Malazan Wiki
Malazan Wiki
Tor Complete MBotF ebook 2014

Tor e-book cover

A few colorful characters by slaine69

Interpretation of some characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Slaine69

See also: Spoiler free New Readers Zone

The Malazan Book of the Fallen [Ma-laa-zan][1] is a ten book epic fantasy series written by Canadian author Steven Erikson. The series depicts a period of turmoil in the history of the Malazan Empire and the other nations that share its world, such as Lether. The series incorporates a vast number of characters (human, immortal and non-human), storylines, subplots, themes and locations. Unlike most fantasy series, which depict one large story divided into lesser volumes, the Malazan sequence mostly consists of single novels with their own self-contained storylines with only subplots and some characters continuing between volumes. The closest thing to a main storyline in the books follows the machinations of an alien deity called the Crippled God, which has been imprisoned upon the Malazan world and seeks to escape.

The Books[]

Gardens of the moon characters by slaine69

Interpretation of characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen by slaine69

Malazansketchidas by Jeanfverreault

Sketch ideas for characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Jeanfverreault

Series epigraph[]

Published in Gardens of the Moon:

Now these ashes have grown cold, we open the old book.
These oil stained pages recount the tales of the Fallen,
a frayed empire, words without warmth. The hearth
has ebbed, its gleam and life's sparks are but memories
against dimming eyes - what cast my mind, what hue my
thoughts as I open The Book of the Fallen
and breathe deep the scent of history?
Listen then, to these words carried on that breath.
These tales are the tales of us all, again yet again.
We are history relived and that is all, without end that is all.

Plot lines[]

The Malazan Book of the Fallen[]

The Malazan series does not follow a linear plot, that is, the novels are not produced in a straight chronological fashion. Instead, the stories occur in a semi-linear fashion, often having a novel cover one area of the world at a specific time, while the next novel overlaps the same time frame but in a different area of the world.

The first novel, Gardens of the Moon, introduces the main players in the series. Plot lines include the struggle for power within the city of Darujhistan, the war on Genabackis, and the introduction of a new threat on Genabackis, the Pannion Domin.

The second novel, Deadhouse Gates, takes place on the Seven Cities subcontinent and follows the Whirlwind rebellion and the rise of Sha'ik, focusing on a fugitive march across the continent called the Chain of Dogs.

The third novel, Memories of Ice, takes place back on Genabackis and follows the uneasy alliance between the armies of warlord Caladan Brood and the imperial Onearm's Host against the Pannion Domin. Memories of Ice takes place during the same time as Deadhouse Gates.

The fourth Novel, House of Chains, occurs back in Seven Cities and follows the imperial Adjunct Tavore Paran in her quest to squash the Whirlwind rebellion started in Deadhouse Gates. This novel also follows the trials of Karsa Orlong, a Teblor warrior setting out across the world from their isolated enclave.

The fifth novel, Midnight Tides, follows the clash of the united Tiste Edur tribes and the Letherii Empire. This novel does not feature characters seen in previous novels (with the sole exception of Trull Sengar).  It takes place several years before Gardens of the Moon.

The sixth novel, The Bonehunters, combines all of the previous strands and plots, with the armies converging on Seven Cities, and the Letherii setting out in search of warriors to battle their immortal emperor.

The seventh novel, Reaper's Gale, takes the Malazan armies to the Letherii homeland. It also covers the Awl struggle against the Letherii on another side of the continent.

The eighth novel, Toll the Hounds, revolves around the Tiste Andii of Black Coral and some of the main characters who have returned, or settled, in the city of Darujhistan.

The ninth novel, Dust of Dreams, revolves around the Bonehunters and their journey on their new, mysterious mission in the far-off sub-continent of Kolanse.

The tenth novel, The Crippled God, ties the various plots and armies together for the battle in the Kolanse sub-continent.


  • In an interview with Tor, Erikson explained his thoughts behind the title for the series:
"The title was inspired by Napoleon's Book of the Fallen; although that one simply lists the names of the fallen soldiers from his campaigns. I was more inspired by the notion of it than its actuality. Fallen soldiers is one thing, but fallen lives and the stories surrounding them is another — one need not die to fall, in that sense. So, while characters will fall to the wayside (die), others will survive the series."[2]
  • The Malazan series is intended to take place in a world where sexism does not exist. The magic system is designed to be egalitarian, something anyone can reach, preventing gender-based hierarchies of power resembling those of the real world.[3]
  • Erikson has said that if the series were ever to be adapted for film, he would prefer to see each book broken into a trilogy of movies with ten films released a year for three years. "That would've been pretty cool, but nobody will do that obviously."[4]
  • The series came very close to being optioned for television by "a major producer" with the option check waiting for six months on the executive's desk to be signed and the contract completed. The deal was cancelled just before producer Harvey Weinstein became embroiled in major legal issues and his company went bankrupt. "Had we sold the rights, we would still be in a legal nightmare now because that property then would have been picked up by the nearest debt collector...we would have been screwed", said Erikson. "We dodged a bullet."[5]

Notes and references[]