Markus's Reviews > Midnight Tides

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: malazan, 2016, fantasy

Here, then, is the tale. Between the swish of the tides, when giants knelt down and became mountains. When they fell scattered on the land like the ballast stones of the sky, yet could not hold fast against the rising dawn. Between the swish of the tides, we will speak of one such giant. Because the tale hides with his own.

And because it amuses.


The fifth part of the Malazan Book of the Fallen is rather different from the previous four. Set on a faraway continent years before the stories of the Bridgeburners and the Whirlwind, the book tells another story. One of the Tiste Edur and their struggles, internal as well as external.
Steven Erikson’s writing has vastly improved since the series began. It was certainly more than adequate even in Gardens of the Moon, but at this point his style has become a joy to read. The combination of crude, militaristic, Glen Cook-style writing with more fascinatingly flowery elements is both unique and deeply enjoyable, and I found myself saving and highlighting quote after quote, often several on the same page.

The most intriguing aspect of Midnight Tides is definitely its explanation and expansion of the Malazan lore. From the fantastic prologue onward, bits and pieces are added to the already quite astounding worldbuilding of Erikson and Esslemont. Here are the backstories, cultures and creation myths of various peoples new and old.

"You are ruled by greed, a monstrous tyrant lit gold with glory. It cannot be defeated, only annihilated."

Another remarkably interesting and also somewhat controversial aspect of this book is the political symbolism. The rising Letherii Empire, with its raw capitalist society and its conquest and subjugation of other peoples in the name of freedom, is a rather obvious metaphor.

"The Dark Times had come with the rivening of the Tiste Edur, the assault of sorceries and strange armies and the disappearence of Father Shadow himself. And although the magic of Kurald Emurlahn was not denied to the tribes, the warren was lost to them: shattered, the fragments ruled by false kings and gods."

Even more intriguing is the culture of the Tiste Edur. Midnight Tides arrives with virtually the entire history of this people. Its culture, its deities, its heroes and its empires.

It is no secret that the Malazan series is difficult to read; if you believe otherwise, you’re indulging in a self-deception that will come back to bite you as you progress with your reading. Because of that, this book is really helpful and makes you feel like you really get a grip on the setting and everything that’s going on.

Overall, Midnight Tides without a flicker of doubt the single book in this series that has impressed me the most. It does not contain any truly iconic heroes like the ones from the other books, but it is in my personal opinion vastly superior in both writing and worldbuilding. Not to mention that it was much easier to get truly immersed in the occurring events and actually experience them through the eyes of the central characters.

If I did not love the Malazan universe before, this book has changed that.

"That which was chained to the earth has twisted the walls of its prison. Beyond recognition. Its poison has spread out and infected the world and all who dwell upon it.”

Malazan Book of the Fallen reviews:
#1 Gardens of the Moon
#2 Deadhouse Gates
#3 Memories of Ice
#4 House of Chains
#5 Midnight Tides
#6 The Bonehunters
#7 Reaper's Gale
#8 Toll the Hounds
#9 Dust of Dreams
#10 The Crippled God
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Reading Progress

April 4, 2014 – Shelved
June 2, 2016 – Started Reading
June 2, 2016 –
1.0% "Stressful times are finally over. Now for some Malazan reading in the bloody tropical Norwegian sun!"
June 7, 2016 –
22.0% ""There is always war, brother," Fear replied. "Faiths, words and swords: history resounds with their interminable clash."\n \n End of Book One. This instalment is quickly rising to become my favourite part of the Malazan universe so far."
June 15, 2016 –
44.0% ""The Tiste Edur have journeyed beyond kings and warlock kings. What awaits us is what we once possessed, yet lost long ago. Of what am I speaking, brothers and sisters?"\n \n Fantastic scene."
June 16, 2016 –
63.0% "Civilization after civilization, it is the same. The world falls to tyranny with a whisper.\n \n I'm wondering if Midnight Tides is the best book I have read this year. I am certainly more deeply immersed in the Malazan world than ever."
June 26, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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Nelson Hell yeah


message 2: by Ibanez (new) - added it

Ibanez Mick I'm intending to give this series a serious nudge, which one of what you've read somewhere far did you like the most


Markus Ibanez wrote: "I'm intending to give this series a serious nudge, which one of what you've read somewhere far did you like the most"

This one, definitely.


message 4: by Igor (new) - added it

Igor Ljubuncic I might bite the bullet and go back to reading this series. What if I skip the fourth book? Will I miss anything critical that will prevent me from enjoying the rest of it?
Igor


Markus Igor wrote: "I might bite the bullet and go back to reading this series. What if I skip the fourth book? Will I miss anything critical that will prevent me from enjoying the rest of it?
Igor"


I miss stuff all the time, so I'm just looking forward to an eventual re-read. And one of my friends who first mentioned the series to me started reading the sixth or seventh book, I think. The fourth book is my least favourite so far, so you could probably try skipping it and see how it goes. I'm sure you would find it incomprehensibly difficult, but hey, we all need challenges.


message 6: by Saskia (new)

Saskia great seeing you rating a Malazan book 5 stars - warms my heart! :D I am currently 70 pages away from finishing Memories of Ice. I am reading them back to back so who knows, maybe I'll catch up!


message 7: by JDR (new) - rated it 4 stars

JDR Recently began Memories of Ice a month after Deadhouse Gates - I thought Midnight Tides was a low point in the series for a lot of people, but from what you have said about it still sounds intriguing.


Nelson Dux wrote: "Recently began Memories of Ice a month after Deadhouse Gates - I thought Midnight Tides was a low point in the series for a lot of people, but from what you have said about it still sounds intriguing."

Tides is amazing. It is just different but it is amazing.


Markus Saskia wrote: "great seeing you rating a Malazan book 5 stars - warms my heart! :D I am currently 70 pages away from finishing Memories of Ice. I am reading them back to back so who knows, maybe I'll catch up!"

You probably will. I hope you'll keep enjoying them :)


Markus Dux wrote: "Recently began Memories of Ice a month after Deadhouse Gates - I thought Midnight Tides was a low point in the series for a lot of people, but from what you have said about it still sounds intriguing."

It was a low point for people because they didn't like the relocation to another continent with new characters and storylines. I'd say it's the best book so far, but I understand the people who were disappointed because they missed the normal setting or were just downright confused by the new one.


message 11: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Great review Markus. I agree with you on how immersed you become with this story. I think SE spends a bit more time giving you information to read with, probably because it was like reading a completely new story.
I am currently reading the new Kharkanas series, it just makes me want to re-re-read MbotF. The re-read I did three years ago was so much fun, because you learn so much more second time round and we had the Malazan fallen group to discuss every aspect of the story.


Markus Lee wrote: "Great review Markus. I agree with you on how immersed you become with this story. I think SE spends a bit more time giving you information to read with, probably because it was like reading a compl..."

Thanks, Lee. I'm already looking forward to re-reading the series at some point in the future, when I can understand more of what's going on.


Choko Wonderful review, Markus!!! I know you are a fan of History like me, so no wonder we loved the same points in this book:):):)


Markus Choko wrote: "Wonderful review, Markus!!! I know you are a fan of History like me, so no wonder we loved the same points in this book:):):)"

Thank you, Choko :)


Mayim de Vries But it is also very funny! I love the banter and witty dialogue in all Erikson's books.


Nelson Hell yeah!!!


Markus Nelson wrote: "Hell yeah!!!"

Hi Nelson! Been too long!


Nelson Markus wrote: "Nelson wrote: "Hell yeah!!!"

Hi Nelson! Been too long!"


Happy New Year Markus! :D


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