The Crippled God – Steven Erikson

About the book

Savaged by the K’Chain Nah’Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods — if her own troops don’t kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal. In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, and release her from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will be a force of utter devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world. And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ begins.

Published: March 21, 2011
Published by: Tor
Author’s webpage

This book was sent to me by the publisher.

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Here’s the deal. The other day I was wandering through my Goodreads shelves and I realized I committed one of the most grave fangirl sins ever. I read The Crippled God and I never reviewed it. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I must right this wrong right away. The problem is that this is the final book in one of my absolute favorite series. It’s the same problem I faced with Sharps by K.J. Parker. How am I supposed to review something I am so mentally engaged in? Alas, I’ll figure it out as I go. This will probably be less of a review and more of a meandering diatribe detailing my thoughts at the end of this wonderful series.

The Crippled God is the last book of a truly epic series. I know the word “epic” gets used a lot with fantasy, but it really applies with Malazan Book of the Fallen series. This series takes an epic amount of time, interest and determination to get through this series. That sounds bad, but it’s not. Malazan is one of those series that takes a ton of time, but you are thankful for that time because there really aren’t many other series out there to rival the scope of this one.

The truth of the matter is, by the time I got to The Crippled God I was pretty sure I’d enjoy it simply because it’s so incredibly satisfying to see an epic fantasy series actually finished. That seems to be a rare treat these days. That’s probably why I’m at a loss as to how to review this one. I was pretty set on enjoying it no matter what. Erikson, however, doesn’t disappoint with content. The Crippled God is a stunning conclusion to the series, and maintains the same high standards that were set in previous books.

As with previous books in the series, the start is fairly slow, almost painfully slow because readers will be anxious to see how it all ends. The wait to get to the meat of the book is hard. However, the pace picks up as the book progresses. This book is full of most of the characters we spent so long getting to know in previous books, which is incredibly refreshing. Instead of having to wait a book to get back to (insert character)’s story, it’s all right here. This also allows Erikson to nicely tie ends up.

However, and perhaps this is the emotional woman in me, it is also fairly sad to see these characters go. It’s bitter sweet. It’s wonderful seeing them all in one book, but it’s also sad because that’s the last time that will happen in this series. It really brings home that the series is truly over. After all that time and investment in this sprawling epic, Erikson uses the character’s he’s spent thousands and thousands of pages building to truly show who they are and what they are capable of in this amazing novel.

The Crippled God is quite amazing in the fact that Erikson doesn’t shy away from detailing how these soldiers and other individuals caught up in this complex series deal with everything they’ve been through. The Bonehunters try to find comfort in their faith in the Adjunct and her cause, but that pill is hard to swallow. The Queen of the Shake is forced to come to terms with her own desires and the plight she has put her people through as she has attempted to attain those desires. Each character, in their own way, evaluates their actions and the reasons for their actions, even as they deal with the conflicts surrounding them. This self-evaluation makes The Crippled God incredibly raw and emotional and Erikson does this in such a way that the reader will feel the emotions the characters feel as strongly as they do. There are very few books that bring tears to my eyes, but Erikson has accomplished that with two of his: Memories of Ice and The Crippled God.

Most of Erikson’s books work toward one massive battle, or a huge event that reads much like a battle. With Erikson’s incredible writing, his battles are very vivid and emotionally tense scenes to read. The Crippled God pushes the bar even higher. Erikson follows several groups throughout the book and at the end, instead of one huge battle, there are several huge battles. Reading through them all will make your heart race. The tension is incredible, and Erikson leaves nothing out. It truly is an epic ending for an incredible series.

That being said, Erikson’s books are the kind of books I can read several times and always learn something new. After it’s all over, I find myself satisfied with the ending, sad with saying goodbye to characters, and a little confused because some of the stuff I thought I’d understand by this point, I still don’t. However, I don’t mind. I’ll just have to read the series again.

And again.

And again….

Because, really, The Crippled God is an incredible end to a mind-blowing series. What else needs to be said?


5/5 stars


P.S. This review isn’t edited. My child is sick at the moment so I’m getting things done in nibbles. She needs loves more than I need to edit this. I hope you understand. 

3 Responses

  • I understand. 🙂

    Must read last three novels (I’ve read through book 7).

    Too many “must reads” on my list…

  • I love this series too, Erikson is one of my favorite authors.

    I don’t know when but I am gong to read the whole thing again back-to-back as I felt I wasn’t quite as engaged in the last couple of books as I was at the start of the series.

    Great review Sarah 🙂

  • Kudos for actually finishing this series. I ONLY need to read The Crippled God, and I’m not sure I can muster up the energy for it. This whole series has been VERY hit and miss for me, with the misses out in front with the lead. I agree this series is the very definition of EPIC. Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to reading TCG.

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