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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 31 October 2016
I thought it was strange that the fifth book in a series should only contain one character that had been in any of the prior four books. Loving so many of the characters prevalent in the previous books I wanted to see what they were up to. However, upon completing Midnight Tides I am still in awe with Erikson, his style, substance and the stories that are being weaved. Every title he has written in this series I struggle to comprehend how they get better than the previous books..

The plot is about two local communities and we get a great omnipotent perspective provided mostly as a tale of two families. Sengar (Tiste Edur) & Beddict (The Letherii). The relationships between the brothers on both sides is intriguing. Two races that have not been interpreted to any great degree prior to this book yet I imagine what has happened here is pivotal to the overall consequences of the series. Some of the scenes are amazing. The Sengar brothers fighting Soltaken wolves to find a requested prize on fields of ice, the meeting of the two factions are the Letherii throne & Kettle finally meeting Silchas Ruin. Additionally I liked the complexity of Rhulad and his relationship with his servant. (I don't consider these to be spoilers hence why I put them here :) ) Once again, Gods are in the mix of the action like the Aenied and the Iliad. I believe what makes this series stand out is its originality. I like a lot of fantasy novels but a lot of them are re-jigging Tolkien or what has come before. The world, races and epic-ness depicted here is astronomical and I truly believe I will not be able to enjoy fantasy books to this degree after this series as I know its quality cannot (or would be highly unlikely that it will) be replicated.

I loved Tehol & Bugg's relationship. I imagined a sort of Blackadder/ Baldrick scenario with the 'manservant' however being cleverer than he made out. Bugg was always too busy to work. Hmmm.

I cannot wait to read the next book. A lot of what I said in my positive review of House Of Chains could be placed here but I do not wish to repeat. If you have got this far in the series, you know it is amazing and reviews are pointless. Carry on, enjoy it. I can't wait to see how everything weaves it's way together, culminates and finalises. Peace x [...]
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on 5 June 2017
And so book 5 of the Malazan House of the Fallen passes on by.

I don't know. Perhaps it's because I've become so used to the superb writing style, twisting plot-line, highly individual characters, and smirk inducing humour but I found this book was more a pause, a respite on a plateau that I hope isn't a prelude to a descent.

Be under no illusion: this is still a wonderful book. I just found the Tiste Edur part, including the foray to pick up the <spoiler> a bit dragged out. I loved the character who lives on the roof, his wonderful servant (reminded me of the servant in Iain M Bank's Matter), and all of the characters in the Letherii capital. The slow burn introduction and possible future link up with the the Children of Shadow and the Azath house provided a necessary and comforting link to the rest of the series.

Maybe I'm being unfair. I still loved the book and had started the sixth within minutes of finishing this one. I just had a deja vu of the middle few books of the Wheel of Time. I hope I'm wrong but it certainly won't stop me in any shape or form from reading the entire series. Even when I feel less than wowed, this book is still a great read!

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), available on Amazon.
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on 16 May 2016
Not as accesible as other Malazan novels - you really have to be into the names/magic to understand what's going on. I found a good plot spoilt by the jargon being a bit 'up itself
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on 20 June 2017
This series is a real challenge. Normal narrative rules don't apply. But the effort is well worth it. The world ( or worlds) Steven Erickson has created provide him with a wonderful opportunity to present a whole variety of fascinating, complex characters. It is written with humour and inventiveness.
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on 19 May 2017
Great read
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on 7 July 2017
good
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on 23 May 2017
Great to see a lot of the Tiste Edur and their culture in the other side of the Malayan world, and the beginnings of Trull Sengars story.
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on 10 September 2017
Great read, I love that this is a series of more or less standalone books which I think will turn into a complex interlinking of storyline, hopefully in book 6!
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on 5 September 2017
Superb.
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on 26 July 2013
After having given the preceding four books in the Malazan series mixed reviews, I opened Midnight Tides with some hesitation. I shouldn't have worried, as this has turned out to be my favourite in the series so far.

After the events of the previous book brought the Seven Cities plotline to a conclusion, I expected that book five would begin a new storyline. I therefore wasn't completely surprised that Midnight Tides is set on yet another new continent, some years before the events of the other books, and features a (mainly) brand new cast of characters!

I only vaguely remembered the character of Trull Sengar, a Tiste Edur warrior, who had a minor part in House of Chains - after all there are a lot of characters to remember in this series! Anyway, Midnight Tides tells his back-story, and it's spellbinding stuff.

The tribal Tiste Edur are on the brink of war with the neighbouring human kingdom of Letheras, who on paper are the more "advanced" and powerful of the two sides. That is, until the Warlock King of the Tiste Edur turns to dark and mysterious powers to aid his cause. Do we see the hand of the Crippled God in this, hmm?

If House of Chains was about the relationship between sisters, then Midnight Tides is about brotherhood. Trull Sengar is one of four brothers, and he has an uneasy relationship with all of them. His arrogant younger brother Rhulad seems to have designs on his elder brother Fear's betrothed, and Trull is tormented by trying to keep his family's honour intact. Representing the Letherii are the three dysfunctional Beddict brothers - one the king's champion, one a traitor, and one a penniless loafer. While the action and conflict between the two kingdoms may drive the plot of this book, it is the relationships between these two very different sets of brothers which is the heart of the story.

Yes, Midnight Tides actually has a heart, which is something I couldn't really say about any of the other books in the series. I really got emotionally involved with most of the principal characters. Rhulad's character arc is a particular stand-out, brutal and tragic at the same time. Another first for this series, the comedy characters are actually funny! The dialogue between Tehol Beddict and his manservant Bugg is consistently hilarious, and what can I say about Shurq Ellale? An undead, nymphomaniac thief and wannabe-pirate, I just hope she appears in the later novels!

I really was completely swept away by this book; it has all the good elements of the previous four, yet none of their weaknesses. It never dragged and was constantly thrilling, moving, funny and involving. Erikson has finally honed his skill for combining stomach-churning violence, visceral horror, absurd humour and heart-rending tragedy into a bitter-sweet epic. Please, keep this up for the rest of the series!
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