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Memories of Ice

Memories of Ice

Scritto da Steven Erikson

Narrato da Ralph Lister


Memories of Ice

Scritto da Steven Erikson

Narrato da Ralph Lister

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (91 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
43 ore
Pubblicato:
Apr 2, 2013
ISBN:
9781469226071
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Onearm's army and Whiskeyjack's Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old - the forces of the Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains.

But ancient undead clans are also gathering; the T'lan Imass have risen. For it would seem something altogether darker and more malign threatens this world. Rumors abound that the Crippled God is now unchained and intent on a terrible revenge.

Marking the return of many characters from Gardens of the Moon and introducing a host of remarkable new players, Memories of Ice is both a momentous new chapter in Steven Erikson's magnificent epic fantasy and a triumph of storytelling.

"This novel and all others in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series follow my own pronunciations of 'Malazan' words and names. My thanks to Michael and Jane and everyone at Brilliance Audio." -Steven Erikson, Victoria, B.C. Canada, January, 2014
Pubblicato:
Apr 2, 2013
ISBN:
9781469226071
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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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Review modified after re-read, upgraded to 5 stars.

    As this is a pretty massive series, it is almost impossible to give any information on the story without spoiling, so I'll just say that the story follows Dujek Onearm's Host in his fight against the Pannion Seer. If I say anything more specific, I might spoil some important things, since this is the third book and it depends on the first two for the backstory. I'll just say that some of the mysteries from the first and especially the second book are resolved here, in addition to some other things I always wondered but can't talk about due to massive spoilers.

    On my re-read, even though I already knew the story, I actually read the last 20% of the book in one go, simple because the book gripped me and refused to let go. There are so many wonderful scenes, and so many tragic scenes, and even though it has its lengths, overall, it was a great read, improved even more through the re-read.
  • (5/5)
    I skipped over Deadhouse Gates to read this one, and I don't think my reading suffered for it. It was on the suggestion of a friend who is familiar with the Malazan books, and their somewhat confusing presentation order.I'm honestly not sure what to say about the plot of the book, as there is so much going on, and with Erikson's style of crafting, it's difficult to tell, on introduction, which characters might turn out to be important. Small moments have relevance later. My friend and I speak of the books often, even though I'm new to them and he's read them many times (something that probably impacts how I understand the book), and if you're the type to read and ponder, there is plenty here to muse over.I'll say about Erikson what I've said about Tolkien: reading his books is like eating cheese cake. I can't eat it fast, and I can't eat a lot of it at once. It took some time to get through Memories of Ice compared to Gardens of the Moon, but at not point would I say I was disappointed. Even if the over arching plotline was lost on me at times, what was happening on the page in front of me was more than enough for reading enjoyment. The first line is still one of my favourites, simple as it is, for how it sets the tone of the story, after the surprise of the chronological note that sets date of the following section of story.
  • (5/5)
    A sentimental favorite.
  • (5/5)
    This is the third "Malazan Book of the Fallen" tale I have read and I am hooked. This is world building on a grand scale not only in terms of cultures but in terms of time scale. The tales take place 100's of thousands of years after events that are coming to fruition within the books. More interesting is that the series is broken up into two major arenas, which can be better understood by visiting the Wikipedia page for the series. For now I will just say that the first and third books take place on Genabackis with the Bridgeburners. In this case, events from the first book will be shed in a whole new light and villains may turn out to be different than the way they were portrayed. The deep underpinnings of the overall series will finally be revealed from the almost unrelated first two books. I will still give a strong warning to casual readers. The Malazan books are dense. This book was 913 pages long with very small print, meaning that at a normal size font, the book would push to well over a thousand pages, possible 1500. Memories of ice; however, reads faster than the first two since I already had a background in the world and its characters.
  • (3/5)
    I abandoned the Malazan series of this third installment: there is just too much glorification of war, battle and the military way of life (even though the author lets his protagonists state the opposite time and time again, it just does not feel like he really means it, you know?! Just because a character is saying "war is cruel and unnecessary" it doesn't mean that he really means it, just as in real life. And I think Erikson likes war and especially the military way of life which goes against my personal point of view). The constant reminders and references to the day to day life as a solder does not help me to like this book either.A lot of potential is wasted here and I am very diss disappointed that this series did not turn out to be another 'Black Company' or 'Instrumentalities of the Night'. I will be looking now for other fantasy books that are more to my linking and probably give Robin Hobb's newest work a try.
  • (3/5)
    Plot: 3/5 Complex world with a plot that is opaque at times... well all the time. I glad the author knew what was going on. A lot of the time I didn't.
    World: 3/5 A strange world of gods and mortals. Very confusing at times, and seemly inconsistent. A grim world of blood and gore with a strange presence of humour and the ridiculous. A huge imagination but difficult to access.
    Characters: 4.5/5 A wide range of deeply articulated characters, many drawn from a military background in their thinking. The humour was great but sometimes seemed totally incongruous. Sometimes the characters didn't seem true to life in their reactions to things. But a huge and inventive cast.
    Writing: 4/5 Steven writes with consummate skill and command. I am confident that he is not going to let me down in this area. The only thing that irritated me was extended passages of the characters' chaotic experience of what was going on and sharp shifts in reality and context which were totally confusing/bemusing. This is a lengthy novel and is a heavy read, though all the writing is relevant.
    I'm in two minds about this. I concluded that Steven was either brilliant or mad, probably both. An this is either one of the greatest fantasy epics ever (if only I understood it lol) or it's an awkward tale that is far to ponderous...
    I'm thinking I might not read the next in the series... but then I probably will. I like the humour and the quirky characters, and enjoyed it much more once I gave up trying to work out what was going on.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic continuation of the Malazan series. Starts off where Gardens of the Moon left off and seems to occur around the same time as Deadhouse Gates in a different part of the world. It was great to see familiar characters and to see their adventure continue. Of course still many new faces and all of them interesting. The storyline is very much more streamlined then the first 2 books. It really hooks you in. The exploration of the world and the gods are really starting to shape up into something more cohesive and understandable. I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to more in the series.
  • (4/5)
    Every book gets better.
  • (4/5)
    Loving the series, but I confess it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the story.
  • (5/5)
    After the second book I was a little hesitant on starting this one, but it was amazing. I love these characters and the story the author writes in this book
  • (5/5)
    If any series has the right to be labelled epic Malazan Book of the Fallen would be it. I don't have any wish to disparage other authors' work, but even the books I really liked pale compared to this one (and the previous one too). After you read at least two books, it becomes a fact.

    On the surface: a new and horrible empire, the Pannion Domin, is born and expanding, destroying everything in its path in a monstrous way, and former enemies become allies to fight this new threat. And the crippled God makes his move to take his long awaited revenge. That is only a cover layer.

    Memories of Ice is made of layers upon layers upon layers (I could go on) and honestly I am unable to write something that will do this great book justice. The general history, the individual ones, small meaningful deeds together with the great ones are just one tiny part of this story.

    I was proud of the characters (the Bridgeburners), my heart broke more than once, I was annoyed, I wanted to hit a couple of them, I wanted to kill some too, I fell in love, I laughed at them, and I sobbed. I don't have words for Itkovian's story. I was made to feel pity and compassion for those who hardly deserve it.
    And to top it all, the last thing he does in Memories of Ice Erikson reminds me of the story from the previous book in the end. As if I didn't have enough reason to be heartbroken.

    As I said, I can't write anything that will do it justice. One of the memorable things among the plethora of them: this is the book where you find about how the Bridgeburners come about. The fact the story is told to Anomander Rake (and who tells it) just adds to its importance.
  • (5/5)
    Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson, is the third book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series. It features several characters from the first book(Gardens of the Moon), including Captain Paran and Whiskeyjack; along with new characters. Captain Paran, the noble-born commander of the Bridgeburners(or what's left of them) has apparently become the new Master of the Deck(kind of like a Dungeon Master in D&D) and can now fashion new cards to go into the deck, as well as allowing new players to join. He leads the Brigeburners on recon missions ahead of Dujek's Host(the Malazan army); which has allied with their former enemy, Caladan Brood,to face a new threat-the Pannion Domin. They fight against at Capustan, a city the Domin attacks, and all the way to Coral, the Domin's capital. Shield Anvil Itkovian is a member of the Grey Swords, a mercenary company hired by the Prince of Capustan to defend it. At a heavy cost, the Grey Swords hold out, and are relieved by the Malazans. They find out that Fener, their patron god, is dead, and so instead go under the blessing of Togg and Fanderay, the Wolf gods. Itkovian is then kind of kicked out of the Grey Swords because they have a new Shield Anvil. He travels with the armies to Coral, where he takes in all the pain and sorrow of the T'lan Imass, an ancient race that went through a ritual that left them immortal but looking more like zombies. Itkovian promptly dies, earning eternal respect from the T'lan Imass. Speaking of gods, Gruntle, a caravan guard, travels with his friends Stonny and Harllo(who dies) to Capustan, guarding a wealthy priest who turns out to be an Elder God. During the attack of the Pannions, Gruntle calls together the citizens of Capustan, leading them against the invaders, breaking a couple of their assaults. During this, he is blessed by Trake, Tiger of Summer, and becomes his Mortal Sword. He travels with the Malazans to Coral, helping in the destruction of the Domin. Toc the Younger( a character from the first book) is teleported to an area far the the South. There, he travels with a T'lan Imass, Onoos T'oolan, Lady Envy, 3 Seguleh, an ay, and a huge dog. He is split up from them and imprisoned and tortured by the Pannion Seer. Onoos T'oolan rescues him, but Toc dies, unleashing Togg the Wolf god who was hiding within him. Toc then is sent back to the mortal realm, possessing the body of Anaster, a former Pannion. He then becomes Togg's Mortal Sword and Gruntle's friend.These are only a few stories hiding within this book. That's probably why it's so thick. As with all books by Steven Erikson, the second half was much more exciting than the first part. I am humbled by how intricately the storyline is woven and how deep this world is. I will never understand why I thought the person on the front was a Jaghut. I really feel like I'm starting to feel at home in this story, not on an unknown planet. In all, a great book! I'm hoping I'll read more of this series soon.
  • (4/5)
    This is the 3rd in a mammoth series. A series that is spawning further series after it, and a series that is not based on some giant media property like Star Wars or Star Trek.Now, having finished the 3rd, about 7 years after I bought it, i can give it a solid recommendation. One that you might even read as a stand-alone, though Erikson has done such a stellar job of world building that reading the first two is seriously encouraged. These books are rich. Rich in story, rich in detail, rich in pieces that are hidden to you as a reader and then a reveal happens and you know that something that just happened will be very important later even if it was trivial as you read it. That is how rich and well planned out the writing is. In a series that has several million words, to think that far ahead and place a seed shows that there is a vast difference between this and something like Jordan's Wheel of Time. WOT is my favorite, but Jordan's work shows that as he was successful and more books were called for, things were added. Here, reading this work, it gives the impression that everything that you encounter was thought of before Erikson wrote the first sentence.Something that perhaps forces Sanderson at present to reexamine how he tackles his Stormlight epic, and how others should regard their work. If you like fantasy, though this has many dark moments, and some of the abundance of magical and godlike interactions I found difficult to follow, you should be sure to add this to your library and read it.
  • (5/5)
    this is where the whole series really hits the sublime and the characters all become both larger than life and human all too human, including the dead. Dujek's semi-renegade army of disparate aims and unlikely alliances, perennially in danger of falling apart, finally comes together decisively in the aftermath of the last battle, in which the Bridgeburners fight their last engagement, while the Mott Irregulars make their bones by not being found, and both Whiskeyjack and Itkovian the Mortal Sword become legend. unexpected friendships act to change the world, the elder races gain an appreciation for the human ability to surprise, and the Malazan professional army offers a new model, a new way of looking at the world. meanwhile Lady Envy and her Seguleh conduct their own investigations, the Master of the Deck creates new choices, Silverfox's brave new birth as prophecy turns in on itself, the Barghast Hetan has a frank and interesting style of courtship in the field, Elder Warrens and Elder gods change their aspects, a K'Chain Che'Malle Matron embraces Toc the Younger to his considerable discomfort, and Bauchelain and Korbal Broach arrive. Anamander Rake singlehandedly wins a 10-second battle against two hundred thousand Tenescowri, but even the net result of the complexly disordered battle in Coral is not so easy to assess; fortunately, they import Duiker the Imperial Historian to come to terms and do the writeup.
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Books awesome but it would be better if there wasn't 15 hours missing on the audio book here on scribd had to buy it on iTunes to finish it

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    So far I have to say that this book, Memories of Ice, is my favorite of the series so far. It was so incredible that I never wanted to put it down. It was filled with intrigue, suspense, and betrayal, and there were times I almost cried. I found this book to be the easiest to read so far. I think if I went back to the other two books I would have a much easier time reading them and even enjoy them more knowing what I know now.

    In Memories of Ice we pick up where the first book, Gardens of the Moon, left off. Events occur at the same time as events taking place in the previous book, Deadhouse Gates, and if you read carefully there are clues to tell you where you are in the timeline of the second book.

    I loved being reunited with the Bridgeburners, Whiskyjack, Paran, and Quick Ben (definitely becoming my favorite character!). It was also interesting to learn more about Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake, and Dujek Onearm, as well as learning the fate of Sliverfox (Tattersail). All the characters are so well developed that they become real people and you develop feelings (good or bad) towards them. I have to say that the fate of one of the characters at the end almost left me in tears! It was incredible how the enemies from Gardens of the Moon became allies in this book! Very exciting to see them all working together and how they cope with that.

    The T’lan Imass were also very interesting and played a larger part in this book as they are being called to a gathering. I loved reading about Tool again! He is such an interesting character. There is probably going to be a book focusing of them because of something a T’lan Imass said in this book. Something about them fighting a war and not with a Jaught. Exciting! Oh! and there is something going on with Toc the Younger. I think he must play a pretty important role at some point.

    I also enjoyed the villains in the book. We are introduced to the Crippled God and the Seer. The Seer is the main focus of the story with the Crippled God sort of put on the back burner. They are very interesting and well developed and I enjoyed reading about them. We will find out more about the Crippled God later.

    The one thing I did not like reading about was the Mhybe storyline. I just didn’t find that to be very interesting. It was just kind of annoying hearing about her complain all the time and her dreaming was just weird. You will understand when you read the book. Trust me.

    The battles were well written, interesting, and detailed. I felt as if I was in the middle of them. Especially during the last battle. The aftermath was just too horrible and filled with sorrow. I almost broke down several times.

    Throughout the entire book you follow the soldiers as they travel from place to place and attempt to win their battles. This sounds so incredibly boring, but Erikson does a marvelous job making this one of the most incredible series I have ever read. He really knows how to write! He is an amazing storyteller. It’s his characters and the stories behind them that make the book so interesting. I can’t wait to read the next book!

  • (5/5)
    i'm upgrading this shit to 5 stars!! why!? because when i read it the first time i was nothing but an ignorant fool!!!! i curse my ignorance!!! my stupidity!!! curse me!!! curse me to hell!!!! this book is awesome!!! i just didn't know who was who when i was reading it the first time!! nor how funny Erikson can fucking be!!!! poor Toc the Younger!!!! and lady Envy is awesome!!! and hot!!! and funny!!!!!! guaaaa!!!!!! !
  • (4/5)
    Erikson doesn't give you a lot of time to breath in stories. There is always something important happening or preparing to happen. You can skim over some of the descriptive fluff if that's your style but don't skim for more than a paragraph or two lest you miss the opening to a great confluence of peoples or events that set the stage for even greater moments.

    So far in the three books we have met the forces of the Malazan Empire, the people of Pale (who fought the Malazan's), the people of Darujhistan (who also opposed the Malazan encroachment), Caladan Brood's armies, the Tiste Andii and Anadomer Rake, a couple Jaghut's, K'Chain Che'Maille, the army of the apocolypse in Raraku, a single Toblaki (some other race), the Pannion Domin's forces, the tribal Barghast, insect like Moranth, Gods, Ascendants, and quite a bit more. It can be a bit overwhelming at times but, at the same time, it all ends up making sense. So if you start to feel intimdated by the sheer scope of the novels stick with it - I don't think you'll regret it.
  • (5/5)
    I stand corrected. Memories of Ice is at least as good as, and maybe a little more consistent than, Deadhouse Gates. It's just as tragic but in much, much more personal ways than the epic but somewhat faceless Chain of Dogs. And the concept behind the Shield Anvil - a priest of a war god devoted to cleansing the psychic scars of war - is brilliant and well-executed. I keep expecting the series to head downhill but this is not the point where it does, for sure.
  • (5/5)
    Memories of Ice is the third in Erikson's epic Malazan Empire series. Chronologically this book happens simultaneously with events from Deadhouse Gates. We pick back up with Dujek Onearm's host and Whiskeyjack with his Bridgeburners a few months after their failure to take Darujjhistan. The power known as the Pannion Domin is spreading across the continent like a plague, devouring all in its path. The threat is enough that the Malazans unite with their former enemies, Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake, in an attempt to save the continent.This book is easily my favorite of the series so far. There is so much going on at all times. This isn't fantasy for the weak of heart. Things are packed with emotion. Some of the horrifying scenes from Deadhouse Gates pale in comparison to what happens in Memories of Ice. To balance this Erikson has added in humor that helps lighten what is happening without cheapening anything. Beautifully written, many plot twists and he pulls off a multifaceted climax at the end. Erikson has hit his stride with this book.
  • (5/5)
    I was looking forward to this third volume since many Malazan readers cite it as their favourite. MoI quickly establishes itself as the easiest read of the series so far. Not only is it headlined by a broad assortment of characters we've already met, but the writing style has become less coy. Chapter Three, for example, is a paragon of informing the reader what's happening: we're given all the information we need to understand who the major players are and what the situation is. Erikson has rarely been so forthcoming as that. There's an abundance of character interactions I was intrigued by when two camps of former enemies must unite against a common foe. We begin to see what manner of opposition could possibly challenge their combined strength, and what the true stakes for the series as a whole will be. Through the first half, it really is a book that's difficult to put down and I felt this was easily the most engaging fantasy novel I've read in a long time. This mood carried me into and through the grim battle scenes in the middle that get a bit horrific, but are described in a factual way that prevented them from crossing my tolerance threshold. Similar to my experience with Deadhouse Gates, I wasn't deeply affected by these scenes no matter how grim they became. It might be my having read enough non-fiction about true life horror to make anything fictional pale by comparison. Less promising interpretation: the general 'sameness' of the characterizations shows its downside in these scenes, like watching a child randomly inflict casualties among rows of toy soldiers. Towards the end some of these events were more effective when they hit closer to home.I wasn't always enthused about the use of humour. I like soldier dialogue, but the novel's third quarter has too much of it and the story lags a bit. Dire attention was no longer required when reading every page during the casual scenes with little consequence. Worst for me were the "three stooges" bits: Quick Ben drops Kallor down a hole, Picker confronts Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, Emancipor's toothache. I can't see what purpose Bauchelain and Korbal Broach serve. They're the stars of some short fiction the author's written on the side, but in MOI they are only a sideshow.If the entire series of ten books could be reissued as a trilogy, MOI would conclude its first volume. It builds on everything we've learned about the Malazan's world so far and sets up the series' true framework. There's some great links to the second volume's events which took place simultaneously. Best of all, I'm finally comfortable with the workings of this world (even as I'm sure there's surprises yet to come.) This is my primary enjoyment of the series - being challenged by its scale. MOI as a novel didn't quite impress me to the degree I expected, but it kept me invested in following Erikson's world and characters into the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Erickson returns to form with a splash, giving some closure to the story he begun with Gardens of The Moon. Whilst Memories of Ice is not entirely free from the foibles which marred my enjoyment of the previous book, Deadhouse Gates, the positives make up for the negatives. A new, cannibalistic cult threatens to overwhelm the continent of Genabackis. Thrown together in an uneasy alliance, the Malazan empire and their previous adversaries unite to put down the uprising. Of course, such a pithy summary does absolutely no justice to the amount of plot Erikson squeezes into this novel - and discovering (or rather, uncovering) it is half the pleasure of the book. From an already ambitious base, Erikson's ambition balloons yet further, and he's far more generous in dolling out information in Memories of Ice. Many unexplained incidents from prior novels begin to make sense, and this extends beyond the mythic histories, and into character's motivations and emotions. I found the latter in particular the most rewarding part of Memories of Ice when assessing it as an entry in a series. Characters we had heretofore viewed at a remove, inscrutable at best, simply boring at worst, reveal depths and facets which makes them far more three-dimensional, and also inject the book with a large amount of pathos at times. Rest assured, this is all rendered in typically melodramatic style, but I think Erikson has a particular genius for making melodrama work (mostly, I'll get into that in a second). The bombastic, world-bending story and the sometimes pompous, theatrical delivery engender a kind of mythic tone. When coupled to the all-too-clear weariness and desperation of the protagonists, it left me feeling that "it" - the story, the events, whatever - really did matter.Far less successful are most of Erikson's attempts at humour, and the often painfully cliched "soldier banter" that too often rings false, is disappointingly monotonous, and had me grimacing every time someone "drawled" something (there is a lot of drawling. Way, way too much). This aspect of the books owes a very clear debt to Glen Cook, and I think it can be pretty mixed when he uses it, too. Further, the essentially interchangeable characters that mostly give voice to this banter really took me out of the story, and highlighted the constructed nature of so much of it. It felt like a lesser writer penning the wan badinage and really stupid segments involving two necromancers. The same writer is content to fill his novels with many a happy lesbian, but for an army that seems 80% male, Erikson has trouble scratching up a single gay guy. I don't mean to make a big deal of it, but these elements seem very "fan-service" to me, and they show a more juvenile side to both the genre and this series in particular. The only other real weakness to Memories of Ice - and in my opinion the most critical - is, once again, the violence. For someone that clearly understands the impact that interior, emotional journeys can have on a reader, Erikson still seems obsessed with the notion that if one dead body is sad, a million must be a million times sadder. Memories of Ice features literal ziggurats bodies, houses stuffed so full of corpses the foundations are split, and all manner of lovingly rendered torture, cannibalism and massacres. I've read the various defences of these excesses from Erikson and others, and I don't buy them. It's gratuitous, very tiring as a reader, and depressingly undergraduate in my opinion. The _many_ pages devoted to this do not make the book stronger, and the same reality and emotional impact could have been conveyed with far fewer words. Instead, I was left thinking of a scene in Hot Shots 2, with a rapidly growing body counter on the screen showing how many people Topper killed.However, despite these objections, I enjoyed the book. Erikson displays some really masterful pacing here. Writers juggling chapters from multiple viewpoints often have one "true" story, and others are merely a form of exposition or padding, but Memories of Ice was satisfying no matter who the chapter was tracing. Even better, the threads are brought together for a genuinely exciting and emotional climax that reveals much about the series' characters, world, and larger plot. No mean feat. Memories of Ice - like the books before it - gets critical charity from me that I won't typically extend to fantasies. Why? Because it's the only series that I've read in a long, long time, that really lives up to the designation of "epic". Erikson's commitment to go big or go home is dizzying at times, and you can't help but shake your head admirably at something so ambitious - even when it doesn't work. And when it does fail, interestingly, it's not when attempting to do something few other fantasies try, but when it's doing the stuff every other fantasy is going for. But whatever. The series, thus far, is not without its flaws, but at the end of book three, I feel like I'm reading something really seminal for the genre, and the criticisms are overcome by its many pleasures.
  • (4/5)
    I think I need a break from Erikson -- I'm starting to get all Malazanned out after having read three straight. I'm viewing the faults of each succeeding book less charitably, yet I don't really believe they're that different, or that Memories of Ice is that much worse. For a series that already starts out so incredibly arcane, though, when it begins to climb up its own ass, the effect is that much more bewildering. The system of the warrens only barely teetered on the edge of making sense in the preceding books before this, and in Memories Erikson seems to take the full plunge into the deep end of just making shit up whenever, wherever suits his purrpose. So omtose Phellack was destroyed, but they made another one out of more or less thin air, and now it's hidden and now's it's even the best warren because it's protected from the Crippled God's infection? Is that the correct interpretation of what happened? I was hoping for the beginning for just a bit of hand-holding, but that was never to be, and I'm starting to roll my eyes at every latest absurd complication. That scene with Itkovian and the T'lan Imass, in particular, was definitely one of the wackest things I've ever laid eyes on. The Shield Anvil and the zombies are haggle over the T'lan Imass' ancestral angst as though it were a sack of potatoes to be bandied back and forth; Itkovian wants to "take" (by what process, or what he'll do with it once he has it, never satisfactorily explained) their pain so that they can become mortal again (I think), the T'lan resist him because they don't want to hurt the poor mortal. In the end, after Itkovian stands just a little too tall and looks a little too stern to be resisted, declaring, "Your pain, T'lan Imass. Now," they, uh, give it to him. And he dies. OK. I sure wish I could learn that trick of making someone kick the bucket by giving them all my pain. That's just the most extreme example of a phenomenon I can't help but see as a flaw -- to take something sublime and mysterious and treat it as matter-of-factly as if it were plain as day for everyone involved. Which, for several of the more powerful characters, may indeed be the case, but it's not true for us, the readers. It feels cheap that Paran, by benefit of now being Master of the Deck, can now do any fucking thing he wants. And there are more ways for Erikson's favorite dead characters to be reincarnated in world than there are media for Harry Potter to talk to his dead parents -- that is, tons. If Aerith would have come back at the end of Final Fantasy VII, would her death have been as big a deal? It's nice to see Baudin staggering around again with two swords strapped to his hands, but isn't it a little cheap? And what is with Erikson's obsession with dudes carrying two swords? Baudin has two swords that he can't get rid of, the K'Chain Che'malle have swords instead of hands, the Seguleh fight with two swords, and Gruntle swears he won't put his two swords down until Capustan is liberated, or whatever. It's more than a quirk, it's disturbing now. And if, as an Erikson hero, you're not wielding two, you're at least swinging a two-handed weapon, like Anomander Rake with Dragnipur or Caladan Brood with his giant hammer. Shields are for pussies, I guess. Other observations: Whiskeyjack is really beginning to hit the drink hard in his old age. Stressful night in the command tent? "I've got a lonely cask of Gredfallan ale!" Tense conversations between warlords? "I've got a lonely cask of Gredfallen ale!" Sealing a friendship with an alien leader so that you can bone his second-in-command? "I've got a lonely cask of Gredfallan ale!" Whereas Erikson's other heroes hold swords in both hands, Whiskeyjack double-fists beer mugs. ... Erikson is as hypocritical as a gangsta rapper in his lightning-fast oscillations between lamenting human aggression and lasciviously glorifying it ("'Damn, war sucks,' said the Bridgeburners as they stumbled over piles and piles of corpses they'd dismembered, blood draining out of the wasted flesh and pooling thigh-deep in Capustan's gore-drowned streets" -- I'm paraphrasing, but there are about a hundred sentences in Memories that are just like this). ... Seriously, though, does everyone have to become a god? Can't some of these characters just stay mortal?For all my bitching, I still didn't hate Memories. Rather, the series is becoming like an old friend I love to rib. Erikson can still write a hell of a battle scene; and the confrontation between Whiskeyjack and Kallor is one of the most thrilling sequences of the whole series so far. It's still lots of fun to sink into this super-nerdy world, though I'm having to apologize to myself more and more as the plot twists get ludicrous-er and ludicrous-er.
  • (5/5)
    The best book (so far) of the Malazan series. Former enemies unite to take on a rising tide of fanatics. The war, seemingly limited, turns into something entirely unexpected, and linked to an enemy no one is certain they can defeat, an enemy who is poisoning the land itself.Flashes of humor, in the midst of misery and horror, complex and multi-layered characters, a heart-thudding pace, leaves you exhausted by the ending yet still wanting more.And I soooo want a book about Brood, Rake and Lady Envy's younger day exploits!
  • (4/5)
    What to make of the Books of the Fallen? I was rather lukewarm to the Malazan series after the first two volumes. Both Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates had their moments but were undone in various different ways. I had elected to give the series one final try with Memories of Ice and to give up on the series if it didn't sufficiently impress me. Well, impress me it did: MoI is definitely the best Malazan book so far and I've been persuaded that the series is worth continuing with after all.In a way though, this is a curious affair. It does seem to me that it would be much better to read this book straight after GotM rather than DG. The meat of the story, of perhaps the entire series, seems to have been revealed here and that adds a lot of impetus to the overall story that was slightly lacking from both previous books. Then there are the little details: the Trygalle Trade Guild seemed like a huge deus ex machina in DG, but actually seems much more reasonable in the context of this book. Even the epilogue of MoI seems like a set up for reading DG thereafter. Having finished MoI, I really didn't think that much, if anything, would be spoilt by reading this book before the previous instalment. But that's just my opinion and I'm not sure how many might agree or disagree.As for MoI on its own... It was very good. Not perfect by any means, but very good. I don't think Erikson is quite as good a writer as the likes of Abercrombie or GRRM are, or at least he's not as consistent. Erikson's dialogue can veer from sharp and insightful to clunky, and there are times when events are recounted and explained for us in such an obvious way that it's silly. Yet for all of that the siege of Capustan and the assault on Coral are set piece spectaculars that will live long in my memory alongside other memorable recent fantasy chapters like the Red Wedding. After three books I feel like I'm comfortable in knowing what to expect from Erikson in terms of prose: very solid, capable of the odd misstep but still with an ability to write scenes of great power.Although, for all his many words and pages, I'm still not entirely convinced about Erikson's ability to write nuanced characters or even detail his fantasy world. The likes of Dujek and Whiskeyjack are likeable characters but I'm not sure I could say what type of person they were beyond, honourable and reliable. In fact many of the characters in this novel fall into that sort of category. They're enjoyable to spend time with but they're not all that distinct, something I think seen most obviously in the slightly amorphous unit that are the Bridgeburners. Similarly, although Erikson has given his world a long history some of its more recent aspect feel rather vague, even after some 3000 pages. For me the most obvious example of this is the Malazan empire itself - 3000 pages and I don't know much of its structure, how it came to be or even its motivations for expansion (perhaps I'm supposed to assume that's just what empires do?). This might be fleshed out in future books (and Erikson has certainly answered some of my early criticisms as the series has progressed) but when these books are so long it feels a little frustrating to notice some central parts of the world aren't fully rounded.As ever it's easier to focus on what you don't like than what you do but one thing I must give Erikson special credit for is having woven a story which mixes very well an immediate and low level threat with a greater but further off danger. I think in this area the author has done as well as the likes of GRRM in A Song of Ice and Fire in balancing out the needs for action now with a greater danger further down the line.Every Malazan book is a mammoth undertaking but I'm glad I gave the series one more try. The story came to life this time round and even if the characters aren't all wonderfully multi-faceted I was still gripped by the carnage that unfolded in MoI. I now want to know where the story will go and how it will be resolved - and at the end of the day you can't ask for too much more than that. I'm finally a believer, I think the Malazan series really is worth the effort.
  • (5/5)
    I found this to be the most interesting of the series so far. There was no drag unlike the last one which was a little slow at times. It re-introduced and further developed many of the main characters from the first book. I can't say enough about this series it is fantastic. Must say I was a little sad about the end of the Bridgeburners and the death of Whiskeyjack and others. All in all excellen ....On to the next one!
  • (5/5)
    In some ways this was even better than Erikson's superb, compelling, and astonishing Deadhouse Gates. BUT, I did have some issues with unexplained character actions, and the conclusion of the book left me somewhat unsatisfied. I still believe that Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series is the best of the huge multi-volume fantasy epics in progress. Many of the strengths of the first two volumes remain: a multi-layered and complex world and magic system that are internally consistent, gritty military campaigns, surprises, momentous events, and an interesting mixture of characters and races (human and non-human). Several of the new characters are strong, and we learn much about the fascinating past and present of Erikson's world. As I indicated, most of this book was superb. My disappointment with Memories of Ice comes down to my perception that the plot is driven by curious actions by key characters that are never really convincingly explained. WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. . .Things like Silverfox's treatment of the Mhybe, Dujak's efforts to secretly rush his forces to Coral before his allies, or Paran and Quick Ben's lenience with the Seer. And the two necromancers take up quite a bit of plot time, without any explanation of who they really are and why they are here. On the other hand, I suspect that these books might be better the second time around; perhaps these actions made sense and I just missed it, or perhaps they will be explained in later volumes. A very good book, but ultimately not up to par with the best of the series.
  • (5/5)
    I am amazed at the amount of emotion that Erikson managed to pull out of me for these characters. From epic battles with epic consequences to personal battles with very dear personal consequences, I was hooked and invested.My only debate was whether to go ahead and read House of Chains next, or to go read something lighter for a while. HoC it is...
  • (5/5)
    Another vast epic piece. In this one we meet mortals, gods, ascendants, see the passing of some, the birth of several others, the vanishing of the bridgeburners, by Dujek's wish.A synopsis is hard - the book is 1200 pages long. Lots is discovered about the nature of the threat still to come. More new peoples and powers are revealed.Yet again this could become massive, wandering and imprenetrable. Instead it remains wondeful, twisting and enthralling. Whilst it's a huge war story, armies, sieges and so forth, there's a hugely tender and affecting love story with a tragic ending woven through the story too.It should have 6 stars really.
  • (4/5)
    Erikson has got one heck of a word processor, or he's been writing mauscripts for years and just got them all published at once. Continuation of the Mazazan Book of the Fallen, and like its predecessors a major effort of worldbuilding. Well worth it, but start with "Gardens of the Moon."