Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered theSynopsis:
Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...
I very much enjoyed this sequel. Alex ends up right in the middle of trouble once again and once again it mostly starts because of Luna. I'm glad she's still around, though I wanted to shake her a few times. I got where she was coming from, but she just wasn't hearing what Alex had to say. I don't blame her for wanting that curse gone, especially if the way to get rid of it was as easy as it sounded. She just wasn't trying to pay attention to the consequences of what she and her new pal Martin were up to. Alex for his part, could have handled the whole thing better. I'm glad he came to his senses. Too bad that once he had his revelation, the bad shit was already in progress.
Both Alex and Luna let themselves get played this time. As soon as Alex learned that Meredith was an enchantress, he should have sent her packing. They could have avoided a hell of a mess that way. Granted, if he had try to do that, she likely could have just used her magic to get him to change his mind. It seems to be the type of magic you can't really protect yourself against because you just can't tell when an enchantress is using her magic. Your thoughts may be your own, they may not be. And of course there was Luna getting involved with Martin. That little shit caused all kinds of problems. He ended up getting what he deserved, though. Good riddance.
Here's hoping Alex will be more careful about who he agrees to do work for from now on, too. Those Council members do so love using him for their own ends. This time things got really close to ending badly. Alex and his crew won in the end, but it was seriously a near thing.
Cinder and Rachel were around again this time, too. You would think those two would quit trying to use magic they can't handle, but they just don't. There was a surprising turn of events with those two that I didn't expect, but it actually worked out okay. My favorite part about that was seeing Cinder tell Alex he's a predator. I think Cinder's character assessment of Alex was pretty spot on. And then there's Garrick. I wonder if we'll be seeing him pop back up? And of course, Levistus is likely pissed at Alex all over again.
Alex has brought even more attention to himself with the conclusion of this latest case. What will happen to him if it's ever confirmed that he was directly involved with the disappearance of those Light mages? I think he and Luna have learned their lessons, though. Next time they're suspicious about someone, they'll pay closer attention....more
Divorced mother of one, Charlie Madigan, lives in a world where the beings of heaven and hell exist among us, and they aren't the things of SSynopsis:
Divorced mother of one, Charlie Madigan, lives in a world where the beings of heaven and hell exist among us, and they aren't the things of Sunday school lessons and Hallmark figurines. In the years since the Revelation, they've become our co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens.
Charlie works for ITF (Integration Task Force). It's her job to see that the continued integration of our new "friends" goes smoothly and everyone obeys the law, but when a new off-world drug is released in Underground Atlanta, her daughter is targeted, and her ex-husband makes a fateful bargain to win her back, there's nothing in heaven or earth (or hell for that matter) that Charlie won't do to set things right.
I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit. Over the past year or so, I've been unable to decide as to whether or not I was going to read this book, but then Olivia read it and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, so I decided to give it a go. I wasn't going to read this one just yet, but the stupid book wouldn't get out of my head, so I caved and read it early. I actually ended up reading it all in one night.
I really, really wanted to know what was going on with Charlie. I did guess partially right, but was still surprised when what happened actually came to light. (view spoiler)[I knew those nightmares were really memories. (hide spoiler)] What I didn't expect was to find out just who was involved in it. It turns out, that there was a reason for Charlie's back-to-life experience and when she finds out what it is, she wants no part of it. Of course, the bad guys do anything to get their way. She manages to thwart them a bit, but things aren't over just yet.
I like the way the world is set up here. The Off-worlders (angels, demons, jinn, sirens, fae, ghouls and other creatures) have been steadily migrating to Earth from their own worlds and all police officers have to have an Off-worlder partner. Charlie's partner is a siren and she and Hank manage to get into all kinds of trouble, but they are good cops. The plot moves at a steady pace and I never felt lost or bored. There's actually quite a lot that happens in this book despite it not being all that long (at least, not to me, anyway) and some major changes happen to several characters. I'm interested in seeing how they change after what's happened to them. I'm really interested in seeing if Charlie and her crew can do something to get rid of the darkness and what will happen now that a certain serial killer is on the loose (how the hell did he get out, anyway?).
There isn't really romance in the book just yet, per se, but Charlie does have some encounters with her ex-husband who wants to get back together. That gets resolved in a way that I think I expected, but was also unexpected at the same time. Hank seems to be developing his own romance, but with what happened to him, I'm wondering how that will play out. I hope someone can help him. And of course, there's Charlie's sister Bryn. She has a lot to deal with now, too. I wonder if she'll let Aaron comfort her like I'm sure he wants to.
I'll certainly be continuing the series to see how things develop.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means beSynopsis:
Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick.
Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.
And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters. If they didn’t hate each other quite so much.
Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.
I hadn't meant to put finishing this off for so long. I think that by the time I'd reached the end of it, I must have needed to take a break from so much Epic Fantasy since it'd been all I'd been reading for two months and I set it aside and just never picked it back up. Not because there was anything wrong with it. There wasn't. I actually loved it more than the first book.
The journey is finally underway and the traveling companions couldn't stand each other any less. Some of them get a little closer during the journey, but there's always that wall. I was just happy that Jezal finally started to learn some respect for Logen. I hated the way he kept looking down on him, but his character seemed to have the most development in this book. Made him a lot more likable. And Ferro isn't so bad once you get to know her a little better. It seems in the end though, that all that journeying didn't pay off. I'm still wondering wtf has gotten into Quai. He's been acting really strange and I don't trust him. I'm not so sure I care much for Bayaz anymore, either. His temper is ugly.
I still very much like the chapters from Dogman's POV. They managed to get the Union to allow them to help, but lose one of their own in the mess. That was sad. Then there's West. He did something really unexpected and I can't be mad at him for that. Still, I'm conflicted over his character.
Glokta remains my favorite. His inner thoughts still amuse the hell out of me. He's gotten himself into a bind with Valint and Balk, though. I really hope he survives to the end. And gets rid of Arch Lector Sult somehow. I hate that man. I'm interested in seeing how he plays things out.
There's still Bethod and his damned Feared to defeat. What will Bayaz do now? Surely he won't still try to defeat Khalul? Will Ferro really try to go back south for vengeance? How will Jezal be received back home with his new looks? Will Logen ever be reunited with his friends? Will the king die and be replaced? Will Glokta find out the truth behind that murder? What about the Eaters? The Shanka? So much to wrap up....more
In Northern Genabackis, tribal mountain warriors raid southern flatlands. Years later, Tavore, Adjunct to the Empress, enters the last MalazaSynopsis:
In Northern Genabackis, tribal mountain warriors raid southern flatlands. Years later, Tavore, Adjunct to the Empress, enters the last Malazan stronghold. New to command, she must hone 12,000 recrutis to resist the Whirlwind of her sister Sha in the Holy Desert. The power struggle of the seer's warlords threatens the soul of the rebellion.
It has been a long, long time since I last wrote a real review. I've been seriously slacking. However, I can't not write a review for an epic fantasy novel. It must be done now or I'll forget everything that I need to comment on. So much happens and so many things change over the course of an epic fantasy novel that if I put off writing the review, I'll forget most of the good stuff and there's plenty to be had here.
This book starts out differently than the others. In the first three books, we are introduced to multiple characters right at the start and you wonder what the hell any of these stories have to do with each other. Over the course of the book, you start to see them converge as all hell starts breaking loose. We get that in this one, too, except that the first few chapters (about 22%-25% of the book) are all from the POV of one character, Karsa Orlong.
Now, at first, I had no idea why Karsa Orlong was relevant. What did I care about some arrogant asshole who just cared about killing folks, raping women and earning glory? Half the time, he was willfully ignorant and others, just plain ignorant. From the moment he set out, he was being used. Honestly, I didn't like him even one little bit. The way he treated Bairoth and Delum was awful. He wouldn't listen to advice and he seemed to shun knowledge. I'll admit, he was damned powerful, though and pretty bad ass. When he first got himself captured by some Malazans, I was happy. But the longer he was enslaved, the more I began to feel for him. I actually started feeling sorry for him! I was happy that he had Tovald Nom with him to keep him sane and his spirit from being broken. I began to resent Karsa's "gods" who were only using him for some purpose that I knew was no good. Still, after everything he'd gone through, Karsa kept proving his badassery. And, he started to develop as a character. He begins to be more introspective and realizes what's going on around him. He learns and grows. He's still violent as hell. Rude, too. Yet, I can't get enough of Karsa and his unyielding personality. More of his POVs show up throughout the book and he even interacts with another of my most favorite characters who was introduced in book 2. Karsa doesn't along with most people, but I end up liking the people he does get along with because not very many people can handle Karsa's personality. It's a plus in their favor. Plus, it helps that Leoman is also a bad ass. Anyway, if I don't stop here, this review will turn into nothing but a worship of Karsa Orlong. I love he.
I was quite pleased with the cast of characters in this installment of the series. Kalam and Fiddler were both back. I felt bad for them when they learned what became of the Bridgeburners on Genabackis. There were some surprise Bridgeburner reunions, too. Lostara Yil and Pearl both return. We even get to see Gesler, Stormy and Truth again. That made me real happy. There's a lot of Cotillion in this book, too. And Iskaral Pust's crazy ass self. I was not happy to see Korbolo Dom and Kamist Reloe again, but it made sense considering what they did in Deadhouse Gates. They pay for it, too and that made me smile.
I'm not entirely sure how to feel about Heboric's new title, but I'm happy enough about it if it keeps him around for a while. He's still got to go back to that jade giant, though. As for those giants, he made a rather big discovery, though I'm not certain I completely understand that revelation. It's something big, for sure, but considering what happened right after Heboric had that vision or whatever it was, he got claimed by Treach and seemed to forget what just happened to him. He forgot a lot of things for a while. At least when he came back to his senses, he was able to take care of a few things.
The outcome of Tavore's army arriving in Raraku didn't go quite that way I was expecting. There was battle, yeah, but most of it was hidden. I was glad that Kalam, Quick Ben and Karsa got in on that action, though. There were also a hell of a lot of ghosts around. Hell, the ghosts did most of the damn killing. In the end, a certain character's death was a bit anti-climatic. (view spoiler)[Especially since Tavore doesn't know the truth of who she killed. (hide spoiler)] I suppose it was a mercy, in the end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The ravaged continent of Genabackis is a terrifying new empire, the Pannion Domin, that devours all. An uneasy allliance resists: Onearm's arSynopsis:
The ravaged continent of Genabackis is a terrifying new empire, the Pannion Domin, that devours all. An uneasy allliance resists: Onearm's army, Whiskeyjack's Bridgeburners and former enemies - forces of Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains. And the Crippled God intends revenge.
Ripped apart. That's what this book did to me. True, for most of the book, our characters are marching. They're marching against a horrible empire, but it takes them forever to friggin' get there. However, along the way, many revelations come to light. We learn a whole lot about Silverfox. We learn some things about Onearm's Host. Some characters come together in love. Old gods descend and new ones ascend. Really old gods return and take their rightful place. Really, the gods are really involved in this book. They were in the first one as well, and a bit in the second, but really involved here. And well they should have been considering the threat was mostly to them. It just affects everyone else as a side effect.
Once again, we meet a lot of new characters and I knew they would somehow meet up with old favorites and man did they ever. I fell in love with some of these new characters. I hope to see some of them again and I will mourn the loss of others. I will definitely be mourning the loss of a lot of my favorites. One of my favorites, I thought was lost forever, but him, at least, I got back in another state. I wonder if I'll see him again. I can't be too sure, but if not, at least I'll know he's still out there somewhere in his new capacity. I appreciated getting to better know characters that were only seen as enemies of the Malazan's in Gardens of the Moon. This was thanks in big part to how amazing a man Whiskeyjack is. I love Whiskeyjack. (view spoiler)[That is one loss to make me cry over and over again. My heart broke during that scene. If only he'd let someone look at that leg! (hide spoiler)] Whiskeyjack gained himself a lover and a very unexpected friend. The friendship with Anomander Rake made me so happy even admist all of the darkness occurring elsewhere on Genabackis. There was a lot of pain and suffering here. A lot of it inflicted on one of my most favorite characters from book 1 that I had not expected to love so much. I knew he would come back in the series at some point, but I never would have guessed that it would be in the role that he played. He was so hurt, but he was rewarded, in the end. Thank goodness for that.
Another character I came to love was Itkovian, Shield Anvil of Fener. What an amazing person. His outcome was fitting, but I cried my eyes out. I'm just glad he was able to do what he was able to do. The two marines that followed Silverfox I also loved. As well as Trotts, Picker, Blend and Hedge of the Bridgeburners. Gruntle and Stonny the Daru caravan guards. It was awesome seeing the unexpected return of Kruppe. Murillio and Coll. I came to really love Korlat and Caladan Brood, too. As well as Tool, that rouge T'lan Imass. My favorite character of the series by far remains Quick Ben, though. I love that scheming ass mage. Him and his brain and his ego and that grin he wears when he's up to something. You and Paran did good, Quick.
The Mhybe frustrated me. I understood why she was running during those dreams, but I wanted to throttle her. I started out feeling awful for her, but quickly came to dislike her strongly. My feelings for her mirror my feelings for Felisin in Deadhouse Gates. She frustrated the living crap out of me. She finally did the right thing in the end, but she took she damned long!
Anyway, I was crying like a baby during the last 12% of this book. I'd cry and cry and then the action would move on, but then someone else died and was bawling all over again. I never expected to get so invested in the characters in this series. The gods interfere in their live so very much that it's insane. Most of them swear to good intentions, but they seem to make situations worse, more than not. Their help only ever seems to actually help when a human has bullied them into providing it-much like Quick Ben does to Hood and Paran's tirade to Nightchill.
There were some extremely disturbing scenes in this book. The Tenescowri... I need say no more. The amount of death didn't seem as bad as what happened on the level of Deadhouse Gates, but there was still quite a lot of it. Especially during the battle of Capustan and the liberation of Coral. The end of what happened at Coral was even more sad for me than what happened to Coltaine at the end of Deadhouse Gates when they finally make it to Aren.
I can't help but wonder if Fiddler and Kalam will learn of what happened to the Bridgeburners and Whiskeyjack...
I can't wait to read the next book. These books can be pretty black, but they aren't total despair. Toc and Gruntle's conversation after Itkovian's funeral, Quick Ben and Paran's visit to Moon's Spawn, Hetan meeting Onos Toolan and the epilogue in Darujhistan show me that. I have hope that they will hold out, yet. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha’ik and her followers prepare for the long-prophesied uprisinDescription:
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.
This was one hell of a wicked read. I cried. I despaired. I hoped.
But I kept getting punched in the face!
This book picks up some time after the events of book 1. Fiddler and Kalam are traveling with Apsalar and Crokus to supposedly take her home, but first, they have to make a pit stop. And they all end up on some insane adventures. Never saw that coming. Those journeys were quite enthralling, though. Just when I can't begin to see how so many storylines seeming to be so separate could end up being so entwined with one another. Book 1 was like that, too. Steven Erikson introduces these characters and have them wandering about and enduring battles and you're wondering what any of these people and events have to do with one another, only to have multiple elements converge and have their fates all wrapped up in one another, at least for a time.
It's amazing that things can seem so confusing and disjointed for a great deal of the book, yet I can't-and don't want to-stop reading. I always have to know what these characters' purposes are. Erikson does not give us any frivolous POVs. Even when some of these characters make me want to hurt them badly. *cough*Felisin*cough* I was disappointed at first that so many of my favorites from book 1 would not be in attendance this time around. But some really good ones were introduced here. We did get to see some familiar faces, at least. Fiddler, Kalam, Apsalar and Crokus all make a comeback. We also saw Shadowthrone and Cotillion again, too and learned their true identities. Quick Ben even had a cameo, sort of. It seems that rebellion is popping up all over the place where the Malazan Empire has entrenched itself. Seven Cities rises up in rebellion and so much slaughter follows. It was horrible. Yet so gripping to read.
I came to love so many of these characters and their fates are appalling. I think I may see the return of them and damn do I hope so.
I'm not sure what else to say. I'm glad I continued on with this series and I'm going right to book three....more
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trappSynopsis:
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.
Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.
And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed...
...especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...
I found myself liking this quite a lot. It was incredibly easy to read and I ended up seriously liking the characters of Glokta and Logen. Jezal I didn't care so much about. He's such an ass, but perhaps love will get him to be a little less of one. Who's to know, though, considering the woman he falls so hard for isn't all that great of a person herself. I enjoyed the POVs from Major West as well. I was shocked by something he does to his sister, though. That was awful. I was feeling pretty bad for him up until then. I'd probably have wanted to hurt her, too, though. I get how she was feeling. She may as well have been invisible in Adua being that she isn't of noble blood, but she was acting a fool, too. Still, he had no right to do what he did and it was a bit of an extreme reaction, even with everything else that was going wrong in his life.
Glokta was my definite favorite. So cynical, but damned smart. I loved his inner observations. He better watch his back, though. Arch Lector Sult wants power and he'll steamroll over anyone to get it. I don't doubt that he's been setting people up left and right to get what he wants. I like that Glokta doesn't seem to be doing what he's doing out of some need to grab as much power as possible, though. Yes, he tortures people for a living. After what he went through, you'd think he would hate anyone that used torture in any capacity, but all it seemed to do was make him extremely good at his job. And good at it he is. I honestly believe the man is completely loyal to the crown (despite the fact that the king is a fat, lazy idiot), but he will look out for himself should it come to that. Hell, he doesn't even know why he tortures people. He's always asking himself "why do I do this?" and yet he continues to do it. I hope he finds an answer to his question. Also, I'd like to huggle him. He'd probably beat me with his cane if I tried, but I'd try, anyway.
Then there's Logen Ninefingers. A Named Man from the North. The book starts off with him nearly getting himself killed by Flatheads aka Shanka. He manages to survive, and believing his friends all dead, he decides to head South after speaking with some spirits and discovering that a Magus is looking for him. He goes and finds the guy and ends up traveling with him even further south to collect some more people to travel even further south. Logen is a bit out of his element during all of this, but he sticks with it. He doesn't really want to know what's going on, but it beats staying in the north where an old friend turned enemy is now calling himself a king and would likely take his head as soon as he saw him. Turns out, too, that Logen is quite the killer. Bloody-Nine he's called and I'd thought I'd seen him fighting pretty damn well earlier on in the book. Then the Practicals tried to kill him at the end and I really saw who Bloody-Nine was. A well deserved name if ever there was one...
I also found myself really liking the characters of Bayaz the First of the Magi, Dogman and Black Dow. These are some men with a lot of blood on their hands and still they're trying to help people in their way. Even if those people don't want to take them seriously.
I really enjoyed the way the storylines of the main characters converge after a while. I was wondering how they had anything to do with one another, but it seems that they do, indeed. The fact that they can't stand each other just makes for more fun reading. The writing style of this book is light and can actually be pretty funny at times. It doesn't take itself too seriously, even with the dark moments and scenes full of blood, death and torture.
I'm looking forward to continuing the series. Will Glokta uncover secrets of the Arch Lector's? Will Logen, Ferro and Jezal be able to help Bayaz put a stop to Khalul the creator of Eaters and the shadow Emperor in the south? Will Jezal be less of an asshole? Will the Union beat back the Northmen and get Bethod out of Angland? Will Dogman and the others ever learn that Logen isn't dead? So much to look forward to....more
I found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new setI found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new set in Darujhistan. I had a hard time connecting the dots at first, but then things started making sense and I just had to know how events would play out. I was very surprised by the way things turned out. I was hugely surprised the first time Whiskeyjack used that magic item and the conversation with Dujek revealed that they knew so much more than they lead their men to believe.
I loved all of the Bridgeburners. Can't wait to read about the next mess they get themselves mixed up in....more