Fall of Light by Steven Erikson is the second book in his Kharkanas Trilogy set. It might be a fault of mine by diving straight into Fall of Light after having read Forge of Darkness because I’ve come away extremely exhausted. So much in fact that I’m thinking of quitting the series. As I noted in my Forge of Darkness review, I’ve actually quit the Malazan series midway through book one simply because it didn’t appeal to me. I saw this prequel of a trilogy and decided to give it a fresh start. Forge of Darkness got me prepared of what is to come in Fall of Light but I don’t think I have the patience to continue on and wait for the last book in the trilogy. Heck, I’ll probably forget everything once it releases anyways and there is zero possibility of me re-reading these monster of a book.
If you’ve read Forge of Darkness, then you’ll have acquainted yourself with how the author likes to write this series out. Once again, there is a lot of philosophical thoughts for many of the characters. Questions of good vs. evil are put to the forefront. Rather than simply pitting good characters against known evil characters, we get to view them all indifferently and judge a bit for ourselves on which side is more just. The problem I have discovered though is that if you actually put this on display for too long, the reader will eventually grow tired of it and not care. Add to the fact that the plot moves not inches at a time but rather centimeters and you’ve got yourself a cluster mess of a story. To be fair, I actually was able to follow Fall of Light a lot more easier than Forge of Darkness mainly because I knew what to look for and what to expect from each chapter as far as characters go.
As far as action goes, there seems to be a bit more of that in Fall of Light. There are more battle skirmishes and small battles here and there. This does break up the monotony of heavy dialogue from time to time but as you should already have expected by now, these are not the main focal points. I really do like the various characters in the book but it seems really hard to actually care for any of them when you read about them in one chapter and then not hearing from them again for a long time. You eventually come back around to their plot line and then have to remember just exactly where they left off at the previous time. Speaking of which, there’s actually a couple of characters that are quite irritating to read through. Lasa Rook was one as well as the characters involving the Hood mass gathering. It is definitely a surprise to me on why the author decided to shy away from Hunn’s point of view in Fall of Light considering his role in the story. It felt like he was merely forgotten only to reappear later because it was expected.
With that being said, the hyped up battle throughout the story that was to come was a big disappointment in the end. In honestly, the whole Light vs. Dark thing grew tiresome and as a matter of fact, doesn’t even seem important anymore. Again, I blame this on the slow plot development and spending just too much time on internal character thoughts and actions that didn’t push the story forward like how I felt it should. Sadly, Fall of Light reminds me of why I stopped reading the very first book of the Malazan series. I simply didn’t care after a while. In truth though, I stopped caring here towards the very end of the book rather than in the middle. Weird right? Because that’s when a book should be at its best. If anything, I’ll consider reading a summarized version of the last book once it comes out.