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Deadhouse Gates

Deadhouse Gates

Scritto da Steven Erikson

Narrato da Ralph Lister


Deadhouse Gates

Scritto da Steven Erikson

Narrato da Ralph Lister

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (117 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
34 ore
Pubblicato:
Mar 5, 2013
ISBN:
9781469226002
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

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....

Set in a brilliantly realized world ravaged by dark, uncontrollable magic, this thrilling novel of war, intrigue, and betrayal confirms Steven Erikson as a storyteller of breathtaking skill, imagination, and originality - a new master of epic fantasy.

"Give me the evocation of a rich, complex, and yet ultimately unknowable other world, with a compelling suggestion of intricate history and mythology and lore. Give me mystery amid the grand narrative. Give me a world in which every sea hides a crumbled Atlantis, every ruin has a tale to tell, every mattock blade is a silent legacy of struggles unknown. Give me, in other words, the fantasy work of Steven Erikson." - Andrew Leonard, Salon
Pubblicato:
Mar 5, 2013
ISBN:
9781469226002
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Steven Erikson is an archaeologist and anthropologist and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His Malazan Book of the Fallen series, including The Crippled God, Dust of Dreams, Toll the Hounds and Reaper’s Gale, have met with widespread international acclaim and established him as a major voice in the world of fantasy fiction. The first book in the series, Gardens of the Moon, was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award. The second novel, Deadhouse Gates, was voted one of the ten best fantasy novels of 2000 by SF Site. He lives in Canada.


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4.6
117 valutazioni / 38 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I must admit, Malazan is making me cheat. I am reading these in German, because they're so dense that the English version had me consult a dictionary more often than the book itself. Erikson does not mess around, does not hold your hand and if you even as much as skim a single paragraph you might have just missed a vital piece of information.There were quite a few OMG! moments. A few times where I had to wipe my eyes because someone cut onions on my sofa. There were a few NO WAY! moments.But the Coltaine story dragged for me. I'm not a military fan and there was a lot of battle, battle, battle, battle. I do love Duiker though.Now, can Felisin please dive off a cliff? Then again I did really enjoy her scenes throughout the book, so I guess she's a character I loved to loathe.I can't wait for MOI, because I feel like none of it really makes sense yet. Yes, a few things are coming together, but Erikson really does not help you understand anything. Am I intrigued? I am intrigued! Am I in love? Not yet.Onwards!
  • (5/5)
    Deadhouse Gates is the continuation of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. It continued to build upon the world first created in the first book of the series, The Gardens of the Moon, but took me to an entirely different place in the world. Some of the old characters are back from the first book, but it also introduces a whole new cast of great personalities. Overall, the book succeeds on many levels, but may be headed toward the more confusing side.As in The Gardens of the Moon, Erikson crafts Deadhouse Gates from multiple story perspectives. One of them is of Felisin, a noble woman of house Paran. Her story chronicles her journey, with all of its highs and lows, across the world and her personal story. Another is of the Jaghut, Icarium, and his Trell companion, Mappo, as they wander around the world. This book is filled with many more different viewpoints that are all connected in some form. While this created the opportunity for Erikson to explore more parts of the world and weave a much more complicated tapestry of stories, I felt that it may have made the story slightly confusing. The amount of detail that Erikson put in to make each part of the book is amazing, but I found that it was a little too much to handle. It far surpasses the similarly written A Song of Ice and Fire series from George R.R. Martin in complexity in my opinion.The cast of characters is a mix of brand new people and returning member of the first book. Once again, they are well defined and thought out. Each person has their unique personality and I was able to see how each one grew throughout the entire book. The interactions between them bring out what is special about each one of them.One of the highlights of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is the rich world that Erikson created to house his growing number of intricate interaction among individuals and nations. The world only grew in size and scope in this book, as he introduced many new lands and nations into the global picture of the world. The interesting form of magic permeates through this book and I feel that while it added many new questions about how magic actually works in this series, it also answered many of them from the last book.Erikson did an amazing job building upon his already amazing first book. He introduced whole new set of characters and lands to continue building upon the first book, while providing a familiar tie for readers with the inclusion of some of the old faces. However, the growing complexity may overwhelm people and become a problem in the future. The world continues to grow from what it started with and I am looking forward to reading the next book.
  • (5/5)
    In short, better and more coherent than the first book. Not because I knew all the characters and places already, because that is definitely never the case with the Malazan series. No, each book seems to introduce a gazillion new characters and cities and affiliations whose importance and continuance are unclear. Good luck with that!

    NOT TO SPOIL ANYTHING... but this book has all the feels. By the end, I was a dreadful mess of tears at the ultimate tragedy of it all. The realization that anybody can and does die is...really driven home. Yup. Thankfully, some quirky characters dance their way in and out, and the bromance of millenia is interjects occasionally. They provide welcome relief from the unrelenting desert of death. Until that gets messy, too.

    Wow, this was a really depressing story. Somehow, it's triumphant too. Because sudden death and hopelessness are interwoven with bonds of timeless love, surprising compassion, hard-won respect, and damaged-but-usable honor. The interactions and relationships between the characters are more meaningful than the feats of great magic, rusty swords, and epic fates. That what makes this book great, and puts it at the top of my favorites.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't think that I would like this series but it was recommended to me and I thought I would give it a shot. Once I got past the lack of explanation as to what the hell is going on I quite enjoyed the ride.
  • (5/5)
    The internet has told me this is a controversial series in how polarized peoples' like for it is. I enjoyed Gardens of the Moon, despite the frenetic writing. I sat on the idea of embarking on the rest of the series for quite some time, in part because if I enjoyed the next book, the next few months of my reading life would be spoken for.

    I had confused and nebulous expectations as I (kindle equivalent of) read the first pages. Would it be dark? Some of my favourite characters from the last book wouldn't make an appearance, so would I have any stake in the plot? Having now finished the last pages, I feel spent. I'm empty. There's a darkness to the book, but in that darkness is a small flicker of hope and optimism. The characters, all the characters (small throw away sentries included), are real and unique and you want them to win. Many don't and it hurts.

    Deadhouse gates is magnificent. It awoke in me a fierce empathy and no deaths were reduced to a statistic, no matter how numerous.

    The world building is detailed and enthralling, with only slightly too many rogue apostrophes. Memories of Ice awaits.
  • (4/5)
    An amazing fantasy story with great characters, an exciting story, and unexpected twists and turns. I really enjoy the interaction of mortals and gods and the subterfuge that happens between them. Each and every character is interesting and every POV is enjoyable to read. It is still very complicated and difficult to read. I had to focus and occasionally re-read to make sure I didn't miss anything. It is written very well, it just has so many details. This is my second time reading this book, as I read too quickly the first time and got lost. Now that I am taking my time with this series, I am enjoying it a lot.
  • (4/5)
    Found it very hard to focus on the story. Had to keep delisted to parts to to understand it and still got lost
  • (5/5)
    Updated review after re-read:
    I have to say that this book is a lot better if you are already familiar with the world. After having read the series once and now re-reading it, I came to enjoy this book even more. I also noticed how my thoughts would return again and agains to some scenes in this book, to the extent that it is the book I have the most fond memories of in the series (the chain of dogs is one of the most memorable storylines of the series).

    So, I'll upgrade to 5 stars, but be aware that on my first read of the series, it only "clicked" somewhere halfway through the book.

    Old review after first read:
    GoodReads needs to implement half stars.

    I feel bad giving this book 4 stars, because it was better than a lot of other books I gave four stars to. On the other hand, it's not up there with my 5 star-Books.

    Again, the book took some time to pick up speed. To its credit: It was never boring. I was really interested in just about all of the characters. All of them had an interesting backstory and were characterized very well.

    Erikson also did a good job of making it hard to hate any one side of the conflict. Sure, some sides are considered "evil", some "good", but then again, if you view the empire as "evil", like some characters do, you can't help but be impressed by Coltaine (Can't go into details for fear of spoilers). And vice versa, if you consider the troops of the Apocalypse to be "evil", there are still good people in them.

    I especially liked the last 200 pages of the book, and if the whole book had been like them, it would have been an easy 5 stars. The pacing was great and I repeatedly had to debate if I want to keep reading or actually be alive the next day (reading usually won).

    The book also managed to get an emotional response from me, from hatred for some characters (Which means that they were characterized very well) to actually almost crying near the end.

    Do I recommend this book? Yes, though I must note that this book is not for people easily shocked, as there are some nasty things happening, including some graphic descriptions. I felt more than a bit sick after a particular scene (The bloodflies at the prisoner camp). You have been warned. If you can stomach this stuff, by all means, start reading the series (But begin with part one or you won't understand a thing). And don't be put off if you don't understand everything. Some things get explained later on, and those which aren't, you can usually piece together yourself.

    Now, please excuse me, I need to begin reading the next book.
  • (5/5)
    Glorious epic fantasy, this book does it all. I wept openly, laughed aloud, in short I gave myself up completely to Erikson's creation. The tale of Coltaine and the Chain of Dogs, the terrible consequences of complete civil breakdown, it all is perfectly realised in every way. From the grand sweep of battle sequences to the earth-shattering simplicity of the phrase "Children are dying".
    As is Erikson's wont, there is just so much more in this book, far too much to go into. But the Wickans! the Wickans!
  • (5/5)
    Deadhouse Gates, by Steven Erikson, is the second book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The story follows the events of an uprising on the Seven Cities, telling it through the eyes of different characters with different objectives. Kalam, who appeared in the first book, is on a task to kill Empress Laseen, in the end confronting her, getting to know what her reasons were for what she did. After a while, Kalam finds out that she wasn't really there; whereas he decides not to continue the hunt and instead settle dwon with Minala. Fiddler, also from the first book and also on a mission to kill the Empress, travels with Apsalar and Crokus, both from the first book, to bring back Apsalar to her father. They use the Deadhouse Gates to meet up with Kalam, where they all make some deal with Shadowthrone (who is actually the Emperor Kellanved); Fiddler joins the Malazan force supposed to put down the rebellion; Crokus, Apsalar and Apsalar's father settle down on the Kanese coast; and Kalam and Minala take care of orphaned children. Duiker, an Imperial historian, is with Coltaine's army, which is trying to escort thousands of Malazan civilians to Aren, while being attacked by the rebels. Duiker and the refugees make it, but Coltaine and his army are trapped outside the walls and die. Duiker and most of the Aren army are crucified after their Fist foolishly tries to destroy the besieging force but is instead trapped himself and has his army surrender. Mappo, a Trell, and Icarium, a Jaghut, are traveling through the desert. Icarium has lost his memory, but Mappo knows that Icarium possesses a rage that can be stopped by nothing, so Mappo tries to protect him. They meet Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar along their journey, with Icarium getting to know who he really is but losing his memory again. Finally, Heboric and Felisin, an ex-priest of Fener and a nobleborn, escape from a prisoner camp and try to survive the desert. Felisin eventually becomes Sha' ik, the leader of the Rebellion(a.k.a. the Whirlwind). This book was most definetely a change from the first one. The first book slowly built up the story and characters in the first half. This one starts with action straight off the bat. This book is a great example of how intertwining storylines can really help a story. While some stories I liked more than others, I cannnot say I was ever bored. My favorite storyline was Duiker's, it's just too bad he had to die. Great book, most definetely deserves 5 stars.
  • (4/5)
    This is Book 2 in The Malazan Book of the Fallen series. A slow paced book, with period of action and excitement sprinkled in between. In this book, there are a host of new characters and only few of the ones from Book 1. We also follow a bunch of stories based on those characters, set presumably in the same time frame - some of those stories and characters converge within the book, others I believe are left for another day. In this book, we don't get to meet the mighty Anomander Rake, but there is a new, mighty character to meet and follow, over extended periods. And finally we catch a glimpse, a hint, a shadow, of the legendary Empress. The plot is still devoid of simplicities like Good Vs. Evil, and at best we pick our champions on a fight per fight basis, regardless of his/her affiliations. There is drama, there is politics, but less bouts of awesomeness, as were evident in Book 1. There is some bloodbath, but a surprising less slaying of major characters, Erikson seems to protect his characters, fatten them up for the impending showdown (I think), very un-Martinish in that. Which style is superior, we will leave that question for another day.A worthy sequel, a book that is still setting up the series, building up the world, creating and fleshing out the characters. I will take up the next book book, perhaps after a short break of couple of months, given my relatively busy reading schedule in quarter 1 next year, more on that latter.
  • (4/5)
    I'm starting to realize that these books just hint at the fullness of world in which these books are situated. Odd, as I was a little annoyed at the breadth of this book. It's never good when you open a book and the cast of characters spans more than three pages. But Erikson always manages to just tell enough, to keep the world mysterious but the plot tangible.There is some corniness in the writing, mostly the italic thoughts of characters or some dialogue, but this is a serious book of fantasy, a series I know intend to finish. And the writing gets better as the story moves. You have to trust an author before devouring all 11 books of a series.
  • (2/5)
    Unfortunately, the 2nd book in this series really isn't better than the first. It might be worse. Just when things got resolved (a tiny bit) in the first book, this book starts out with entirely new characters, a whole major new plot line, and the same amount of confusing interference from gods and monsters as the first book - but more so. New creatures are introduced, playing major roles, but again they aren't explained at all. What the heck is a trell anyway? Some sort of troll? Where this book does succeed is its 'epicness', it does have its epic moments and events. Where it fails again, just like the first one, is that the plot is completely obscure. What are the gods doing? Where is this going? What are Soletaken and D'ivers and why are they doing whatever it is they are doing? What's an Azath and why does anyone care? So many key plot elements with no explanation, no reason for being, nothing. There is no sense of where this series is going at all, which makes it really hard to care about, just reading to see who lives and who dies is not worth it. As others have pointed out the characters are flat and mostly the same, so it is hard to care about any of them too. This was just too long to make the effort worthwhile.
  • (5/5)
    Deadhouse Gates is the continuation of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. It continued to build upon the world first created in the first book of the series, The Gardens of the Moon, but took me to an entirely different place in the world. Some of the old characters are back from the first book, but it also introduces a whole new cast of great personalities. Overall, the book succeeds on many levels, but may be headed toward the more confusing side.As in The Gardens of the Moon, Erikson crafts Deadhouse Gates from multiple story perspectives. One of them is of Felisin, a noble woman of house Paran. Her story chronicles her journey, with all of its highs and lows, across the world and her personal story. Another is of the Jaghut, Icarium, and his Trell companion, Mappo, as they wander around the world. This book is filled with many more different viewpoints that are all connected in some form. While this created the opportunity for Erikson to explore more parts of the world and weave a much more complicated tapestry of stories, I felt that it may have made the story slightly confusing. The amount of detail that Erikson put in to make each part of the book is amazing, but I found that it was a little too much to handle. It far surpasses the similarly written A Song of Ice and Fire series from George R.R. Martin in complexity in my opinion.The cast of characters is a mix of brand new people and returning member of the first book. Once again, they are well defined and thought out. Each person has their unique personality and I was able to see how each one grew throughout the entire book. The interactions between them bring out what is special about each one of them.One of the highlights of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is the rich world that Erikson created to house his growing number of intricate interaction among individuals and nations. The world only grew in size and scope in this book, as he introduced many new lands and nations into the global picture of the world. The interesting form of magic permeates through this book and I feel that while it added many new questions about how magic actually works in this series, it also answered many of them from the last book.Erikson did an amazing job building upon his already amazing first book. He introduced whole new set of characters and lands to continue building upon the first book, while providing a familiar tie for readers with the inclusion of some of the old faces. However, the growing complexity may overwhelm people and become a problem in the future. The world continues to grow from what it started with and I am looking forward to reading the next book.
  • (2/5)
    The second volume in this epic goes on much in the manner of the first.
    It's not bad, but again, it just didn't grip me emotionally. Although it's certainly not succinct, at times I felt like the action was simply being outlined for me, rather than the text allowing me to live through the action with the characters. I think it doesn't help that frequently, due to magical elements of the plot (possession, shapeshifting, etc), the identity of characters is frequently changing and/or uncertain. I found myself frequently picking up a magazine instead, or getting impatient to move on to another book, rather than being absorbed in this story.
  • (3/5)
    As with the previous one in the series, there is a LOT going on, it felt long but probably because I didn't have much chance to read in long stretches, had to keep re-reasing its to see what was happening...
  • (5/5)
    My final thoughts on this book come down to how much the good outweighs the things I wasn't thrilled about. The answer is a lot. After thinking about it, I think I loved this book. There are so many reasons for that - Coltaine and his Wickans, the sappers in Coltaine's army, his warlocks, the crazy Wickan dogs, Fiddler, Mappo and Icarium, Apt, Kalam and so on.

    Coltaine is larger than life. 'Coltaine never made speeches to his troops, and while he was often seen by his soldiers, he did not make a point of it as many commanders did. Yet those soldiers belonged to him now, as if the Fist could fill every silent space with a physical assurance as solid as a gripping of forearms.' We follow more than one group of characters and more than one storyline. Some of them even travel part of the way with some other group, helping, fighting, arguing, suffering. True, sometimes I wanted the scene to be over already (mostly involving Felisin) or I was enraged (refugee nobles), but the rest, oh the rest was so great.

    Felisin started as a heartbreaking child to become an almost too stupid to live sixteen year old to end up as something completely new. I felt for her in the beginning, I did. I felt for her in the end of the book too. The parts in between are what annoyed me. To be fair, they probably won't annoy people who mostly read young adult books (they are used to certain things). Her character only got her journey without the final performance. I suppose we'll see that particular show in the following books. The storyline of Felisin and her sister Adjunct Tavore, who sent her to prison in the first place, is still not finished.

    We follow the march of Coltaine's army with thousands of refugees, the Chain of Dogs, through the eyes of the bravest and the most pessimistic historian the Malazan Empire ever had. Duiker's first thought about anything is that it won't work. There are so many powerful scenes in this book. 'Each of the three forces outnumbered Coltaine's by a large margin. A roar began building from the army of the Apocalypse, along with a rhythmic clash of weapons on shields.
    The marines marched towards the crossing in silence. Voices and clangour rolled over them like a wave. The Seventh did not falter.' They are outnumbered, they are supposed to be weak. The last sentence of that quote made my hair stand on end.
    I wish some of the refugee nobles suffered more, but I might be too bloodthirsty.

    Overall, the abundance of themes, meanings, symbolism and hints of the things to come can be a bit overwhelming, but it is definitely worth reading.

    I'm having real difficulties to stop adding stuff here.
  • (5/5)
    Even though I struggled reading Gardens of the Moon, I am glad I read this book. I thought Deadhouse Gates was a fantastic read! It was very complex and long, yet still interesting and engaging. I can’t decide which book of the series is my favorite so far; they’re just so good. I just have to keep reading to find out if one really jumps out at me even more!

    As in the previous book, the plot is very complex and there are many different events occurring throughout the novel. I thought the pace was absolutely perfect; however there were some parts I wasn’t as engaged in as I was in others, and that is just because I thought it was uninteresting at that time. I also liked following certain groups of characters more because their part of the story was more exciting. I also didn’t have as hard of a time understanding what was going on throughout the book. I think I am starting to become more familiar with Erikson’s world and his writing style.

    The detail within this book is indescribable! I can’t believe how well Erikson can write and the emotions he can portray. Some of the scenes in the book were almost too horrible to read because you can just picture what the characters are seeing and feeling; really empathize with them. Just….wow! I felt the same way with his previous novel.

    Also, with a novel of this size I was greatly impressed that there was no repetition from the previous novel. I hope this continues with the others. There are many other fantasy books that would be a lot shorter if everything that was restated was taken out. The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind is a great example of an irritating writing style.

    Erikson made character swaps in this book, so we follow a few new characters and some old ones. The others are left for the next book I think. There are tons of characters in the book, but I think it’s important to pay special attention to some of them and there were some I enjoyed more than others.

    There are several different threads we are following and the one I found most interesting was with Felisin (Paran’s sister from Gardens of the Moon), Heboric (ex priest and exiled historian) and Baudin who is their companion. I loved following their story because it was exciting and the characters are all very interesting.

    The next group of characters are familiar to us. Fiddler, Crokus, Apsalar, and Kalam. There character building was awesome as well and there story. I loved learning more about them and having them become characters who I care about. Kalam separates from the group to go on his own mission and he finds Apt, whom I love! I had some major anxiety at the end of the book with Kalam and his mission. So exciting!

    There are also Icarium (Jaghut), Mappo (his Trell companion), and Iskaral Pust who is a High Priest of Shadow. I found their story to be the least interesting of all of the threads. I’m not really sure why exactly. It’s hard to say. I just enjoyed the other groups so much more and not a lot seemed to happen with this group. However, they are important to the story and I loved the relationship between Icarium and Mappo!

    There is also Duiker who is a historian. His story wasn’t very interesting at first, but by the end of the book I really liked him as a character and there are some things that happen with him that just left me horrified. I suppose his story wasn’t too interesting for me because it involved a lot of military tactics and the like because he travels with Coltaine’s army. There is just a point when I can’t read about battle strategies, etc. anymore. However, these battles are well described and towards the end left me speechless.

    Some other important characters include Coltaine, who you get to know quite well through Duiker, and Korbolo Dom and Kamist Reloe who are opposing Coltaine. You don’t get to read from the point of view of Korbolo or Kamist so you don’t get to know them too well, but they are important characters.

    I think that if I re-read the book I would enjoy the characters even more knowing what I know now and pick up on some things I might have missed. I have read many reviews and the people who re-read these books get ALOT more out of them the second time.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to start the next one. Just like Gardens of the Moon this book is pretty much a self-contained story, but it still helps to read the previous book. Even though it does have a pseudo ending, I believe you will be looking forward to reading the next novel. I think because this series is so complex I should just read them all back to back if I can. Better that way because I won’t forget what was going on. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is such an amazing series so far and is written by an author who has some major talent. I highly recommend reading the series even if you don’t like complex plots. There are tons of summaries available to help you understand. Anyone who loves fantasy books such as The Black Company and Game of Thrones will love these books!

  • (3/5)
    Not sure I like this series...it is a lot of work to read, but heading now for book 3 so we will see how that one goes...
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed Deadhouse Gates even though at times it was a little slow. It, along with the third book, Memories of Ice, serve as a great bridge into the later books. I highly recommend it
  • (5/5)
    Deadhouse Gates is stunning - and not just as a blunt weapon. It takes the worldbuilding done in the first book, introduces mostly new characters and situations, and proceeds to lay out some of the most emotionally wrenching scenes I've ever encountered in a fantasy novel - or any novel, for that matter. The worldbuilding never stops, and a good chunk of the thousand pages is setup for the volumes to come, but the Chain of Dogs alone is worth reading the book for - not to mention Icarium and Mappo, the most touching and tragic star-crossed friends ever written, and the nearly unbearable fall of Felisin.

    My hazy memories suggest that none of the later volumes ever top this one; even if so, that leaves a lot of room for excellent work.
  • (4/5)
    "Keep reading, try book two," they said. "It gets easier!" Pffft.I read The Gardens of the Moon carefully, knowing its reputation for being thorny. The end result was rewarding. I must have let my mental concentration lapse sometime during the second book because it was full of moments when I had to try to remember exactly who that guy was and why his tattoos were changing colour!The fault, however, is all mine. Though bleak at times, Deadhouse Gates is an engaging work of fantasy. Nothing fits into nice neat boxes. Just when you think you understand some idea, conventional wisdom is pushed aside for something deeper.The bleak tone of the book did weigh on me at times. There is so much war and suffering that it can be difficult to read. It has certainly spurred my convictions on the pointlessness of war with all the human suffering it brings.So if you've read book one, read book two—carefully. When I move on to Memories of Ice, I'm going to set aside a few weeks and read a chapter per night—Erikson rewards a close reading.
  • (5/5)
    I am glad I didn’t give up on this series after my initial wave of vile feelings toward Gardens of the Moon. Wow, what a book! I’m spent! I’ve now learned that I need a few lighter reads in-between Erikson’s works. Please note that I try my hardest to write “spoiler free” reviews. I love comments on my blog – feedback is truly why I write reviews in the first place. Please make sure you don’t post spoilers in your comments or I won’t approve them.Deadhouse Gates read slower than most fantasy books that I’ve read, but I did not find this to be a bad thing. Instead of being bored, the author enthralled me with his imagery. Erikson’s rich vocabulary coupled with excellent sentence structure produced a work that borders on a poem. It took effort to see what lay beneath the paper and ink, but under that surface I found an entire ocean.The multiple plot-lines within Deadhouse Gates were vast and it was hard to tell which (if any) were central to the tale. That is a compliment as each of the plots were essential and they all came together neatly at various points within the story. There were several scenes that were downright genius. The one that comes immediately to my mind was a certain “promotion”. If and when you read Deadhouse Gates, you will know exactly what I am talking about.The characters within Deadhouse Gates were portrayed so much better than in Gardens of the Moon. There were a few characters I never got a good feel for and hence had no real interest in their sub-plot. However, most of the major characters had true depth. I learned in good detail their inner desires and internal conflicts through their outwardly acts and their inwardly introspections.I started to understand Erikson’s world better as I read Deadhouse Gates. This was something that had completely eluded me in Gardens of the Moon. The world within Deadhouse Gates was a very scary place. I would not want to live in Malaz. Battle scenes were vivid and brutal. Tortured warriors, dying men, and corpses of women and children lined roads that criss-crossed the entire map. The flies that came to feast on their blood were relentless in their pursuits.The ideas regarding “warrens” and how they exist were totally unique (for anything I’ve read at least). How everything in the world tied to various warrens, from magic and the gods to physical locations intrigued me. The magic systems within the world were mysterious too. Hints were made about how they worked, but like the rest of Erikson’s work, it seems it takes effort (and multiple volumes) to truly understand. The world building that took place to create the Malazan Empire and beyond was truly incredible and has resulted in a work of genius!Overall I give Deadhouse Gates 5 out of 5 stars. Much better than Gardens of the Moon at 2!
  • (4/5)
    Deadhouse Gates is the second book in Erikson's epic Malazan Book of the Fallen series. We pick up after Gardens of the Moon with an initially confusing tale a half a world away. At the end of book 1, there was worry about something called the Pannion Seer. This is not the Seer's story, which I believe happens in book 3. Instead this story follows a small group of characters that have traveled east across the sea to the Seven Cities with only a few hints to what's going on back on the other side of the world.The continent of the Seven Cities was one of the first conquered by the Empress and the Malazan Empire. This has not sat well with the natives. As the Empire has expanded and the Empress' attention is focused elsewhere, the natives rise up to overthrow the Malazan rule. At the heart of the revolution is the prophesied Whirlwind in the Holy Desert. We see all aspects of this bloody war along the way: hysterical fanatics; fleeing refugees and their protectors; uneasy alliances; the birth of legends.Like book 1, Deadhouse Gates follows a large cast of characters. There are a few familiar faces and even more new ones. The scope is vast. At any one time we're following up to six story threads in alternating sections. Sometimes all six in one chapter, sometimes only a couple. Erikson has an amazing talent for writing battles, right up there with George R. R. Martin and Tolkien. This book is a hard read but very rewarding once you reach the end.
  • (4/5)
    DHG is an easier novel than the first Malazan book, by virtue of its world being somewhat familiar now, but careful reading is still rewarded as important sidebars and foreshadowing lie thick across every chapter. There are fewer stories to jump between this time and with tighter linkages, lending greater focus and permitting time for the characters we meet to be better drawn.GOTM was written in an almost experimental hand. The more straightforward approach of DHG comes almost as a relief. It costs some of the intriguing enigma, but what's retained (and expanded upon) is the enormity of scale, a surrounding world not merely mentioned in passing but sporadically intruding upon the story in small bursts or enormous explosions. This is not the same as what other reviewers are implying, that "you never really know what's going on", which I found to be misleading. The primary characters' stories are easy to follow and understand; it's the workings of the larger surrounding world, its cultures and its history that remain partially veiled in mystery. Personally I like not having everything fully explained past its capacity to surprise. As bizarre as those intrusions can sometimes be – and there are definitely a few scenes that would sound completely ridiculous if I described them to you out of context - they never fatally cross the line into absurdity.Felisin is the series' first viewpoint character I had an active disliking for, at least through the first half. I tried my best to pity and understand her, but she was drawn so unsympathetically that I generally failed. The author likes to walk the fence with his viewpoint characters, portraying them as neither strictly good nor bad. I doubt whether he intended her to be so easily disliked.I wanted a gigantic fantasy saga that I can really sink my teeth into, one that justifies its page count with plenty of action, mystery, atmosphere and suspense on as big a scale as human imagination can devise. Malazan is it. Ten enormous volumes looked like an intimidating task, but my concern about the time investment has evaporated if they're all going to be this fun.
  • (4/5)
    Most epic and nail-biting downer ending. Coltaine is The Man.
  • (3/5)
    Erikson's follow-up to the excellent Gardens of The Moon fell short in many ways for me; much of what made the first book such a breathe of fresh air is missing from its sequel, and all too often I found myself reading a more typical fantasy than I was hoping for. Transplanting the action to a different continent, Erikson traces a long-pent-up rebellion against the empire. The central focus is the General Coltaine's long, refugee-laden march to safety, but - of course - there's many other narratives weaving in and out of the story, too. So why didn't I like this as much as Gardens of The Moon? There's several problems, the first of which is probably the length. Deadhouse Gates is substantially longer than its predecessor and - much to my disappointment - most of it is preoccupied with characters moving from one point to another. This "journey"-style fantasy is a bane of the genre and whilst Erikson - as with everything - is a cut above average, it still largely didn't work for me. The reason is that most of the travelling seems if not aimless, at least arbitrary. The wonderfully motivated and active characters of Gardens of The Moon have been replaced by passive, glum people that things just keep happening to. Even worse is that by the conclusion, it's painfully obvious that outside of the central journey - Coltaine's march - much of the rest could have been skipped and has to be manipulated with deus ex machina to make sense.Part of this is inescapable. Erikson's intense focus on the brutal uprising leaves little room for cheer, and most attempts at leavening the dark tone feel forced and arbitrary whether they're romance, comedy, or optimism. This said, arguably the most brutal and explicit part - Coltaine's march - actually works the best because of its interesting characters and stages.Some of the other characters don't fare so well. Deadhouse Gates falls into another genre trap of having whiny, depressed protagonists with an adolescent and unrealistic dialogue. Coupled with his yen for drama, there are many times the book slips into melodrama, and the knowing, self-important soliloquys delivered doesn't help matters at all. Further, as the mythology grows more tangled, it becomes difficult to know what's real. Erikson delights in pulling the rug from under the reader: "You thought it was X, well it's Y!" This is audacious and thrilling the first few times, but it starts to hinder reader investment due to repetition. I *want* to know things! And sometimes, what I thought was going on was much more satisfying and interesting than what was *really* going on. And yet, the book still gets three stars. After this litany of disappointment, why? A few reasons. One, Erikson gets points for trying to do something ambitious with fantasy. The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot these days but this is the real deal, and if the execution stumbles sometimes, I'm prepared to forgive because I would prefer this to another "safe" fantasy. Two, Deadhouse Gates is a maddeningly large book, but to his credit, Erikson throws a lot in between all the interminable journeys and some of it works really well. There are some good characters here (though I'm a little sick of sassy veterans, I can't lie), good ideas, great scenes. If you don't like one thing, there's probably another three that you will like. The next book will be make or break for me - I need more than this one-note, "gritty", patchy fantasy; Erikson has creativity and ambition in spades, but he needs to bring it under control.
  • (5/5)
    Deadhouse Gates sports maybe the coolest cover art I've ever seen. Erikson doesn't balk at having awesome things happen purely for the sake of awesomeness, and his cover artists follow the same philosophy. The Hounds have nothing to do with the desert or the Whirlwind, but it's a neat picture, isn't it? I'm still missing that touch of the sublime that invests A Song of Ice and Fire, but what I've gotten from the first two installments of The Malazan Book of the Fallen is more than enough to make me sign on for the next eight. Erikson doesn't seem to be as rape-happy as George R.R. Martin, but what his novels lack in surprise sex they repay fourfold in hideous ultraviolence. This is Blood Meridian-level stuff right here. I listed the most notable mayhem from Gardens of the Moon in my review of that, so maybe I'll find it amusing to repeat the process for all future Malazan volumes: Deadhouse Gates gives us a man devoured in seconds flat by a 10,000-strong swarm of rats; an old lady having her head sawed off with the random sharp edges of a giant chain, which head is then thrown into the gawking crowd for the delight of all; a dog impaled on a sword sliding down the blade to rip out the wielder's throat; various men, women, and children crucified, most of whom having their eyes/teeth/nose/ears/all of the above sloppily removed beforehand; and a dead man devoured in seconds flat by a 10,000-strong swarm of crows. Noticing a pattern there? I guess where Martin daydreams about raping little girls, Erikson suffers from nightmares of being eaten by huge packs of animals. The Malazan Empire itself gets an image makeover in Deadhouse Gates. In Gardens, we only saw a rotten, overspread entity eaten from inside by treachery and incompetence; in Deadhouse, Erikson tries to sell us on the Empire being really the best thing for everyone involved. Supposedly, the Empire came into the Seven Cities and whipped everyone into shape and gave them years of peace, which they've now basically gotten bored of; the Empire allows its soldiers certain levels of autonomy and freedom which make them more effective fighting units than other nations' troops; and even the outlawing of Dujek Onearm's army is now seen to have been just a ruse all along, scoring major cool-points for Empress Laseen. In fact, the Empress has now got it going on so raw that even an assassin who's crossed two continents just for the chance to knife her changes his mind completely when she schools him to just how deep her game is. The end couldn't help but feel anticlimactic, since all the protagonists either die horribly (Coltaine, Duiker, & co., nailed to trees and left to slowly perish; Baudin, general mayhem, no face left; Kulp, eaten by aforementioned rats), give up their quests (Kalam: "Whoa, I never realized how cool the Empress really is!"), defect to the bad side (Felisin), or simply soldier on, having achieved nothing (the interspecies bromance of Mappo & Icarium). Deadhouseis a definite downer. but I admire the courage it took Erikson to end these stories on uncompromisingly sour notes. Our only consolation comes from the epilogue, where we're seemingly promised that Coltaine is headed for reincarnation, this time to really wreck shit.
  • (4/5)
    As with the previous Malazan books, Erikson is no slouch at showing the horrors of war. And in pointing out who the true victims are. He highlights the deceit and treachery on all sides and spares no one. What seems to be a fairly straightforward plan invariably turns into utter chaos once the plan is put into motion. And the enemy turns out to be not at all what you believe, or even, quite often, who you believe it to be.The quest for power and ascendancy pause for none, grinding the best into dust even as the worst seem to always survive.You'll find no easy answers, no satisfying outcomes here. Look elsewhere for that sort of comfort.
  • (3/5)
    Well, there's good and bad news here.The good? Deadhouse Gates is certainly no less than a decent novel. The bad? It's only a decent novel and having waded through 2000 pages of the Malazan saga I'm still not convinced this is a series worth the enormous effort required to see it through to the end. One feels that Erikson is simply grasping at too much in this series. The main problem here is that there's just too much going on. That's not always a problem but here it is. Events roll on from one to the other and there's no breathing space. There are a few very big revelations in this novel that almost pass by unnoticed given the scant attention devoted to them (for instance, Dujek's rebellion, surely the main point of the first novel is only worthy of one or two lines the entire novel - people in the Seven Cities had more pressing matters, true, but I couldn't believe that there was practically no acknowledgement of the fallout from Gardens of the Moon). Other events of real consequence don't carry the weight they should because Erikson so swiftly rushes on. Even the end of the Chain of Dogs, the only truly harrowing thing in the whole novel, felt slightly underplayed. There's hardly the extended drama of an event like The Red Wedding, say. The entirety of Coltaine's march should be an epic event, yet only the end feels like that. Erikson never pauses to allow his characters, and us readers, the opportunity to experience the march. For instance - no point of view or knowledge is given to us of how the refugees experienced the march. Who chases Coltaine? Faceless armies, the odd named general who we barely, if ever, see. Who is the villain in such a piece? Where can we direct our anger? A story needs good villains as much as it needs good heroes and a big bad guy is noticeably lacking here. Likewise, very little is know about the soldiers' experience on the march except that they went to one place, had a battle, moved on, had another battle, did some more walking, had another battle and kept on doing this again and again. That's not to say these battles aren't exciting but they lack an edge as they're fought by characters developed only to a minimum. By trying to do so much in this story Erikson undermines himself. Action is all well and good but I felt Erikson really gave the story and his characters too little room to live and fill out their experiences.That's another problem with this novel: because so little time is really devoted to the characters almost everyone comes across the same. The uniquely delightful Iskaral Pust aside, everyone seems to be exactly the same in character - unrelentingly grim and serious. True, no-one is really in a good situation but I despaired at how the tone of the novel is completely flat - it is just one long, serious, grim grindfest. Even if Erikson lacks the wit of GRRM he could look to The Black Company (an obvious influence anyway) and see how Cook uses the likes of Goblin, One Eye, Croaker, to change tones and vary the story. The near singular mood of the novel did tire at times and it cried out for another Kruppe (a role Pust doesn't quite fulfil).World building has been a fantasy staple ever since Tolkien but I feel Erikson needs to apply some brakes on this too. I consider the Malazan empire fascinating and I enjoy the depth Erikson provides that aspect of the story (in fact I wish its organization, its ethos and general philosophical underpinnings were given more substance). Yet I find the T'lan Imass and other non-human groups of his world dull and uninteresting. They might be hugely powerful but I fail, yet, to see why they're given so much space in these novels, why they're important. There is so much focus on Icarium in this novel, but why, apart from the fact he could cause so much destruction is he important to the story? No real reason was given, he was just plonked in there as far as I could tell. Similarly, all the sudden emergence of so many faceless enemy Soultaken and D'ivers in this book was tedious to say the least (although it's not like Coltaine's foes are anything less than "faceless" too).I can at least congratulate Erikson on correcting some issues I had with the first book. Most importantly, it seemed (stupidly) as if the Empire was blind to the threat from the Pannion Domin. Thankfully events in this book proved that to be untrue and Erikson does a good job of erasing some leftover question marks. I just hope that in the future that details from this novel are properly resolved or given appropriate meaning (such as Icarium's prominence in this book). Another positive is that there isn't such a focus on super-powerful beings in this instalment and so the story feels a bit more human and down to earth this time. Although I've focused on what I didn't like about this novel it's still, as I said, a decent book, worth a solid three stars. Erikson isn't a bad writer and I'm willing to give the series one more thousand page effort to pull me in (and if it doesn't after Memories of Ice then I can't see myself wading through a further 7000+ pages just to get to the end of it all). Plot, characters, action, prose - everything's up to a decent standard here, it's just a shame Erikson isn't that much better in the way one feels he could be. I've read my share of great and awful fantasy and Erikson doesn't belong in either category at the moment. He's just middle of the road, for better or for worse, and that's why, in the end, I can only give this novel three stars.