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.
©2006 Steven Erikson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"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)
This audiobook improved in both story and performance over Gardens of the Moon. I feel like Lister had a better handle on differentiating voices between the characters. I half-listened to / half-read this book, and enjoyed the story more than the first. If you were on the fence about continuing this book, I would go for it.
I don't think that anyone would disagree that Steven Erikson is an exceptional writer, so getting that out of the way first, let me just say: Every trite historical detail about every little mundane thing bores the crap out of me. I'm not saying it's garbage or bad because of this, he writes with a greatly all encompassing style and you can tell he wants his world to be very detailed. I'm just saying, dragging myself through boring chapter after boring chapter about a bunch of characters I really don't care about just to hear more about the one or two I do, or for that one battle that is so awesome and beyond the scope of other writers, WAS SUCH A STRENUOUS TASK, I'm not sure if I'll continue to the next book.
The hounds are awesome, Kalam is awesome. That's about it imo, if you're like me that's all you'll get out of this book, so beware, it's probably about 4 chapters worth of the really good stuff.
Ralph Lister is fantastic, hands down, right up there with steven pacey, he's great.
I'm definitely going to try to find someone's review with more knowledge of the series to find out if it's worth it or not, cause this book dragged so much I really wouldn't bother if the rest of them are like this one.
I actually started the first Malazan Book as an audiobook quite a while ago. I hated it, it was an absolute slog to get through and I was constantly lost. Then a few months back I bought it as an ebook on a whim and loved it! I bought the second book , deadhouse gates, as an ebook as well and really enjoyed it, and about a third of the way in I bought the audiobook due to the reduced price and because I wanted to check out whispersync.
Long story short: These books are hard to listen to. The performance is decent enough, but the way it is written makes them uniquely geared towards actually reading them. the switching viewpoints, the difference between inner monologues and dialogues, the complicated names, all of these factors make it really hard to enjoy this book purely in the spoken form.
My recommendation: Read these books, don't listen to them (at least not exclusively).
Still a tough "read" but the performance is second to none. The themes, visuals and imagination here are amazing. Some of the scenes will stick with me forever. I find I still struggle to understand what is going on at points but that is mainly because of the way I listen (i.e not carefully) so I miss much of the hints and nuance. Rewarding and worth it.
Oh boy! What a story! I have had a love/hate relationship with this series. It is constantly recommended to me and I did not understand what the fuss was about. It took me a year to get through this book. I finally found time to truly commit my attention and my attention was rewarded.
Deadhouse Gates develops many of story telling devices implemented in Gardens of the Moon while amping everything up to 11. There are epic battles and tragic events, all of which are engrossing. There were moments where my breath was taken away by the sheer awesomeness of certain scenes.
People tend to give Erikson the benefit of the doubt in terms of the complexity of his writing. I find it to be a great barrier to enjoying his stories. However, things come together in a far more understandable way. Book 1 of GotM is not repeated in this book. Erikson's command of lanugage and prose is exemplary and I loved the imagery he used in creating the world around him. His characters appear to be flat in some instances and garish and lively in others.
I now will address the performance of Ralph Lister. I was not impressed in Lister's character voices at all. They were inconsistent at some times and lacked diversity in many ways. I felt like two characters in particular had almost identical voices which became a challenge when those characters travelled together for the final half of the book. Lister's transitions also leave much to be desired. This may be an editing flaw, but sometimes it felt like Lister rushed right into the next scene without indicating to the audience that a transition had occurred until half a paragraph into the new scene. So far, I am rather grateful that Lister is replaced by the fourth book, because I recommend this book to anyone who wants a grand epic story that doesn't pull any punches or take the audience for granted.
Best of all the Malazan fallen books, and the others a literary gold. This book will provoke all emotions of the reader without a dull moment. Ericson is a master, take the time to listen several times.
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