Deadhouse Gates Library Binding – May 9 2008
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Steven Erikson returns to a world of awesome magic and harsh reality, unbelievable suffering and unexpected joy in Deadhouse Gates, the second tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Readers of the first book, Gardens of the Moon, will be familiar with some of the characters, including members of the Bridgeburners seeking to assassinate the Empress Laseen. But we also meet many new players, prominent among them participants in the Whirlwind, the prophesied revolt of the Seven Cities against the Malazan Empire. We follow the journeys and suffering of Felisin, a young girl betrayed into slavery by her sister, and of Coltaine, the Malazan Fist, who must lead his army across the desert while protecting 30,000 desperate refugees. We also come to know Duiker, the Imperial Historian, witness to events both inspirational and despicable.
Deadhouse Gates is a dark fantasy, with graphic and horrific violence. But the violence, often quite extreme, is not glorified--it's a direct consequence of the characters' decisions. The depth of historical background and complexity of plot separates Erikson's vision from most other large-scale fantasy series. His characters inhabit a world whose history stretches back tens of thousands of years, and the schemes they hatch are inspired by some ancient catastrophe as often as they're motivated by their own desires. The result is a novel that keeps the reader riveted for 900 pages, eager to find out what happens next. --Greg L. Johnson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
*Starred Review* The second of the projected 10 volumes of the Malazan Book of the Fallen raises the stakes set by Gardens of the Moon [BKL My 15 04]. From the Holy Desert Raraku, in the land of the Seven Cities, the seer Sha'ik sends her followers out on a holy war known as the Whirlwind. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the current violent Islamic jihad, but Erikson's scholarship is sufficiently thorough to enable him to avoid simpleminded likeness making. His imagination is also sufficient to bring the setting of the Seven Cities vividly to life, although his realism is rather literally gritty, including a great deal of sand and gravel that will inevitably recall for some readers a country in which American troops are now fighting. The opposition to the Whirlwind is varied but includes the inevitable mercenaries, limned in the manner that stems from David Drake's sf and in fantasy is practiced particular skillfully by Glen Cook. Erikson is making his dark characters and grisly battles very much his own, however, and fantasy readers with a strong appetite for world building and action ought to enjoy his efforts. Whether they'll stay for all 10 volumes is another matter, but so far, so good. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
You really can describe this series like a motorcycle, it just keep accelerating to breakneck speeds.
This book takes place on an entirely different continent under Malazan rule, and concerns some new characters (amongst which is Ganoes Paran's youngest sister Felisin), but also has a few Bridgeburners (Kalam & Fiddler), and other known names from the 1st book (Apsalar/Sorry, Crokus, and Moby). While the scope of characters grows ever larger, so does the plot. It is in this book that you can see the slow and gentle weave of the story threads for the whole series. Like I have said in other reviews, Erikson is purposely using each subsequent book to make characters grow personally. Some complaints about GotM were that he doesn't spend the time to make you care about characters, but he TOTALLY is....he just didn't do it in one book. I think he knows he has 10 books to make this series, and to be honest with the complainers.....when you watch a two hour movie, do you fall in love with the personalities (or even KNOW them well) in the first 10 minutes? No sir, you do not. Example of how this works effectively. Fiddler in the first book was a fellow Sapper with Hedge, and they spent their time getting excited about munitions, and grumbling about soldiery ect. Not too much there right? Well that's because Fiddler takes a lead role in DHG and you get to know him down to his core in this book (and get to know Hedge in a similar fashion in the 3rd book Memories of Ice). He's taking his time, and I for one find that REFRESHING!Read more ›
The story never gets boring; you get to see all the heroes' flaws and villains' good sides. Also Erikson doesn't associate villains with black and darkness and all that other nonesense found in most books.
Well, that's it I guess. I recommend it to all readers up to a challenge. Never slows down but can get a bit complex - NOT FOR AMATEUR READERS!!!
Although Erikson's style and skill as a fantasy writer is evident throughout this entire series (and also in his short stories, "Blood Follows" and "The Healthy Dead"); I feel this is his finest writing achievement to date... let me elaborate a little.
As with his other books in this Malazan series, there are several story lines in this novel as well, but the main tale of Coltaine and his soldiers of the Seventh Malazan Army simply excels; this hopelessly outnumbered group tries to protect thousands of refugees while traveling vast distances across hostile terrain and against countless odds. It was to me, one of the truly stirring, written accounts of any epic journey... anywhere; one of those rare narratives that has the ability to sweep you up and almost make you a part of the story line. I was emotionally involved with the telling of this wonderfully drawn out tale and unashamedly distraught at it's end.
Some "side" stories (for example, Mappo and Icarium and also that of Fiddler and Kalam, to mention a couple) are nearly as good the main plot, with their own interesting twists and turns.
All in all, just great fantasy writing! If you love this genre, you simply must have this book. Highly recommended! 5 Stars (more if I could)
Set shortly after the connected events of "Gardens of the Moon", the narrative follows a number of characters (some we have already met) with individual motives, travelling in groups throughout the civil-war-torn continent of the Seven Cities (Genabackis returns in Book 3). This is a land with different dynamics and changing allegiances. There is enough intrigue and incident to keep the reader interested, no, obsessed with each group, especially Coltain's March.
What I truly love about Deadhouse Gates is that not only has Erikson recaptured the spirit of Book 1, but has written Book 2 with a plotline that accelerates and doesn't let go. I felt I read the last 300 pages faster than I had ever read before.
Don't have any doubts about continuing this series, it is masterfully written. Erikson attempts to be huge in scope, and he actually succeeds - moreso than anyone since Tolkien. He is the new 'High Fist' of epic fantasy. Treat yourself.
Most recent customer reviews
Another deeply satisfying adventure across a wonderful historical collage.
These stories surely reveal an age that must have occurred somewhere, somewhen, and
they must... Read more
The are three written events that have shaped modern fantasy, that resonate forever with us, the readers, that have set the bar for decades to come
The... Read more
had it before and didnt like it then was fooled by new cover. Wasted my money on this.Published 13 months ago by Robin
As much as I love these books, they can be hard to follow at times. For an avid fantasy fan, I would recommend Deadhouse Gates and the rest of the Malazan Book of the Fallen tales... Read morePublished 18 months ago by JGIRO403
A great sequel to the first Malazan book, "Gardens of the Moon". Steven Erikson has an epic to rival the greats... Tolkien; C.S.Lewis; George Martin etc. Read morePublished on March 25 2013 by kallith
I have just finished the second book and was blown away. Gardens of the moon was good, don't get me wrong, but Deadhouse Gates made it look criminal to be published. Read morePublished on June 15 2011 by Ken S
If you managed to struggle through the first book, your efforts will be well rewarded on this one. Really good. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2011 by Anthony Fowler