Long Spoiler Video Review(14m):
The eighth Malazan book brings readers back to Darujhistan, a setting we haven’t been since Gardens of the Moon. We see how our retired Bridgeburners are doing while running a local tavern built upon the temple of K’rul. The ship with Cutter, Spite, Pust, Barathol, Scillara, and Mappo arrive in the Darujhistan harbor. On the way to the city, we have Karsa, Samar, and Traveller joining together along with the Hounds of Shadow. Also, Kallor is heading towards Darujhistan as well. One of the largest conversions in the series of powerful characters heading to the same city creates a great sense of tension and an amazing payoff near the end of the book.
Also, we have a group of Tiste Andii traveling towards Black Coral to meet up with the other Tiste Andii living there, including Andomander Rake. The group, led by Clip, have many different reasons for visiting the Tiste Andii lord. Nimander is an unwilling leader for this group of Tiste Andii and he is fighting his destiny.
We get a lot of backstory in this story with the Tiste Andii but their side story takes second place to the convergence happening in Darujhistan. Bad things happen to our Bridgeburners and some of the plans that many of the gods have been cooking up come to a head in this book. What I find interesting was how characters that didn’t know each other end up becoming good friends because they are like individuals, all survivors. Power attracts power in this 8th Malazan book.
My largest complaint about this book is that some of the characters feel like archetypes of philosophical worldviews. This is one of the issues I have with Malazan. The large powerful gods are more about ideas than an actual character. Yes, having these characters representing worldviews creates amazing writing and passages, but this book takes it a little too far. As much as I love this series, the books can be a slog, and they are always better after I finish them than during the actual reading. The more philosophy in the books, the more it slows down. Still, the reveals and consequences at the end of this book are so epic that I can’t help but love the book.
19/25 Possible Score
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 4(Strong)
World Building/Setting – 4(Strong)
Writing Style – 3(Good)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 4(Strong)