Posts Tagged: Fantasy

Review: Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson


Midnight Tides was written by Steven Erikson and published in 2004.

Synopsis

All back story about Trull Sengar and the Crippled God.

Reasons to Read

You love this series and want to read it all. There’s a reincarnating, evil, possessed emperor.

Reasons to Skip

Did you read the synopsis? Yes, this novel is all back story. It seems that Erikson will build on it (just glanced at Wikipedia), but there’s nothing worthwhile here. Trull, minor character from previous novel, is dull. Sure, Erikson makes him more complex in this book, but the first impression has been made. The sections with Tehol Beddict are not funny, though they try to be. It’s like Erikson tried experimenting with banter. Only thing worse would be actually explaining jokes. Hahaha, laugh here. Did you get it? Heavy-handed allegory for capitalism? The kingdom of Lether is the most capitalist, cut throat nation in the series. Everything revolves around gold and debt. Erikson misses the opportunity to write something smart and subtle.

What to Wear While Reading

An invisible cloak.

Food and Drink Pairing

Thin tea and saltines.

If J.D. Salinger Wrote This Book

He would’ve never published it.

Review: House of Chains by Steven Erikson

House of Chains was written by Steven Erikson and published in 2002.

Synopsis

It’s sort of like kids playing king of the hill, but in this case, the hill is a fragmented warren of magic and the kids are a bunch of bad asses bent on betrayal. This fourth novel in the Malazan series continues the narrative from Deadhouse Gates, with a novella length opening on Karsa Orlong a.k.a Toblakai.

Reasons to Read

You’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of the Malazan series. Karsa Orlong. The rise of the House of Chains.

Reasons to Skip

It’s really long. Not only does Erikson continue his overuse of the word “pate” but also loves using the word “surcease.” In trying to capture a multitude of views on an event from every character, Erikson, again, overwrites to little effect. The climax at the end of the book is bloated.

Erikson gets dangerously close to the wizard trap as explained in The Simpsons, “Treehouse of Horror X

Professor Frink: Yes, over here, n’hey, n’hey. In Episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you’re clearly atop a winged Arabian! Please do explain it!
Lucy Lawless: Uh, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that… a wizard did it.
Professor Frink: I see, alright, yes, but in episode AG04-
Lucy Lawless: Wizard!

What to Wear While Reading

Shemagh head scarf and medieval metal gauntlets. You can always reuse the gauntlets for your Dr. Doom costume.

Food and Drink Pairing

Fermented goat’s mare’s milk and gas station jerky.

If Virginia Woolf Wrote This Book

They would plan for ages about visiting Raraku, the trip would almost fall apart, and then from across the desert we’d know the characters made it to their destination.

Review: Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson

Memories of Ice was written by Steven Erikson and published in 2001.

Synopsis

Back in Genabackis, the supergroup of Dujek, Whiskeyjack, Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake wage war against the Pannion Domin, while the Crippled God operates behind the scenes.

Reasons to Read

You’ve read Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates. You like fantasy. You’ve already read George R. R. Martin’s books, the Mistborn series, and Lord of the Rings. You consume 900 page books like Galactus consumes planets. You want to escape from reading heavier works like Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds.

Reasons to Skip

You’ve not read the first two books. You hate how often Erikson uses the word “pate” for describing bald people. You like characters that don’t have lame names. You have trouble skimming large amounts of text that do little to move the story forward and seem more like an exercise in poor editing, than in useful, succinct writing. Your friends will tease you about the cheesy cover.

What to Wear While Reading

Viking helmet and sweatpants.

Food and Drink Pairing

Budweiser and airplane peanuts.

If Ernest Hemingway Wrote this Book

It’d be way shorter.