Submitted by Smauginski
(Oct 01, 2004)
I've found Steven Erikson to be an amazing author because of his take on war in the fantasy genre.
Fantasy novels deal mostly with battle and magic used in battle and different authors have different ways of describing the fight. Some like Salvatore excel at describing one to one combat while others like David Eddings is good at describing the preparations for war (sadly he can't describe the actual battle as well). Robert Jordan describes large battles well.
Erikson on the other hand not only can describe one to one combat and large battles well (and the use of magic in them), but what takes him into the amazing is that he can also describe the brutality of war. This guy is not afraid to kill a few incredibly powerful (and likeable) characters to add a bit more punch to the story. Oh yeah and once dead they stay dead, they don't come back to life. Raymond E Fiest does the same thing but can't manage to replace the interesting characters he's killed with more interesting characters. Fiest also has a tendency to make his characters so powerful that he can't use them anymore.
Not so with Erikson. He replaces his dead characters with others as likable and there is so much grey in the actions of many of these that you find them even more interesting.
Even though magic is used in his books, the guys without magic aren't so powerless i.e as long as they have a cusser. Picture the destruction that a bazzoka produces and imagine that it ca be released by throwing a fist sized cay ball and you get the picture. So the powerless soldiers in the army turn out to be not so powerless after all.
Another amazing aspect of his books is the sheer scope he has given them. Not only are there worlds but there may be different continents where the not so powerful humans can destroy empires of the seemingly powerful Elder Races like Tlan Imass.
Pick up Eriksons books and witness a world that is truly amazing.