Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MBotF reread: "Deadhouse Gates" by Steven Erikson

I am now sure in reason why I didn't enjoy "Gardens of the Moon" as much as I expected to. The same happened with the first half of "Deadhouse Gates" and it exactly overlaps with the MRotF on Tor.com. It's not that I object anything to the reread; it is one of the highlights of Thursdays for me. Well, my problems with it are now over, since I passed Tor.com reread with my own.

"Deadhouse Gates" is one of my favorite books in MBotF series. I simply like Seven Cities!! I noticed before that I have a soft spot for desert- and Arab-based cultures and books featuring them: "The Lions of al-Rassan", "Sarantine Mosaic", "Dune"... I really love Erikson's worldbuilding: you get the feeling that his world has both a history and a future (e.g. fragments before chapters). This is doubled in books featuring Seven Cities. Literally, every rock has a long, long history, in most cases a violent one. After some fifteen books in Malazan world, it is still fresh and it has a potential for more books. There are not many series where introducing a new race/continent/empire in later books don't feel abrupt or like cheating, but both Erikson and Esslemont did it with their world.

"Gardens of the Moon" was a very good book, with good characters that you could sympathize with. But DG is much, much more emotional and tragic book. Tragedy is one of prominent characteristics of Erikson's writing. End of the "Chain of Dogs" is one of saddest scenes ever, but it is also one of my favorites. Of course, it is just a culmination of many such scenes in this book.

Also, compared to GotM, humor is much more evident here. Witty exchanges, irony, sarcasm... And of course, my favorite funny character, Iskaral Pust. Every book featuring him is my favorite.

Book features several plot-lines: Felisin/Heboric, Fiddler/Asparal/Crocus, Kalam, Duiker, Icarus/Mappo. First one is the only one I don't positively adore, but it is a good one nevertheless. They all keep converging and separating in very interesting dance.

In the end, I can only say that I really enjoyed rereading "Deadhouse Gates", as I have enjoyed it first four or five times.

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