Sunday, July 27, 2008
Blood Follows, by Steven Erikson
This review is a bit of an experiment. I first read and reviewed Blood Follows back in November 2005 and I haven't looked at the review since. Haven't thought about it.
I would not have brought it up, except that Night Shade sent me a review copy of Blood Follows. This led to the opportunity to double dip on a review of a shorter work and see what two and a half years has done to my impression of the novella.
Blood Follows is a novella set in the Malazan Universe, though it does not tie directly into any primary (or secondary, or tertiary) storyline. Blood Follows is set in the "lamentable city of Moll" and tells a couple different stories which ultimately tie together. First, there are a series of gruesome murders in Moll and Sergeant Guld is investigating, trying to find some way to capture the killer before the city unravels into a riot of fear. The other storyline has to do with a man named Emancipor Reece. Reece was a driver for various masters but each of his masters died / were killed. Reece hires on with two strangers to town, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach as their manservant. Little is known about these two "men", but there is something essentially sinister about them.
I wrote back in 2005 that Blood Follows "doesn't have the depth of satisfaction or richness as the Malazan books" and I'm not sure that I agree anymore. I know why I wrote it at the time. I had only read the first two Malazan novels and even through Book 4 I was impressed with how deep this world was and how many stories were able to be told. I was impressed by how good the novels were. The subsequent novels, however, have disappointed me. Blood Follows stands up quite well on a second read through.
Blood Follows is just as satisfying as a Malazan novel (only with less fluff), tells a complete story, introduces a dark and fascinating world, and is one of the better entries into the Malazan Universe. I want more novellas, not less. Where the later Malazan begin to get bogged down into too many storylines and introducing too many things at once which, at the moment, barely connect to anything else, Blood Follows is a far tighter story. It needs to be as a novella, but it works. It works very well.
Reading copy provided courtesy of Night Shade Books.