The Lees of Laughter's End: A Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach
Steven Erikson, . . Night Shade, $25 (120pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-144-7
The latest yarn in Erickson's sprawling Malazan Book of the Fallen fantasy series is filled with striking characters and ambience, but light on action and plot. Aboard a stolen sailing ship called the Suncurl are the quiet eunuch Korbal Broach, a stocky necromancer, and the eloquent sorcerer Bauchelain, a silver-tongued master of demons. As mystical iron nails in the hull merge belowdecks to form an unsavory, undead consciousness starved for flesh and blood, the beautiful Captain Slater reveals a dark secret that may doom them all. Given barely enough narrative for a short story spread over a novella's page count, only die-hard completists will choose this pricy stand-alone over Erikson's forthcoming trade paperback collection of this and two other Bauchelain & Korbal Broach tales.
Reviewed on: 07/20/2009