tell a separate story, but old characters reappear and the time-line of the world advances.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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The First Law trilogy is complete in itself, and the other three (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country) are standalone stories featuring some of the same places and characters. I haven't read Red Country yet - it's not in MMPB yet, and therefore still overpriced as an ebook - but I have really enjoyed the other two. The internal chronology is the same as the published order, for those two at least.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Wow, I didn't know that! I liked the trilogy a lot. Will look into this asap. Hopefully it'll be finished, so that I can apply my "don't read series until they're finished" policy
They are finished. Both All three are standalone books.
  1. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...st_Served_Cold
  2. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9300768-the-heroes
  3. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13521459-red-country

Anyway, Abercrombie is damn good. I like him. I'm 30% in Last Argument of Kings.
There is also a comic: The First Law
http://www.goodreads.com/series/1017...rst-law-comics
For you comic nerds Art is very cool . 3 volumes out so far.


As far as the OP's question...I've read Martin (first 2 books) and Abercrombie (almost 3 books), but I got to tell you they are quite different beasts imo.
First of all, Abercrombie has way lot less POVs. Martin....can be a challenge to follow if you aren't used to so many POVs. Also, Abercrombie paces things much better. I love Martin, but most of the time it takes ages for something to happen....I had people tell me that this is especially true of later books (4,5). Even in book 3 he goes of on these tirades of what kind of food they eat or clothes they wear, where you have like 10 pages description of a feast or smth. I love details, but that is just mental >_>
So anyway, I think if you like Abercrombie chances are you will like Martin. But I can guarantee you'll curse the day you took to read an unfinished series like the rest of us saps.
Somebody said, maybe he'll write faster because of TV. I dont think so. Martin writes for himself imo, no fan base or TV is gonna change that.
I expect book 6 no sooner then early 2016.

If I were you, I'd go with Erikson for now, and wait for Martin to finish. At least you'll get the satisfaction to find out what happens in that story in the end.

Last edited by Geralt; 07-18-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Both three! Good grief @_@
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #14
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I say neither.
Spoilsport
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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Spoilsport
I'm not a huge fan of the dragger-outter story-telling school of franchise fantasy forever-ishness. I prefer a slightly higher Endings to Book-count Ratio (EBR) in my fantasy reading.

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