The Kharkanas Trilogy is a three volume epic fantasy series written by Steven Erikson that serves as a prequel to the author's ten volume Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Set more than 300,000 years before Gardens of the Moon, the trilogy explores the tragic history of the Tiste people and the circumstances leading to the fracture of their race. It also delves into the machinations of the Elder Gods that still impact the world at the time of the Malazan Empire.
In October 2017, Erikson announced that Walk in Shadow, the concluding volume of the Kharkanas series, would be delayed while he instead worked on the first book in the Witness Trilogy. He returned to Walk in Shadow in July 2020 after submitting the manuscript of The God is Not Willing to his publisher earlier in the year.
- Forge of Darkness looks at the Tiste realm of Kurald Galain during the early days of Mother Dark's reign and its orchestrated slide into civil war. Meanwhile Mother Dark's consort, Draconus, is determined to provide his lover with a powerful magical gift that causes deep rifts among his fellow god-like Azathanai. In the west, the Jaghut Lord of Hate and Hood make decisions that will alter the fate of their race and the world forever.
- Unlike the Malazan Book of the Fallen, which was heavily influenced by the role-playing game sessions of Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont, "most of [the Kharkanas trilogy] was not gamed."
- To prepare for the Kharkanas Trilogy, Erikson read the entire works of William Shakespeare, both plays and sonnets. "I was thinking of narrative style, the notion of oration as witnessed on a stage, and with that, the necessity of a particular cadence (what I ended up calling 'breath-length' clauses) in the sentence pattern, as well as declamation (something rarely seen in modern narrative, but with roots going back to Greek drama, and likely even further back to priestly performance)."
- Writing the Endest Silann scenes in Toll the Hounds that took the reader back to Kharkanas interested Erikson enough that he decided to follow up the Malazan Book of the Fallen with the Kharkanas Trilogy. He says those scenes "opened the door to the Kharkanas Trilogy...That's where I really started thinking about post-Crippled God...and thinking about what I would approach next. And I think I just got so caught up and interested in the Kharkanas stuff, that I ended up putting a lot of things in place that I was going to deal with...and open up a whole new series on. Which nobody liked."
Notes and references
- Steven Erikson Facebook post 25 October 2017
- Steven Erikson Facebook post 22 July 2020
- Ten Very Big Books podcast - Memories of Ice - See 46:30
- The Dilemma of Time - Steven Erikson Facebook post 27 July 2020
- Spoiler Chat: Toll the Hounds - Part 3 with Dr. Philip Chase and Steven Erikson - A Critical Dragon - See 1:10:40