Malazan Empire: Best (or second-best) Book Yet - Malazan Empire

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#1 User is offline   cliftonprince 

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:23 PM

I'm halfway through this one. Love it! Quick review and comparison to the other one I loved, below:

I liked Deadhouse Gates a lot, for other reasons. Those two books -- Dust of Dreams, and Deadhouse Gates -- are definitely my two most favorite, among the ten that I've so far read (the first nine of Erikson's Malazan Fallen; plus, Return of the Crimson Guard by Esslemont). Deadhouse Gates impresses me with the utter tragedy of the Chain of Dogs events, the sincerity of the characters wrapped up in all of that, Coltaine and Duiker and Mallick Rel in particular as major players. Admittedly, Deadhouse Gates leaves some story-lines really high up in the air (especially in Malaz City, at the end), and some haven't even been mentioned yet (nothing on the continent where the Lether Empire is, f.e.; and nearly nothing about the Toblakai race except the one dude whom we will later get to know better as Karsa Orlong). So it's not really trying to tie all the loose ends together. That's a kind of "weakness" of all the books, in my opinion, that they basically can't stand alone. Or, almost can't.

With Dust of Dreams I'm really impressed with how the many (many many many!) story-lines are coming together, in lots of different ways. And how the (many) narrative voice(s) are going out of their way to keep the reader better in hand. It's almost like Erikson realized exactly my biggest personal complaint about some of the previous Malazan books, and then pro-actively alleviated exactly that complaint. Right when I start to get lost, some pair of characters come along and talk to each other about the history which had gotten me lost. Ta dah! they alleviate my lost-ness, explain just a few key things, get me back to speed. I decided I really liked this one when I got through a few central episodes -- Fiddler's "disastrous" (or, just, too-powerful) reading of the Deck, and the parley among the various leaders at Letheras planning the next march across the Wastelands. After those episodes, and a few other things that happened right smack in the middle of this volume, I started getting a real sense of how all the stuff is connected. There's going to be some major convergences coming along, and the previously un-tapped lines about Forkrul Assail, K'chain Che'malle, the Shake tribes, and the live-now-dead-again (T'lan) Imass, the marching Malazans, the Letherii, the Edur and Andii, plus all the others, are all seeming to be juggernauts just speeding straight at each other head-first looking forward to a massive collision.
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#2 User is offline   Esa1996 

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:57 AM

Knowing what happens and what I personally think of the books, this is really funny :)

Book 9 and 10 are the only books in the series that are considered one book split in two, and due to this I'd say that book 9 is the least standalone book in the series (Erikson even apologized for this at the start of the book in the the copy I read :) ). As for the "what I think of the books" part, well, being so standalone is one their biggest weaknesses IMO :D I want my series to be long and continuous stories with no interruptions (Something Malazan does really badly actually as the setting, characters and plots all change with nearly every book. The series is good enough otherwise though that it's still one of my all time favorites).

My personal favorites in the series were definitely Bonehunters and Memories of Ice.
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#3 User is offline   End of Disc One 

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 02:42 PM

 Esa1996, on 21 May 2018 - 09:57 AM, said:

My personal favorites in the series were definitely Bonehunters and Memories of Ice.


Concurred. I haven't gotten there on a reread yet but after one read, these are definitely my top 2.
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#4 User is offline   cliftonprince 

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 04:38 AM

I read that two-for-one disclaimer at the start of Dust of Dreams (explains that Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God are to be thought of as one book, simply bound into two covers) as well.
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#5 User is offline   nicetrout 

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:54 PM

Ironic.

I just came to the DoD heading to post about the book and found this. I was just about to start reading DoD after a bit of break from Malazan. I was hiking the Appalachian trail and catching up on a few E.M. Forster Novels. I had always heard people say such dreadful things about DoD or that it fell pretty low on people's ranking of the ten main books. So I was looking for some hype, or some people to build me up the energy to break into DoD. I'm glad to see thought that you're enjoying it.

Hopefully I do too!
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#6 User is offline   Slow Ben 

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:30 PM

 nicetrout, on 06 August 2018 - 05:54 PM, said:

Ironic.
I had always heard people say such dreadful things about DoD or that it fell pretty low on people's ranking of the ten main books.






You dont need these people.


They're awesome.
I've always been crazy but its kept me from going insane.
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#7 User is offline   nicetrout 

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 03:41 PM

Just finished this book. And it far exceeded my expectation for it to be the worst of the bunch. It was a solid read that certainly was incomplete which is the only downside.

I loved so much of it though, like the K'chain'che'malle, Letheras, all the characters, but they were a lot of Barghast. I don't know.

So, all around very into it. Looking forward to reading TCG.
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