The Wurms of Blearmouth by Steven Erikson
The Wurms of Blearmouth is a novella, first published in June of 2012, written by Canadian author Steven Erikson and set within the lands of his Malazan Book of Fallen series. It follows on from the tale told in another novella featuring Bauchelain, Broach and Reese, The Lees of Laughter’s End.
I am a self-confessed Steven Erikson junkie. I need a fix on at least a monthly basis and often find myself re-reading one of the ten Malazan books (I must have read Gardens of the Moon at least five times now) or as on this occasion, reading a novella set within the same universe. I have also recently put live reviews on Ian C Esslemont’s Novels of the Malazan Empire that suggest that these six books are where I should be spending some reading time very soon.
But I digress and should return to the work at hand.
When I think about Erikson and his work the first words that come to mind are ‘epic’ and ‘ambitious’ but his work is often also humorous and surreal. And these two words sum up this novella particularly well as it is full to the brim with bizarrely named characters, having surreal conversations and conducting themselves in altogether very peculiar way.
But first, here’s the rather lengthy blurb:
Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants will thrive in palaces and one room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct, and all propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery. But we’ll leave all that behind as we plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter’s End, our most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village above the strand and lying at the foot of a majestic castle, and therein make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep. Make welcome, then, to Spendrugle’s memorable residents, including the man who should have stayed dead, the woman whose prayers should never have been answered, the tax collector everyone ignores, the ex-husband town militiaman who never married, the beachcomber who lives in his own beard, and the now singular lizard cat who used to be plural, and the girl who likes to pee in your lap. And of course, hovering over all, the denizen of the castle keep, Lord Ah, but there lies this tale, and so endeth this blurb, with one last observation: when tyrants collide, they have dinner. And a good time is had by all.
I think the tone and irreverence of the above blurb should give any prospective reader a pretty good idea of what the book will read like. I found it to be distinctly light-hearted when compared to the Malazan books of which they are companion pieces and which are far darker and brutal in theme. I would guess that most looking at this book, and this review, are already familiar with these Malazan novels and for those I would say that the events and humour within will remind them often of that channelled through Kruppe in Gardens of the Moon and Tehol and Bugg in Midnight Tides – it is funny and farcical but but at the same time hints at hidden power and a long and dark history. Any who have read The Lees at Laughter’s End or the Collected Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach will know exactly what to expect – and will not be disappointed.
The novella is in essence a tale of xenophobia taken to the extreme and I would recommend it mainly to existing fans of the Malazan series. I will close this review with these apt words uttered by Bauchelain shortly before the novella reached its end:
“A most enlightening lesson, wouldn’t you say, on the nature of tyranny”.
Quite, and so it was.
This The Wurms of Blearmouth book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
The First Collected Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Set in the awe-inspiring world of the Malazan Empire, three tales of the enigmatic and eccentric necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach collected in a single, readily av...
The Wurms of Blearmouth
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants thrive in palaces and one-room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorde...
The Second Collected Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
The necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach - scourges of civilization, raisers of the dead, reapers of the souls of the living, devourers of hope, betrayers of faith, sl...
Gardens Of The Moon
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 1
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
The Crippled God
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 10
The Bonehunters march for Kolanse, led by Adjunct Tavore. This woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confide...
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 2
In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha’ik and her followers prepare for the long-prophesied uprising known as the Whirlwind. Un...
Memories of Ice
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3
The ravaged continent of Genabackis is a terrifying new empire, the Pannion Domin, that devours all. An uneasy allliance resists: Onearm's army, Whiskeyjack's Bridg...
House Of Chains
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 4
In Northern Genabackis, tribal mountain warriors raid southern flatlands. Years later, Tavore, Adjunct to the Empress, enters the last Malazan stronghold. New to command, s...
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 5
After decades of warfare, the five tribes of the Tiste Edur are united under the implacable rule of the Warlock King of the Hiroth. But the price of peace is a pact with a ...
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6
The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoma...
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 7
All is not well in the Letherii Empire. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, surrounded by sycophants and agents of his Machiavellian chan...
Toll the Hounds
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 8
In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round man in the fade...
Dust of Dreams
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 9
In war everyone loses. This brutal truth can be seen in the eyes of every soldier in every world… In Letherii, the exiled Malazan army commanded by Adjunct Tavore be...
Have you read The Wurms of Blearmouth?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Wurms of Blearmouth reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Great Reawakening has left Latent people with a stark choice: either use their newfound magical powers in the service of the government, or choose the path of the Selfe...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
The First Law
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body...
The Ascendants of Estorea
The Estorean Conquord has stood for 850 years. Its Advocate, Herine Del Aglios, knows that she presides over the greatest civilisation in history. But she wants more. And i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: