I’m reading the first book very slowly. Not because it feels too complex or too boring, but just because I want to give it time and enjoy it. It will be hard to summarize all the notes and comments I’ve taken but it should happen in a couple of more weeks.
In the meantime there’s a very good summary of the series as a whole on Fantasy Book Critic. Lots of praises, some I don’t completely agree with, as Erikson doesn’t completely delivers on the front of characters. But all the flaws I noticed are still small quirks that don’t get in the way of the overall enjoyment.
There was also an interesting thread with polls about the books. What makes it interesting is that with fantasy series, especially long ones, there’s a general consensus about whose books are better or worse. As you can see from those polls when it comes to Erikson every reader has a different opinion. Someone’s favorite book is often someone’s worst, and in most cases the order shifts considerably. The only few rules is that most people loved the third (Memories of Ice) and the second (Deadhouse Gates), while the first is usually considered the worse. In between the remaining ones (4, 5, 6, 7) whose preferences shift incredibly. The fourth is the classic average, the fifth is either loved or hated, as it’s a bit more detached from habit of the series. Then the sixth is a very long transition, and the seventh a “hit or miss” case, as most plots come together and so drawing more “opinionated” comments.
Eventually I’ll get there to comment myself. Maybe.
For those who already read everything the Prologue of Toll the Hounds is out. But then I’m sure you already know. The book (hardcover only) is out in UK at the end of June (along with Esslemont’s own). Beginning of April for the mass market edition of Reaper’s Gale (still UK, in US out *now* as TPB). I’ve already planned two nice combo orders from amazon.co.uk: beginning of April for Abercrombie’s last+Erikson’s 7th, and end of June for Erikson’s 8th+Esslemont.