I’m working on the next part of my Malazan series for Deadhouse Gates, but in the meantime I wanted to highlight the Tor.com reread that has been running for almost seven years now, two years before the Malazan series was finished being published. I have this blog linked on my page as well, I don’t get much traffic but I’ve used their blog so much over the years I want to send as many people to them as I can.
I discovered the reread in the middle of my first read through of the series. The books themselves are very dense and can be intimidating as a first time reader. There are so many characters and plot strands to keep track of all the time, it’s very easy to become confused. The reread is structured as a summary of a chapters events followed by commentary from both a long time Malazan reader and a first time Malazan reader. Bill is the long time reader and Amanda is the newbie. Later on Amanda made some comments that made me think she may have read ahead, but who cares.
The structure is excellent. Bill writes the summaries, so he includes all the relevant plot points and foreshadowing. This is immensely helpful for your first time through the books, there are so many things that you can blow right by if you’re not paying attention. Bill’s summaries are the most valuable part of this blog if you’re reading for the first time. The commentary from Bill is also great. He does a great job explaining events and pointing out things you should remember going forward. Amanda’s commentary is a little more hit and miss, there’s a lot less substance to her commentary, sometimes it’s just a lot of “oohs and ahhs.” She has a difficult time though, how do you write commentary on a chapter from a book you’ve never read before and keep it engaging on a blog?
There are no spoilers for future chapters/books in the commentary, so this blog is a perfect companion piece to reading the Malazan series. Reading through the series the first time, it can be incredibly hard to follow. I highly recommend reading at the bare minimum the chapter summaries as you go through the books, it’ll help you understand everything you’re reading a lot better than without. I’ve been following this blog for four years, they’re currently on the first book of Steven Erikson‘s prequel series, Forge of Darkness. Check it out if you’re considering reading anything by Erikson.