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Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ebooks, favorites
Recommended for: epic fantasy fans

A peerless and jaw-dropping epic installment; I consider myself damn lucky to have witnessed this powerfully evocative tale.

I’ve stated that it’s mandatory to read at least two books of the series in order to truly find out whether you’ll love this series or not. I retract that statement and change it to three books instead. Trust me, if you don’t love Memories of Ice, you might as well drop the series now. And that would be okay because no series can work for everyone. Honestly speaking, I had a bit of doubt about the series but this incredibly mesmerizing installment has convinced me to finally become a fan of the series.

Picture: Memories of Ice by J. K. Drummond



Unlike Deadhouse Gates where the story featured almost completely new characters in a new setting, Memories of Ice is more of a direct sequel to the first book, Gardens of the Moon. The book takes place around the same time with Deadhouse Gates and this time, it continues from where GotM left off. Focusing on the Pannion War, the majority of the characters from the first book once again serve as the main characters here and the setting returns to Genabackis. When it comes to the plot structure, Memories of Ice can be considered quite basic. The plot structure utilized building up to the big battle in the halfway point of the book, then the pace slows down and Erikson repeats the structure by building up the story once again to reach the monumental climax sequences. The most noticeable difference I found in this book that was lacking in the previous installments was how easy it was to digest the content here. This doesn’t mean that the world-building, lore, and history were any less complex; after all, this is Malazan, and complexity is its fetish. However, somehow all the revelations and information in this book seeped into my brain with much more ease. Maybe Erikson’s prose here was better or maybe I’m just used to the series by now; all I know is that it worked wonderfully.

What’s even more amazing is that despite everything—and by this, I mean A LOT of events—that transpired within this book, Erikson left a lot of room to made sure that the reader would still be interested in continuing the series. Memories of Ice shows just how destructive humanity can be through the devastation wrought by their actions. Echoes of destruction trail the paths of mankind; even though their power is severely lacking compared to the Ascendants and other creatures, their thirst for greed, hatred, and tyranny excel above everything. This of course doesn’t mean Memories of Ice is a completely dark book. I found its predecessor Deadhouse Gates to be much bleaker in tone. In this installment, Erikson made sure to display that beneath humanity’s capability for violence, they also have compassion, love, and friendship that goes a long way toward balancing things out, and that’s something I truly appreciate.

“We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned, T’lan Imass. Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the world. It must be given freely. In abundance.”


The world-building was once again stupendous. Things foreshadowed in the first book started unraveling slowly with revelations. The importance of the Deck of Dragons continues to delightfully surprise me. Erikson’s background as an archeologist and anthropologist bleeds into the world-building and characterizations here. Right from the prologue, Memories of Ice shows how hundreds of thousands of years’ worth of history has the power to greatly affect the present timeline.

Erikson never stops introducing new characters within each book. It took me three books to finally understand that developing patience with all the characters is a crucial requirement to enjoy the series. Erikson doesn’t waste characters; all of the characters he adds are integral to the storyline in one way or the other. There are so many awesome characters here and it’s crazy that with this gigantic cast, Erikson is capable to make sure each and every character has a distinct inner voice and personality. Most importantly, each character is super engaging and compelling to read. For example, two of the many new characters introduced in this book—Gruntle and Itkovian—were at first boring for me to read. By the end of this book, I’ve come to realize that the two of them stand tall in the list of my favorite fantasy characters. Erikson has truly improved in characterizations and my god the development that all the characters went through in this installment alone deserves recognition. The multitude of characters and their emotionally-packed interactions with each other have the power to make you invested in their fates. Erikson carves a bloody path to your heart with his superb characterizations and palpable tensions building.

Picture: K'Chain Che'Malle versus T’lan Imass by J.K. Drummond



I’ve read only his first three books but I must say, this is Erikson’s prose at its best so far. The prologue itself will show you a glimpse of how well-written this book is. Every sentence holds tremendous weight. The prose demanded my absolute attention and I was very pleased to give in to that demand. The prose was poetic, elegant, engaging, and compelling; I found the images conjured by Erikson’s prose to be so vivid that I’m sure this story will stick with me for a long time.

Was there any part in this tome that bored me? Yes. The entire Barghast storyline in Part Two of the book honestly bored the crap out of me and during this point, I was seriously having doubts that this series may not truly be for me; I was proven completely wrong by the amazingly well-paced second half of the book. Usually, when I have issues with the book I’m reading, I refrain from giving it a full 5 stars rating. However, not only am I giving this book a 5 stars rating, in my opinion this is one of those super rare 6 out of 5 stars read. There has only been one other exception before this book where I gave a 6 stars rating despite the issues I had with the book, and it was for Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. The main reason behind this regarding Memories of Ice lies within the last 20% of the book. This is where Erikson unleashed his skill to carve a bloody path to your heart with his superb characterizations, palpable tensions building, and exhilarating actions.

I’m quite confident that the last 20% of the book will be the main decisive factor on whether you’ll love this series or not. It was the kind of climax sequence that will remain firmly lodged in your brain. The kind of events that will make you literally suffer if you don’t talk about it with someone. The long battle that actually seemed to pass by fairly quickly was filled with intricate and finely written tactics that are imbued with intelligence. This is the kind of scintillating high fantasy war that you can find only in the best kind of books the genre has to offer. I’m talking about cinematic set pieces of epic proportions with catastrophic results; every character out of every race playing integral parts; a gathering of massive armies of immense power; and a fantastic convergence that holds no limit. I mean it, this is truly epic in both scale and execution. Once you’ve finished reading the book, the mini-epilogue will proceed to seal the deal that you’ve just read one of the most epic and finest high fantasy books of all time.

“The harder the world, the fiercer the honour.”


I’m going to bask in my memories of this book for possibly the rest of my life. Not only this is the best book in the series (so far), this has become one of my favorite books. Memories of Ice is deeply impactful and rich in content. It’s an epic tale of huge proportion that could only be delivered by a master class SFF author; Steven Erikson is definitely one such writer. Out of every book I’ve read, there are currently less than ten books that I consider deserving of a 6 out of 5 stars rating, and Memories of Ice is a welcome addition to that list. I’m completely floored and astounded by the greatness that Erikson created with this installment. The experience of reading Memories of Ice has been frozen inside my brain and not even Elsa has the power to let it go.

You can order the book HERE!

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Quotes Petrik Liked

Steven Erikson
“Kallor shrugged. '[...] I have walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I have commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I have spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes,' [said Caladan Brood.] 'You never learn.”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice

Steven Erikson
“First in , Last out.


Motto of the bridgeburners”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice

Steven Erikson
“We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned, T’lan Imass. Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the wold. It must be given freely. In abundance.”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice

Steven Erikson
“The heart of wisdom is tolerance.”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice

Steven Erikson
“The harder the world, the fiercer the honour.”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice

Steven Erikson
“Children were meant to be gifts. The physical manifestation of love between a man and a woman. And for that love, all manner of sacrifice could be borne.”
Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice


Comments Showing 1-50 of 76 (76 new)


Daniel Pepper I'm hoping that nobody spoilt anything about this book to you :/


Petrik Daniel wrote: "I'm hoping that nobody spoilt anything about this book to you :/"

Unfortunately I was spoiled on this one too but this one didn't affect my enjoyment that much; my rating speaks for itself! What an amazing book! :)


message 3: by TS (new) - rated it 5 stars

TS Chan Whoohoo!!! Marvelous review, my friend. My anxiety throughout the last few days as you read MoI was palpable especially when you reached the last two chapters.
Looking forward to discuss more in person... soon... 😘


Miche Great review, Petrik. :)


Samir Just six stars? Aren't you a harsh one? :D Great review man! I'm glad you loved it.


Petrik TS wrote: "Whoohoo!!! Marvelous review, my friend. My anxiety throughout the last few days as you read MoI was palpable especially when you reached the last two chapters.
Looking forward to discuss more in p..."


Thank you, my friend!! Yes, looking forward to it too! :D


Petrik Miche wrote: "Great review, Petrik. :)"

Thank you, Miche! :)


Petrik Samir wrote: "Just six stars? Aren't you a harsh one? :D Great review man! I'm glad you loved it."

I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreased it! :p Thanks, man! Absolutely brilliant book. Currently 22% through House of Chains! :)


Miche Petrik wrote: "Samir wrote: "Just six stars? Aren't you a harsh one? :D Great review man! I'm glad you loved it."

I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreased it! :p Thanks, man! Absolu..."


How is the Karsa's introduction treating you? ;-)


Mayank Agarwal Great review always a treat to read. Also, please just stop following the series on forum till you are done with the series as its sad if you get bombed with spoilers.


Samir Petrik wrote: "I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreased it! :p Thanks, man! Absolutely brilliant book. Currently 22% through House of Chains! :) "

I'm halfway through but I'm sure you'll finish it before me. :)


Petrik Miche wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Samir wrote: "Just six stars? Aren't you a harsh one? :D Great review man! I'm glad you loved it."

I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreased it! :p Than..."


At first was a bit off, but I'm 25% now and I think his introduction is over! :D


message 13: by Petrik (last edited Aug 12, 2018 06:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Mayank wrote: "Great review always a treat to read. Also, please just stop following the series on forum till you are done with the series as its sad if you get bombed with spoilers."

Thanks, Mayank! Haha trust me, I didn't follow the series AT ALL on any forum. If I was, then it's completely my fault. The spoilers I got was from a Goodreads update! The update goes like (view spoiler) that was in January 2017, I still remember it to this day.


Petrik Samir wrote: "Petrik wrote: "I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreased it! :p Thanks, man! Absolutely brilliant book. Currently 22% through House of Chains! :) "

I'm halfway through..."


Enjoy your reread man! :)


Miche Petrik wrote: "Miche wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Samir wrote: "Just six stars? Aren't you a harsh one? :D Great review man! I'm glad you loved it."

I was going to increase it to 7 but there was some flaw so I decreas..."


It is. :)


message 16: by LittleBookDruid (new)

LittleBookDruid The fact that this series takes so long to take off makes me scared of starting it. But that will happen, once I am a weathered enough fantasy reader. lol


message 17: by färbe mich rot (new)

färbe mich rot Damn it! You are making me desperate to read this even though I know I am not prepared to take this. But I'll wait, take my time to build my ability. How would say it stands when compared to A Song of Ice and Fire?

P.S. - I am planning to read Stormlight Archive soon tho.


message 18: by Bea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bea Great review! It is definitely a very memorable and emotional book!
Re prose: I completely agree! Erikson is definitely at the very top of all the fantasy authors I've read so far.


Petrik LittleBookDruid wrote: "The fact that this series takes so long to take off makes me scared of starting it. But that will happen, once I am a weathered enough fantasy reader. lol"

Take your time, Druid! It took me a long time before I finally decided to start my commitment too! xD


Petrik Sirreadsalot wrote: "Damn it! You are making me desperate to read this even though I know I am not prepared to take this. But I'll wait, take my time to build my ability. How would say it stands when compared to A Song..."

I think you'll (eventually) love this one, sir! I think if you've read series like ASOIAF and Stormlight Archive and find them easily understandable, you should be ready to start this one. I hope you love Stormligth Archive, it's my favorite series of all time! :)


Petrik Bea wrote: "Great review! It is definitely a very memorable and emotional book!
Re prose: I completely agree! Erikson is definitely at the very top of all the fantasy authors I've read so far."


Thanks, Bea! I absolutely loved this installment! I hope there will be another installment in the series that's as good or even better than this. Regarding Erikson's prose, although I do think he's clearly master class, I don't know if I'll consider his prose highly enjoyable to read. They seem to require extra focus than other fantasy authors and sometimes it can be tiring. I love Sanderson's, Rothfuss's, Gwynne's prose and I think all of them are at the top class for different reasons and style! :)


message 22: by Ginger (new)

Ginger Great review Petrik and I'm glad you're loving this series!


Ângelo I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Always a pleasure to read your reviews, altough I was quite stressed about the fact that you were spoiled...
You better not finish the series before me, though


message 24: by Bea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bea Petrik wrote: "Bea wrote: "Great review! It is definitely a very memorable and emotional book!
Re prose: I completely agree! Erikson is definitely at the very top of all the fantasy authors I've read so far."

T..."


Yes, I agree. I was refering only to the quality of the prose but there are definitely authors who beat him when it comes to readability!

I'd say overall MoI is the best book of the series but there are definitely a lot of grand moments to come and there is one other final showdown that is as mindblowing as the showdown of MoI on my opinion. My second overall favorite is probably Midnight Tides.


message 25: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


Petrik Ginger wrote: "Great review Petrik and I'm glad you're loving this series!"

Thank you, Ginger! It's an amazing series! :)


Petrik Ângelo wrote: "I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Always a pleasure to read your reviews, altough I was quite stressed about the fact that you were spoiled...
You better not finish the series before me, though"


Thank you so much, Angelo! You're right that this was amazing! Yeah.. it's such a shame that I've been spoiled on the major events in book 2 and book 3 but book 4 and above, I'm safe from spoilers! Seeing that you're on book 8... I doubt I can catch up!


Petrik Bea wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Bea wrote: "Great review! It is definitely a very memorable and emotional book!
Re prose: I completely agree! Erikson is definitely at the very top of all the fantasy authors I've r..."


Yesss, exactly! I heard from a lot of people that the best of the series is either MoI or Bonehunters! I can't wait to see which faction I belong to because MoI is amazing! I'm looking forward to read Midnight Tides too! :)


Petrik Emma wrote: "YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS"

YYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS indeed!


Veronica Awesome review, Petrik!


Ayla Yay! I don’t know why, but I am so pleased you are enjoying the series. I only read this book less than a year ago & I don’t remember it much. I think I’m excited to reread this again and see what I think now. I’m keeping up with your reviews on the series, interested on your thoughts on the next one :)


Petrik Veronica wrote: "Awesome review, Petrik!"

Thank you, Veronica! :)


Petrik Ayla wrote: "Yay! I don’t know why, but I am so pleased you are enjoying the series. I only read this book less than a year ago & I don’t remember it much. I think I’m excited to reread this again and see what ..."

I see that your ex-Bridgeburner name is from this series, Ayla! I'm really enjoying this series, I heard it gets even better upon reread actually! I'm very interested in hearing what you think about the reread and Realm of the Elderlings! :)


message 34: by Igor (new) - rated it 4 stars

Igor Ljubuncic Nice review - but are those saber-armed monsters meant to be that big? I imagined them human-sized, whereas the T'lan Imass are supposed to be about 2.5 meters tall. No?
Igor


Petrik Igor wrote: "Nice review - but are those saber-armed monsters meant to be that big? I imagined them human-sized, whereas the T'lan Imass are supposed to be about 2.5 meters tall. No?
Igor"


Thanks, Igor! I actually think it's THAT big! There's a size comparison and K'chain Chemalle is more than 10 feet tall! XD


Chris Berko So many books in this series are, in my opinion, among the best books ever written. This one is one of them.


message 37: by Goodnight (new)

Goodnight Hoping to read this series next year.


Daniel Pepper Yeah dude this is hands down one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time. And in a way it also made me enjoy gardens of the moon more in hindsight.


Rinaldo Yaaay finally perfect score!

MoI is just worlds away compared to the previous two. I was sold from the prologue!

Strangely I enjoyed the Barghast subplot as I'm a lore junkie. It is Korbal Broach and Bauchelain subplot that took 0.25 stars from my book.

The epilogue is just perfect. I love how Erikson took his time to address each major character and their own 'ending.'


Petrik Chris wrote: "So many books in this series are, in my opinion, among the best books ever written. This one is one of them."

This one was just insane, Chris. I honestly didn't expect it to be this good! Can't wait to find out which books in the series will reach this level! :)


Petrik Mas wrote: "Hoping to read this series next year."

I hope you'll enjoy it, Mas! And I plan to read Wheel of Time next year! :)


Petrik Daniel wrote: "Yeah dude this is hands down one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time. And in a way it also made me enjoy gardens of the moon more in hindsight."

Absolutely amazing and I agree with you; it's definitely a favorite for me as well. I think each book in the series will make rereading Gardens of the Moon even better. I knew there was a lot of foreshadowing, just didn't know what they were yet! :p


Petrik Rinaldo wrote: "Yaaay finally perfect score!

MoI is just worlds away compared to the previous two. I was sold from the prologue!

Strangely I enjoyed the Barghast subplot as I'm a lore junkie. It is Korbal Broach..."


There's no way I don't give it a perfect score despite some flaws. This book is so richhhh in incredible content that the flaw can be easily overlooked. Like you, I was hooked right from the prologue and with the exception of the Barghast story, I was completely entertained!

That epilogue was completely unexpected and perfect for me, definitely one of the best epilogue I've ever read! :)


message 44: by Celeste (new)

Celeste Wonderful review, my darling. Your enthusiasm for this installment makes me much more excited to continue the series!


message 45: by Mercy (new)

Mercy Awesome review, Petrik! You're flying through the series. I hope to have the same commitment when I finally decide to tackle this. Hopefully next year!


Petrik Celeste wrote: "Wonderful review, my darling. Your enthusiasm for this installment makes me much more excited to continue the series!"

Thank you, dear! Urghh I can't wait for you to read this one! I'm quite SURE that you're going to love this one so much! :)


Petrik Mercy wrote: "Awesome review, Petrik! You're flying through the series. I hope to have the same commitment when I finally decide to tackle this. Hopefully next year!"

Thank you, Mercy! I didn't expect to read through this series this fast too. I'm going to take a little break after I'm done with the fourth book though! I hope you'll be able to have the commitment to tackle this series next year! :D


message 48: by Travis (new)

Travis Outstanding review!! Still undecided about this series, but maybe one day.


Petrik Travis wrote: "Outstanding review!! Still undecided about this series, but maybe one day."

Thank you, Travis!! Take your time, it took me a while to commit myself too! :D


message 50: by Goodnight (new)

Goodnight Petrik wrote: "Mas wrote: "Hoping to read this series next year."

I hope you'll enjoy it, Mas! And I plan to read Wheel of Time next year! :)"


Nice! Hope you enjoy as well hermano


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