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Dust of Dreams
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7031813,474 (4.16)26
Member:baroc
Title:Dust of Dreams
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Info:Tor Books, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fantasy, malazan

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Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson

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At this point I find it near impossible to write a plot summary as there is so much going, but I'll give it a try. Events pick up immediately after where book 7 ends. The Bonehunters are in Letheras contemplating their next move. Their allies, the Khundryl Burned Tears and The Perish, are making preparations to join them in facing down the ultimate enemy. The Barghast have returned to what they think of as their ancestral homeland and find things not what they expected. Several factions of T'lan Imass have awoken to a distant call and they need to decide how to answer. Add to this Elder Gods, K’Chain Che’Malle, Elient, Jaghut, Forkrul Assail and new gods and the mind reels.

Dust of Dreams is the ninth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. There is an Author's Note with a warning that this book is different and for the first time in the series to expect a cliffhanger ending as it is meant to be the first half of the grand finale. This set my expectation for a long slow build, which is pretty much what we get. Many story lines going all the way back tot he first book are brought together as we march towards the end of this series. This is a talent of Eriksons that never ceases to amaze me given how complicated the story is at this point.

The tone starts off grim in the prologue and while Erikson works in moments of levity to help break things up that feeling is an undercurrent throughout the novel. This is not in itself a bad thing. It is more like the darkness before the storm and lends a sense of urgency.

For those that enjoy the philosophical parts of these novels you will not be disappointed by Dust of Dreams. Many of the discussions between characters or just an individual's personal thoughts are quite thought provoking.

I like how Erikson refuses to state who is "good" and who is "evil". Insight is given into characters and factions previously thought of negatively and showing them in a new, sympathetic light. It's yet another way these books make you think.

Erikson outdid himself in the final chapters of this book. The convergence is mind blowing in scope, the action intense. My heart was racing as I read, emotions high. I'm still feel a little numb in the aftermath. I had debated reading something else before finishing the series and know I can't wait that long. It will be straight on to The Crippled God for me! ( )
  Narilka | Mar 22, 2014 |
Even common sense was an enemy to the harvesters of the future. The beast that was civilization ever faced forward, and in making its present world it devoured the world to come. It was an appalling truth that one’s own children could be so callously sacrificed to immediate comforts, yet this was so and it had always been so.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen is coming to an end, and I’ll be so sad to be see it finished. In this first half of the final episode, there is once again an impending convergence, and all of our players seem to find themselves sucked into its whirlwind. The Adjunct and her Bonehunters set out of Letheras on a mission of which none but she (and apparently Quick Ben) know the details, while their allies the Grey Swords and Khundryl Burned Tears are making new friends in the desert with a particularly devious society we’ve not previously encountered. A ragtag band of misfits wanders the wastelands, while unrest grows amongst the tribes of the Barghast. It seems everyone is looking for a fight, but no one quite knows where to find one. This shouldn’t be a problem for too long, though…

There are so many things to love about the Malazan books that it’s frankly impossible to hold up one aspect and say, “This! This is the thing that makes Erikson a genius!” But two things have stuck out for me again and again, and they always seem to be the things I find myself talking about with my partner (whose own Malazan addiction I proudly take full responsibility for): the strength of Erikson’s insight into the human condition – our neuroses, our faults, how we deal with them and with one another – and the broader social commentary that is always lying not too far under the surface. By this ninth book, Karsa Orlong’s hatred of all things “civilized” no longer feels foreign, or even misplaced. Instead, as yet another thread of commentary is brought to the forefront – this time it’s environmental destruction – it seems to drive the story in a completely natural way. Erikson’s world would be a masterpiece even without the socio-political undertones, but that he uses his artistry to make these points – for me, this makes the whole journey that much more valuable.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dust of Dreams, despite my read being interrupted for a few months and having to go back and restart it. Once I did, I could not put it down until I had plowed through it in its entirety. The book is not organized along quite the same formula that readers will have grown accustomed to from the rest of the series, and other than an emotional roller coaster, no real closure is offered at the end. You can definitely see all of the threads starting to come together here, though, and I’m anxious to see what the finished tapestry looks like.

IMPORTANT TRIGGER WARNING: This episode contains sexual violence that is far more gruesome and graphic than previous episodes. I found it extremely difficult to get through the relevant portion of the book, and am still not sure what I think about the valuable aspects of how it was done vs. the harm in the way it was characterized. But be forewarned. This book definitely confirms for me that I would never turn a kid, not even an older teenager, onto this series. ( )
  philosojerk | Jan 16, 2014 |
Kolanse lies to the east of Letherii beyond the Wastelands, and the prologue takes place in the present: that may save you some initial confusion. Although if you've made it this far into the Malazan series, you're probably well accustomed to sporadic confusion by now.

After the unusual narration of Toll the Hounds, Erikson resumes his customary tone. In the ninth book we return to Lether where the Malazans, Barghast and Perish move toward reuniting their forces. The Khundyrl (Burned Tears) are here as well; I missed the explanation for how they arrived on the continent. The eastern wastelands see more action than they have for millennia when there's a falling out between these newcomers and various locals. Meanwhile the vast pantheon of gods and ascendants seem to be gathering for something as well.

The fifth and sixth books were my favourites, and this ninth entry is a successful return to their formula. It also helps to make Reaper's Gale a better novel in hindsight. Plenty of action supported the page count on this outing, maintaining a rapid pace. Some humour was almost beyond the pale, but as it mostly came from Tehol all is forgiven. The sheer amount of humour in the early pages became alarming for another reason: Erikson always balances humour with tragedy in equal parts.

This book requires a high degree of patience and trust on the part of the reader. Erikson has robbed his series of the usual anticipation for its climax by defying a conventional build-up. I can't shake the idea that Tavore's army are the "good guys", but there's no obvious "bad guy" for me to love hating. The Crippled God has already been, well, crippled. What baddie remains to be fought against that Tavore is madly driving towards has yet to be revealed. There is only the vague promise of a massive convergence coming, with limited clues about the stakes. Erikson has never disappointed me yet and I can't imagine the tenth volume will lack for spectacular action and revelations. There still remains the anticipation from wondering how he's going to wrap this up, and I'm looking forward to discovering that in the concluding book. ( )
  Cecrow | Nov 25, 2013 |
Book nine, and the second-to-last book in the humongous (in page count and story lines) series by Steven Erikson, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The book is most definitely part of the series, not stand alone. It is also a two-parter with the last book of the series, "The Crippled God".
We're mainly on the continent where Lether is. Adjunct Tavore is taking her Bonehunters to Kolanse to... to fight a war, but with whom? Slowly everything is coming together, and with a huge cliff hanger, we are ready for the last installment.
Like with the other books, if you liked them, you'll probably like this one. It has gods, scheming, war, other creatures, and many story lines. I liked it, and can't wait to start part 10, the grand finale. Four out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Oct 31, 2013 |
YOU FUCKING CLIFFHANGER LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER ( )
  heterocephalusglaber | Apr 26, 2013 |
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Steven Eriksonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ten years ago I received an endorsement from a most unexpected source, from a writer I respected and admired. The friendship born in that moment is one I deeply treasure. With love and gratitude, I dedicate this novel to Stephen R. Donaldson.
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There was light, and then there was heat.
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"Does nothing dead ever go away around here?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The last great army of the Malazan Empire is resolved to make one final, defiant, heroic stand in the name of redemption. But can deeds be heroic when there is no one to witness them? The Deck of Dragons has been read, unleashing a dread power that none can comprehend...… (more)

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