Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson (Book Review)

Memories of Ice (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #3)Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What this book is about (if you haven’t read Gardens of the Moon or Deadhouse Gates by the same author be warned, spoilers for these two books ahead!):

A new, powerfule empire has risen in the continent of Genabackis, called the Pannion Domin and its purpose is to spread chaos, death and distraction across the land. To stop this menacing empire, Dujek’s army and the Bridgeburners have come to form a sensitive alliance with Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake’s Tiste Andii. While the empire is boiling, the T’lan Imass come to rise as something sinister is threatening to bring the end of this world. The Crippled God is planning to seize his power back now that he has been freed. The world is in grave danger.

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My only problem with this book was that my exams and my very limited time when I began reading it didn’t allow me to return to the story daily. This meant that I forgot details, sometimes I was reading without being focused and I was missing even more lines and in general by the time I reached the end, I was a kind of “out of it”. But, undoubtably, this is an unbelievable book that I will forever recommend to any epic fantasy fan.

Gods, I wish the world was full of passive, mewling women. He thought about that a moment longer, then scowled. On second thought, what a nightmare that’d be. It’s the job of a man to fan the spark into flames, not quench it…

P1040435_FotorWe return to the storyline and characters of the first book, Gardens of the Moon. Gardens of the Moon is the whole reason I started and fell in love with this series, so naturally, I was very happy to see that in this third book we return to many characters that we first saw in that book. We have Whiskeyjack and Dujek, Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake with Moon’s Spawn and the Tiste Andii, Quick Ben, Paran and of course the Bridgeburners. According to a quick look at the Dramatis Personae we have approximately 115 characters that we follow in this book, including Bauchelain and Korbal Broach to whom I’m finally officially introduced in the main series. Cool stuff happening, guys!

Whims are deadly. Do something for no reason but curiosity and it closes like a wolf’s jaws on your throat.

P1040436_FotorThe immensity of the story is brilliant and overwhelming but in a completely acceptable and wanted way. We are reading an epic fantasy book. Epic fantasy is the genre that includes books with storylines that have an impact on the structure of the world and in which characters can perform actions that change the course of events. In this book, we get to see just how huge this world is. There are so many layers of “people” involved, humans, mortal and immortal races, Gods, Elder Gods..At the same time, this is the book that explains about some of the history of some of the races. In this third book, we know by now who is what and what role they play in the story so things do get clearer. Steven Erikson manages to write an extremely intricate book without complicating it and making it unbearable to read. Still, there is mystery and many questions unanswered and I, for one, don’t think I have comprehended much of what is in the authors head. We still have many books to go.

Her head dropped to the ground at her feet on a stream of gore. The body managed an eerie side-step, as if dancing, then crumbled.

P1040438_FotorWe have an intelligent author writing for intelligent readers that he recognises and treats as intelligent. As I’ve said before, Steven Erikson doesn’t like to spell things out for us. But he tries to make us understand his epicness by foreshadowing many parts of his story so that when you reach the point where suddenly something is revealed you feel like “Oh, yes that totally makes sense!” instead of “Who is that again? What did he do? Did i feed the dog?” But foreshadowing is not the only trick in Steven Erikson’s book (see what I did there?). His writing style is imaginative, descriptive and raw even brutal at points. He has a way of using comic relief, yes I’m talking about Krupe, in a way that actually takes the burden off a scene that just leaves the reader in pieces. I appreciate this so much, when authors treat their readers as intelligent, smart and don’t just dump information on us to make it easier for us to understand them.

To carry a child is to age in one’s bones. To weary one’s blood. To stretch skin and flesh. Birthing splits a woman in two, the division a thing of raw agony. Splitting young from old. And the child needs, and the mother gives.

The audiobook narrated by Ralph Lister is amazing, This is the last book narrated by Ralph Lister which is such a shame because he really brings Steven Erikson’s characters to life. He is experiencing the book as much as he is narrating it which makes the whole things an amazing, fun time.

We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attaach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned. T’lan Imass. Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the world. It must be given freely. In abundance.

This is a project of a book and I’m very happy that I got to the end of it because it means that I now can begin the new journey with the House of Chains being my next read from tomorrow. If you love big fat epic fantasy books, do yourself a favour and buy Garden’s of the Moon. I can’t praise this series enough, it’s freaking amazing.

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Here is a before (top) and after (down) picture of how the book looked when I first bought it and how it looks now after I read it:

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Also, for those interested in the audiobook, here is the first part on Youtube:

I’m a BookDepository affiliate. If you want to buy a book online (free worldwide shipping) and you go through my links (below) I’ll get a small referral commission. Thank you very much for your support!:)

BookDepository: Garden’s of the Moon (Book 1)

BookDepository: Deadhouse Gates (Book 2)

BookDepository: Memories of Ice (Book 3)

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