I just finished Steven Erikson's newest novella, the third volume in A Tale of Beauchelain and Korbal Broach. In terms of chronology, The Lees of Laughter's End occurs in between Blood Follows (Canada, USA, Europe) and The Healthy Dead (Canada, USA, Europe), but I'm told that each reads as a stand-alone.
This was my first experience with Erikson's short fiction, and this novella proved to be an hilarious Malazan interlude. We follow the misadventures of the two necromancers introduced in Memories of Ice (Canada, USA, Europe), as well as those of their poor manservant Emancipor Reese, along with the rest of the hapless crew aboard the Suncurl.
Although the author drops a few hints pertaining to the Malazan series, this novella is, for the most part, an entertaining episode taking place before Beauchelain and Korbal Broach's arrival on Genabackis. This work demonstrates just how funny Steven Erikson can be when he's working outside of the parameters associated with the main sequence.
Given the fact that the Malazan world is so vast, I found it interesting to have the action taking place in a locale we haven't seen before. Information about Lamentable Moll, Toll's City and the rest of the continent of Stratem, as well as the temporary presence of the Crimson Guard, was sort of neat. Hints pertaining to the Jhorligg appear to confirm new information regarding the K'Chain Che'Malle from Reaper's Gale (Canada, USA, Europe).
All in all, an extremely fun read that should get more than a few chuckles out of you. If you're a big fan of the Malazan saga, you will not be disappointed.
The final verdict: 7.5/10