A Malazan Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, Book 5
Synopsis: Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants will thrive in palaces and one room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct, and all propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery.
But we’ll leave all that behind as we plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter’s End, our most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village above the strand and lying at the foot of a majestic castle, and therein make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep.
Make welcome, then, to Spendrugle’s memorable residents, including the man who should have stayed dead, the woman whose prayers should never have been answered, the tax collector everyone ignores, the ex-husband town militiaman who never married, the beachcomber who lives in his own beard, and the now singular lizard cat who used to be plural, and the girl who likes to pee in your lap. And of course, hovering over all, the denizen of the castle keep, Lord –
Ah, but there lies this tale, and so endeth this blurb, with one last observation: when tyrants collide, they have dinner.
And a good time is had by all.
Review: I do confess that I have never read an Erikson book, but I always wanted to try one. As he is such a big name in fantasy. Now, well I did not exactly start at the beginning. And I have no idea what Bachelain and Korbal have been up to before, but that does not matter. I never felt lost while reading. I just walked into an adventure that began and ended in this novella.
How to even explain this? It’s like Pratchett meets Gormenghast meets something very dark (I have not read those Grim authors yet so I can’t compare). There is dark dry humour, people have silly names and no one is nice. No one. Trust me, they all have their faults. I kept imagining this village as dark, muddy and dirty. Like it was always raining and the sun never shone.
There is a big cast of characters for such a short story. Bauchelain, Korbal and their servant arrive after they have been shipwrecked. And then a lot of others follow them for different reasons (money and more.) And then there is the village and the keep of course. I liked the village, as much as you can like people like that. We have the tax collector, the cat who hates the tax collector, the old guy who lives at the beach and sends travelers to their doom. The woman who owns the brothel, her daughter who wants to become a whore, the constable who sends strangers to the keep to die, the man who is dead but not dead, and of course the Lord of the Keep who is quite the tyrant.
They are all insane, murderous, lecherous killers. But I laughed. There was this one scene with the woman who owns the brothels and trust me, you have not seen that before. Weirdly fun.
This was a fun and rather strange novella. It’s a village that you do not want to venture to, and characters you do not want to meet. So luckily I can read about them and experience them that way instead. And as I have not read Erikson before I have no idea if the rest of his novels are like this. But from what I have seen he might keep this dark humor to B and Korbal’s tales. They are perfect for it.
And I still want to try that first Malazan book to see what this series and world is all about. It was certainly not your average kind of fantasy. But if you like your humour dark and your fantasy world grim then this is for you.
And this is where Melliane usually have her ratings on her blog, but I just can’t do ratings. What is good for me in a rating means it’s awful for someone else. I can not get my head around ratings. So I leave you with my review instead 😉
Thank you for having me over!
Thanks to you for reading the book! That was really nice.
Wow, the blurb was long for a novella *looking at it now* lol
yes I was surprised as well
It sounds like there was a lot packed into such a short read but in a good way.
Glad you were able to go into this one without having read the others and be okay with it.
I always do worry, but I read some thoughts on the book and gave it a go 🙂 I do love when you can just jump in like that
It’s funny how with UF series you can start at any point and still understand and enjoy the stories. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much 😉 Dark humor you say? Heheeee. GIMME!! Nice to meet you, btw 😉 *waves*
Oh I never do that with UF, or with fantasy as this was…well except for this one 😉 But then this was a novella and there are a LOT of Malazan books 🙂
Ha! Only you, Blod could read something like this and introduce me to it. I am most curious now.
Hehe, well you do know me well 🙂
Now I’m wondering what happened at the brothel lol
Dark, rather strange, and fun – sounds like the perfect combo! The cover sort of sends the same message, which is awesome 😀
I would NOT want to meet those guys on the cover, or go to that place, so yup well made
Hmm, not really my thing but thanks for sharing.
🙂 It certainly is not the book for everyone. But that is the case with all books 🙂
The Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas are a lot of fun, and that humour does make it into the main series, but they are very different reads. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of Gardens of the Moon, if you do end up giving it a try, as I don’t know many people who came into Malazan through the novellas.
I always meant to start Gardens as the library has it, but then I started bookblogging and the library did not get as many visits as before. But one day
Hi Blodeuedd! Fancy meeting you here! 😉 This is a novella? Are all of the installments in this series shorts? Hmm… I think it’s about time that I give Erikson a second look.
Well, no, there are the novels and honestly I do not know it all. Lots of books! And then these two have a few novellas 🙂
“It’s a village that you do not want to venture to, and characters you do not want to meet. So luckily I can read about them and experience them that way instead.”
LOVE THAT! Some of my very favorite characters are ones I would never actually want to meet in reality. This sounds like a darkly fun novella, and I’m glad I could pick it up without having read the previous books:)
LOL, good 🙂 I can like them in books but in real life I would RUN!!!!!!
Haha, jumping on mid series again 😉 I received this novella as well, and I was waffling on whether or not to read it. I’ve read only the first Malazan book so I’m practically in the same boat as you going into this. Glad you didn’t feel lost, because that was my biggest concern. I may give it a try after all!
I am bad. I went into it with I am not gonna feel lost! And I did not. I saw it as I do not have to know about the world or these two guys. They are in that place now and that is all that matters
Nice to see you in “France”!
I love the sound of this book, pure testosterone and a novella too?! Win-Win!
I just checked, this novella is like $9!!!! WTF?!
That is A LOT! Crazy. And yes a quick visit to France is nice, lol
Oh, I never heard of this WOW looking series before but I REALLY like fantasy so will check it out and the author as well since I haven’t read any book of his. Great review and by the way do you speak French?? If yes, well I do too! x
Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
Sorry, non parle francais and I did not even have the right letter for that 😉 I only took a 6 week course
Sounds like it was well worth the read
That is the interesting thing about fiction. We can travel to strange worlds without having to actually go there!
The perfect solution 🙂 Yay new worlds
Fancy seeing you here 😉 I’d not heard of this series before (I don’t think), but it definitely sounds strange and interesting. I’ll be sure to check it out.
She was nice enough to invite me over for a review 😀 it was fun
It’s good that even though it’s not the first in the series, you can get into it easily and not be confused about it, you know? Curious about that scene now!
I am a tease, but that scene was just insane! Hahaa
*waves* Hi B!
Oh it is so hard to start in the middle of a fantasy. Even “I” rarely will do that. I doff my cap off to you (well, I will put one on and the doff it…). I think you sold me on check out this fantasy!
I never do, I mean when you are in the middle of an adventure and have no idea what has happened *shudders* Luckily these novellas are different as they are an adventure in themselves
Oh I read a book of novella’s with these two in it. I liked them. I too need to get started into this world. *sigh* And need to get this story too! Thanks Blodeuedd, and yeah for fantasy!
Then you know how they are 😉
And yes I really should start with book 1