Christopher H.'s Reviews > Midnight Tides

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
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Okay, having read the fifth volume in Steven Erikson's "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, Midnight Tides, I now think Erikson has the set pieces all in place on the board now. In finishing this novel I have to say that it truly feels like we have now been exposed to the landscapes, and most of the characters; and now it seems that the plot lines are all starting to slowly begin spiraling toward some form of a mega-convergence in the remaining four novels. I, for one, can hardly contain myself!

Midnight Tides is set on the continent of Lether and tells the story of a major war that breaks out between the Tiste Edur (The Children of Shadows) and the Letherii peoples. This is the first novel to address these peoples and this continent, and none of the characters from the previous novels, with the exception of just a few of the Elder Gods, are even present. It doesn't matter a bit though. Within 50 pages, the reader is completely enthralled with the new lands and the characters. I would be completely remiss in not mentioning just a few of my new favorite characters; including Seren Pedac, Trull Senger, Brys Beddict, Shurq Elalle, Kettle, Iron Bars, and my absolutely most favorite characters in the series to date, Tehol Beddict and his 'man-servant' Bugg. Oh Lordy, you will just salivate with joy at each and every appearance (and there are plenty, trust me) of Tehol and Bugg. Seriously, some of the funniest stuff written!

The story of the 'world war' between the Tiste Edur peoples and the Letherii Empire is loaded with pathos and drama. Tears will be shed. Also, there are some very powerful explicit and implicit moral messages within this story that have application for all of us in our lives today, regardless of what country we live in. This story does tend make the reader stop and reconsider what patriotism means, and how it should be applied.

While at first blush it might be easy to question Mr. Erikson about the relevancy of this tale within the larger arc of "The Malazan Book of the Fallen", as we are on a completely new landmass with completely new characters--none of which has the slightest thing to do with the Malazan Empire. Having said this though, the careful reader will continually ferret out clues and new information associated with issues and events that have been encountered in previous novels in the series. In other words, I am suggesting that this is not only an incredibly well-written novel and engaging story in its own right, but is a very important portion of the larger 'Malazan' canvas that Erikson is carefully painting.

And did I tell you how much I love the characters of 'Tehol Beddict' and 'Bugg'? Just thinking about these two will bring a smile to my face for the rest of my life!
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Quotes Christopher Liked

Steven Erikson
“Destiny is a lie. Destiny is justification for atrocity. It is the means by which murderers armour themselves against reprimand. It is a word intended to stand in place of ethics, denying all moral context.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides


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