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Malazan Book of the Fallen 5: Midnight Tides Hardcover – 1 Mar 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (1 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593046277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593046272
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,070,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Archaeologist and anthropologist Steven Erikson's debut novel, Gardens of the Moon, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and set readers on the epic adventure that is his acclaimed 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' sequence. He lives in Cornwall and is currently writing The Crippled God - the tenth and final chapter in what has been hailed 'a masterwork of the imagination'. To find out more, visit www.malazanempire.com.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Midnight Tides is the fifth book in Steven Erikson's immense fantasy sequence The Malazan Book of the Fallen, which began in 1999 with the much-praised Gardens of the Moon. In successive volumes the action moves around the world of the Malazan Empire, linked by a back-story as ancient and complex as Tolkien's. Here a prologue in "The Time of the Elder Gods" shows clashes and betrayals of gods, dragon shape shifters, demons, ice mages and more. In modern times, some very old characters survive under other names, and history has been seriously misremembered...

Now there's an impending clash between the recently-united barbaric tribes of the Tiste Edur and the adjoining Kingdom of Lether, whose capitalistic decadence would make it quite sympathetic if not for policies of ruthless expansionism and slavery.

We come to know people on both sides: the Tiste Edur are driven by fierce honour and have strange, fascinating customs (Erikson is an anthropologist). But their Warlock King has, so to speak, switched gods in midstream and allied with a distinctly dark power while seeking a potent "gift" from another unreliable deity. Ironically, despite the provocation of Letheran seal-poachers on his coast, the Warlock King wants a safe, unassailable peace. His supernatural allies have other plans, and the tribes find themselves following a fearsome but also pitiable new Emperor into war.

Oddly enough, an old, ambiguous Letheran prophecy about an emperor is about to fall due. Meanwhile this kingdom has internal enemies, including a master financier plotting ruin while living in abject poverty with his resourceful manservant: this double act provides a vein of Jeeves-and-Wooster comic relief. There are complex manoeuvres in court circles. The undead walk--but that's normal in Lether. Restless stirring is felt in the ancient Hold where dark magic has long been confined. Then comes the clash with the Tiste Edur, and sorcerers' weapons of mass destruction are unleashed on both sides.

It's a big, complex, satisfying blockbuster, crammed with horrors, humour, spectacular effects and devious twists. Loose ends will presumably be picked up in later volumes. --David Langford

Review

"Everything we have come to expect from this most excellent of fantasy writers; huge in scope, vast in implication and immensely, utterly entertaining.""-Alienonline"

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada on 20 April 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the conclusion of my review for House of Chains, I made mention of the discussion of whether that book was a bridge between the first three novels in the Malazan Book of the Fallen and the last six. I also said that since I hadn't read beyond House of Chains before, I didn't know where I stood in that discussion. After finishing Midnight Tides I can say that at least those last six novels at least start of in a completely different place than where House of Chains ended. Midnight Tides takes us to a completely new continent and a set of completely new characters. In fact the only characters in the book we've seen before are Trull, the Tiste Edur we met in House of Chains, and the Crippled God, who makes a few on-the-page appearances. Even if we're dropped in totally unfamiliar environs, I had far less trouble getting into this book than I had with House of Chains. After the prologue, we start off with the Tiste Edur, seeing how Trull's tribe reacts to a raiding of their hunting grounds by the neighbouring kingdom of Lether. And this is the main conflict in the book, that between the Edur and the Letherii. The Edur are tribal and relatively primitive, while the Letherii are the embodiment of capitalism. They don't have a clear religion other than that of the worship of money and profit.

We start with the Letherii as the aggressor, they raid the Edur hunting grounds, while at the same time sending a diplomatic delegation to renew the treaties between the two, but we end up with Lether being the victim of conquest, when the Edur, under the leadership of their new emperor, conquer Lether in a quite efficient manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Hardy VINE VOICE on 7 July 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm getting older and my memory is not as crisp and fresh as it once was, and for that reason i've been trying to ration the Malazan Books of the Fallen. The problem is that if I read all those currently in print, by the time the remaining parts are released I'll be struggling to remember what happened in the previous installments. As a result of all this, I've just completed Midnight Tides.
This novel takes you away from the previous events and characters of the previous four books and introduces another story thread to the whole saga. Initially I was a little disappointed by this, but that feeling soon evaporated once I'd read the first chapter or so.
The thing I enjoy most about Steven Erikson's writing/storytelling is the complexity of the plot involving a huge number of characters. The endings never feel rushed and neither do they drag or meander aimlessly, which is something that other multi-volumed fantasy sagas have been guilty of.
This particular part of the story maintained the complexity and it's possible to see where this will weave into the other story threads in one of the future parts. I read this in under a week, which is pretty good for me these days and it says a lot as to how much it gripped me to finish it in this time. It's not the best of the series so far (that was Memories of Ice for me) but still hugely enjoyable.
If you haven't read any of this series, and you enjoy a well rounded fantasy story, then you really don't need to look any further than this - go and order Gardens of the Moon and get started.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sean on 22 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book had me rivetted. A complexity, detail and imagination far exceeding Tolkien, and I never thought that possible. Do not expect your conventional elves, dwarves, men and dragons (oh but there ARE a few dragons!). Do not expect the dull-witted, worn-out concepts of fantasy found in the Weiss and Hickman Dragonlance Chronicles. This is superlative writing. It had me going back to previous books to re-read exerpts that now fit together in amazing chronology, which is not to say the earlier books were incomplete or impenetrable....quite the contrary.
Be warned though; Erickson knows the true meaning of tragedy. I've learned not to become too attached to any of his characters. In fact, I think that overly emotional involvementwith Erickson's characters can be psychologically risky (I really mean that). In the midst of it all, I've not encountered as much wit and humour in any of the previous books as I did during the exchange between Tehol and Bugg. Moreover, the devastation and tragedy wrought here rival the Chain of Dogs. Sorcerous weapons of mass destruction indeed. Though obviously a fantasy, these books have an exceedingly deep philosophical outlook. Superimpose Gennabackis or Lether on some of our cities and continents in the real world and you find some very insightful comments on human nature (albeit using non-human beings at times). But if you can't be bothered with too much of the deep stuff and you're in it for the excitement, you'll be blown away! Such detailed and convincing descriptions you'll wonder if Erickson actually visited a parallel dimension. The story-line displays stunning imagination and the characters are carefully developed. The plot leaves so much promise for future volumes that you'll dread finishing the series as it is. Paradoxically, you can't put it down.
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