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on August 27, 2017
My buddy read of the most complicated series I've ever attempted continues.

So just as I was getting into the story of the Malazan empire with the Bridgeburners, New Assendants and New Gods in play we stop and go back thousands of years to before any of the happenings in books 1-4 and start a whole new story with only one character that we have ever seen before. I think I might be dizzy from the abrupt turn about.

This is a story of brothers or two sets of brothers so be more precise. Told mostly about the three Tiste Edur brothers Trull is the only character in this book that we have ever seen before. This is the tale of how he was cast out from his people and one of the first power plays made by the Crippled God. On the other side of an upcoming war are the three Beddict brothers. Most of the tale is told from Tehol Beddits perspective and is it an odd yet entertaining one. I found his shenanigans with his loyal servant Bugg to be the best parts of this book.

While this book did give some great insight into the past of the Tiste Edur and hints of how things went terribly wrong for them to a point that in the current Malazan books they seem to be mostly killed off it really was my least favorite part of the book. For a few reasons one being that for awhile a lot of the Edur storyline was uncomfortable to read. Rhulad is the younger brother of Trull and Fear and he is so full of pride and envious of everything his brothers are or have. Rhulad flirts with the betrothed of his brother hoping to steal her away and believes himself to be the best warrior but he has never seen a battle. So when he ends up in charge of all of the Tiste Edur everything goes to hell in a handbasket and Trull is the only one to challenge the abomination that is Rhulad.

Tehol’s chapters are much lighter in tone and have a plethora of interesting characters. Bugg his faithful manservant that can make dinner out of just about anything was one of my favorites. Then there is a little corpse girl wandering around killing random people here and there and I loved her.

‘Kettle, how many people have you killed in the past year?’
She cocked her head. ‘I can’t count past eight and two.’
‘Ah.’
‘Lots of eight and twos.’

Just remember to be her friend and you should be fine. I’m not sure what Tehol’s revenge on the city was going to be but it seemed like he was trying to take down the entire Lethori culture. It just so happened to end up coming to a head at the end when the Tiste Edur show up to fight the Lethori and something else is breaking free of it’s chains all at the same time.

There are some great characters in this and I was a little wowed to find out what/who Bugg is. But then at the same time at the end of this I had no idea why we have an entire book dedicated to the history of this world and wondered will we see many of the characters from this in future books because I believe there are millennia inbetween. I guess at this point in time I really didn’t see a point to it.

Still the storytelling is vast and intricate and I feel like I’m only catching the tip of the iceberg and getting 10% of the story while there is another 90% going on underneath that I’m totally missing. These books are truly dense and I must go slowly since it take complete concentration. There are many other same story lines going on at the same time with so many other characters that I really just can’t comment on everything happening.

I’m excited to get back to the main storyline and see how anything from this book plays into the present day events. There are a few characters that I would really like to see again like Iron Hands, Bugg, Tehol, Udinaas and Feather Witch. And who knows in this series it is entirely possible that they show up again with a new name and a new agenda.
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on August 2, 2017
Midnight Tides is the best book of the series so far. Trull Sengar, his borther Rhulad and Beddict borthers (especially duo Tehol Beddict & Bugg) are great characters and though the plot ends in bloodshed, there is no grandiose grand finale of clashing "cosmic forces" of the previous books, where one only wonders, what the main protagonists can do against such a "cosmic force", mostly being mere (human) beings.
Conflict of Tiste Edur and Letherii is well founded, characters, once introduced, behave logically and the book ending is quite realistic.
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on April 7, 2017
This book is essentially the start of an entirely new plot line within the series. Thus, it took a little bit for me to really get into it. So far, it has probably been my least favorite of the series. However, after reading the next in the series, things start to tie together which makes this book essential reading. As always, Erikson paints a wonderfully complex world full of interesting characters and creatures. While it may be my least favorite thus far, it is still leagues better than a lot of other books I've read. If you've read through book 4, what are you waiting for?! Just read it!
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on August 7, 2017
Still reading but so far (over 3/4 of way through) it is a fascinating tale with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Easy to follow multiple interwoven story lines and if read after reading the previous titles in the series, it begins to draw some plot lines together that seems to appear at bit out of nowhere in some of the previous books. Can't wait to finish and to go on to Book 6!
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on October 27, 2017
Another excellent book in the series. About the same level of enjoyment for me as DG and MoI, and a step up over HoC for me. As a first time reader, I still had no issues with the new cast of characters and new continent -- Erikson once again delivered a superbly epic tale. I do recommend following along the Tor re-read as I am doing with my first read through the series, to help cement/unlock more understanding of this richly complex saga.

Next up: I'm going for NoK before tBH. (Not going to read all the ICE books interspersed with the main Malazan series, but I'm going along with the recs to put NoK before tBH, and will also add ROTCG in its recommended spot later on.)

I doubt it needs saying, if you've made it to Book 5 -- but this series is one of the best ever!
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on March 8, 2017
If you have made it this far in the Malazan series you are in for a treat. I think this is the best one yet. Get the audio too. Wonderful and complex.
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on January 24, 2013
If you are reading this book you are likely familiar with the series all ready, so I will not talk about the Malazan world as a whole, just this specific chapter of the tale.

Out of the books released so far, this would probably be my second favorite, with the number one being Deadhouse Gates. It is a little jarring to, once again, switch continents and plots but by halfway through the text you will pick up on why the story of the Letherii ans the Edur is important to the series as a whole.

Erickson' s prose is spot on here, as always. So many great descriptions and philosophies, and some of the action sequences are so intense or horrifying I felt physically shaken. The Edur and Letherii are both characterized very well, with it being rather difficult to pick who you would like to come out on top in the conflict that makes up most of this text.

The only reason this book receives four stars from me is I feel the humor was a little much at times. While Tehol and Bugg were great characters and I really did laugh at most of their humorous interactions, it is difficult to go from an epic massacre to crude sex jokes without either taking the violence a little less seriously, or finding the timing of the jokes inappropriate. Either way, it degrades the experience a bit.

Overall, still a fantastic read, still one of the best fantasy series I have ever read, and I look forward to going into the back half of this series and, eventually, having all three of the major plots weave together
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on May 2, 2015
While this novel may at first seem to break away from the established settings and characters of Erikson's previous stories, readers will quickly find that the narrative brings resolution and new blood alike to the ongoing plot. Satisfaction of a number of important questions raised by previous novels is interwoven with new wonder for a myriad of fresh questions, places, peoples, and mythologies come to life. Not only are crucial past events clarified, but future plots are thrown into new light, leaving the reader hungry for more. Any fan of the Malazan books will find this novel by turns heartbreakingly poignant and laugh out loud delightful. Highly recommended!
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on June 6, 2017
Some interesting background, but seems to tread water quite a bit. I'll still try book 6. Here's hoping it's good!
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on March 16, 2016
Another one of the books I really did not like at first .... Problem is, I keep Reading and the book starts intertwining it's strings With the rest of the book and you suddenly understand it's Place in the Whole story. It just makes Perfect sense. The Crippled God is starting to show himself now, and the story will forever be changed after this book.
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