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Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Memories of Ice
Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #3
Author: Steven Erikson
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 945
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


The Pannion Domin is a threat both martial and magical and it will take the combined forces of the outlawed army of Dujek Onearm, former High Fist of the Malazan Empire, and their former enemies in the guise of the combined might of Caladan Brood's army and the sorcerous might of Anomander Rake and his floating city of Moonspawn.

At the same time, Silverfox [the fully grown woman encompassing the souls of 3 other mages] has called the T'lan Imass together again for the first time in over 300,000 years. She is the physical embodiment of an Imass magician and has the power to reverse the oath the Imass took in their war against the Jhagut. She refuses and this has fallout for her personally and for the forces of Dujek and Brood who were counting on the Imass to counter the undead forces of a race thought to be extinct, the K'chain Ch'maile.

All through this, the gods continue their own war. The fallen/broken god has declared war on the pantheon and he wants to destroy them all for bringing him to this world. Fenner, the god of war, has fallen and a new risen god, Treach the Tiger, has ascended. Old lost gods are finding their thrones and each god is choosing for or against the broken god. And amid the total destruction and war on the souls of the men themselves, it is revealed that this part of the story is but a small part of the overall narrative.

Now THAT is depressing.

My Thoughts:

First thing I noticed was that with with 3rd read, I was able to not focus on all the shiny little bits and put the story together as a whole. In previous reads I found a huge disconnect from the leadup to the battle of Capustan to the final showdown at Corel. This time around there was no disconnect and the story naturally flowed without any jarring. It was really nice to UNDERSTAND the slightly bigger picture.

Erikson shows once again that he is a freaking master of writing. The battle scenes were incredible. Vivid, intense and brutal. You can feel the slippery blood, the complete exhaustion, the fear and the adrenaline rush. The interactions between characters was excellently done as well. There was NO cardboard, only flesh and blood come to life on paper. What's more, everyone was “distinct”. They weren't archtypes, or ideas, or variations on a theme. They Were People.

And that leads into the start of my issues. With the characters being so real, the hearbreak and despair and utter desolation that they one and all suffer is wrong. In previous reads, I was taken up with the story, trying to figure out how everything fit together. In being focused on that, the emotional side of things were glossed over. Not this time. The death of main characters hit hard. They weren't alone but had made connections, so when those threads were cut, it was like a spiderweb quivering all over. No on person was ever alone in their anguish or loss. It hurt to read as it was so real to me.

The second, and far bigger issue for me, was the wholesale injection of existential philosophy in a huge way. Existentialism is one of the most depressing philosophies, in my opinion. In small doses, it provides a way for men to show their true grit against completely overwhelming odds. However, in larger doses, it can overwhelm the reader with utter despair and destroy your psyche.

It is probably apparent which happened to me.

By the end of the book I was dreading every instance where I saw italicized walls of text. That meant that some character was thinking and every thought of every character was nothing but despair and hopeless angst. It wore me down.

On my first read through of the whole series, it took me until Book 8 to feel this way. Since then, I've had some “experience” with the hard side of life and reading about despair and suffering isn't theoretical anymore. Reading about suffering isn't so fun once you've had a taste of it yourself. I think I'm going to be taking an extra cycle before dipping my toes into this series again.

More specifics about the story itself can be found in my Memories of Ice Readalong Updates. (not available on LT due to extra coding requirements)

★★★★☆ ( )
2 vote BookstoogeLT | Jul 16, 2017 |
Fantastic continuation of the Malazan series. Starts off where Gardens of the Moon left off and seems to occur around the same time as Deadhouse Gates in a different part of the world. It was great to see familiar characters and to see their adventure continue. Of course still many new faces and all of them interesting. The storyline is very much more streamlined then the first 2 books. It really hooks you in. The exploration of the world and the gods are really starting to shape up into something more cohesive and understandable. I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to more in the series. ( )
  renbedell | Jun 23, 2017 |
Partea a treia din Cronicile Malazane reprezinta inca un capitol fascinant din marea saga a lui Steven Erikson. In Amintirile ghetii se intorc o multime de personaje din Gradinile Lunii si apar noi plasmuri, care imbogatesc o saga ca un labirint. Imprevizibila, seducatoare, plina de suspans, povestea merge mai departe si scoate la suprafata universuri noi, provocari neprevazute si solutii care pun la incercare imaginatia cititorilor.

Continentul Genabackis a dat nastere unui imperiu nou si infricosator: Pannion Domin. Secerand totul in cale, acesta distruge pe oricine nu se pleaca in fata Clarvazatorului, regele-preot din Pannion, care trebuie sa infrunte alianta periculoasa dintre oastea lui Dujek Un-Brat si Arzatorii de Poduri ai lui Whiskeyjack, dar si dusmani mai vechi. In lupta lor, aliatii sunt esentiali. Printre ei se numara Sabiile Cenusii, o fratie care trebuie sa apare orasul Capustan de fanatici.

„Steven Erikson este, in mod cert, unul dintre marile talente ale literaturii fantasy din vremea noastra.“
The Guardian

„Rar se intampla ca un scriitor sa combine cu atata usurinta simtul fortei mitice si profunzimea unei lumi cu personaje inspirate si povesti captivante, dar Steven Erikson repurteaza o victorie spectaculoasa.“
Michael A. Stackpole

„Cronicile Malazane sunt o adevarata experienta. Scriind aceasta serie, Steven Erikson a urcat in randul celor mai vizionari dintre scriitorii de azi.“
SF Site

„Steven Erikson ma inspaimanta... Are o cuprindere asa de vasta, o imaginatie atat de vie si o intelegere asa de mare, ca literatura lui reuseste ceea ce putine carti reusesc: sa schimbe felul in care cititorii percep realitatea.“
Stephen R. Donaldson
  thebblack | Jun 23, 2017 |
Read September 2008
Read January 2010

September 2008 Review:

taking place during and immediately after Deadhouse Gates. Paran is now Lord of the Decks [which recognizes legitimate" gods]. Turns out that the Crippled god is actually an alien forced into our dimension 100's of thousands of years ago and now he is trying to destroy everything here in revenge. He is playing a great game of war.

This book deals with various factions putting down an army of his that is led by a Jaghut. Details alot more about the Imass and the Jaghuts in the far past. Has lots to do with the rise and fall of gods, ascendants and the like. It is incredibly sad. Yet the writing is SO incredible that whenever I read a fantasy book right after one of these, the fantasy book seems so shallow and 2d by comparison.

Read this on my honeymoon, so that might have a tiny influence on why I enjoyed this so much ;D


January 2010 Review:
The storyline takes a decided cut about 3/4 of the way through. One storyline ends and another picks up, but so different that it feels like another book. Overall, I enjoyed this nearly as much the second time. I made more connections, but the impact of the sadness and loneliness of the Imass was really subdued." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This series is killing me. I am obsessed. My library only has up to book 6, but I am seriously going to buy the entire 10 book series (and the companion series set in the same world by Erikson's partner in crime Ian C. Esslemont.)
Full review @ Booklikes ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
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Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Swallows darted through the clouds of midges dancing over the mudflats.
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For the German-language version of the series 'Das Spiel der Götter', this book was split into two volumes - 'Die eisige Zeit' (2001) ISBN 3-442-24997-X and 'Der Tag des Sehers' (2001) ISBN 3-442-24998-8
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Marking the return of many characters from "Gardens of the Moon" and introducing a host of remarkable new players, this novel is both a momentous new chapter in Erikson's magnificent epic fantasy and a triumph of storytelling.

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