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Showing 1-10 of 219 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 297 reviews
on February 20, 2015
I... am quite fond of these books. With such a rich, almost ridiculously detailed world (not quite epic feast passages a la George R. R.) to traipse around in, filled with surprisingly interesting characters, this series was a great find post Kingkiller Chronicles - unfinished series are killing me. That having been said, to the best of my knowledge, this series is complete. It is long, and it is wonderful.

I have been consistently pleased with the level of articulation Mr. Erikson exhibits, and this book is no different from its predecessors in that respect, though I do tire of the word "febrile." Where this book does start to differ from the first two is the level of messed up-edness. The worst things that I can think of doing to someone pale in comparison to some of the stuff the Tenescowri or others in the Pannion Domin do. Brutal. Most of the time you're like, "yeah, but they'll get theirs... right? PLEASE TELL ME THEY GET THEIRS" But you can't really know that, can you? Painfully suspenseful in that respect at times.

At the end of the day, this book is more of the same, and that is most certainly not a bad thing.
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on September 19, 2016
This is the book where Erickson finally won me over. The previous books were good, complex, engaging, interesting... but so complex and with so many characters, it was hard to become invested in what was happening to people. I enjoyed them, but felt like I had to slog through them in parts. In this book, something clicked... I don't know if it was familiarity with the world and the people, or if there was a subtle change in how the author wrote, but I'm sold and can go from enjoying the series to recommending it.

Complex, unique, epic fantasy with a colorful cast and complex plot.
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on November 9, 2013
I reviewed the first two books separately. I happen to like this one the best, and I've yet to read book four, which I will do in time. I would rate this one a 4.5 but alas, i cannot give half stars.

Positives:

Like the second book, Deadhouse Gates, the character development is far better now that we have gotten to know most of the main characters in this story through book one, Gardens of the Moon.

Quick Ben and Paran team up to become a solid pair of characters to can really root for in this one. Loved the attention given to picker, and loved how Kruppe emerges as a character you can laugh at and appreciate as possibly Erikson's best creation of the series so far. Whiskeyjack becomes an icon in this one and you can begin to see why he's so beloved rather than simply being told he is. I liked finally getting to know Brood and Rake somewhat. In the end Erikson wins me over with his character development by shear volume of words. What some authors accomplish in 300-500 pages, it only took Erikson 1700 pages to accomplish.

In all 3 of the books I've read, Erikson has been very good at dialog. I do enjoy reading his dialog, and wish there were more of it.

We begin to understand the complexities of deities, ascendants, who they are, what they are, how they got where they are, and all that stuff, a lot better now because of our familiarity with the series, the characters, and more histories are given, and Erikson, thank God, is finally giving us better explanations of how things work in this rich and complex world!

The complexity of the storyline is well received and appreciated in book three, whereas in book one it simply puzzled the reader, and likely lost fans who would have very much enjoyed this installment. The reason why it works here is it's brilliant in how Erikson ties things together by the end. Small details you thought were irrelevant suddenly become 'oh wow!" moments.

The emotional tug in this one is not a tug like in book two, it's jarring, and that means the author succeeded in pulling the reader into his story.

Negatives:

As I mentioned in my review of Deadhouse Gates, the length of this book is fine, but I feel that it is only this long because 100 or more pages were given to dreams and characters having long conversations with themselves. This isn't bad in and of itself, but Erikson waxes eloquent for page after page and really out thinks the room here. I found myself having to re-read those sections and still not being able to really grasp the meaning or point. It prolongs, and simply halts forward momentum of the story. I understand that there was a point, that there was meaning, but he shrouds it in poetry to the point of frustration, not because he does it, but because he does it so often and for so long. A little goes along way.

Oddly, I found the word "muttered" used quite often in this book. I did not notice it so frequently used in the previous books.
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on May 20, 2014
After being introduced to a hub of new characters in Deadhouse Gates, we head back to the contents (roughly) that happened in the first book of the series (Gardens of the Moon) which to be honest I was very much happy about that. Throughout the series you will hop scotch back and forth on certain storylines. Nothing is ever really lineal.

Again, in Erikson fashion he introduces new characters as well as a few older ones yet the ones he does bring feel fresh and very interesting. And of course there are a few main plots with smaller plotlines tricked in.

Onearm's Host now outsted from the Malazan Empire are now focusing on a new threat. The Pannion Domin. Its based southeast of Genebackis and is ruled by the Pannion Seer. He leads an army of cannablistic Tenescowri and others forces named K'Chain Che'Malle and are reeking havoc on those who are in their way.

Onearm's Host aren't alone in the fight. Anomander Rake's Tistii Andii along with Caladan Brood's forces and the White Face Barghast tribe go along for the ride. Also, a T'lan Imass army led by a new ruler named Silverfox lay their cards down to take the Seer out. Yet all these alliances seem to be a bit shaky and on cold thin ice.

Silverfox is a new edition to the series. She is apparent heir to the T'lan Imass. She has much to learn and a ton of responsibility many doubt she is ready. Many even ponder if she is worth of such a title even thought the forces inside her lead and shape her every move.

A grand setting in the book is the Seige of Capsutan led by new editions to the series. Introduced are titles called Mortal Sword, Destriant and Shield Anvil. Each title represents a duty by a particular God. Itkovian is the Shield Anvil of God Fener. This book documents his struggles to hold for reinforcements yet are vastly overwhelmed and overmatched against the Seer's forces.

Other meaningful characters are Toc and Tool who travel with Lady Envy and her Seguleh. They too are fighting The Seer but seem to have their own agenda for the most part.

Again, these are just the main plotlines that take up a slew of the book. There are still hundreds of pages of important info with characters that I chose not to include in this review. If I mentioned every nuance in this review you wouldn't likely have read this far along. You'd be surprised how detailed Erikson writes, you have to pay close attention to these sorta things because trust me, he'll bring them back up a few books down the line.
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on March 7, 2014
In MEMORIES OF ICE, the story picks up where Gardens of the Moon left off. We join Paran, Whiskeyjack, and Quick Ben as they shift focus to a new threat. Under the guise of Imperial outlaws, Onearm's host teams up with Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake to march united against the Pannion Seer.

This is one of the most popular novels of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and it is easy to see why. Huge and drastic changes occur within MEMORIES OF ICE, as enemies become friends and new powers are discovered by old characters. All of the best characters from the story continue to develop, and great new characters are introduced. Some of the most popular characters that play a central role in this book include: Paran, Toc the Younger, Whiskeyjack, Tool, and Quick Ben. Also, the story maintains a frenetic pace. A lot happens in these pages, including major changes in the Pantheon, huge battles, and subtle political maneuvering.

These books are not easy reading, with complex grammar and sentence structure, as well as being particularly long (and dense). I found this third volume in the series a lot easier going than the first two, mostly because the world is starting to become more familiar, helping me not feel quite as lost as I did before. In a way, this is a shame, because the thing I loved the most about the first two books was that Stevenson was completely brutal, throwing the reader into this world without a bit of orientation. I found it a fun and challenging experience, but I know others were annoyed by it.

One criticism I have was the inclusion of more needless banter between characters. Some of this was amusing, but the majority of it felt extremely unlikely and, in my opinion, took away some of the otherwise intense drama. I don't remember much silly dialogue in the first two books, and I can't say I'm a fan of its inclusion in this one. Not much of a complaint though, I still loved every minute of this epic novel. Very highly recommended.
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on July 30, 2014
So this morning I'm extremely sleepy, because I made the mistake of opening "Memories of Ice" 3 of the Malazon series before I went to bed and like some other reviewer warned I opened it up right around the last 250th page mark and could not put it down. The Malazon Book of the Fallen, is the BEST series Ive ever read so far, and that includes authors like Weis and Hickman, Martin, Eddings,Jordan and too many others to name. Steven Ericksons writing style is amazing, and how he could create such a complex world is beyond me. He creates characters that you will become vested it, sometimes whole groups, and you are stunned, floored even if something happens to them, there betrayals on top of betrayals, lovers will lie to each other and allies, knowing that every knows who's lying making it obvious enough to hide the third or fourth lie, favorite characters might gain more power or bite the dust, So many powerful characters, places where gods can get hurt and die and mortals can become gods. Love Lady Envy, by the way. Loved how the very last sentence of this book tied into the second one so well.To sum it all up this Series is just to big, too detailed for my mind to comprehend. And I love it!!! Best part of this is there's more books out there to consume.
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on October 29, 2013
A good continuation of the series. It takes up after the events of the first book and I think parallel to the second. What keeps it from being five stars are the lack of flow caused by the unnecessary constant short changes of POV. I suppose I will have to write this for the next seven books which is frustrating in itself. There are a couple of major unexplained actions that I must mention that were ridiculous.

SPOILERS ALERT
A major character gets angry and uses his hammer to rend a chasm and create a mini mountain. But doesn't use it in battle to do the same thing.

Another insanely powerful character who can lay waste to hundreds at a time in dragon form turns up late for no real reason, thus letting thousands of his allies die. Also, he turns up in the ocean after everything is pretty much over. Destroying his peoples own home just so it can grind across the city and fall apart.

These were the most painful things to cope with as they were so stupid.

END SPOILER
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on September 27, 2012
Memories of Ice I thought was the better of the first three books. Now maybe that's because I'm learning to understand the world of the Malazan Empire but what ever the case I liked it. I must have liked the first two because I read the third and plan to read the fourth. Anyway I think it's a good read and can't wait to see what happens in book four.
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on March 10, 2011
In the first two books, you were thrown into the world of the Mazalan Empire with the feeling that theres this grand history that you are jumping into the middle of but without any real guide. By the third book, finally it seems like all of the background history is starting to come together and you can even see how its leading to the present events, although not necessarily right away. One thing I think Erikson has really managed to do well is create a realistically huge world. The story and characters that I read about and loved in the second book are going through their trials in a whole different place but near the same span of time, making the mazalan universe feel almost too big to comprehend all at once.

For the same reason I loved Cook's Black Company books, its the characters that really draw me in. This book introduces quite a few new characters and makes sure that you go through enough with them in order to fall in love with them. But be prepared, just as in the Black Company novels, these characters are not invincible as they seem to be in so many other fantasy novels. You know a character is great when you feel like you've lost friend when they are gone.

The dark nature of these books is pushed to whole new limits in this particular story. The brutal and crazed enemy faced in this novel even managed to disgust me at times, something I've never really experienced in a fantasy novel. It made the feeling of terror that you can imagine some of the warriors are feeling that much more tangible. But luckily, this is done in a way that the line of who is good and who is bad, who is using who... these questions get blurry so that we don't have just black and white "these are the good guys, these are the bad guys".

My only gripe with the novel would be the editing. I've looked at the paperback version and compared it to the kindle version, alot of the same problems are present in both of them. One thing that threw me off was that Erikson is not using quotation marks for dialogue any more, instead using apostrophes. I'm not quite sure why its been switched, but it made things confusing, dialogue doesn't stand out as well and it took a while to get use to.

But don't let that small problem hold anyone back, this novel is amazing.
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on June 2, 2013
This series has proven to be a wonderfully surprisingly, confounding, confusing and enlightening world of love and gore, heroes and whores, lashin' and passion, with enough room left for terrifically insightful humor and heartfelt pathos and tears. I'm half-way through the fourth book in the series (House of Chains) and Erikson seems to be getting his groove on...not that it needed improvement, but it's consistently getting better and better. Yes, the magic and the warrens are sometimes confusing and at times I need to ignite my memory cells to recall a certain character and/or location found further on in the series but, as you all know, that is a large part of the fun of reading a well-written epic. Don't get discouraged, readers, and you'll be rewarded for your patience.

Speaking of patience, I was looking for something to read while patiently (NOT) waiting for Brandon Sanderson to carry on, and in looking for a temporary substitute, I stumbled upon an equal. This is good stuff, people!
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