Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach
By: Steven Erikson
Publisher: Tor
Publish Date: September 2009
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Volume 1, of Short Novels of the Malazan Empire
Recommendation: Yes, if you like to read in a huge world and may want to jot down little pieces to remember.
Book Synopsis:
Set in the awe-inspiring world of the Malazan Empire. Here are three tales of the enigmatic and eccentric necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach collected in one volume.
In the port city of Lamentable Moll, a diabolical killer stalks the streets and panic grips the citizens like a fever. As Emancipor Reese's legendary ill luck would have it, his previous employer is the unknown killer's latest victim. But two strangers have come to town, and they have posted in Fishmonger's Round a note, reeking of death-warded magic, requesting the services of a manservant.
After their blissful souourn in Lamentable Moll, the sorcerors Bauchelain and Korbal Broach-along with their manservant, Emancipor Reese-set out on the open seas aboard the sturdy ship Suncurl. Alas, there's more baggage in the hold than meets the beady eyes of the crew, and unseemly terrors awaken. For Bauchelain, Korbal Broach, and Emancipor Reese, it is just one more night on the high seas, on a journey without end.
The city of Quaint's zeal for goodness can be catastrophic, and no one knows this better than Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, two stalwart champions of all things bad. The homicidal necromancers-and their substance-addled manservant, Emancipor Reese-find themselves ensnared in a scheme to bring goodness into utter ruination. Sometimes you must bring down the name of civilization.
First sentences:
1.) The bells pealed across the Lamentable City of Moll, clamouring along the crooked, narrow alleys, buffeting the dawn-risers hurriedly laying out their wares in the market rounds.
2.) West of Theft, the Tithe Strait opens out into the Wastes. A vast stretch of ocean through which naught but the adventurour and the foolhardy dared brave the treacherous, dubious sea-lanes as far as the red road of Laughter's End, and from there, onward to the islands of the Seguleh and the southern coast of Genabackis, where the lands of Lamatath offered surdid refuge for pirates, wastrels, the rare trader and the ubiquitous pilgram ships of the Fallen God.
3.) Those who die healthily are stuffed and displayed in glass-cased shrines as examples of good living. Imid Factallo, foreman of the work crew relaying the cobbles round back of the Wall, was struck unconscious by a collapsing wagon, and so became a saint.
My Review and Summary:
These stories are on the dark side and are very detailed in the world. I have really been enjoying the books with which I feel I should use sticky notes to help me remember who's who and who did what.
The first story started out with me being confused for a little while. But, once I got through it I understood what was going on. In this first story you realize just how massive a world Erikson has created. These stories are based in the same world as Erikson's epic series, of the Malazan Empire.
There seems to be a lot of mysterious magic and different creatures/beings in this colossal world. You do get introduced to a new set of characters in each story, but you are always following the trio of men; Bauchelain, Korbal Broach, and Emancipor (the manservant). This trio of men seem to not be the "bad" guy in so many words, yet... they are. They are definitely not the heros either, but they may have a touch of it in them. I like how he follows from different character point of views, then I found myself wondering what was going to happen when they crossed paths. I had many questions and thoughts of not knowing where this trio of men was going in the world and what trouble they would uncover and create.
In the second and third stories you start to see more of the Gods and old ways of the cities. There is so much happening quickly in these short stories that you have to keep going. The third story even touches on a topic that was very interesting to me, healthiness. Can it be done too much? I really enjoyed the topic and the extreme views of the characters.
I enjoy a story that is on the dark side and has a large amount of details to follow. I have not read the Malazan Empire yet, but this is my goal for 2010 - read the 10 books series.


  1. Enjoyed your review and how you included the first sentences from each story as well as the synopsis. Don't think this series is for me, but glad that you enjoyed it! Looking forward to see what you review next!

  2. I enjoyed your review, as always well written, but this is not my kind of read by the sound of it. I'm not too keen on this genre to start with, I don't particularly like short stories and the fact that you say notes might be needed puts me off as well.

  3. Alexia - Thanks for the complements of the review. I try to include as much as possible so if anyone has not heard of the book you are able to get the information along with my thoughts to see if it is something you would want to read. I know everyone doesn't like the same books. I am glad you liked the review and completely understand it may not be a book for you. I think this book is very special in that way.

    Petty Witter - Thank you for the complement of the review. I try to prepare parts of it before I type it up then try to blend together what I want to say. I start to wonder if it sounds good or not, your own critic thing I guess. As I mentioned to Alexia above, I understand this book is not for everyone - it seems to be special in that way.

    Thanks to both of you for stopping by!! I really appreciate it! The next review I hope to do tonight is Iron Hunt.

  4. Great review. mine have been so short and lame lately.
    I really like the cover- looks dark!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the review :)

    You may also want to check out the fourth in the series:

    I can't wait for mine to arrive!

  7. Thanks for the like Rahul Vohra. The forth looks really great. I really liked the mystery with these characters that are chasing Bauchelain and Korbal. I will be looking forward to this one to come to the United States. I am going to have to research this more to see when we will get it. Thanks again for the great link!!!


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