Andre's Reviews > Midnight Tides

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
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's review
May 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasy
Read in May, 2011


Time again for an epic inspiration. When I read an Erikson novel, I find myself at various times provoked, dubious, amazed, involved and confused. His tales are so dense that I have to "rest" between novels. Presently there are ten in the series and I have no doubt I will be reading them for sometime. More high fantasy that I hope to write, he handles magic--and the cultural repercussions magic use--admirably well.

This particular novel departs from previously established characters in volumes one through four, and tells its tale from the point of view of two sets of brothers: the four Sengar boys and the three Beddict brothers who are culturally from opposing sides of a war of conquest. I felt Erikson did a great job of shifting between story lines. I wasn't tempted in the least to skip over chapters when left hanging because all the story threads were so well rendered.

Dense, robust, thought provoking and weighing in on average at over 1000 pages, these books are definitely not for the faint of heart or those looking for a bada-bing, bada-boom read and reset Y.A. Fantasy. These are books I'd love to see all those "fantasy nay-sayers" read and claim the genre is low-brow. I'm going to include a wonderful passage, so timely and crunchy it made me smile, as an example,

"Do not seek to find hope among your leaders. They are the repositories of poison. Their interest in you extends only so far as their ability to control you. From you, they seek duty and obedience, and they will ply you with the language of stirring faith. They seek followers, and woe to those who question, or voice challenge.

Civilization after civilization, it is the same. The world falls to tyranny with a whisper. The frightened are ever keen to bow to perceived necessity, in the belief that necessity forces conformity, and conformity a certain stability. In a world shaped into conformity, dissidents stand out, are easily branded and dealt with. There is no magnitude of perspectives, no dialogue. The victim assumes the face of the tyrant, self-righteous and intransigent, and wars breed like vermin. And people die"
[emphasis my own].

Rather chilling in its relevance to present day realities.
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