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Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 5) Paperback – April 17, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those with a taste for massive high fantasy epics will welcome Erikson's fifth entry in his Malazan Book of the Fallen saga (after 2006's House of Chains), though it largely deals with the calm between storms. In the north, the Warlock King has united the tribes of Tiste Edur into a formidable realm, though his four feisty sons may yet cause problems. In the south, the still more formidable kingdom of Lether is using both bribery and military threats to intimidate its neighbors and rebuild its ancient empire. Tiste Edur will have none of this, however, for reasons going back to bloody feuds of centuries past. The author has a rare talent for building character by internal dialogue without slowing the pace. The large cast may daunt new readers, but maps and a glossary help fill the gaps. The ending suggests there'll be a lot more action in the sixth book (out of a projected 10).
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The series has clearly established itself as a the most significant work of epic fantasy since Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. (SF Site)

Extraordinarily enjoyable . . . Erikson is a master of lost and forgotten epochs, a weaver of ancient epics. (Salon.com)
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Product Details

  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 5 (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531651X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765316516
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

STEVEN ERIKSON is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His previous novels in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series--Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides, The Bonehunters, and Reaper's Gale--have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. He lives in Canada.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By newyork2dallas on May 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Midnight Tides is the fifth book of Steven Erikson's 10-volume series The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Unlike other multi-volume big-book fantasy writers, Erikson's production has been consistent: about a volume per year and he has completed 7, of which five are available through his US publisher, Tor.

This book is somewhat different in tone and feel from the first four. This is partly because it introduces the third main story thread of the series after the Genabackis and Seven Cities plotlines from previous books. There are other major differences.

First, the action occurs before the events of volumes 1-4. Second, the characters, other than one from book four, House of Chains, are entirely new. Third, the story focuses on a distinct conflict between two peoples -- the Tiste Edur of the northlands and the human empire Letheras that seeks to expand and conquer. Fourth, the two sides are shown through two major families, the four Sengar brothers (Fear the elder, Trull the dutiful, Binadas the mysterious, Rhulad the covetous) of the Edur, and the three human Beddict brothers (Hull, who has been broken by his past; Tehol, who is an eccentric genius; and Brys the King's champion). Erikson displays family relations, political alignments within the two societies, bonds between brothers and the separate societies through these two lenses. This is one of the most emotionally charged books of the series.

Unlike Gardens of the Moon, which basically started after a cataclysmic event and revealed details of the situation later, Midnight Tides has a set beginning -- the Warlock King who has united the Edur tribes seeks a powerful talisman to maintain control, while the Letheras empire threatens to conquer the whole continent.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sameet Dalvi on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
For the third time in the series, Erikson starts off a book with characters, setting, and history completely new to the reader. As deep into the series as book five, this would be considered taboo for most writers. Yet somehow, I came to enjoy each and every one of the new characters. The story is again epic, yet it seems extremely well managed and simple, as if Erikson is getting even more comfortable with his complex and broad scope of storytelling.
Despite the fact the story tells of a tragedy spanning two empires, humour is abundant in this book. The amusing exchanges between Tehol Bennedict and pretty much anyone he meets keeps the mood light in the face of the dark nature of the novel as a whole. The book starts slow since the reader is unfamiliar with many of the characters, but like all the preceding books, it takes off a quarter of the way in, and builds to an incredible climactic ending which pulls together threads spanning a continent.
Within the scope of the series, the only book I enjoyed more was Book 3, Memories of Ice. Within the scope of the entire fantasy genre, I'd still say the same. Including Tolkein, Jordan, Goodkind, Martin, Donaldson, Feist, and about 15 others I've read. Erikson is by far the best and brightest author to come into the fantasy scene since Martin (and better than Martin anyway).
Warning however, to those who don't enjoy complexity in plots and ambivilant characterization in their main characters, for that is here. And that's why I'm going to stay here right until the end.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Clark on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
At first I couldn't get into this book of the Malazan Series. It started off with new characters and new plot lines. But, as you read you realize how it all ties in together with the other books, just like Karsa's story in House of Chains. In the end, I loved this book. The humor is more evident, especially between Tehol and Bugg. Their conversations can't help but make you smile and laugh! I tried to place this book in order of which books out of the series I liked best and I couldn't. It was right up there with Memories of Ice and House of Chains! If you've liked this series so far, you will not be disappointed with this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Jackson on December 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Midnight Tides bewildered me at first - it seemed more like a prequel, or an outlier, as it introduced a whole new cast of characters and a plotline occuring before the "main" plot. However, as the story went on, more and more links surfaced that show that it's connected to the bigger story told in the first 4 books of the series, and the timelines began syncing with events during points in some of the previous books. At this point, the links are tenuous and ready to be drawn in to the other plotlines.

The worldbuilding again comes to the fore, as two new empires with their own distinct cultures, and numerous other societies with THEIR own distinct cultures, are put into play. A few reviewers have commented on perceived ideological overtones - one of the societies is, if not capitalist, then has strong parallels to capitalism. I think they've missed the point though. Whilst Erikson occasionally goes over the top with his criticisms, he also does this with the other empire, and for the better part he continues raising moral ambiguities, just in a slightly different fashion to those raised in earlier books. It's clear, to me atleast, that Erikson is very thorough with his worldbuilding, and very thoughtful in the points he raises and how they relate to the certain character conflicts.

Oh, and there are lots of character conflicts in this book. They're abundant, and executed near-perfectly. This comes with a cast of diverse characters, most of which I found endearing and likable, and all of which were caught in an area of grey - there are no stereotypical evil characters here. He does, however, stumble with female characters.
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