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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 April 2017
I thought the first book was good but this, this is something else.

Brutal to the point where I sometimes thought it was too much but yet the story took me and kept me until the end.

As I write this I just finished and now I'm going to buy the third one and get straight back into that one.
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on 2 May 2017
Better than the first in the series, Coltaine's Chain of Dogs transcends history and reality and hangs like a giant metaphor over modern society
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on 19 March 2017
Have I mentioned how much I loved the first Malazan Book of the Fallen? If not, go read that review. In short, I adored it, and I'm pleased to say that Deadhouse Gates, the second book is just as good.

I am always a bit concerned when characters you have come to love, strategies that have twisted your deepest thoughts, relationships that have become a part of you suddenly disappear as the series settles on another focus but, writing this already well into Book 3, then I am ecstatic to share that this wonderful author cares about all of his creations just as much as I have come to do.

Does Deadhouse Gates tick all the boxes? Series? Funny? Deep? Well crafted? Great characterisation? Excellent magic system? Oh yes, there are more ticks here than on a dog lost for a week in a swamp!

And even more, for we are gifted with new characters and new plots, all threads in a fantasy carpet woven by a true master that I cannot wait to roll around on over the rest of the books.

If you even remotely value your free time or find yourself fighting for adventure and release in this humdrum world, give this series your serious consideration. It is wonderful!

Nia Sinjorina, author of the Urban Fantasy series Folio 55, book 1 (End of a Girl) available on Amazon.
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on 30 December 2012
I started this book with some trepidation, as I wasn't particularly impressed with Gardens of the Moon, but as many reviews on here suggested the series improved as it went on I thought I would persevere.

Well, it's too early to speak to for the series as a whole, but I'm definitely glad I carried on and read Deadhouse Gates.

To start with, I thought my fears would be well founded, as the book is set on another continent, and introduces yet more characters, races and concepts. However, where GotM seemed to throw new characters and plot points into the mix every few pages, this book feels more focused.

The plot revolves around the revolution known as "The Whirlwind" taking place in the Seven Cities, as they rise up against the Malazan Empire. While there are still several interlinked stories going on against this background, the main thrust of the plot is the epic retreat of the Malazan armies and refugees led by the as-yet untried commander Coltaine.

This lends the book much more of a military and human feel than the previous book, with more focus on battles and tactics than on magic. This really felt like I was reading about an actual historical event, but without coming across dry in any way. And like a real event, the battles and the march are described with brutal and bloody realism, leading to a sickening but all too plausible conclusion.

When magic is used in this book, it seems to be done in a more "realistic" way than in the first. Perhaps this is because I am now more familiar with the concepts of the magic used in this series as more information is slowly dripped in by the author; I now have more understanding of what warrens, otataral and ascendants are!

The characters still aren't as well-drawn as I'd like, the dialogue can seem forced and clunky at times, and the few attempts at humour to lighten the mood don't always come off. However, this book did make me care in a way that the first one didn't, and had an ending that managed to be both moving and unsentimental.

Hopefully the rest of the series will get even better from here!
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on 1 December 2005
This book might easily be the best work Erikson ever published. It definitely is his bloodiest. Throughout the book you ll find yourself on constant edge while the Malazan defenders are trying to achieve the impossible. It s been a while since i read the book but its brutality and horrific realism are not easy things to let go. Against impossible odds simple soldiers will become heroes through massive amounts of blood and gore. Erikson simply wont compromise. As usual there is more than this story in the book: one equally, if not more bloody. Extremely emotional and shocking any fantasy fan should read this. Its not everyday that this kind of books appear. It made me realise that Erikson is the future of Fantasy. Or at least he should be
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on 29 September 2011
This book is intimidatingly massive (900 pages), requires about three times the amount of thinking required by normal ficition to fully digest its contents. It's also unrelentingly bleak, tragic and violent. But apart from that, it's a walk in the park!

A huge part of me wants to criticise this book and, indeed, the whole 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' series. But, I have to be honest, this is mainly because this series has stretched me beyond any other literature I've ever read and I resent the fact that I'm not quite clever, patient or perceptive to grasp these books on one reading. I have to be objective and, objectively, this book is a masterpiece!

The illusion of realism that Erikson creates is second to none. He never interrupts the writing with cliched exposition and so the reader feels like a humble fly on the wall and not an intruder. Of course, this means the reader has actually got to think, to read between the lines and bare a certain amount of uncertainty but, if you are willing to take on this challenge, the rewards are great.

Also, the book is so crammed with detail, it's very very re-readable. It'll take a lifetime to figure out. Go on, take the plunge - it's deep water but there are pearls on the ocean bed!
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on 15 June 2007
ok let me start by saying that when i first started to read this book i was a little dissapointed. where was whiskeyjack and the bridgeburners. the only ones to make it were kalam, quick ben, fiddler, crokus and sorry.

but i stuck with it as it seemed unfair to dismiss it so quickly andwas i ever rewarded for my patience. it is almost equal in brilliance ot the gardens of the moon but on a slightly different level.

this book focuses on the rebellion occuring in a differen area of the malazan empire to what we saw in the first book, and contains broadly two story paths. one is the story of a young girl who has been exiled. and the other focuses on a new commander of the armies of the malazan empire in this area and his ability to become a great commander.

of course all hell break loose and then we see the true gem of this story, the struggle for survival in the face of impossible odds. read it and you'll see what i mean also has a truly heartbreaking ending, you know whats gonna happen but you wish somene would do something.

all in al a great book, not quite as great as the original but thats hardly fair seeing as the first was amazing in every way.

wait till you hit book 3. probably the best in the series.
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on 24 March 2002
At last a fantasy novel with some teeth - or more preceisely teeth, swords lances and any other method of harming another individual. The characters are not all good or bad, shady deals are made which sometimes backfire.
Just because a character is a principle one don't expect them to make it to the end of the book - the war depicted in this novel is bloody and brutal.
My only complaint is that the chapters are a bit long causing me to stay awake into the wee small hours - not good for work in the morning, but you cant leave the characters in such a predicament now can you?
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on 4 November 2001
Wow!I Finished this book within 2 days of it's receipt and it's not a small book.I just could'nt put it down!I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series and this did not dissapoint.I have'nt enjoyed a book so much since Robert jordan's wheel of time series.The story whizzes along at a great pace, the characters are superbly drawn, there are plots within sub-plots,just about everything you can ask for in a book.Roll on book three!Buy it!
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on 14 April 2014
Fair warning - some spoilers for Gardens of the Moon follow:

In Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson’s second entry into his epic fantasy series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen, the action moves away from the setting and most of the characters of Gardens of the Moon to introduce some new players, along with new mysteries, revelations and some truly dramatic twists. Away from the dark and war-torn continent of Genabackis, we find ourself thrust into the unhinged desert sub-continent known as Seven Cities, where rebellion is prophesised and it is rumoured that Gods walk the earth. Following several new characters, such as the Imperial Historian Duiker, Ganoes Paran’s youngest sister Felisin and the quietly mysterious Jhag, Icarium, Deadhouse Gates expands the already intimidatingly vast universe of the Malazan Book of the Fallen with what is almost an entirely new cast, mostly unrelated to the likes of Whiskeyjack, Tattersail and Anomander Rake. In fact, the only Bridgeburners represented in this novel are the assassin Kalam and former comic-relief, Fiddler – now elevated to major point-of-view.

Mainly, the story involves the mass-uprising known as the Whirlwind – an organised rebellion against the Malazan forces in every one of the seven holy cities of Seven Cities. The backbone of the plot involves the “escort” of thousands of Malazan refugees across the continent to safety by the surviving Seventh Army, led by the formal tribal leader, Coltaine. Seen mostly through the eyes of the historian Duiker, this plotline allows Erikson to form the rest of the novels plots around it, and provides one of the most harrowing and exhausting reads in the genre. The plotting here is notably stronger and far more cohesive than Gardens of the Moon. With much of the work surrounding the basis of the magic system and the various Ascendants done in Gardens of the Moon, Erikson is able to trust the reader to hold her own while wrapping everything in a truly outstanding narrative that puts most other epic fantasies to shame.

We’re also treated to some terrific new characters, as well as given lots more insight into the returning characters of Fiddler, Kalam, Crokus and Apsalar. Icarium and Mappo the Trell in particular provide much of the entertainment, with a double act that is both believable, hilarious and tragic in equal measures. Erikson is not afraid to offer quick answers to major mysteries, even this early in the series and to introduce new ones – ofteneven solvable if the reader has really been paying attention. One particular scene involving a ship, a crazy mage and a mystery elder race is a real highlight. Indeed, despite the new setting and cast, knowledge from Gardens of the Moon makes this an intense read as revelations come thick and fast. Also interesting are hints towards events on Genabackis during this novel (Deadhouse Gates takes place concurrently with Book Three, Memories of Ice) making this a truly rewarding read.

There are a few minor niggles, though. The tone of the novel, from beginning to end, is one of deep tragedy. George RR Martin would have a hard time with some of this material, although none of the violence is gratuitous. I also found some of Erikson’s battle scenes difficult to picture. The chaos of battle is certainly represented, but more than once I found these scenes hard to visualise, with the scenery in particular being often awkward to imagine.

Despite the sense of horror present throughout the book, Deadhouse Gates is also in places a hilarious book. Iskaral Pust and the Malaz sappers in particular provide much of the (MUCH NEEDED) relief.

A seriously impressive second entry in the Malazan Book of Fallen, things are really falling into place with Deadhouse Gates. Steven Erikson has outdone himself in pretty much every single way with a novel that really does prove he knows what he’s doing. Incredibly satisfying, intense and truly epic, Deadhouse Gates is epic fantasy as only Steven Erikson could envision.
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