Read Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson Online

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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. Unprecedented in size and savagery, this maelstrom of fanaticism and bloodlust will embroil the Malazan Empire in one of the bloodiest conflicts it has ever known, shaping destinies and giving birth to legends....

Title : Deadhouse Gates
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765310026
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 604 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Deadhouse Gates Reviews

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-10-27 07:21

    The prologue was cray! But I had fun with Fiddler in chapter 1 😂Kalem's laugh rumbled from where he sat at the tiller. "Fiddler and water don't mix, lad. Look at him, he's greener than that damned monkey of yours"A sympathetic snuffling sound breathed against Fiddler's cheek. He pried open one bloodshot eye to find a tiny, wizened face staring at him. "Go away, Moby," Fiddler croakedThen they got chased by a crazy shapeshifting creature that looked like a big centipede! Fiddler scrambled to the stern, crouching down beside Kalem. The assassin straightened to face the dhenrabi, one hand on the tiller. "Soletaken! Be on your way--we care nothing for your passage!"I shall be merciful when killing you. The creature rushed the barque from directly astern, cutting through the water like a sharp-hulled ship. It's jaws opened wide. "You were warned," Fiddler said as he raised the crossbow, aimed and fired. The quarrel sped for the beast's open mouth. Lightening fast, the dhenrabi snapped at the shaft, its thin, saw-edged teeth slicing through the quarrel and shattering the clay ball, releasing to the air the powdery mixture within the ball. The contact resulted in an instantaneous explosion that blew the Soletaken's head apart Then they talked for a minute and Fiddler shrugged. "So . . . nothing. Just that." He spat again over the side and slumped down. "The excitement made me forget my seasickness. Now the excitement's faded, dammit." 😂The one thing I really didn't like about this book is that Rake wasn't in it. And YES, I know he was over there and we were over here. There were a lot of great characters in the book whether good or bad. But my all time fav was Fiddler! I just loved him. There were some sad stuff. There always is in these books. But also in these books, people can be brought back! So who ever knows!! I love Ralph Lister as the narrator because he can rock a book!! I did follow along in my physical copy for the most part. I did zone out on some things but it's okay, that's what re reads are for! 😄Anyhoo, enjoyed it and that's all that matters. Happy Reading! Mel ❤️MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading ListAMAZON: REVIEW

  • Samir
    2018-11-15 09:14

    "We are all lone souls. It pays to know humility, lest the delusion of control, of mastery, overwhelms. And, indeed, we seem a species prone to that delusion, again and ever again."If you have read The Gardens of the Moon you are aware that it was a complex and somewhat perplexing read, that it had a colossal set of characters and that the unraveling the yarn of story threads was a tremendous reward. Deadhouse Gates follows those footsteps and delivers another monumental tale, a tale that will captivate you right from the beginning and take you on an epic journey you will never forget.The story picks up right after the events of GotM but we are no longer on the continent of Genabackis, our journey in the Malazan world continues in the Seven Cities of the Malazan Empire.The Empire is on the brink of rebellion, hanging in the balance of a long prophesied war, an uprising known as Whirlwind, led by the prophetess Sha'ik from the Holy Desert of Raraku, that will free the Seven Cities of the Malazan usurpers. Malazan forces are placed under the command of the legendary Coltaine of the Crow Clan of the Wickans, a warlord who once led a rebellion against the former emperor Kellanved. Events that follow are a part of the story arc named Chain of Dogs.Chain of Dogs is on another level, it is so strong that it can be perceived as a book within a book. It is a powerful tale that vividly expresses all aspects of war, a tale with outstanding and unique battle sequences and aftermath which will ensure your emotional involvement. It is a capstone of Deadhouse Gates that thrives in delivering scenes of astonishing power and stunning imagery. Meanwhile, familiar characters from the GotM along with a couple of new faces are on a personal quest of their own, providing more depth to the story and giving a wider scope to the plot whilst moving it forward. Storylines are interwoven in a rich tapestry of seemingly diverse threads, laid before us at the end of the book, as a sight to behold.The immense detail of Erikson's world-building is sublime; history, culture, religion, artefacts, ruins and atmosphere are all equally represented elements of an intricate painting that is forming in our minds as we read along. Erikson’s writing and humanizing of characters provokes a full spectrum of emotions. Characters are exceptionally written and they are the beating heart of this book, a heart that will synchronize with yours and form a strong, emotional bond which will affect your state of mind. This is book is going to take a special place on my favorites shelf, and I will, of course, continue to immerse myself in the epic world of Malazan."We are not simple creatures. You dream that with memories will come knowledge, and from knowledge, understanding. But for every answer you find, a thousand new questions arise. All that we are has lead us to where we are, but tells us little of where we're going. Memories are a weight you can never shrug off."

  • Choko
    2018-11-01 04:33

    *** 5+ ***A second read with the FBR gang!Second time around and although I knew what was going to happen, this time I had more emotional fortitude to catch all the little details without freaking out about the action... Strongly recommend this series to everyone!!!*** 5 ***A catch-up buddy read with the Grim-Dark Fantasy Fans @ BB&B!I always write my reviews immediately after I finish reading a book, because I am not a literary reviewer, I am just a book addict who tries to save my overall​ impression of the story right away, while it is fresh in my mind. Having just finished this second installment in the Malazan Empire, I am feeling emotionally wiped out and physically exhausted... I don't believe I can do this work justice!"..."We are all lone souls. It pays to know humility, lest the delusion of control, of mastery, overwhelms. And indeed, we seem a species prone to that delusion, again and ever again…”..."There are countless amazing and informative reviews out there, and just as with my other favorite major Fantasy series, I will not even attempt to delve into the plot. The beauty of any Epic Fantasy is in committing yourself to follow the numerous timelines, the astounding amount of characters, and just as many plot-lines and settings, while putting together the pieces of this alien and imaginative world. A world imagined, but oh so real in the way it affects your soul! "..."For all that scholars tried, Duiker knew there was no explanation possible for the dark currents of human thought that roiled in the wake of bloodshed.”..."I have always thought of the Fantasy Genre as a canvas which gives you the freedom to reflect the best and worst of humanity in a way in which we can separate ourselves from the villains and try to emulate the heroes. We can see the character weaknesses and try to mold ourselves into something better... It is a genre so far away from us, but yet so close to our humanity, that it is more of a window to our core being only presented in a manner easier for us to swallow... I am well aware thatDeadhouse Gates is a Grim-Dark Fantasy and not much is usually expected from the genre apart from blood, guts, and a ton of characters dying. And we have a ton of this here, but I experienced it as much more than that... Maybe I read to much into it, but this is what I feel right now."..."When I said ferocity I meant a miasma of chaos. But I will grant you that terror thrives equally well in order.”..."To me, Steven Erikson, who has created this amazing world of layers of Humans, Elder and Newer G-DS, Ascendants, different Races varying in longevity and physiology, all set in drastically different continents and parallel realities with levels of Magical influence, has written an expose on the human capacity for self-destruction and inability to learn as a group from our previous experiences. Not only inability, but at times the willful ignorance of our history, which makes us victims to our worse nature in perpetuity... "..."Mortality’s many comforting layers had been stripped away, revealing wracked bones, a sudden comprehension of death that throbbed like an exposed nerve.”..."The devastation of war and seemingly endless feuds with enemies of long ago, the suffering of those who have no say in their Faiths, the helpless agony of the old, weak, poor, young, disadvantaged, and the seeking of even a temporary oblivion in hurtful ways are all strikingly and vividly portrayed starting with the first chapter... It sets the mood for the book until the end. Just when you think that the sustained pain and anguish have made you numb to it, the author finds more ways to strike at your heart and make you remember every dark moment of dispair you have lived through, just so you can at least partially empathize with a fraction of what the characters are going through. Although the visual effect of some of the more gruesome scenes were shocking, the moments which truly tore at my soul were the very few moments of fleeting vulnerability which were so masterfully placed in the seas of violence, that I don't believe I could ever forget them. I cried! I cried at 3 sentences which were so out of left field, that I could not even stop the tears streaming down my cheeks in order not to upset my housemates. Had to run to the bathroom and sob, wash up and give myself time to compose some semblance of normal upon my person. Having read the first book in the series, I was not prepared for the debt of emotion and substance this book had in its content. And I am grateful for every crumb of it!!!"..."All those tomes you’ve read, those other thoughts from other men, other women. Other times. How does a mortal make answer to what his or her kind are capable of? Does each of us, soldier or no, reach a point when all that we’ve seen, survived, changes us inside? Irrevocably changes us. What do we become, then? Less human, or more human? Human enough, or too human?”..."The other thing that really impressed me was having two Historians​ as leading characters. They were not perfect heroes, they were very much as normal as they can be under the circumstances, but boy, do their tales pack a punch! There were whole passages I wanted to quote, but it would be to much and I will encourage everyone who is a fan of Fantasy, Adventure or Military Fiction to find the time to devote to this series and discover it for themselves! It is very dense in prose so it needs some more concentration, but it is totally worth it!!! I can't wait to delve into the next book right away 🙂"..."Such are memories in full flood. We are not simple creatures. You dream that with memories will come knowledge, and from knowledge, understanding. But for every answer you find, a thousand new questions arise. All that we were has led us to where we are, but tells us little of where we’re going. Memories are a weight you can never shrug off...."Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a good book!!!

  • TS Chan
    2018-11-02 09:33

    For those who have read Gardens of the Moon and thought it was relatively tame for a grimdark fantasy series, Deadhouse Gates will change your mind. This sequel took the series to new heights and was also when I wholly begun to understand the opening quote of Erikson in the debut. The violence and brutality evident in this book made me rethink of how I viewed A Song of Ice and Fire. The events at the end of Gardens of the Moon saw the Bridgeburners splitting up, with the bulk of squad remaining on Genabackis with Dujek Onearm and Whiskeyjack to face the threat of the Pannion Domin. Meanwhile Fiddler and Kalam headed off to Seven Cities, where the Bridgeburners were forged, and which is on the brink of rebellion as the Seventh Year of Dryjhna, the Apocalypse, approaches. When the Book of Dryjhna is delivered into the hands of the Sha'ik, the spirit of the goddess will embody this prophetess and the Whirlwind together with the rebellion will rise. Seven Cities portray a landscape of bleakness and despair that seem to seep into the very bones of this ancient civilization. Bones buried so deep and underneath so many layers of cities on top of cities that its very air evoked antiquity and the scent of a bloody history. Amidst this desolate backdrop, and echoing its refrain of grief, loss and regret were five different storylines moving in tandem across this sub-continent as well as the Holy Desert of Raraku. Two of these arcs eventually coincided with the endgame of reaching a gate where the convergence of a host of dangerous shapeshifters was taking place at the same time. The subplots in Gardens of the Moon appear almost simplistic in comparison to Deadhouse Gates. Fortunately, the writing in this instalment was tighter that in spite of its numerous arcs the narrative was discernibly better and somehow flows more naturally between the different points of view. And while we have the familiar faces of Fiddler, Kalam, Crokus and Apsalar (formerly known as Sorry), we are once more introduced to a substantial number of new characters right from the Prologue. I will refrain from detailing every single subplot or new fascinating characters but instead highlight the ones which made this book amazing for me. Icarium, oh, dear friend, I can tell you nothing. My curse is silence to your every question, and the hand I offer as a brother will lead you only into deceit. In love's name, I do this, at my own cost... and such a cost. The compassionate tale of Mappo and Icarium was one of unbending love and friendship that grew and solidified from a duty set upon the shoulders of the young Trell over a millennia ago. A duty that now seeks to protect a dear friend who is loved as a brother, from the very thing that he has been seeking for thousands of years; cataclysmic lost memories which may well be the undoing of this gentle and wise half-Jhag. Thus it was the search of such knowledge that brought this legendary pair to seek the gate located within the Holy Desert. The ferocity of Mappo's appearance belies his gentle nature and his regretful introspection was just simply heartbreaking.The Chain of Dogs. Coltaine’s Chain of Dogs. He leads, yet is led, he strains forward, yet is held back, he bares his fangs, yet what nips at his heels if not those he is sworn to protect.I didn't use to be a fan of military plotlines but my absolute favourite arc in this book was that of the Chain of Dogs. This was told from the POV of Duiker, an ex-soldier now Imperial Historian, who followed Coltaine, war leader of the Wickan clans and newly appointed commander of the Seventh tasked to save the lives of the Malazans from the Seven Cities rebellion. Even from the outset, it seemed that Coltaine was set up to fail with the rebellion army outnumbering his army significantly and with no forthcoming assistance or relief. As Coltaine’s Seventh and his Wickan clans trudged through the bleak, hot and dry sub-continent of Seven Cities for months under relentless pursuit from the army of the Apocalypse, the unimaginably vast winding train of Malazan refugees under their protection rose from ten to thirty thousand. And instead of gratitude, all Coltaine and his Wickans received were demands and reprimands from the Malazan nobles, suffered with an indifference from his command and with much frustration from this reader. Duiker, as the Imperial Historian, was meant to record and later recount the events and as such, was many times placed close to the battles’ front lines to witness. His ruminations on the savagery of war and the hopelessness of Coltaine’s mission painted a very harsh, cruel and tragic view. War and death just do not discriminate. I’ll never return to the List of the Fallen, because I see now that the unnamed soldier is a gift. The named soldier – dead, melted wax – demands a response among the living.. a response no-one can make. Names are no comfort, they’re a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous – as if cursed – while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.The battle scenes were superbly written with impressive military and sorcery tactics. Erikson’s writing here has a cinematic quality that created breathtaking visuals of contrasting raw beauty and gruesomeness. To top it all off, the important characters in this arc were well-written and had me irrevocably and emotionally attached. Erikson has also yet again created a charismatic character that inspired reverence, in a way similar to Anomander Rake – a leader that was enigmatic, proud, extremely capable and honourable. And that is, Coltaine.At its core, the Chain of Dogs was a mighty tale of courage, loyalty, honour, compassion and dignity in the face of futility and hopelessness, and of betrayal of the highest order. The emotions that raged in me while reading ran the gamut from awe and empathy to utter sorrow and despair to stunned outrage and disbelief. This stupendously written storyline has a denouement that was probably among the most emotionally powerful ones I’ve ever read in any book. With this I can say that from hereon, I’ve been ensnared by the chains of The Malazan Book of the Fallen.This review can also be found at Booknest

  • Orient
    2018-11-15 08:23

    Phew, I did it! I finished “Deadhouse Gates”. For some time I thought I’ll never finish it :D So if you’re past shock as I am, we can continue :) Like GotM, this book shines with complexity. I found a multilayered story following a couple of story lines, a bunch of new characters and the famous Erikson’s style with unexpected twist, cliffhangers :) A real treat :) In fact I had a small shock as DG left almost all the characters from the first book behind in favor of a different story set on a different continent. I must confess, it was difficult sometimes to sort everything out as a lot of stuff was happening at the same time. I was definitely (and still am) surprised how lot’s of things turned out. The storyline. I’m not into the military stuff a lot and I’m glad that this book wasn’t soaked in it. The fighting, the battles and the various forms of fighters were great and detailed with grit and amazing Erikson’s imagination. There were times when I read page after page and thought: Oh wow, cliffhanger after cliffhanger. The storyline was more focused. There were not so many new characters, so I didn’t have to check everybody every five pages. Also the time for the story to unravel is bigger. That helped the characters and the story line. What struck me the most is that the story felt so real with interesting facts, some back stories, great flawed characters, lots of twists, action of course and cool magical aspects (I’ll name the cute deadly butterflies, a cool ghost ship, various mages and a lot more…). The story is mostly great. The last couple of chapters…..wow, it was brutal with some witty spices. If you want to know how I felt, just see the pic above :) The peculiar thing is that the story is emotionally exhausting a bit. Sometimes I felt like after a long tiring day in an office (I had some tiring work days indeed and it annoyed me a bit ‘cause a book should ease the tension). It left me struggling to keep up. Maybe the problem I had with the book is that I read it a bit pell-mell due to my busy time. The characters. I liked the story mostly for the characters as I fell for most of them. Ugh, I know that Erikson likes to butcher his characters, but what I felt in this book….Oh my, great characters died :S Erikson’s skill in creating most of characters and the history to the landscapes his characters must travel, helped a lot to love this book. Of course Fiddler, Crokus, Apsalar and Kalam had my biggest interest! My Deadly Calm, (view spoiler)[Kalam (hide spoiler)] was the character I liked the most in this book. It was awesome following him, as he incited great changes, met a great BFF, found love and fought some great fights. Also it was great to know that The Chosen One, (view spoiler)[Apsalar (hide spoiler)] reached one of her goals.I enjoyed meeting The Pokeman, (view spoiler)[Pust (hide spoiler)], he’s such a great and unique character. Omg, his struggle with bhok'arala was so funny :D Definitely complex and really entertaining character!'You two are sick as undercooked pigs. Servant has prepared your chambers. And broths of healing herbs, roots, potions and elixirs. White Paralt, emulor, tralb—' 'Those are poisons,' Mappo pointed out. 'Are they? No wonder the pig died. It's almost time, shall we prepare to ascend?'The same can be said for Icarium and Mappo, they had witty and intriguing episodes and the tension was great. (view spoiler)[Unfortunately nothing changed in their relationship. (hide spoiler)] Also I wanted more of the Red Blade, (view spoiler)[Lostara (hide spoiler)], I felt like she was left too early. Heboric was a great character too. I liked his secretive aura and his unique holy personality. (view spoiler)[In fact I thought that I’ll get some explanations about his former life as priest and what were his ties with the mysterious god, Fener. (hide spoiler)]One more character which needs to be mentioned, is Fellows’ sin, (view spoiler)[Felisin (hide spoiler)]. I must confess I didn’t like her from the start and still don’t like her. At the beginning I felt pity for her, then it was disgust time and her mind-blowing time was quite short as I wanted more glimpses to see what kind of person she became. Oh and Gesler was really funny, too. He’s worth to have his witty star hour more often.'As you say,' Lull muttered. 'Get on with you now, Corporal, you're almost as ugly as me and it's turning my stomach.''Got more than a few spare Tiste Andii eyes if you'd like to try one out for a fitting, sir. Last chance.''I'll pass, Corporal, but thanks for the offer.''You know, Commander,' Gesler said a moment before stepping into the boat, 'I just noticed – between you and the captain you got three eyes and three ears and almost a whole head of hair.'Bult swung around to glare at the corporal. 'Your point?''Nothing. Just noticing, sir.'It just the beginning for (view spoiler)[Icarium, Mappo, Heboric and Felisin (hide spoiler)], so I don’t really mind to wait for my next read in Malazan, I hope the next book will satisfy my need to know more about them and give a great playdate as one of the strongest sides of GotM was the depth of characters and I longed for that in DG.I had some ups and downs with the kids’ issue in DG. There were such moments as pAt’s and the boys scene, which melted my heart and made me teary (pAt is cool, luv ya girly!) and moments when I disliked Erikson for hurting the kids, ugh.I’d be a lie to say that I didn’t like this book. I liked it a lot, but it wasn't so mind-blowing like GotM. DG has great features of epic fantasy. It definitely has some great characters and a complex realistic multilayered story that can hook up :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • John
    2018-10-24 02:13

    Deadhouse Gates is the second book in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series. As I neared the end of this novel, I had this realization: Steven Erikson understands epic fantasy in a unique and interesting way. To understand what I mean, let's consider a few issues. A big decision that any writer has to make involves the point-of-view character. It's important to have someone in this role who is actually going to be present at all important events, a convention which in the past has led to fictional heroes who are virtually the center of the universe--other characters may exist and earn our interest, but everything really hangs on what so-and-so does. Right back to Frodo and the ring (yes, we get into what's going on at Minas Tirith, but we know it's all for naught if Frodo doesn't succeed) and even more so in the early successors (Thomas Covenant and a succession of Shannara brats, for instance). One way to get around this limitation, common in epic fantasy today, is shifting perspectives. This is great, allowing for a larger scope without unrealistic expectations on one character being present for everything and rather more multi-polar storytelling. Erikson (and I don't mean to imply that he's the only one doing this) goes one better--not only do we have a large cast of point-of-view characters, none of them really manages to assume paramount imortance. A question like "who's the main character" loses meaning in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series.Because of this, when reading Deadhouse Gates, one might conclude that the story is basically independent of the first book in the series, Gardens of the Moon. We have some overlapping characters, but not that many or even really featured all that prominently. Probably, one could jump into the series here without having read the first book and not be all that lost. However, as the plot threads of this novel come together, it seems clear that Erikson is, in fact, weaving a truly epic tapestry in which everything interrelates, but on such a grand scale that we seem at first glance to be reading two almost-entirely-separate stories.Certainly, a large number of our characters from the first novel are completely ignored and a host of others introduced, but it seems clear that this is all coming together in the form of an epic fantasy of what will end up being thousands and thousands of pages, covering at least two separate continents (this impression is only reinforced by peeking ahead at the dust jacket of the next novel in the series).So, what do we have here? We have the tale of some renegade soldiers crossing a continent to attempt to assassinate an empress for the good of the empire; we have an uprising against the empire by a prophetess in vast desert; we have an imperial general fighting a desperate running battle for months to save imperial refugees from this uprising; we have a girl who has been betrayed by her sister in an imperial purge of the nobility, and said girl's fight for survival with her companions and her quest for vengeance against the sister who betrayed her. Beyond that are other smaller stories that weave in and out, and even some of these look tantalizingly like they could be developed at a later date (or simply add to the rich fabric of the world Erikson is weaving.All in all, quite a good read and I look forward to continuing this series.

  • Markus
    2018-11-21 05:11

    "Seven Cities was an ancient civilization, steeped in the power of antiquity, where Ascendants once walked on every trader track, every lost road between forgotten places. It was said the sands hoarded power within their susurrating currents, that every stone had soaked up sorcery like blood, and that beneath every city lay the ruins of countless other cities, older cities, cities that went back to the First Empire itself. It was said each city rose on the backs of ghosts, the substance of spirits thick like layers of crushed bone; that each city forever wept beneath the streets, forever laughed, shouted, hawked wares and bartered and prayed and drew first breaths and the last breaths that announced death. Beneath the streets there were dreams, wisdom, foolishness, fears, rage, grief, lust and love and bitter hatred."The Whirlwind is rising in the Holy Desert of Raraku. In the heart of the continent of Seven Cities, Sha'ik the Seer prepares her people for the greatest and bloodiest rebellion in living memory. And the task of protecting and evacuating thirty thousand Malazan refugees falls into the hands of the Wickan warlord Coltaine, handpicked by Empress Laseen herself.Deadhouse Gates was in most aspects every bit as good as the first book in the series. It was a bit boring on occasion, and could probably have benefited from being significantly shorter, but all in all, it was an enjoyable book. The introduction was great, the journey to a new continent was intriguing, and the last part of the book was definitely the best part of this series so far, even if it left me as an emotional wreck.All my favourite characters from the last book are absent in this one, but that actually proved to be a positive thing, as some of the new characters being introduced are outright amazing. Here is Duiker the old historian, a character reminiscent of the one and only Croaker (from the Chronicles of the Black Company). Here is Gesler the Malazan corporal, a mysterious soldier who just happens to be wherever the action is. Here is Iskaral Pust, a High Priest of Shadow. And Mappo and Icarium, wanderers on a search for lost memories. And last, but certainly not least, here is Coltaine, the Wickan general who leads the Seventh army in a running battle across a continent.In addition to that solid bunch, this book also sees several key characters from the last one becoming drastically more interesting. We meet several of the Bridgeburners again, a few intriguing Ascendants are running around manipulating things, and I finally got myself a new favourite character in this series: the ruler of the Malazan Empire herself.I had a few minor issues with this one that didn't impact my opinion of the book as a whole much, but should at least be mentioned. Firstly, it was ridiculously violent. Some of the things the rebels of Seven Cities did to men, women and children of Malazan origin were so outrageously disgusting you'll want to raze their entire continent to the ground. And it was also really, really tragic. Those of you who thought Golden Son had a horrible ending should try reading this. Be warned, people!If you can stomach tons of violence and the risk of losing your loved ones, however, The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a treasure waiting to be discovered.Malazan Book of the Fallen reviews:#1 Gardens of the Moon#2 Deadhouse Gates#3 Memories of Ice#4 House of Chains#5 Midnight Tides#6 The Bonehunters

  • edge of bubble
    2018-11-11 01:15

    5 bloody stars! Fair warning; this will be a verra long and sweary and ranty and fangirly review with the tiniest bit of spoilers. But I've scattered delish candies artwork along, as bait. Buddy read with lovely, Sade.The book opens with ^this^ scene and you know you are in for an interesting ride. Towards the end of the book, you remember that "living in interesting times" is actually a Chinese curse!After Erikson's causing no deep emotion, a bit on the flat side, not bad but not close to great at all characterisations in the first book, the heroes here were a punch to the stomach. I've formed an attachment for most of them and with some, I've wanted to bathe in their blood! The story is mostly set in a desert land and the flow of it, has absorbed it's setting. Set on destruction -innocence, honour, strength, cowardice, betrayal- no discrimination.Kalam in Rakaru(view spoiler)[delivering the whirlwind(hide spoiler)]Unlike Gardens of The Moon, conversation here felt more natural. I LOVED almost everything about Deadhouse Gates and was not bored for a minute. Which is an extraordinary thing, considering this is a long arsed book with so many things happening. That almost part is caused by two characters; Felisin and Mappo.Felisin, is hated generally. For me, she was a source of perverted fascination. Finally, we were given a character whose innocence was not turned into sacrifice or angelic bla bla, but twisted into petty cruelty by the fucked up things that happened to her. She had a great potential for mindfuckery but author picked the easy way to deal with her. It was an unexpected path, I'll give that to him, but it just... happened. We didn't even get to see the breaking point.Mappo was so sweet! Fierce warrior one minute and a doddering old lady another!mappo and icarium His musings about "the memories" and Icarium got boring fast. And yet, he kept going with his cyriptic sorrow at his every POV. However, there was nothing obscure about it. You could guess what's what and who's who from a mile back. Malazan never beats you on the head with a plot twist, you barely get your bearings let alone seeing into the future. So there may be something here that could blow my mind in the future books. In case there isn't, I did my bitching.Heboric was another multifaceted character. I had this feeling that Erikson was building him here for future awesomeness. We shall see. I just want to wipe his last scenes from my mind. Felisin's annoying ways turning him into a befuddled old man is not acceptable.the bleak shore Pust... He was one of the humorous points of the book, being a cross between gollum and Dr. House. He reminded me of a childhood memory; there was this ancient man, who'd visit my dad at his store. He was the grumpiest and crankiest old creature, made of wrinkles and a few teeth. He knew my grandpa when he was a child and whenever my dad said something he didn't like, he'd say "I knew your father when he didn't know how to make you, insolent brat". His favourite cuss word was "puşt" which is a turkish swear word... With the name Pust... And his part of the ending! Priceless.Sha'ikColtaine. How can you fall in love with a character who only spoke a handful of times throughout the whole book., whose POV we've never got! Yet here I am, deeply and madly book-in-love with him! The rest of what I wish to say about him -except that he is mine and despite of his brilliance, he cannot escape his fate leading him into my harem.- is the biggest spoiler of the book. Don't open it, even if you don't plan to read the book! (view spoiler)[ Erikson... you sadistic anal crust of an elephant! why would you do that?! WHY! fuck you and your touching writing and your bloody brilliant fingers! that out of my chest... I cried! that was one of the most devastating scenes I've ever read, even though I knew what would happen thanks to some fartwit writing "coltaine's death at the end" under the brilliant art on the cover and below.I don't care about spoilers. someone please tell me we are told more about him in the future books? while the ending was hopeful, I want to know that we see him again! (hide spoiler)]'If you promote us, sir, I will punch you in what's left of your face. And Stormy will likely kick you while you're down. Sir.' Gesler then smiled. Bult pushed past Lull and stood face to face with the corporal, their noses almost touching. 'And, Corporal,' the commander hissed, 'would you punch me as well?'Gesler's smile did not waver. 'Yes, sir. And Hood take me, I'll give the Fist's crack-thong a yank too, if you ask sweetly.'There was a moment of dead silence.Coltaine burst out laughing. The shock of it brought Duiker and the others around to stare at the Wickan.Coltaine's laughter set the dogs to wild howling, the animals suddenly close and swarming about like pallid ghosts.Animated for the first time and still laughing, Coltaine spun to the corporal. 'And what would Cartheron Crust have said to that, soldier?''He'd have punched me in the n...'Gesler got no further as Coltaine's fist lashed out and caught the corporal flush on the nose.And of course Cotillion, who had a very short but touching part in this installment. Uncle Cotillion about melted my heart... He was already in my harem but with that scene he made sure he is never ever leaving! Him and Apt were wonderful.Kalam *his POV was one of the most intriguing ones in this book but I'm not putting his picture here as not to tempt you. Orient called dibs on him =D*, Kulp, Baudin, Duiker and many other characters... Even though there were numerous names to remember, deeds to judge, bonds to form due to Erikson's abundance with the cast, I've had feelies for all of them! I am stopping here not because the names above are the only memorable/lovable ones but because I am emotionally tired. Kudos to you Erikson, for managing to work so many heroes into our hearts within a book!Last but not least, mallick rel... That little pissant of dickstain must die a horrible death!!! I want someone to pull out his spine off of his body and make him watch while dogs feed on his weasely bones!malaz island ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    2018-11-17 06:25

    Deadhouse Gates is the second book in Steven Erikson’s brilliant and uber-epic ten-volume fantasy series, "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" (MBotF). I think this is now the third time I’ve read this book and it still remains one of my favorites. Deadhouse Gates is nothing short of a ‘nail-biter’ from the get-go and the pacing is utterly relentless. I have to say that Deadhouse Gates is an easier read than Erikson’s first book in the MBotF series, Gardens of the Moon, and much of that is because the reader is slowly, but surely, becoming more familiar with Erikson’s writing style and more comfortable with the unique qualities of the Malazan world that he has crafted.In my opinion, Deadhouse Gates is a fine example of what I truly love the most about the MBotF series, and that is Erikson’s ability to make his readers empathize with the characters in his books. One thing that really impresses me about Erikson’s characters is that they are all typically people that the reader can relate to, and there are really very few, if any, characters that aren’t flawed in one fashion or another. Also, Erikson’s MBotF characters exhibit a strong dose of egalitarianism, as men and women in the books commonly occupy positions of authority and responsibility across all walks of life in the Malazan world. Much of Deadhouse Gates occurs on the continent of “Seven Cities” and introduces a whole new cast of characters from those presented in Gardens of the Moon. Never fear though, of the multiple story arcs in Deadhouse Gates, one arc does involve a small group of characters that the reader met in Gardens of the Moon and who become quite important to the storyline in this episode. As is typical of Erikson novels in the MBotF series, there are plots and sub-plots galore swirling around throughout this 600+ page book (trade-paperback edition), and each of them is an attention-grabber, and at times contain a powerful ‘punch to the gut’.Without giving away anything of significance away, Deadhouse Gates revolves around the rebellion of many of the subjugated peoples of the Seven Cities continent. This rebellion is known as “The Whirlwind” and is intended to rid the continent of all of the Malazan occupiers, both administrative and military. The main plot of the novel is one that just takes your breath away—that of the tactical retreat of the Malazan Seventh Army over several hundred leagues from one city to another. The Malazan Seventh is commanded by Coltaine, a Wickan Crow Clan warchief, and now a Fist (General) in the Malazan Army. Fist Coltaine and many of the other Wickan characters are some of my favorites in the entire MBotF series, and the Wickan Clans themselves—with names like “Foolish Dog Clan”, “Weasel Clan, and “Crow Clan”—reminded me of some of the Native American tribes that so effectively battled the U.S. Army in the latter half of the 19th century.Honestly, the story of the Seventh Army’s retreat across the landscape of Seven Cities is truly nothing short of epic, as Coltaine must try and not only preserve the fighting capacity of the Seventh Army, but protect more than 50,000 refugees that his forces are endeavoring to shepherd to safety. This plot thread that weaves through much of the novel becomes known as “Coltaine’s Chain of Dogs”, a moniker of significant distinction and pride to the members of the Seventh Army, as well as the rest of the Malazan Empire. As a veteran of the military myself, there was something in this story of the “Chain of Dogs” that truly tugged at the heartstrings of my very soul, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times while reading about the desperate attempts of the Seventh Army to survive its horrifying trek across Seven Cities that I had to set the book aside for a few moments and simply let the tears roll down my cheeks. While at times a terribly tragic story, the tale of Coltaine’s “Chain of Dogs” is also one that exhibits the finest qualities of humanity—courage, compassion, comradeship, and Love. Erikson's description of this epic journey, and the battles fought along the way, rivals any that have been written about in numerous superb non-fiction military histories. Examples that immediately come to mind include the U.S. Continental Army’s retreat from New York to Valley Forge, or Napoleon’s Grande Armee’s retreat from Russia, or Field Marshal von Manstein's strategic retreat of several German armies across the frozen steppes of southern Russia in early 1942 (after the fall of Stalingrad). Erikson’s tale of the “Chain of Dogs” in Deadhouse Gates is some of the best military fiction I’ve ever read, and should appeal to readers with even a passing interest in military or historical fiction or non-fiction.But wait, there’s even more—So much more! Deadhouse Gates is also chock full of important plot and story lines that really help to begin to open up the full breadth and scope of the Malazan world to the reader. There are significant tie-backs to important events and happenings in Gardens of the Moon, as well as explanations of the fascinating and complex system of magic and sorcery, and loads of new information about the mythology and significance of the pantheon of gods and goddesses who occupy the Malazan world. Deadhouse Gates can perhaps be best characterized as the ‘tale of multiple journeys’, with Coltaine’s “Chain of the Dogs” being the centerpiece, but there are also the journeys of several other groups of characters that are just as meaningful to the overall plot and are very, very important to future episodes in the MBotF series.I continue to be completely blown away with the sheer quality of the writing, the plotting, the character development, the pacing, the pathos and drama, and the sheer inventiveness and originality of the world that Erikson has created. Mr. Erikson doesn't pull his punches, this is truly some hard, bleak, and dark fiction; and it is at times viscerally tragic and profoundly sad. At the same time though, Erikson soars to heights almost unknown in fantasy fiction with his moments of triumph, success, and the joy of experiencing those fleeting instants of pure and unbridled goodness and humanity.In closing, I highly and unhesitatingly recommend this series; and, in my opinion, Deadhouse Gates is much more than a quantum step forward from the first novel in the series, Gardens of the Moon. Deadhouse Gates was the book in the MBotF series that cemented my love affair with all things Malazan. Read Deadhouse Gates--you’ll become a believer too!***

  • Jody
    2018-10-24 05:14

    The world's harbingers of death are many and varied.If I have noticed anything about Steven Erikson's writing after reading the first two books in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series, it's that he doesn't do anything halfway. In Deadhouse Gates we are transported to a new continent, Seven Cities, and an almost entire new cast of characters. There are a few familiar faces from GotM, but not many. Now why would he do that, after such a great first book with characters we are now familiar with and the lovely continent of Genabackis? I will tell you why, because he doesn’t give a shit and he is a freaking genius.I was a little skeptical for the first 30 or 40 pages feeling like I was starting over, but after that I was so enthralled with the new story and characters it didn't matter. The layout of this book is vast, with several groups of characters with their own agendas and missions. Not unlike GotM, but on a larger scale. I will admit to not completely understanding what was going on at times, but as I learned with book 1, you just have to push through and everything will work itself out.The various storylines are each unique and take the reader on an epic journey of adventure, heroism, and heartbreak. Erikson has a knack for witty humor and morbid beauty in some of the most unlikely sections of the story. Whether it be out of place jest in a deadly situation or migrating butterflies in a horrendous battle scene, he is the master at turning a scene into a work of art. “Butterflies mobbed that straining, yearning reach, even as it slowly sank back down, then disappeared. The insects were converging, thousands, and hundreds of thousands. On all sides it seemed that the battle, the slaughter, paused and watched.”As in GotM, there are a lot characters in Deadhouse Gates, and each one is done extremely well. There are too many for me to include them all in my review, so I will just overview a few of my favorites.Iskaral Pust – A high priest of Shadow, who is as obnoxious and insane as they come. He reminds me of Kruppe with all his antics, but he is still his own character. Also, like Kruppe there is an air of mystery around him.“I trust you are killing every spider you spy. You had better be, for it is the path to wisdom. Oh yes indeed, the path!” – Iskaral PustIcarium & Mappo Trell – A Jaghut wanderer and his companion. Their history is long, violent, and above all else very sad. I wouldn’t want to bet against either one of these warriors in a fight. I don’t care who it’s against.“Blood and chaos is the wine and meat of the gods—most of them, anyway. Especially the ones most eager to meddle in mortal affairs. I will do nothing to achieve their desires.” – Mappo TrellDuiker – An imperial historian and one time soldier. He is probably the most ordinary character in the story, but I enjoyed his storyline the most.“Without our armor, we would all weep, I think. How else to answer the impending promise of incalculable loss?” – Duiker There were many more characters that I enjoyed. Kalam, Fiddler, Coltaine, Felisin, and many more. From my interaction with other fellow Malazan enthusiasts I have been told the characters from GotM and Deadhouse Gates begin to intermingle in the coming books. I am eagerly looking forward to this, and all the amazing new characters I have yet to meet.This was an awesome book that contains everything I love about epic-grim-dark fantasy. It’s crazy to see that I am only two books into this series. There is so much emotion wrapped up into just one of these books it feels like a series in itself. Yes, the end of this book broke my heart, but I have faith Mr. Erikson will avenge those who have fallen. Or my faith may be misplaced! Highly recommended to all! 5 stars *****

  • Gavin
    2018-11-08 02:25

    Deadhouse Gates was an enjoyable read that unfortunately did not quite live up to the quality of its predecessor Gardens of the Moon. There was plenty of similarities between the two. It is Erkison writing this after all so we still got the excellent world building, a complex plot, a huge cast of characters each with their own set of motivations and goals, an incredibly cool magic system, fantastic action scenes featuring battles that were both mundane and sorcerous in nature, dragons, demons, strange non-human creatures, and a whole bunch of meddlesome gods! Erikson has an engaging writing style which is also a plus. Deadhouse Gates picks up shortly after the events in Gardens of the Moon. The action takes place on a new continent as the focus switches to the Seven Cities rebellion, which was hinted at in the first book. We have a whole host of new characters to learn, but luckily we also had some familiar faces in Kalam, Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar. The main negative of Deadhouse Gates is that the new setting of Seven Cities does not match Darujistan. Most of the time our characters were just plodding through desert wastes. Which got boring pretty quickly. Another issue I had was with the rebellion itself. In the first book we cared for characters on both sides of the conflict, but in this book all the member of the rebellion we meet are vile villainous characters. I was disappointed by that as I expected a bit more depth to the situation. Another slight downside was that the new characters did not quite live up to the ones who did not feature from the first book. Felisin is a terrible replacement for her brother Ganoes, it is almost impossible to like the girl! Her companions were little better. There was times when I dreaded returning to her POV. Dukier and the Chain of Dogs story arc was interesting and tragic, but it was a bit slow paced for my liking, especially in the first half of the book. Iskaral Pust was a fun character, but I could not help but feel that he was a poor mans Kruppe. Mappo and Icarium were the most entertaining and intriguing of the new characters. They were likable and their story arc was never dull. Kulp, Gesler, Stormy, and Truth did not play a significant role in this book, but they showed enough promise that I'll be happy to read more of their adventures. My final complaint is that we did not see enough of the Ascendants in this installment. They did appear, but I wanted more!I enjoyed Deadhouse Gates even if it was not quite as good as Gardens of the Moon. Erikson knows how to up the tension and the action in the final stages of his books and as a result the final third of the book did match the quality of Gardens of the Moon. Rating: 4 stars.Audio Note: Like the first book this was narrated by Ralph Lister. Lister is OK, but he does take a while to warm to.

  • Conor
    2018-10-31 01:28

    4.5 Stars Much like its predecessor Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates was a dense, challenging read with a complex, multilayered storyline. And like GoTM it's depth and complexity (repetition for emphasis*) made it an extremely rewarding read for anyone with the patience to see it through. This book once again throws the reader in at the deep end. After the arduous process of developing an understanding for this world in the first book, Erikson changes it all up again for this one. A new continent. A new war. New quests. And new characters. This is another book that requires time and effort to enjoy but much like GoTM it was well worth the effort. In fact I think this book was an improvement with a darker tone, more distinct, memorable storylines and old and new characters mixed seamlessly together. Again I think my expectations worked in my favour with this book. Before even starting this series I had heard from friends that Erikson frequently changed the setting and characters from book to book. So while I can understand the shock and dismay of readers who didn’t see this coming I was able to accept it fairly easily. While this book required patience and effort to really appreciate I found it more accessible than ‘Gardens’. This book had a stronger opening that was more easily understood, more distinctive storylines and the return of some familiar faces. I’ve heard some people recommend starting the series with this book but I disagree. While this one was an easier and somewhat better read I would still recommend starting with Gardens in order to get a better understanding of the world and especially the characters in this one. Erikson’s training as an archaeologist was apparent in the incredibly deep, ambitious world-building of this book. Erikson subtly hints at the vast history of this world throughout without ever resorting to info-dump’s. One of the best scenes in this book occurs when some of the characters stumble into the ruin of an ancient city and piece together the events that led to its downfall. In contrast I found the obscure magic system frustrating. Magic plays an important role in this story and yet the rules of magic in this world are left extremely vague, and magic often serves as a Deus Ex Machinima. This makes the frequent confrontations involving various magical entities confusing as it's impossible to tell how powerful each person is or what they can do.The defining arc of this book (and according to some fans, this entire series) was the ‘Chain of Dogs’. This was a brutal, poignant and unforgettable story. Duiker’s opening sections expertly built the tension for the ‘Apocalypse’. And when it came Coltaine’s heroic, doomed march was one of the best plotlines I’ve ever read, filled with brilliant set-piece battles, brutal skirmishes and insightful ruminations on the nature of war. It also produced some of the most moving and memorable scenes I can remember. From the butterflies who's beauty contrasted so powerfully with the carnage of Vathar crossing, to the poignancy of 'The Fall' within sight of the walls of Aren to the unexpected hopefulness of the epilogue. The dry, bleak humour that was present throughout (especially in Duiker’s discussions with Bult and Coltaine) also did a great job of easing the tension. While Erikson sometimes over-did it with the internal monologues and philosophising, in this storyline it felt appropriate. When the other POV’s discussed philosophy it felt strangely out of place (Felsisin's almost schizophrenic switches between being a bratty child and a profound philosopher were especially weird) for their characters, however Duiker’s commentary on war always felt appropriate, both as a historian analysing the nature of conflict and an old soldier who still believed in the ideals of courage, duty and loyalty. The other storylines were also interesting and enjoyable. From the start of this book Felisin’s story set a bench mark for being grim and brutal in a way not seen in GoTM. I found Felisin to be a brilliantly-written character. While many fans of the series hated her intensely, even at her most cruel and spiteful, I still had sympathy for her. The knowledge of the brutal trials she had undergone combined with her often unpleasant actions made her an extremely complex and challenging character. Some of the best secondary characters I’ve seen so far in this series also appeared in her storyline. Stormy and Gesler were another example of the tough, grizzled veterans that Erikson is so fond of. While they were an over-used trope they were possibly the most brilliantly written example I’ve seen of it. Their instantly likeability and hilarious banter was handled better even than the Bridgeburners. Another standout character was Baudin. Erikson has a tendency to go over-board in establishing how badass his massive cast of warriors, sorcerers and dragons are so it was really refreshing how clever and subtle the establishment of Baudin as a BAMF was. In the other major storylines some familiar faces from the first book are on a mission to save the Malazan empire…. by assassinating the empress. Meanwhile Icarium, a powerful and ancient being, struggles to remember who he is and what he’s done. It’s the duty of Mappo, his companion and closest friend to protect him. And to protect the worldfromhim. These 3 storylines overlap and separate at different times throughout the book and for the most part they were enjoyable. I was glad to see some familiar faces from GoTM (Kalam, Fiddler, Crokus and Apsalar) although their sections were some of the slowest at the start. I really liked the relationship between Icarium and Mappo and the gradual reveal of Icarium’s past. Overall the pacing of this book was pretty good and a noticeable improvement on GoTM. The opening was stronger and the main plot-lines were all established early on. The plot dragged a bit during the sections where character were wandering through the desert though. I was also occasionally frustrated by Erikson throwing too many mystical/magical elements into a scene in a heavy-handed attempt to make it 'epic'. (view spoiler)[ For example after spending 20 pages carefully setting the scene and building anticipation for a tense showdown between a gang of bloodthirsty pirates and Kalam with a squad of outnumbered marines at his back… Erikson then got bored and threw in some kind of magical sorcerer-dragon (it had a really long, awkward name that I’m pretty sure didn’t appear in the series before and I can’t remember now) that immediately made the showdown irrelevant. This was a really disappointing, lazy end to what could have been a great section.(hide spoiler)] I really liked the conclusion of this book though. Unlike GoTM there was no point where every plotline neatlly converged. Instead each individual arc had an interesting and separate conclusion. Also Erikson didn’t try so hard to produce an ‘epic’ climax and instead delivered subtle, well-written conclusions that wrapped up the storylines for this book while making it intriguing to see how the characters involved (at least those who survived) would continue their stories in the books to come. This was another dense, challenging read that was ultimately well worth the time and effort. The scope of the world and story that was hinted at in GoTM is starting to be revealed in this one and I’m really excited to see where this series goes from here.

  • Duffy Pratt
    2018-11-22 07:14

    In lots of fantasy, and in series in particular, I get frustrated with authors continually repeating their explanations and descriptions of certain things. For example, how many times does Robert Jordan remind the reader that an Aes Sedai has an ageless face? Goodkind's Sword of Truth series would probably be less than half of its current length if not for all the needless repetition.No-one will ever accuse Erikson of having this failing? The main frustration I have in these first books is that there is never reminders of who someone is, or what some race is, etc... In this book, one of the main characters is Mappo. He is a Trell. What's a Trell? I still have no idea. It's possible that Erikson told me somewhere in the beginning. But he doesn't distinguish between what's important and what isn't as he is writing, so I didn't catch it, if he did say so. Mappo has a companion named Icarium, who is a Jhag. What's a Jhag? I still don't know. Again, its possible that its in the book, but its not brought out in a way that held my attention. Maybe this is my laziness, and maybe not. My sense, however, is that Erikson prefers to hide information from the reader, and sometimes it feels to me like he's hiding it simply for the sake of hiding it.So why four stars? Mostly because the book unfolded in a way that was very satisfying. The ending is really great. There are more than a handful of characters that I liked following. And it does now feel like this is shaping up to be a really big story that may be worthwhile when completely told.ON REREAD: Bumped to five stars. The structure of this book is much tighter than I realized on the first read. And I came to have genuine felling for several of the characters, making the various endings even more heartbreaking than they were on first read.Looking at my early review, I now know what a Trell is, and what a Jhag is. Does it matter all that much for my appreciation? Hard to say. I think its more important to understand the relationship between Mappo and Icarium, and how touching that relationship is. If I had understood what it meant that Icarium is a Jhag, I might have gotten more the first time around from the stunning reveal in the Azath house at the end of this book.I no longer think Erikson hides information for the sake of hiding it, or at least not solely for that reason. He's an archeologist, and he's trying to give some of the pleasures of archeology to his readers. But that means that the readers, like the archeologist, must often dig with teaspoons, and must also keep careful track of what they have already found. The job of making the connections is the reader's job, not Eriksons. This can be frustrating, and first go round, it definitely was. But the second time through, it was even more enjoyable. And I still have the sense that I would probably discover more on another reading.And then for the great stuff: Erikson has a tremendous sense of humor, and its needed, because he also has one of the keenest gifts for tragedy. And this book delivers both on very grand scale. In the Gardens of the Moon there is a passage where a character asks a T'lann Imass what he is thinking about. "Futility." he answers. The questioner then asks if that is what other T'lann Imass think of. He says: "No, they mostly refrain from thinking at all." Why? the questioner asks. "Because it is futile." This book takes the question of futility and lifts it up for study. The entire Chain of Dogs can be seen as either impossibly heroic, or impossibly futile. Perhaps both. And the same goes for Mappo's "guidance" of Icarium, and for Kalam's quest to assassinate Laseen.

  • Bradley
    2018-11-07 04:31

    While clearly a superior book, in my humble opinion, to the first Book of Malazan, I'm deeply disturbed by some of the turn of events at the end of the novel. Namely, WTF? Uggghhh. It makes me want to sit in silence for a while and try to digest it a bit, but no. A lot more things happen in this novel than just one man's (or many men's) reversal(s), be it choice and with so-called reason or utter desolation filled with a demon's pity. I was initially worried that I'd be bogged down in too much war, but no, that wasn't even a concern for me this time. I was too invested in the characters, especially the Assassin and the Historian. The thief was fun and the author's penchant and focus on old dead civilizations and archeology serves him extremely well here. The explorations really got my heart pumping even as my mouth dried.The refugees and the desperate march was particularly effective, too, but more than anything else, the promise and the fear evoked by the Whirlwind was very good.Ancient armies fighting endless battles, the dead all around, and the mortal armies of the Empire and the defenders, made this war extremely pernicious and chaotic, even if the gods weren't throwing wrenches into the spokes of everyone's war machines. We even got to travel by sea and pirate with the best of them.This novel may as well serve as the definition of Epic. The direction and the focus is always clear. The enormous cast, with all their hopeless desires, clash and collude on grand scales, while the plights stay close to the cuff.Oh yeah, and who loves the dogs? That's right. It's me. And I loved every instance where the Coins of the realm became the downfall of (often extremely literally) of nobles and the other financial ministers; I was laughing with delight, even.The deaths of the children were hard, but distance made a lot of it bearable. There's one scene with our fearless Historian that I'll never forget, even if I *know* it was a blatant attempt to tug at my heartstrings. It still worked like a freaking charm.Do I love the series? Yes. I do believe I do. I need a slight break though! Very emotional.:)

  • Ivan
    2018-11-11 07:25

    Nearly two years late review but everyone else reading it and reviewing it brings back memories and I did read it two times so my memories are rather fresh,first translated version than revisited when I switched to original version on book 3.So this is more of a retrospective.What can I say, I struggled with Gardens of the Moon and I only gotten through on second attempt. World was overall complex and strange (at that point I was unacquainted with China Mieville so my standard for labeling something strange was LOT lower back than) but I seen potential so I kept on. It didn't take lot of time for that potential to be used as second book blowen me away. After this book I officially joined Malazan cult and after third book I decided that most other fantasy writers should be sacrificed as blood offering to Steven EriksonStory here is more straightforward (as much that can be said for Erikson) and slower paced. Erikson start getting more philosophical and it became obvious to me that this isn't just another fantasy flick. This is military fantasy but it's also has strong anti-war message. It's brutal and dark but also humane and warm.As I became more familiar with Malazan world become more appreciative of slow and robust worldbuilding. It's world with long history and diverse cultures. Poems, proverbs and book fragments might not be relevant to the story but they add to world that's not just stage but leaving, breathing world and one of the stars of the show in it's own right. There are so many forces at play in this world and that makes Malazan book of fallen very unpredictable series but twists and turns always felt natural and not added there for shock value and so author can say "I got you didn't I?"(yes Sanderson I'm looking at you).From that point on series only got better and Abercrombie finally got competition for my favorite fantasy author throne.

  • Orient
    2018-11-22 09:18

    Reread: 2018/01/29 - 2018/02/19A BR with my Malazan comrade, Samir.Aww, this book broke me again. All those deaths.....But nonetheless, I was in love with Fid again 💜💜💜💜 (view spoiler)[The way he stood against the hounds to help Mappo in defending Icarium, those two BFFs 💜💜💜💜 were amazing, too (hide spoiler)] or Moby 💜💜💜💜 (view spoiler)[the soletaken and the defeater of beasts 😱😱😱😱😱😱 (hide spoiler)]I found so much anew, also the fact that were missed by me the first time. Like for example, the epilogue! (view spoiler)[Coltaine freaking reborn😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 (hide spoiler)]Let me use and rephrase the joke of wonderful GR girl Mayim (I loved your knock-knock diary, thanks for inspiring me!) to express what Erikson did to me when in DG!Will I be continuing my reread in Malazan? For sure! When?Then I get back from the dead! Lots of love,Purple zombi Orient 💜💜💜P.S. My new BFF Moby says 'hi'First read: 2016/12/05 - 2017/01/27You can see the review there: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...Ugh GR["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Mayim De Vries
    2018-10-25 07:24

    Epilogue: And I am knocked down to my knees. Or lower. Chapter 24: Before you knock to the Deadhouse Gates, make sure you are ready for what awaits you there.* Chapter 23: Again and again, we cling to the foolish belief that simple solutions exist.Chapter 22: It is not the Empire’s soldiers the Empress cannot afford to lose, it is its memory.Chapter 21: The roar from Aren's walls had stilled. Now only silence held the air. Let silence tell this tale. Coltaine. Chapter 20: Hello Uncle Cotillion. Say hi to the good old barkeeper at Smiley’s. Chapter 19: The Wickans! The Wickans! The Wickans!Chapter 18: Knock, knock.Who’s there?Adore.Adore who?Adore to the deadhouse is between us. Open up!Chapter 17: There are gifts, there’s this that must be earned and there is a big tasty lizard as a bonus. Chapter 16: It occurs to me that sappers are Erickson’s absolutely favourite formation, and the captainless sapper squad is at least as awe-inspiring in their madness as the Bridgeburners. Chapter 15: “Words were numbers were codes were formulae. Word her secret maps, the measuring of paces, the patterns of mortal minds, of histories, of cities, of continents, of warrens.”Chapter 14: Please note that I knew it already in Chapter 3. Chapter 13: Kalam, let me warren you: Never underestimate a woman in love on your trail. Chapter 12: This frontline research and wartime participant observation beat any fieldwork I have ever done. Chapter 11: Claws versus Talons, who do you bet for? A life given for a life taken. And another 1300 lives with eyes like love’s prism.Chapter 10: unyielding avatars of the impossible. What a battle! Chapter 9: Mud party. Or perhaps a mad party? Either way, the pain is eternal. Chapter 8: Pleasures with attachments and powers unattached. I don’t know what is more dangerous. Chapter 7: The quest for the broom - +10 to prophecy resilience! Beware of the god’s hand in the desert. Chapter 6: Freedom won at the cost of everything is just another form of slavery. Chapter 5: An “aha!” moment, but can I say with a smug that I have seen the shadow of this asencdancy already strolling through the gardens of the moon?Chapter 4: A Kruppesque apparition with a circus of flying monkeys. Also, if writing replaces memory, then reading replaces feelings. Be warned! Chapter 3: Felisin, I empathise, but an Otataral sword you are not. Only a victim of the apocalypse. Chapter 2: This book takes us to a lovely land of fanatical dreamers where every meal could be your last and people smile only when they are about to kill you.Chapter 1: Confused dot com. Who are these people? Wait, I don't care (except for Fiddler with whom I might run adopt a cat cafe). Prologue: Knock, knock, knocking on Deadhouse Gates.* I am not going to even pretend that I could in any way give a pale shadow of justice to this book or indeed a whole series in a proper review. There are many better than me, here on Goodreads (and many of those I'm lucky to have among my friends), who managed to grasp and convey the sheer brilliance of what awaits those who open the Malazan Book of the Fallen. All I can give you is a chapter breakdown of my own knocking at the Deadhouse Gates.The Malazan Book of the Fallen:1. Gardens of the Moon3. Memories of Ice RTC4. House of Chains RTC5. Midnight Tides RTC6. The Bonehunters RTC7. Reaper's Gale RTC8. Toll the Hounds RTC9. Dust fo Dreams RTC10. The Crippled God RTC

  • mark monday
    2018-11-02 02:15

    and the award for Most Improved Second Book in a Series goes to... Deadhouse Gates! this was an excellent novel and I was fascinated from beginning to end. Erikson's prose and character work and his juggling of several compelling, intertwining narratives did not disappoint. the prior novel Gardens of the Moon felt at times as if it were written by a drunk 17-year-old; Deadhouse Gates was written by an experienced and empathetic adult who has grown emotionally and whose skills on the page now equal the exciting imagination he's clearly had all along.Erikson's background as an archaeologist is readily apparent in the book. the scenes with various characters unearthing and imagining and becoming affected by past individuals and fallen civilizations were some of the novel's strongest. more importantly, the book itself feels like an archaeological experience. Erikson doesn't infodump, it's like it is anathema to him. the reader must sift and sort through the various clues and details and recollections to build this world up in their mind. Erikson has fully envisioned his world, that much is obvious, but he forces the reader to make sense of the world all on their own (maps and appendices notwithstanding). it is the reader who must build the world because Erikson doesn't deliver it as a ready-made, easily digested package. I love having to work for my pleasures, it makes the end result all the more satisfying.my first paragraph was actually a comment I made in a review thread. the second comes from ideas that other reviewers have given me. so as long as I'm in a thieving mood, I'll steal some more and just copy, paste, and only slightly adjust my comments from the group that inspired me to pick up this novel (thank you, Beyond Reality):SOME SPOILERS AHEAD- one of the things I loved realizing was that despite the richness and complexity of this novel, Erikson still retains a real economy of words. which makes a dense book even denser- the grueling and intense "Chain of Dogs"is really what makes the book so unique for me. very well done- warrens remain mysterious but now, due to this book, I feel like I can actually wrap my mind around them. I want one!- the three child wizards were awesome- Azath Houses continue to intrigue, such a brilliant concept- that bit in the beginning with Ryllandaras in his multiple wolf bodies was fascinating and I want to see more of that character- the horses! love their strong personalities, they almost overshadow their riders- those dogs had a lot of personality too- the scene set on the otherworldly ship Silanda was fantastic- amidst all of the surprising bits of compassion and warmth (so necessary to have within all the slaughter, thank you Erikson), weirdly enough one of the most moving and endearing things to me was the relationship between the demon Apt and her adopted, transformed child Panek. I really want to see more of those two, such an intriguing pair- Iskaral Pust muttering his sneaky secret thoughts out loud was a running joke that just never got old. loved all of that.- I like how Erikson plays with tone. the weird comedy of Icarium & Mappo in the Shadow Temple contrasted well with the darkness of Felisin's storyinitial thoughts on Felisin, a third of the way through the book:- poor Felisin. I think Erikson really did a great job with her character, making her very sympathetic and showing how few options she had and why she chose her particular path. I like how he shows her strengths and weaknesses and doesn't just put her purely into a victim role (although obviously she is a victim, the biggest one in the novel so far). her story starts out being tragic and just gets darker and darker but it never felt exploitative, just sad and even realisticsecond thoughts on Felisin, two-thirds of the way through:- she's horrible. I understand how she got to the place she's at and I think it is a strong decision to make a character who has now decided she was in love with her abuser a central, point of view character. but she's still a challenge to read about. so mindlessly spiteful and petty. I probably would have knocked her over the side of the ship if I wasn't aware of her back story.final thoughts on Felisin:- her arc is amazing and the power she exhibits at the end is really well-earned. so impressed by how Erikson wrote her, the complexity of her character, her weaknesses and her strengths- I love that Erikson is committed to diversity in his Malazan world. strong and empowered women, different orientations, and I love how easy it is for me to imagine most of these characters as brown or black or all sorts of other shades. even gray with a slight greenish tone, sure why not, I'm sure that color looks lovely on IcariumEND OF SPOILERSI don't want to give the impression that this is a perfect book. it's not; it has a good number of flaws. but I enjoyed this experience so much that I don't particularly want to even get into them, they're minor anyway. even with its imperfections, this is an amazing book.

  • Stefan Bach
    2018-11-15 05:13

    “The lesson of history is that no one learns.”It’s quite a risk, after Gardens of the Moon, which was a divisive beginning of the series, to follow that up with a story with a completely new cast of characters on a completely different continent, introducing new setting, while disregarding almost everything known from the previous book. It’s like starting series twice.Luckily, this second start is with a bang!Let’s just jump right into it.Story.Deadhouse Gates picks up immediately after the end of Gardens of the Moon and it reflects on decisions some of the characters (that aren’t necessarily in this book) made in the events of the first book.As a result, we are leaving continent of Genabackis and we go on entirely different continent, following almost entirely new cast of characters.Link in case your eyes can actually work in more than 480pLink in case ant size.There are three main stories in this book. And I’ll call them Paths.Path of Hands, Path of Sha’ik and Path of Chained Dogs.Path of Hands is a story about two species of shapeshifting creatures and convergence they are hurdling to. Those two species are called Soletakens and D’ivers. The main difference between them, as their name is suggesting, is that Soletaken shapeshifter can change itself into one creature (view spoiler)[(e.g. When Anomander Rake turns into a dragon) (hide spoiler)], while D’ivers can change themselves into multiple creatures.And the reason why they are in such a hurry is because of the promise that while this convergence is happening, at the end of this Path of Hands, one of them will ascend and become a god of both species and have a control over all of them.This is a story that until the end works as a side story of the book. Although every single character we are following in this book at some point will take part in this story, it’s actually something that no one is paying too much of attention to. It’s always briefly mentioned and lurks somewhere in peripheral vision of both character's and our minds. Its build up is gradual (not to say slow), until obviously, the very end and a crescendo that will blow up in our faces.Path of Sha’ik is more of a story of a prophecy than of a rebellion. Even though, one irrevocably evokes the other. It’s a story that questions legitimacy of a prophecy and a legitimacy of a rebellion, and all of the atrocities that are committed in it, as a result. In contrast to story above, this one is more personal story, and not just because we are following major part of it through the eyes of a young girl and witnessing her being shaped into a monster because of the monstrous society that surrounds her, but ultimately because this is a story about vendetta. Vengeance. Be that one nation’s against one occupying Empire or just one sister against the other.Path of Chained Dogs story focuses more on rebellion than anything else. But instead giving us perspective of ‘always righteous, freedom fighting’ rebels we are witnessing it through the eyes of soldiers who are protecting refugees forced to flee vengeful and blood thirsty faith militants.This is a story that has everlasting and never-ending crescendo. It starts with one, it lasts through 900 pages of this novel and it ends with it.It has everything one wishes in militaristic epic fantasy: big battles, skirmishes, diversions, conflicts of different types of magic etc. It has everything that needs to keep you on edges of your seats.But it has a knack.It’s excruciatingly emotionally exhausting. It’s painful. And I do not exaggerate.It doesn’t romanticize conflict. It doesn’t romanticize fighting for freedom and it doesn’t romanticize bravery and sacrifice.~~~~~Brief summary:To me, this is a book about A Soldier. Soldier who enters a conflict – be that a skirmish, major battle, naval battle or simply a conflict within yourself – as a one person, then while fighting their battles – be that with swords, crossbows, words or thoughts – circumstances of reality they found themselves in, mold and shape them, like a piece of clay, only to come out from that conflict as something completely different. And not necessarily a person.It’s a story about humanity. And what we are capable of doing if we disregard it.“Does each of us, soldier or no, reach a point when all that we’ve seen, survived, changes us inside?Irrevocably changes us? What do we become then? Less human, or more human? Human enough, or too human?”Characters.There’s an obvious difference in quality and progress since first book. And not just in writing a compelling emotional story, but also in far deeper characterization. Those from first book, as well as characters we are introduced to here for the first time.Felisin Paran, youngest of house Paran. Sister to Ganoes and Tavore.“There has to be a way to reflect something other than hate and contempt.No, not a way.A reason.”One of the most developed characters of this series. And probably most hateful. You see, whenever I would read this book, of those three main stories I have mentioned, I would focus mostly on story of refugees. And regardless of me wanted that or not, it’s already immersive enough and quite exhausting, so I would always ‘dull’ my attention span when it comes to Felisin and her companions. And without scratching enough under the surface, I would always understand those who didn’t like her character. Even those who hated her with passion.Now, when my main focus was her story, to all of those who have something bad to say about her – I’ll fight you!(No I won’t.) But seriously though, for some reason, I would always dismiss her age. Which is 15. So, when she was woken up in middle of the night, saw her parents being slaughtered, ended up shackled, escorted to a slave ship by her own sister, forced to work in mines, forced to use her body as a currency to survive a day – all of which happened before her first chapter of this book has even begun – she was 15.Give this girl a break!Her entire life was ripped away, she was shoved into an incredibly nasty environment with no preparation and she can't trust anyone because they could kill her, starve her or assault her.And to be honest, what's the worst thing she's done in this book? She belittled an old geezer and was rude to a grown ass assassin, both of whom treated her like shit in any case. OK, she's bitchy, she's rude and annoying. She's 15 and given everything she went through, at that age, how is likely that you'll have enough of life experience to know that you can cope with your pain in other ways other than expressing it by being a little spiteful bitch towards everyone that treats you like shit?I can understand that. What's their (Baudin and Heboric) excuse for acting like they did? But even with all this that I mentioned and all I will leave out from mentioning because of the spoilers, yeah sure, she was annoying. Sometimes characters are purposefully written like that.But if she, by the end of this book, or this series, ends up a monster, I’m not going to blame her. Nor will I pity her. She’s a survivor. And she’s strong as hell. Karsa Olong strong. She’s an asshole. But, you know…She is a self-possessed survivor who survives by any means necessary and to call her either a 'victim' or 'cruel' is to completely misread the character.In my opinion, since I was kinda on the both sides of the spectrum.Cotillion. Called Uncle by one-eyed, resurrected child of an Apt, Panek.(Told you this is a heavy book.)“When I ascended it was to escape the nightmares of feeling... Imagine my surprise that I now thank you for such chains.”Second best developed character of the series. Even though his presence wasn’t as big in this book, he was mentioned so many times, and his actions reflected so many characters on so many different levels, that you had to realize how deep his character is. Every action negated his other action, but you realize that there’s a person behind it, who actively chooses to alter his efforts, so that others could live. Or die. Or simply get another chance.An assassin. Now Ascendant. Assassins are supposed to be efficient and efficiency is by itself brutal. It sacrifices mortal lives for greater need. Like a machine. And could an assassin, even in godlike state, look at himself simply as a machine? Why bother with everything than? Mapo and Icarium. Or simply called BFF’s.“We each have our protectors – neither of whom is capable of protecting us. Especially not from ourselves. So they’re dragged along, helpless, ever watchful, but so very helpless.”Icarium’s endless quest for his lost memories. Because in him thrives hope that with gained memories there will come knowledge. And with knowledge understanding. Who and what he is. But the curse is such that with every answer he finds, thousands of new questions arise. Once he created mechanisms which counted time.It’s a bitter irony, agony and a curse that now, without the knowledge of his past he cannot possibly know where he will go in future. Efficiently stopping him in time.Coltaine, Duiker, Wickans and 7th Malazan Army“Pogroms need no reason. None that can weather challenge, in any case. Difference in kind is the first recognition, the only needed, in fact. Land, domination, pre-emptive attacks – all just excuses, mundane justifications that do nothing but disguise the simple distinction. They are not us. We are not them.”Yes, I indeed consider them as one character. Spoken through the eyes of a historian Duiker, it tries to show that there’s nothing romantic about battles. That justification for atrocity can be found both in faith and noble battle for freedom. And it delivers. Spectacularly. Painfully.By the end of this book, you will feel battered and exhausted, same as those soldiers, same as those refugees.And like theme of the book itself, as I’ve mentioned above, where one enters a conflict only to exit as something else, hopefully, you will enter this book as someone who was simply interested in reading it, only to exit as a full admirer of what Erikson achieved here.4/5Kharkanas TrilogyForge of DarknessFall of LightPath to Ascendancy seriesDancer's LamentDeadhouse LandingMalazan Empire seriesNight Of KnivesMalazan Book of the Fallen seriesGardens of the MoonUltimate Malazan Chronological Reading Order["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • ScottHitchcock
    2018-10-22 07:24

    While not the emotional mess I was after the first reading of this book it certainly stirred my emotions and empathy. Tied with a few other books in this series as the best ever it held its own on a re-read. You realize the first time through how many Easter eggs Erikson leaves. The second time around you realize you missed more than you caught. All the subtle little references that sometimes don't come out until books down the road. It was so enjoyable marking them all and knowing what and when they referenced. In the end it was just as sad as the first time. I felt that same rage at the cruelty and wanted to personally hunt down fictional characters and crush them. Erikson doesn't spare his readers the horrors of the world. Much like his characters you are made to bare witness. You cannot turn away from tragedy and grief. Original ReviewIf I said to you an archaeologist and anthropologist wrote a set of books most people would think gee that must be a fun filled snore-fest. Yet it’s what makes Erikson so great. He starts with the land. What are the characteristics of the land? How did it shape the people, the civilization, and the wildlife. Then he goes deeper. What is the spirit of the land? What lies under the land in past civilizations? How did they change the land? Are their spirits chained to the land? What magic runs through it? I believe given his education everything starts the surface layer and then every and any detail going up, down, left, right and in spiritual or magical directions we cannot see are all factored in and meshed together in astonishing detail where what seems like unrelated all becomes interconnected. Then he takes the human element into account in the same multilayered fashion. No character is without fault. Every character is bound by motivation. They have failing, triumphs, tragedies, hopes, moments of despair. The push and pull of luck, gods, magic and everything else in the universe guiding them to where they never thought to be. And that’s without talking about the brilliant prose he uses in describing this incredible world. When you blend all that together it redefines the term epic. Perhaps the best book I’ve ever read. Better still………I’ve only finished book two!

  • Michael Britt
    2018-11-09 07:30

    Man oh man, where to start. This'll be hard to review without spoilers, so I'll try. First off, this one has so much better writing than Gardens of the Moon. Which is saying a lot because I really liked that one, too. Way more battle scenes in this one, too, and I really love how he writes his battle scenes. This book is very emotionally heavy, too. You really feel the hopelessness and despair that the characters are feeling. Next, the new cast of characters. Well, mostly new. I truly loved each of these characters, which is rare. Even the one or 2 that I didn't like, at first, become very likeable when they finally slipped into their...uhhhhh...roles lol. I honestly don't know if I could pick a favorite by the time it was over. He writes his characters extremely well. So realistic that they're annoying at times hahaha. You want them to do one thing, but they do another because that's what a real person would do. His characters is where his writing really shines, right with his extremely vivid battle scenes.The plot was a bit better in this one, too. If only for the fact that there was more action. The only thing that I can think of that would take away from this book is that it's a whole new plot with quite a few new characters. It can be a bit to keep straight, but you get a hand hold in it about 1/4 of the way through, do i didn't really have any problems there. Lastly, that ending! I see a pattern of the first 70% or so sets the book up and the last 30% is where you get your reward, and man is it rewarding! I had to read the last 2 or 3 chapters and the Epilogue like 4 times to really wrap my head around what happened, because A LOT happens. And holy crap does it set up some insane things for the later books!!I really can't wait to get to the next book!

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2018-10-26 06:12

    Ummmm......I finished and I would give this more stars but it makes me feel like I'm a fantasy idiot. I'm not, I know that I'm not, I usually can really dig in and understand what is going on in most fantasy. But in this series it is so dense that I read all the words and feel like I'm maybe only picking up a third of what I should be.The world building is immense and Steven Erickson isn't afraid to be brutal and kill everyone in the book you liked. But are they really dead???? Well that is another issue altogether because they could be reborn OR they could have Ascended (become something close to a god) or they are just food for the bloodflies. As the very lovely Miche suggested in the comments I’m going to try and use the Tor.com Malazan reread forum for the next book and see if that cuts down on my confusion for this series as it feels like I need college level credit to read this.What I do like about the series is that in a lot of ways it is different from a lot of the fantasy I read. Usually you have the good guys and the bad guys and it is clear who is who. Even when there are shades of grey for character depth YOU KNOW who to root for. I’m still at a loss as to who should get my vote to win.This book was darker and much more brutal than the last book. Also there is a huge plot line revolving around a military campaign ⇠ Not my favorite thing usually. But reading the story of Coltaine and the army he lead that was trying to help get the Malazan refugees to safety was one of the most heart wrenching things I’ve read and made me hate almost everyone else in the Malazan Empire. The way that particular arc played out pretty well tore me up and I really was glad when a few people got just what they deserved and less glad with the others they seemed to take down with them.The other line containing Felisin, Heboric and Bauden was also just as brutal but in different ways. I felt so sorry for Felisin and the struggles that she had to go through and how far from the girl she was she fell. Heboric was intriguing to me, a priest/historian that forsake his god. His musings, insights and journey to discover the power within himself was one to pay close attention to. Bauden ended up being one of my favorite characters and I really hoped for trio to have an everlasting bond. (view spoiler)[this will probably not be the case with Bauden at least (view spoiler)[since he is possibly dead (hide spoiler)] but at least there is still some hope for Felisin and Heboric (hide spoiler)]Kalem’s entire story I liked and his was probably one of the more happy arcs even though it too is riddled with death. I’m glad he met a few new people/things during his journey and I’m hoping we see more of him later in the series too.Sorry/Apsalar was one of my favorite characters in the first book. She is one of the few characters from that to get any page time in this, though through Fiddler’s eyes. She is still quite a mystical force and just this side of creepy sometimes. Still her Journey back towards her home in search of her father was one of my favorites in this book. There was at least some kind of hope in that journey and I was glad to see that she retains some skills from her time under the thumb of Shadow. Mappo and Icarium’s role in the book was interesting. I liked finding little tidbits out about the duo’s journeys and why they have been together for over 200 years basically wandering the desert. They were almost the comic relief of the book and by the end there story was as hopeful as it was heartbreaking and spoke to the depths someone would go for their best friend and companion.Overall I struggled with the darkness and misery of this book. There are some funny moments and such but overall 98%, that might be a slight exaggeration but not by much, of the people I liked ended up dead. Also there are some really horrifically brutal scenes in this book that while poignant to the story they also left a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth. That is probably what was intended but it was just a little too much sometimes.I’m hoping that the next book in the series might have a little happiness in it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Angela
    2018-11-09 08:13

    What a fantastic book. This series is shoving A Song of Ice and Fire off my top fantasy series of all time very quickly. The scope and detail of this world Erikson has created is truly awe inspiring. He sucks the reader in and then spits you back out at the end. Your feelings range from joy, when reunions occur. Then to despair and tears when characters who have weaved their way into the fabric of the story die. The Empire can be brutal and as we grind along with the the Seventh, The Wickens to try to find safety, we feel the relentlessness of pursuit, the moments of joy and the struggle for survival. It can be jarring to the reader to be dumped into a new continent after Gardens of the Moon, however I found this time around that as I expected this to occur that I quickly became immerse with the new set of characters. It helped that we had Fiddler, Kalam, Apsalar and Crokus continuing on from the first book.Once again Erikson pulls the threads of the various storylines together in a stunning conclusion. Though there are still many unanswered questions to uncover. I will definitely be carrying on with the series.Recommend for lovers of epic fantasy.

  • Deborah Obida
    2018-11-18 06:16

    That was astounding, its even better than the first book. Lots of great new characters, I didn't even miss the old ones as much as I thought, amazing plot and comprehensive writing.FULL RTC

  • David Sven
    2018-11-01 09:34

    As with the first book in the series, Deadhouse Gates was a different, far superior experience as a reread. The first time round I just missed so much of the detail. There is a large amount of world building here, more so than the first book. Having finished the series I felt I was left with a pencil sketch of the final picture, and reading this again I was able to add depth and colour and a lot of clarity to questions that plagued me through the series. It’s almost impossible on an initial read to appreciate the level of foreshadowing and layers of detail because the reader has no idea how significant much of it will be by the end of the 10 book series. It’s like putting together a puzzle where you have none of the edge or corner pieces. At the end of the series I had the edges and corners but I had gaping holes in the story, or rather my memory of the story. This read filled in a lot of the missing bits. First time round I got information. But on this second read I got answers. One of the things I struggled with on my first reading was that a lot of the characters I got to know in the first book just don’t make a showing. Where was Rake? Caladan Brood? Kruppe? Quick Ben? WhiskeyJack? Now I know they turn back up in the next book so it’s all good. But the prospect of having to learn a new cast of characters was somewhat daunting at first. Fortunately, some of the characters from book one do make it over, like the badass Assassin Kalam, and Apsalar once possessed by the Patron of Assassins, Fiddler the sapper who swings a mean flatbow with the exploding bolts, and Crokus. On top of that we get to meet some of the iconic characters of the series. Like the wandering duo Icarium, the half Jaghut on his quest in search for his lost memories, and Mappo Trell his companion/guardian. A centuries old bromance that had both some of the fuinniest as well as the most heart breaking scenes of the book. We also get to meet Iskarel Pust, the insane High Priest of Shadow...or maybe he’s just pretending to be insane... or maybe he is both insane and pretending to be insane? Either way he was a hoot and more than filled the comedic gap left by Kruppe from the first book.And then there’s High Fist Coltaine and his Wickan tribesmen, sent from the Empress to address the rebellion on the continent of Seven Cities. His rescue of the tens of thousands of Malazan refugees and their march across the continent will forever be immortalised as “The Chain of Dogs.” The other difference from my initial reading this time is that I had a greater appreciation of the journeys undertaken by the four main story arcs. I really struggled initially with the fact that we had four major arcs that seemed to involve a lot of travelling from A to B to C – all through desert. Get on with the story already I thought. What I can see plainly now, is that Erikson was telling a story. It was just a different story to the one I was expecting. It was an exploration of the past and laying down some of the cornerstones of the series. Because I wasn’t paying attention initially, a lot of the later arcs and outcomes in the series just appeared to come out of nowhere without justification. But I am quickly coming to realise that Erikson wastes few words. He has taken great efforts to justify every single action of all his characters. Erikson appears to think up every possible question you can raise about any action or conversation in the book and then some and provides grounds to explain them all. Yet at the same time, there are mysteries he has left us to speculate on and come up with our own answers at times. The other thing that stands out more this book is the unreliable narrator. A large portion of our worldbuilding and histories comes from character dialogue and POVs. And they often conflict. Different versions of events. What really happened on the night Laseen assassinated Kellanved and Dancer? It depends on who you ask. Why did the Empress get rid of Dassem Ultor? Were her actions justified? If you asked Kalam the assassin at the beginning of the book he would tell you because she is a self serving power hungry bitch. But if we ask the lady(loosely used term) herself she may very well be able to come up with a noble sounding reason. Who do you believe? Erikson doesn't tell you. He leaves it for the reader to decide.Through the four main story arcs we get to travel to the past of the continent now known as Seven Cities. As we traverse the wilderness and deserts we come across ancient ruins, see ghosts of ages gone past, learn of ancient wars of attrition of which the current conflict is but the latest. We’ll also see stampeding shape-shifters vying for Ascension, including one that veers into a rat swarm that can strip a man to the bone in seconds. We see an undead dragon, a ship manned by headless Tiste Andii, Blood Flies that will lay their eggs in every available bodily orifice to hatch within minutes with flesh eating larvae. A one eyed three legged demon who saves and adopts a one-eyed boy in the desert. The Hounds of Shadow make a showing and even the man himself, the wheeling, dealing Shadowthrone, shows his shadowy face.The book appropriately starts with a celebration to Hood, the god of death. And with such a beginning you can be assured that Hood will be having his fill because this story will see countless tens of thousands strewn across the continent as the goddess of the Apocalypse brings down the whirlwind to spread chaos and muddy the sand with blood.5 stars.Lost and FoundLost – Pedigree poodle Hengese roach dog. Very medium rare. Beloved family pet. Usually seen inside the mouth of broken faced cattle dog or being chased by an ugly handsome Wickan. If found, please dispatch return immediately to the command tent.Signed Commander BultLost – Ancient Memories. Will reward any help with eternal friendship.Signed - Icarium LifestealerLost – My head. Last seen in the possession of a clanless T’lan Imass. Possibly in the clouds somewhere sealing a tear in reality and preventing the multiverse from collapsing in on itself. It really hurts. Need urgently to continue my employment. If found please return to the Whistleblower on the ship SilandaSigned – Headless OarsmanLost – Pet spider. No make that pet spiders. Lots and lots of spiders with visions of Ascension and godhood. Ha! Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous!? I miss them oh so terribly. Please return...dead or alive. Mostly dead will suffice. Who wants to worship a flock of spiders?Signed – Iskarel Pust High Priest of ShadowLost – Wayward daughter. Once in my possession. May require guidanceSigned - Cotillion AKA The RopeLost – Aptorian demon. Once a Demon Lord’s concubine. 3 legs one eye sharp teeth. Yeah, once found you’ll really get a kick out of her. May be travelling with one eyed monstrosity on her back. Negotiate your own Reward. Any deal considered. You make 'em, I'll break 'em.Signed – Shadwothrone

  • Shobhit Sharad
    2018-10-29 02:12

    This was an amazing book. A lot has improved in Steven Erikson's writing when compared to GotM. The characters are better fleshed out. Whiskeyjack, Anomander Rake, and others in GotM, were more appealing characters but they were more like characters of a play than people of real life. This book has some people and some scenes with them that get through to you. A lot of people say this was a longer book than it should have been, but I feel the book would have lost its charm otherwise. The Chain of Dogs, Felisin and Heboric's journey, Mappo and Icarium's travels, and Kalam and Fiddler's adventures were described in perfect proportions and to be honest I was never bored for a page. The magic is better explained. More races are involved and we explore more of their history and mysteries of the world. The world of Warrens was enlightened upon a bit more, and so many other things that go along with the world of sorcery, spirits, myths, civilisations, made up a delicious soup for the mind. A friend of mine reminded me, on more than one occasions, that this is the most tragic book out of the ten, and I agree with him after finishing. The last hundred pages tempted me to tear them off. The only let down was that we see a lot less of Ascsndants than I had expected, but there are eight more books left, so fingers crossed.

  • Apatt
    2018-10-28 08:38

    843 pages. Seems longer.I really like vol #1 of this Malazan series, “Gardens of the Moon”. In spite of having a reputation for being hard for the uninitiated to get into, I did acclimatize to the settings and characters fairly early on*, and once I got into the swing of things I enjoyed the book tremendously. I was expecting the second book Deadhouse Gates to be a breeze to read as I was already familiar with the Malazan setting. That did not happen!Boring synopsis begins (feel free to skip) Deadhouse Gates mostly focuses on Seven City’s rebellion over The Malazan Empire. The “Fist” (commander) Coltaine is ordered to help evacuate 50,000 refugees from the overrun Seven Cities to the safe haven of Malazan continental capital of Aren, thousands of miles away. Meanwhile, the assassin Kalam is on a personal vision to kill the Malazan Empress. Meanwhile, a girl called Felisin is escaping from slavery at a mine with a couple of “friends” she does not really like. Meanwhile, Meanwhile, Icarium, a half-Jaghut, and his bestie Mappo are on a quest to recover Icarium’s memories. Meanwhile, Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar are on a kind of mystical quest. Meanwhile, Duiker the Historian joins up with Coltaine’s army to chronicle their brave mission. Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile …. ლ(ಠ_ಠ ლ)Boring synopsis ends. Boring review continues.There is a Canadian prog rock band called Rush that I admire for their talent, intelligence and musicianship, but never really got into their music, their albums tend to bore me after a while (they do have some great songs, though). I think the Malazan series is a bit like that, admirable but requires too much effort for me to enjoy. Series like this are great for epic fantasy aficionados with good memories for characters, plots, races, terms and other details (fantasy RPG players too I suppose).The Races of Malazan by Yapattack (click image to see full HD size)Author Steven Erikson juggles with something like five plot strands, and most of them never really intersect with the others. In any given chapter he often switches from one plot strand to another, then to yet another until I forget where I am with the narrative. I personally find it hard to keep up with who is doing what when the narrative point of view switch to them. The number of main characters is fairly limited (I think five or six) so it is not too hard to remember who they are but, in spite of the “Dramatis Personae” at the beginning of the book, there are more side character to remember who they all are, also quite a lot of neologisms to contend with (there is a glossary at the end of the book, though). I was not overwhelmed by the complexity of the narrative exactly, but I did begin to lose interest when the narrative begins to feel fragmented and hard to concentrate on. After enjoying Gardens of the Moon, which created a high expectation for this book, it is disappointing to feel that it is often a chore to read.Another problem, clearly of my own making, is that I read Gardens of the Moon eight months ago. It is probably too long a gap for a complex series like this. By the time I started Deadhouse Gates I have already forgotten who the (returning) characters are, and most of the world building details (memory like a sieve, sorry); I do remember the awesome “warrens” magic system, though. Forgetful readers like me should read these Malazan books not more than a month or two apart I think. Yet another problem (again of my own making) is that my favorite characters from Gardens of the Moon are absent from this book. There are three characters I remember very well from the previous book who are merely mentioned in passing. Most of the new characters are fine, quite well developed, except Duiker the historian who bores me to tears and tend to cause the narrative to grind to a halt. The military commander Coltaine is extremely important to the narrative but for some reason Erikson does not narrate his plotline through his point of view, instead, his story is told through Duiker who, as I said, bores me to tears.Enough whining then, there are quite a few positives in this book. Some of the plot stands are quite compelling, especially Felisin’s story arc. How her character develops from an insignificant slave girl into one of the key players is a great read and would have made for a 5 stars book if extracted as its own volume. BFFs Icarium and Mappo are also great characters, the bond between them is quite touching. Icarium and Mappo (sorry, don't know who to credit)Apsalar and friends are also great, I like them from the previous book, and their adventures are full of awesome magic. Unfortunately, a relatively small proportion of the narrative is focused on them.Overall I enjoyed some of Deadhouse Gates, but much less than anticipated. At this point, I feel it is unlikely that I will continue with the series. However, there is something oddly appealing about the world of Malazan and it is more of a “probably not” than a “never”._______________* I did avail myself to Tor’s very helpful guide for this series.

  • Chris Berko
    2018-11-01 01:17

    THAT ENDING... ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME! Erikson does not mind killing anyone! I am emotionally drained, spent, laying on the ground picking up the pieces of my shattered mind. The first book was exceptional fantasy, this is something else, something bigger, something special. The harsh imagery I am carrying around of the road to Aren, what they did to those soldiers, what they did to them, will be with me for a long time. You don't forget stuff like that so easily. I suffered with those people, I felt their pain, their hopelessness, I was there. On to book three, I can't wait.

  • Mimi
    2018-11-14 07:23

    Originally 3 stars, but then (view spoiler)[Coltaine's death happened and the fourth star is for him. RIP the last of the wickan crow clan. (hide spoiler)]If you're looking for a way to get into this series and the first book (Gardens of the Moon) is just too much of a chaotic uphill climb, skip it and start with this one instead. Come back later if you really want to know how events were set in motion. I wish someone had given me this piece of advice when I first got into this series. It would've made all the difference and saved a lot of time.The thing with Erikson's writing is that it's all show and very little tell. It's plot driven and these events have been put in motion prior to the start of the series. You don't find out what these events are until you unravel the mysteries, one doorstop of a novel at a time. Like Gardens, this second installment has a couple dozen main characters and a hundred secondary characters, all of whom you should remember but most likely you won't. Unlike Gardens, there are more character development and explanations (not info-dumps). Also, there's less chaos, which makes for a smoother read and easy-to-follow intersecting story lines.This book starts off in the dessert, half a world away from events in Gardens. Without giving too much away, there's a coup, an uprising, a mass exodus, close-call escapes, pissed off gods, higher powers at work, and, of course, tragedy and deaths. But don't worry. Tragedy is part of the game and death isn't always the end...

  • Joro
    2018-11-16 08:25

    This one still suffers from the same flaws as the first book - 3/4 of it is definitely nothing I would consider a masterpiece in fantasy. I liked the end of the book - I guess most people who read it did - but the inability of Erikson to create descriptions and his awkward writing style ruins almost any pleasure I get from this series. This man definitely created an amazing world and premise to his story but he just can't write in a way to make you read "just another chapter". There is one thing I realized after I finished this book - When you look at the "big picture" of the story after you finish every new Malazan novel it is then that you realize how good the series really is. As strange as it may sound I did finish the book with the desire for more (these last 150 pages were really good) so I guess I will give Memories of Ice a try too. After all a lot of people vote it as the best in the series so far.